TV Memories – Afternoon laughs from Tim Conway!!

So this afternoon, I was tired and miserable. I had worked all day yesterday from 8:30 AM to 11:15 PM, first at my regular job and then at Target, for the first time in a long. And the work at my regular job involved a couple of trips through a woods in Deptford carrying equipment to do soil boring.Anyway you get the idea. My 62-year old body was hurting and I had work tonight at Target from 5:30 to 11:15 to look forward to! So I needed a laugh and when I need a laugh sometimes I turn to an actor, who to me is a comic genius. I don’t think that there are many people who do sketch comedy better than Tim Conway! His work on The Carol Burnett show was great! So I watched one more time one of my favorite sketches The Dentist, featuring Tim and Harvey Korman – What a tough job Harvey Korman had playing the straight man. Half the fun of watching their sketches was watching him battle to keep a straight face as he watched Tim. They were battles that he most times lost as he did in this sketch!!

Now the question is – Should I watch it again? – Do you think I did??

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Thoughts about Ed Sullivan and Victor Borge……

Ed SullivanSo this morning I noticed that on this date October 13, 1974, the entertainment world said good-bye to one of the most influential people in its industry Edward Vincent “Ed” Sullivan! Ed Sullivan started out

,…as a newspaper sportswriter for The New York Evening Graphic.[5] When Walter Winchell, one of the original gossip columnists and the most powerful entertainment reporter of his day, left the newspaper for the Hearst syndicate, Sullivan took over as theater columnist. His theater column was later carried in The New York Daily News. His column, ‘Little Old New York’, concentrated on Broadway shows and gossip, as Winchell’s had and, like Winchell, he also did show business news broadcasts on radio.

 

In 1948, the CBS network hired Sullivan to do a weekly Sunday night TV variety show, Toast of the Town, which later became The Ed Sullivan Show. Debuting in June 1948, the show was broadcast from CBS Studio 50, at 1697 Broadway (at 53rd Street) in New York City, which in 1967 was renamed the Ed Sullivan Theater (and is now the home of the Late Show with David Letterman).[6]

 

Time magazine In 1955 stated that Sullivan resembled:

a cigar-store Indian, the Cardiff Giant and a stone-faced monument just off the boat from Easter Island. He moves like a sleepwalker; his smile is that of a man sucking a lemon; his speech is frequently lost in a thicket of syntax; his eyes pop from their sockets or sink so deep in their bags that they seem to be peering up at the camera from the bottom of twin wells.[7] Read More

And while he was wooden and kinda funny looking all he did was bring us week after week the top entertainers in the industry, All kinds of entertainers from rock stars like Elvis, The Beatles and The Stones to Broadway show tunes, and every kind of singer in between you could tune in and see artist like Sammy Davis, Jr, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, and the list could go on and on. There was always something for everyone in the family. (Wait a minute all kinds of genres??? Did the variety on the Ed Sullivan show lay the foundation for the variety of music that I listen to???)

My father was never a lover of music but would watch the show every week to see which comedian could make him laugh and if Topo Gigio was on! And the comedians were there every week, Jackies Vernon and Mason, Richard Pryor, Stiller and Meara, Alan King, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and even comedians who were a little different like Victor Borge. As I was looking for YouTube clips tonight…..

Victor BorgeWhy was I looking for youtube clips – I remember now! I took the IQ test administered by my daughter tonight and about a half an hour ago she called with the results. I scored a 116 that placed me in the above average group the 86th percentile!!! I will have to ask her to send a breakdown of the different categories but I so remember my scores were high in verbal.

While thinking about IQ tests my mind quickly traveled to the first Bob Newhart Show and the episode when Emily took an IQ test and was invited to join MENSA (not that I’m anywhere near that)  After the call, I went to look for clips of that episode. I didn’t find any but I did watch a few minutes of the last episode of Newhart (the second series) While watching that video, I saw some videos of Victor Borge performances on the sidebar. I found this hilarious one with of Victor playing “The Hungarian Rhapsody”. Watching this then took me back to the passing of Ed Sullivan on this day!!!

Once again my ADD took me on a fun trip tonight…….’Nite All!

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TV Memories – Watching the Emmys with thoughts of Newhart!

