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!!
So 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. 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.
So 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!
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!
So 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” …..
So 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!
So 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!
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 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 that first aired in syndication from January 5 to July 2, 1961, and then on CBS from October 1, 1961 to February 6, 1966.
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 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.”