Cool, cool, cool! Master of cool Michael Knight gets into a spot of trouble when his cool talking car K.I.T.T. gets car amnesia and wanders into the wilderness. Luckily for them, cool kid Doug (Jason Bateman) finds K.I.T.T. Oh, and some dudes are trying to blow up a dam or something.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
*This episode premiered Saturday morning, September 17, 1977.
*Aquaman seems like a questionable choice for a core Friend in retrospect, perhaps, but he was a proven presence in DC animation, having starred in his own Filmation cartoons in the Sixties.
*Wendy and Marvin were two dork--er, teenagerss who accompanied the Super Friends in the first season of the show. Of course they had a dog, too. Of course they did. The subsequent DC comic gave them a little bit of back story, but there wasn't much to them on the cartoon.
*That Super Friends comic book was an in-continuity adaptation of the show running from 1976-1981 and written by DC info guru E. Nelson Bridwell. It was geared to younger readers.
*The pat on the head we love so much:
*Jim Starlin is a longtime comics scribe known especially for his work on "cosmic" characters like Captain Marvel, Nova, and Thanos.
*Gleek apparently has no non-tail-based powers. He seems a direct creative descendant of Blip, the pet space monkey on Space Ghost.
*Bat Belt Mouse Compartment:
*As best we can tell, Aquaman would not survive LONG in outer space, but he is strong and invulnerable enough to not explode as soon as he is in it. Presumably he needs oxygen, though. Then again, we DO see him flying through space in the opening credits...
*Apache Chief's powers are the ability to grow really, really tall and the ability to track really, really well.
*The BOTNS research time found no link between Alan Moore and this TV show. In fact, a section for editing Wikipedia has this comment:
Is there a source for the "developed by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons" reference in the sidebar? I couldn't find any reference on google that didn't link back here.
Moore would have been 23/24 when this came out, before he started working on Judge Dredd, before he'd done anything except some illustrations for NME. I suspect this is meant as a joke.
*For more info about the voice cast from this version of the series, we recommend heading to acclaimed author Marc Tyler Nobleman's Noblemania page for this great series of interviews.
*El Dorado, a Mexican hero, debuted with the Super Friends in 1981. He has an array of super powers like strength.
*Finally, here is our web version of our popular DECODER segment.
1) Take the first word in the theme song for this show:
2) Then take the letter next to the muppet right above Zoot in this picture:
3) Then count the number of students in this pic:
4) Finally, what are the Super Friends doing while Wonder Woman is talking?
Have you figured it out?
THANK + U + 4 + LISTENING.
Thank you for listening!
Thursday, November 16, 2017
With the Justice League movie arriving in theaters, we sell out again, this time talking about the animated and friendly adventures of the Justice League from 1977 in The All-new Super Friends Hour. Yes, you get Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and even Aquaman, but you also get Robin, the Wonder Twins Zan and Jana and their space monkey Gleek, and Native American hero Apache Chief! Plus safety and health tips, craft segments, and the hard-to-beat Decoder. Also, the Secret Four, an escaped tiger, time travelers, and giant cobras! Holy buffets, Batman! What didn't they include?
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017
*As we mention in the pod, Tubi TV (free, ad-supported) and BritBox (subscription) have all episodes available for streaming.
*"Decision by Committee" is episode 3 of series 2.
*Greg Rucka's Queen and Country comic book series, which inspired Mike to seek out Sandbaggers, ran 32 issues and was followed by several miniseries and novels.
*Click HERE for our look at the Amelia Earhart controversy as portrayed on the, er, original version of In Search Of.
*The Ops Room website devoted to The Sandbaggers is here.
*Vince Gilligan, showrunner of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, is NOT, as far as we know, Ian MacKintosh.
*The SIS (Secret Intelligence Service/MI6) was established in 1909. MI5 is the domestic intelligence unit of the U.K.
*The 60 Minutes Mike Wallace, as opposed to Sandbagger Mike Wallace, was just over 60 when this aired.