Newhart, Larry, Daryl and DarylSo at this point in our lives my wife and I watch very little television. There may be a handful of shows that we watch, but usually I’m either listening to music, or reading while I half-watch whatever sport is currently in season on TV. But that wasn’t always the case, we were regular TV watchers back in the day, Tonight for the first time in many years, I watched the Emmy Awards. I was glad to see Jim Parsons win, as well as the Colbert Report! Both the Colbert Report and the Big Bang Theory are shows that we occasionally watch!!.Oh, and my wife watches  The Voice, which also won an Emmy  tonight. I was also happy to see Bob Newhart on the show. Seeing Bob always brings back fond memories of both his TV shows The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart. The former was always my favorite, but Newhart had its moments. I don’t think the there’s anyone better on the phone than Bob!

So while the Emmy’s were still in progress, I surfed over to YouTube and watched one of my favorite clips from the second episode of Newhart, when Bob and his wife discover Mrs Newton’s is buried in the basement of the Stratford Inn and call “Anything for a Buck” to remove the body! The clip cracks me up every time I watch it!

 

 

 

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Today in Music – 1967- The Who visit The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour!!

The Who Explosion
On this date 46 years ago, The Who gave a smashingly memorable performance on The Smothers Brothers Show. They performed their hit “My Generation” – not so memorable yet. At the end of the song, they started in “Whoian” fashion to destroy their instruments. Townsend smashes his guitar against the amps and Moon is knocking down his drums. Suddenly, the bass drum explodes…. Moon had it rigged to explode only the stagehand put in just a wee bit too much explosive, resulting in Moon’s leg being cut, and Townsend’s hair getting singed and his hearing permanently damaged!!

Here’s the video!

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An Evening Spent Remembering the Smothers Brothers!

Smothers BrothersSo this morning as I was watching the video with Mark O’Connor it brought back memories of watching and listening to the Smothers Brothers! About a year ago, I spotted their album Mom Always Liked You Best in the basement and I brought it upstairs and gave it a listen and laughed and remembered just how funny they were! Here’s the post I wrote Morning Music and Laughs with The Smothers Brothers and the video I used was…drum roll please.. “Boil that Cabbage Down”

Anyway sitting here recovering from my run tonight, what, wait, I ran…. well maybe not run.. still a slow jog about 10:40 per mile, but in two days this week, I passed my running totals for both June and July!! Now I just have to keep it going! It helped a lot that it was cooler tonight! But back to what I was doing as I was sitting here, yes, I have been watching Smothers Brother’s videos and a Red Skelton one mixed in. The Smothers Brothers are an act that hasn’t been repeated, yeah that’s what we need a new Smothers Brothers. Anyway here’s the video that cracked me up tonight…. “My Old Man” …..

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Today in History – 1895 – Gracie Allen’s Birthday!

Burns_allen_1952So on this date in 1895, yes, you read that right,1895, one of the great comic actors of all time was born, Gracie Allen. From the time she began performing with her husband George Burns in vaudeville in 1922, until they finished production on their TV show in 1958, Americans loved the antics of Gracie. I have fond memories of the George Burns and Gracie Allen TV show. I remember watching it in the afternoon,so it must have been in the 60s when I was watching because the show ended its regular run in 1958, but reruns were shown on CBS in the daytime throughout the 60s.

There are many full episodes on YouTube. While I was watching the beginning of one last night. Gracie and her neighbor. Blanche Morton were talking about Gracie’s son Ronnie’s 21 birthday. As I watched, I was trying to place the actress playing Blanche.So I went to Wikipedia, and read about the show, and when I saw the actresses name Bea Benaderet, I remembered. Bea would go on to play Kate Bradley, the mom in Petticoat Junction!

Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie “Gracie” Allen (July 26, 1895[1][2] – August 27, 1964), was an American comedienne who became internationally famous as the zany partner and comic foil of husband George Burns. For contributions to the television industry, Gracie Allen was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6672 Hollywood Boulevard….

….The legend was born of their vaudeville routine and carried over to both radio and television. As the show wrapped up Burns would look at Allen and say “Say good night, Gracie” to which she would usually simply reply “Good night.” Popular legend has it that Allen would say, “Good night, Gracie.” According to George Burns, recordings of their radio and television shows, and several histories of old-time radio (John Dunning’s On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, for example), Gracie never used the phrase. The confusion may have been caused by Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Stars Dan Rowan and Dick Martin used a similar sign-off routine wherein Rowan would tell Martin to “Say good night, Dick.” Martin’s reply was always “Good night, Dick.” It seemed like something Gracie Allen would have said.

