Oct 28, 2016

Halloween Web - The Sexy Armpit

I am pleased as a grinning Jack-O-Lantern to be winding up the 2016 Halloween Web interview series with Jay from The Sexy Armpit! I always tell my interviewees not to worry about going long because I can always edit if needed but I just couldn't cut anything. Plus, he lavished me with plenty of great costume pics. It's pure Halloween!

Pull up a Pumpkin Spice chair and introduce yourself!

I hope you're all having a ghoulishly good time this Halloween season! This is Jay from the New Jersey Pop Culture blog and YouTube show The Sexy Armpit and you may also know me from The Purple Stuff Podcast that I do with Matt from Dinosaur Dracula.

Let me tell you a bit about myself: I'm obsessed with horror movies, KISS, Batman, Sammi Curr, Doritos, Randy Savage, Monster High, and Blair Witch 2 among so much other stuff. As always, Halloween is the greatest and busiest time of the year for me. This month, I premiered the 5th installment of The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special which is available NOW on our Youtube page. If you dig a little comedy in your horror then these specials are right up your alley. There's lots of special guests who you know from around the Internet and many surprises along the way. If you dig it, tell a friend because that's the best help you could give us! In addition to that, my blog has been around since 2004 and there's a ton of great Halloween and horror content on there that's there waiting for you to devour it.

What was Halloween like for you as a little spook?

Growing up in suburban New Jersey, mere minutes from New York, it was a perfect blend of the suburbs with little hints of a city-like atmosphere. I loved my surroundings and I still do, which is one of the reasons why I never felt compelled to hightail it out of this insanely expensive state. One thing was for sure, it was a perfect place to Trick or Treat and experience Halloween in.

Looking back on Halloween during my early years makes me think of so many simple aspects of the holiday. One of the early signals of Halloween in our household were those old school cardboard decorations. I knew that when my Dad started hanging that witch, the skull, and the black cat with the Happy Halloween greeting on it, around the house, that we were so close I could taste the candy corn. We also used to have the melted plastic popcorn Pumpkin which I have hanging in my kitchen right now! From there I always looked forward to singing Halloween songs in my elementary school music class with Miss Hayes. She made those songs POP. She used her facial expressions and the lighting in the room to enhance the atmosphere. I remember us all closing the window shades to make it dark in the room. My two favorites from that class are "Skin and Bones," and "I've Been Working on My Costume." Those gave me such a rush.

In terms of costumes as a kid -  I used to be bent on dressing as Dracula every year. I had to convince my mom a couple of years because she would have to put on my makeup. There were times when she would encourage me to switch it up. Eventually, I did when I became a Masters of the Universe fanatic. I got the Ben Cooper costume and loved it. Only problem with that is it didn't last very long because I wound up using it for everyday He-Man role playing adventures around my house on Saturday mornings.

In school, we'd have a Halloween parade every year. We had the chance to go home and change into our costumes and come back to the classroom with a grand entrance. I remember every kid in class always trying to guess who everyone was underneath their masks or makeup. Not telling your friends who you were going to be was part of the fun. Every year there was always one or two kids who never got figured out, but finally revealed themselves toward the end of the day. This is the origin of why I never reveal my costumes even as an adult. I think it's way more fun to make it a surprise. After all, that can be considered part of the "Trick," in my estimation.

Whether I was Drac or He-Man, I recall those sweet, crisp Halloween nights where it seemed like we'd be out until 10pm even though it was just the sun vanishing earlier that made me feel that way. We swore knocked on the door to every house in the entire neighborhood. After getting home, my sister and I would rush upstairs to her bedroom and dump out multiple giant bags of candy and then divvy stuff up and trade off the candy each of us didn't like. It was so much fun. I remember almost having a mini-stroke when I found my first full size Snickers bar. It was like discovering a block of gold.

Any special Halloween memories?

Every Halloween I wind up getting myself into some ridiculous hi-jinks. There's so many stories I can share here, but I'll try to keep it brief so you can go back to your horror movies and pumpkin coffee.

1. Going back many years ago, a very early memory that I love recalling is when I somehow got roped into going to my sister's girl scout Halloween event somewhere in a cabin in the woods. There were a bunch of scary stories told and then a lady went around doing those classic gimmicks like the peeled grapes that were supposed to be eyeballs. That whole thing never left my mind since. I couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old. It still sticks out in my mind so vividly.