*Author Brendan Koerner (The Skies Belong to Us) identifies 1968-1972 as the "golden age" of skyjacking, with over 130 in that period alone. In 1973, new security regulations for passengers took effect and began to reduce the incidence as the decade continued.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
This week, we look at The Sandbaggers, a classic British espionage series from the late seventies. Action takes a backseat to palace intrigue and political maneuvering as Director of Operations Neil Burnside (Roy Marsden) tries to rescue his primary operative from a hijacked plane. One of us compares this one to the prestige dramas of today, plus we offer "startling" evidence about the whereabouts of missing and presumed dead show creator Ian Mackintosh. NOTE: "Startling" means completely made up.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
*The series is on Amazon Prime and YouTube but no longer on Hulu.
*McMillan and Wife was part of NBC's Mystery Movie wheel from 1971 to 1977 and starred Saint James, Rock Hudson, and Nancy Walker (plus John Shuck, who is also mentioned in this episode). Hudson was a San Fran police commissioner.
*Police Woman was an Angie Dickinson vehicle lasting 1974-1978 on NBC. Dickinson was undercover police sarge Pepper Anderson.
*Joe Forrester was a spinoff of anthology Police Story (produced by David Gerber, who also did Police Woman). It only lasted one season (1975-1976) on NBC.
*Leslie Nielsen was in a "frequent guest star" phase, appearing in numerous one-shots and recurring roles all over the place at the time.
*Jed Allan played Don Craig on Days of Our Lives from 1971 to 1985 and had shorter stints on General Hospital and Lassie. He was Steve Sanders' demanding father Rush on Beverly Hills 90210.
*Cheryl Kominsky (now Robinson) is a Hall of Fame bowler who, as this profile puts it, "brought a charismatic charm and movie-star looks to a ladies’ tour dogged by the perceptions of female pro athletes that prevailed at the time. " I still think she could have explained the best ball format better, though.
*White Consolidated Industries started as The White Manufacturing Company, became The White Sewing Machine Company, and eventually purchased Westinghouse's appliance business. Electrolux bought the company in 1986, and the White-Westinghouse brand appears to be dormant.
*The social theory we refer to on the podcast is the "social capital theory" developed by Robert D. Putnam and explained in his 200 book Bowling Alone. According to Wikipedia, He has described the reduction in all the forms of in-person social intercourse upon which Americans used to found, educate, and enrich the fabric of their social lives. He argues that this undermines the active civil engagement, which a strong democracy requires from its citizens. Bowling is just one example of the forms of "social intercourse" that have declined. See also fraternal organizations, Girl and Boy Scouts, veterans groups, etc.
*Evander Holyfield was a former Cruiserweight and Heavyweight boxing champion, while Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff was a pro wrestler whose career peaked with a big feud against Hulk Hogan in the WWF.
*Dan August was a Quinn Martin series on NBC 1970-1971. Check out the awesome opening in our YouTube playlist for this episode.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Celebrity Bowling: seventies celebrities strive to strike in a modified and slightly confusing version of the Sport of Kings! Leslie Nielsen and Susan Saint James face off against Angie Dickinson and Lloyd Bridges. What's not to love? You can almost smell cigarettes and fried food from here, and you never know who might stop by (hint--an Oscar winner!) We picked the wrong week to stop using our Amana Radar Range.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Friday, October 27, 2017
*Chris Mann's comprehensive 1998 book covering the series, Come and Knock on Our Door, is out of print but, as we say during the episode, is a must-read for fans of Three's Company.
*The book mentions the no-sex-among-the-roomates edict the show established but also points out how often Jack struck out with all girls, which made the show surprisingly chaste. John Ritter jokes that Jack Tripper got some all the time during the commercial breaks, or else he never would have been able to stand living with two single females.
*Norman Fell and Audra Lindley left the show for the spinoff The Ropers, but it wasn't exactly their idea, and in fact Fell extracted a promise that if the series didn't last a year, they could return to the flagship. Unfortunately for him, it lasted one short "season" and one "full"--28 total episodes--just long enough for the Ropers to be left out.