George Burns himself said as much in an interview years later, adding that, surprisingly enough, no one ever thought of having Allen say “Good night, Gracie” Read More

George did say Good Night and bid a fond farewell to Gracie in 1964, when she died, while watching a Spencer Tracy movie on television. George would live another 32 years before he died in 1996, at the age of 96!

George and Gracie are interred in the Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. The engraving on the marker at their resting place reads, “Gracie Allen and George Burns—Together Again,” A fond remembrance for a very funny couple. So Happy Birthday, Gracie! I hope you and George have a wonderful day wherever you may be!!

Here’s a clip from the show as Gracie tells a story. I’ve watched this three times and loved it each time

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Today in Music 1946 and 1964 – Dean Martin Makes Music, and Into the Night laughing with Dino!

 

Dean Martin ShowSo when I was growing up my father usually worked to exhaustion, and therefore he did not watch a lot of television. He did though often watch Ed Sullivan, mostly for the comedians and the occasional Bob Hope special. Another show that he watched was The Dean Martin Show, mostly for those Gold Diggers!

Gokddiggers   All these thoughts popped into my head today because this morning I read two events that  involved Dean Martin. The first was that on this date in 1946, Dean started his music recording career, only weeks before he teamed up with Jerry Lewis. Then in 1964 his hit “Everybody Loves Somebody” entered the charts. I must admit that as a nerdy 13 year-old, I bought the album, and liked the song! The song is one of those songs that once it gets in my head it stays for a while, “If I had it in my power.…”

So we could go “Into the Night” with that song from Dino…… but then I saw this The Best of The Dean Martin Show video. Watching it brings back a lot of memories about how funny that show was, Dean’s ability to laugh at himself. He always seemed like he was having a good time. The video also brought back memories of old stars like, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Paul Lynde and Jonathan Winters!

So rather than going “Into the Night” with some music from Dean, let’s laugh along with him!! I love the second video with Bob Newhart, who can always make me laugh!!!

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Today in TV History – Mr Ed passes to the Stable in the Sky.

So the question of the day is, “Why didn’t they name that horse something else?”  For years I’ve had to put up with people saying “Hey, Mr. Ed” and my response in my best Mr. Ed voice is Willlbburrr! The reason that I bring up the show is that on this day in 1979 Mister Ed died. Well actually,  Bamboo Harvester the horse that played Mr. Ed became ill and was euthanized in 1970. The horse that died in 1979 was a second Palomino horse, which had posed for still pictures used in press kits for the show, and after Bamboo Harvester’s death was known as Mr. Ed. Some background on the show from Wikipedia:

Mister Ed is a fictional talking horse residing in Mount Kisco, New York, originally appearing in short stories by Walter R. Brooks, and later in an American television situation comedy produced by Filmways[1] that first aired in syndication from January 5 to July 2, 1961, and then on CBS from October 1, 1961 to February 6, 1966.

The stars of the show were Mister Ed, a palomino horse who could “talk”, played by gelding Bamboo Harvester and voiced by former Western star Allan Lane (who went uncredited for the entire length of the series), and his owner, an eccentric and enormously klutzy, yet friendly, architect named Wilbur Post (Alan Young). Much of the program’s humor stemmed from the fact Mister Ed would speak only to Wilbur, as well as Ed’s notoriety as a troublemaker. Other running jokes centered on Wilbur’s character being a huge klutz and inadvertently causing harm to himself or others. According to the show’s producer, Arthur Lubin, Young was chosen as the lead character because he “just seemed like the sort of guy a horse would talk to”.[2] Lubin, a friend of Mae West, scored a coup by persuading the screen icon to guest star in one episode. Read More

Actually, I really don’t mind being associated with the show and I’m sure there are some folks out there that think I’m actually the back-end of the horse!

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Thalia Menninger?? Let’s go “Into the Night” with Dobie Gillis!

Dobie (Dwayne Hickman), Maynard (Bob Denver) and one of Dobie’s “many loves” (Danielle De Metz as Yvette LeBlanc).

So sometimes names just pop into your head, oh they don’t pop into yours, well then let me rephrase my statement. Names sometimes just pop into MY head. Like yesterday when I read that on 12/13/63 an episode of Burke’s Law was aired “Who Killed Cynthia Royal?” that featured Frankie Avalon playing a character named Max. The name that came  into my head was not Gene Barry who starred as the suave Amos Burke or Gary Conway the handsome sidekick, but Regis Toomey the character actor who played Detective Les Hart. Why, why is the name Regis Toomey stuck in my head??