2. Two years ago I dressed up as my all time favorite Scooby Doo Villain, the Diabolical Disc Demon and I won first prize in the costume contest at the Trenton Monster's Ball. This was very fulfilling to me because I put a lot of work into my costume. Now I have a life size Disc Demon in my condo greeting people as they go into the bathroom. It creeps everyone out. 

3. Getting ejected from a line to get into a night club in Atlantic City for a Masquerade party while dressed as Barnabas Collins because I refused to let the security guards confiscate my Barnabas walking stick. IT WAS PLASTIC. We took our party elsewhere...to a place with scantily clad women. We were better off anyway.

What about other favorite costumes?

In terms of favorite costumes I have way too many to mention. Once I reached my teens I basically became a cosplayer before it was a thing. I would consistently create costumes and do makeup for my favorite characters like Gene Simmons, Goldust, Steve Austin, Undertaker, Randy Savage, Indiana Jones, and even Green Hornet at a time when that property was totally dormant. I had to make my own mask and Hornet sting gun...times were tough! But later I started getting way more elaborate.

I've dressed as rock stars like Alice Cooper, Nikki Sixx, Billie Joe from Green Day, Billy Idol, and as I mentioned, The Demon, Gene Simmons. I also dressed as a cartoon character I used to love on Disney XD called Kick Buttowski. That one was fairly easy to create but it was fun. Nobody knew who I was and I didn't give a crap. I dressed as Randy Savage numerous times and even the Dynamite Comics version of The Lone Ranger. But with all those mentioned, my favorites have been Prime Evil from Filmation Ghostbusters, The Diabolical Disc Demon, and last year's was a big one: The Kenner "Grim Reaper" aka Death figure from their Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure toy line. Nobody was expecting that one and it had been one of my favorite action figures since I was a kid.

What do you do to celebrate these days?

Nowadays, the way I celebrate Halloween is by writing and producing our Halloween Specials. Those videos exude every drip of Halloween spirit that I have in my soul. Then, after I premiere that, I set my sites on making costumes for the masquerades I go to with my girlfriend and our friends.

What do you do to get in the Halloween spirit?

As far as annual rituals, I start my Halloween music playlist in early September and I don't go back to regular music until November 1st. It's nothing but macabre music in my car and at home until the big day. I also watch a ton of horror, which I do all year round, but I go heavy on Halloweens 1,2, and 3 as well as Trick or Treat 1986 and Trick R Treat 2009. There's a lot of other stuff such as Entenmann's Halloween cupcakes too! Those are a major component of Halloween.

Why do you think Halloween stays close to us as we get older?

I think Halloween offers a similar personal nostalgia in the same way that Christmas can elicit such profound memories. Plus, Halloween has never been more popular than it is right now and I think it's still creeping up on any of those people out there who still don't care for it. Even though Halloween is still treated like the black sheep of the holidays, I do feel like it's become so much more mainstream and acceptable compared to when I was growing up in the '80s. There's no doubt in my mind that Halloween the way we know it today has actually been dictated and re-created by '70s, '80s, and '90s kids. Not to say other generations didn't love Halloween, it's just that it feels like it belongs to us since we have such a love affair with it. We wouldn't even be doing this post together right now if we were luke warm on Halloween. 

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get while trick or treating was people will kill me on this one, but I hated Sugar Daddy Pops. They always got stuck in my teeth and it wound up being more of a pain in the ass picking it out than it was worth. (I'm with you there!)

My favorite thing to get was (I'm going to cheat and say a few) Full size Snickers, Whatchamacallits, Baby Ruth and the 2-pack Reese's Peanut Butter cups. McDonad's coupons were pretty awesome as well.

Where can people stalk you online?

If you want to follow my often whacked out exploits, you can head over to www.SexyArmpit.com and on Twitter and Instagram. If you are a Facebooker, www.facebook.com/ArmpitNJ

Hope you had a fun time reminiscing about Halloween!

Thanks! I enjoyed being a part of this, I hope you and your readers have a blast this Halloween!

A King Kong sized thanks to Jay for stopping by! If you haven't checked out The Purple Stuff Podcast, you really should! It's a hoot and a half!

Be sure to check out all the Countdown to Halloween bloggers!

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