*The British show that served as the inspiration for Three's Company, Man About the House, was a big success that led to multiple spinoffs, movies, etc. It also spawned a spinoff of its own landlord characters--George and Martha.
*Norman Fell's habit of breaking the fourth wall by grinning directly at the camera made him the only character who got away with that. Longtime show director Dave Powers was strict about not doing that when he joined the series, and he tells Mann that he asked if he should let Roper continue that gimmick and was told that the audience had come to expect it.
*Don Knotts was a nervous wreck when he joined the show as Ralph Furley because he was unaccustomed to the 3-camera process before a live audience. He had stage fright early in his career and never conquered it.
*Suzanne Somers, embroiled in disputes with the producers, threatened to sue John Ritter and Joyce Dewitt at one point, and a huge rift developed. By the end of the fifth season, she was literally phoning it in, as Chrissy had "left to take care of her mother." She shot her scenes on a separate set, apart from the rest of the cast, and would then fly to Vegas to perform her ongoing stage show.
*21-year-old Jenilee Harrison, former Rams cheerleader, joined in season 5 as Chrissy's farm-raised cousin. In season 6, Harrison was phased out as Priscilla Barnes' Terri Alden moved into the apartment while Cindy went to UCLA.
*The classic theme song was written by Joe Raposo with producer Don Nicholl co-writing the lyrics. (Not that) Ray Charles and Julie Rinker are the singers, though the cast briefly gave it a go (It didn't work). Interesting tidbit: In the original opening sequence, Jack is so flummoxed by a beautiful woman passing by that he falls off his bike. The woman is Somers in a brunette wig.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
This week, we tackle not one but two episodes the zaniest of zany comedies Three's Company and try to decide once and for all: Roper or Farley. In "Ground Rules," Jack, Janet, and Chrissy try to establish some rules for alone or alone-with-someone time in the apartment, and Jack has a man-to-man discussion with Mr. Roper about "building shelves." In "Double Trouble," Jack has to convince Farley that he has a macho twin brother named Austin. Wait till Farley tries to throw a party...for both of them!
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Friday, October 20, 2017
*DVP mentions the comedy team of Marty Allen and Steve Rossi--a dated reference even then, since the duo had been inactive for a decade. The two made many appearances on Ed Sullivan's show, including several of the famous Beatles episodes.
*The real Tom Braden had a much fuller life than we could touch on in the episode. He was not just an author and a father of 8, but he was a longtime CIA operative and the original co-host of CNN's Crossfire!
*OK, here are the Bradford kids' ages at the time the show debuted in 1977:
Elizabeth (15) (Hey, Tom gave his wife a few years off--how generous of him)
*Meeno Peluce was a prolific child actor in the BOTNS area and is worthy of more discussion, but we have a strong suspicion we will be talking more about him on the show this season.
*The song the Bradfords perform to kick off the benefit show is This Is It, the original theme song of The Bugs Bunny Show on Saturday morning TV.
*Betty Buckley, who sings So-La in the episode "Who's on First," won a Tony in 1983 for her performance in Cats.
*The Eight Is Enough theme song was written by Lee Holdridge and Molly-Ann Leikin. Fred Werner wrote the instrumental that started the show in its first two seasons.
*Nicholas Bradford, from what we can tell, did not burn down the family home, accidentally or otherwise. Perhaps we were thinking of his role in the early 1980s ABC firefighting show Code Red as Lorne Greene's adopted son?
*Ralph Macchio went on to become The Karate Kid after his short stint on EIE.