Now the reason that today’s name popped into my head is not as easily explained as Frankie Avalon and Burke’s Law leading to Regis Toomey! It’s actually rather inexplicable the name Thali Menninger! Ok so Thalia led to Chatsworth Osborne, Jr and then Maynard G. Krebs and finally the star of the show Dwayne Hickman – the show of course was “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” =. When I got back tonight, I went to Wikipedia and read about the show. Of course I really had forgotten that Thalia Dobie’s unrequited love was played by Tuesday Weld and that prior to Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. (a young Thurston Howell III) Dobie’s rich antagonist was Milton Armitage played by Warren Beatty! Oh and reading about the show brought back memories of Zelda Gilroy who was played by Sheila James Kuehl. Zelda was a brilliant and eager young girl who was hopelessly in love with Dobie! But again why did the name Thalia Menninger pop into my head!!
I guess some mysteries are better left unexplained!

So let’s go “Into the Night” with a scene from “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” The teacher is played by Herbert Anderson, who went on to play Dennis the Menace’s father!

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TV Morning Train of Thought – Hawaiian Eye and 77 Sunset Strip

So this morning’s train of thought started when it caught my eye that on this date in 1959: Connie Stevens lands the role that will make her famous, as the TV detective show Hawaiian Eye debuts on ABC-TV. Then I read that on this date in 1960 the TV show Route 66 premiered on CBS-TV now I don’t really remember watching the show but I was intrigued when I read the article about the show at History.com

 On October 7, 1960, the first episode of the one-hour television drama “Route 66″ airs on CBS. The program had a simple premise: It followed two young men, Buz Murdock and Tod Stiles, as they drove across the country in an inherited Corvette (Chevrolet was one of the show’s sponsors), doing odd jobs and looking for adventure. According to the show’s creator and writer, Stirling Silliphant (best known for his acclaimed “Naked City,” an earlier TV series), Buz and Tod were really on a journey in search of themselves. “Call ‘Route 66′ ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’” Silliphant told a reporter. “The motive power driving our two characters is not a Corvette: it is the desire for knowledge–and for sentience; it is a quest through the perennially fascinating cosmos of personal identity.”

Route 66″ was different from every other show on television. For one thing, it was shot on location all over the United States instead of in a studio. By the time its run was up in 1964, the show’s cast and crew had traveled from Maine to Florida and from Los Angeles to Toronto: In all, they taped 116 episodes in 25 states. (Silliphant himself arrived at all the show’s locations six weeks before anyone else. When he got there, he would acquaint himself with local culture and write the scripts on-site.)  More 

The show ran  from  October 7, 1960 to March 13, 1964 and starred Martin Milner as Tod Stiles and, for the first two and a half seasons, George Maharis as Buz Murdock.

But what about Connie Stevens and “Hawaiian Eye”, I thought about the show and confused in my mind (not hard to do) with “77 Sunset Strip”, thinking in my head “Hawaiian Eye” starred Efren Zimbalist, Jr. But when I read about “Hawaiian Eye” I saw and then remembered that the stars of that show were  Anthony Eisley, as private investigator Tracey Steele and Robert Conrad as  Tom Lopaka, and the aforementioned Connie Stevens and photographer and singer Cricket Blake. Hawaiian Eye, a combination detective agency and private security firm, located in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Now my thoughts returned to 77 Sunset Strip , which actually started the flood of detective shows on TV in the early 60s, running from  October 10, 1958 to February 7, 1964.

 The series revolves around two Los Angeles private detectives, both former government secret agents: Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. played Stuart (“Stu”) Bailey, a character Huggins had originated in his 1946 novel The Double Take (which he later adapted into the 1948 movie I Love Trouble, starring Franchot Tone in the role). Roger Smith played Jeff Spencer, also a former government agent, and a non-practicing attorney

Kinda’ like CSI, the success of 77 Sunset Strip led Warner Brothers Studio to create several other detective shows set in other locales including — Bourbon Street Beat in New Orleans, Hawaiian Eye in Hawaii, and Surfside 6 in Miami.  Ok so in this video  Edd “Kookie” Byrnes from 77 Sunset Strip joins with Connie Stevens from Hawaiian Eye to perform the hit “Kookie, Kookie lend me your comb” . Remember it was the 50s!

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