*Night Ranger formed in 1979, just a bit after this episode aired.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
In our season three premiere, we tackle the ABC light drama Eight is Enough and its season two finale "Who's on First?" Daughter Joanie needs help putting on a show to raise money for orphans, Nicholas gets put out when no one believes he was abducted by UFOs, Tom gets fed up when Nicholas won't commit to Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" routine, and everyone piles on David when he won't lend his "star power" to the show. Magic, comedy, music, and more! Will David come through? Did Nicholas get abducted by Aliens? Who is on first? (Yes.) We won't spoil the magic in this description, but we will say this is an historic episode for Eight is Enough! Find shown notes and more at our web site.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Friday, October 13, 2017
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Thursday, September 14, 2017
The special blue ribbon nominating panel has convened and issued its nominations for the season two BATTY Awards. Now Rick and Mike have to decide the winners in categories including Best Show, Best Episode, Outstanding Conrad, Best Performance by a Youth, and of course Best Facial Hair/Mustache! Plus, the first ever GENIUS Award!
Monday, September 11, 2017
Monday, September 4, 2017
Monday, August 21, 2017
*Warner Archive Instant added the rest of Eight Is Enough, meaning the entire series is available for your streaming pleasure.
*Antenna TV announced Welcome Back Kotter will be returning in the future, but this summer, it is re-adding Evening Shade and One Day at a Time while giving 227 and What's Happening!! a break and bumping a bunch of other series around.
*CW Seed, an under-the-rader but free streaming service, now offers the complete Dynasty.
*GetTV added Designing Women to its weekday lineup in June.
*TV One re-added The Cosby Show. I hope it was on clearance.
*Me-TV added The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda earlier, plus introduced Battlestar Galactica, ALF, Love American Style, and (on the edge of our era) Swamp Thing. Today it adds T.J. Hooker, The Facts of Life, Cannon, and Hawaii Five-O. Also, Remington Steele came and went this summer.
Don't get used to Rhoda nor Love, as they leave Labor Day. Happy Days will be returning, though.
*Me-TV dropped The Incredible Hulk, but it is on cable's El Rey and on digital subchannel Heroes and Icons. H&I is loaded with BOTNS-era programs like CHIPS, Police Story, Hill Street Blues, Kung Fu, Hunter, Swamp Thing (it's a sister network of Me-TV), Wiseguy, and The Greatest American Hero.
*Hulu is adding tons of episodes of old Fox (the studio/library, not the network) like the MTM Studios efforts (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and more), but it's unclear when that will happen.
*PRO Classic TV (Peter Rodgers Organization) launched a YouTube channel a few months ago that includes shows like the old The Bill Cosby Show, Celebrity Bowling, The Comedy Shop, and Movin' On.
I am sure I am missing a ton of changes, but this should be enough to tide you over for a while. As always, let us know if you want us to talk about any of these series on the podcast in our upcoming season 3 or beyond!
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Alice Season 5: First of all, though, let me mention this release that Warner Archive slipped out last week. The fifth season of the long-running sitcom features Robert Goulet, Jerry Reed, and another awkward transition in the "Flo spot."
Just as Belle replaces Flo at the end of season 4--not in between seasons, but with several episodes left--Jolene replaces Belle at the end of season 5--again, not at the end of or between seasons, but with serveral episodes left. Or maybe it's odd that I care so much about the cast dynamics on Alice. As long as Henry is sitting in the counter, I'm good.
Police Story Season 2: 4 years after season 1, Shout! is finally following up with more of the 1970s anthology series. Typical of a police show DVD--they're never around when you need them.
Rhoda Season 4 and Season 5: Shout! closes this series out this year. Season 5 will arrive in October, while 4 was already issued as a Shout Select title direct from the company but gets general release on this date. For the unitiated, "Shout Select" means "really expensive."
Ironside Season 4: Shout! is really full of PEP this summer, is it not? Your favorite wheelchair detective returns, this time in a general release set of season 4 as opposed to the really expen--uh, Shout Select version from 2010.
You know, I just checked a certain major online retailer and noticed it is charging 45 bucks for this set. So these general releases are still generally really expensive. You can just get them from major online retailers now. Well, I guess you can get a deal on shipping that way.
TV Party: The Complete Series: Seminal late 70s/early 80s NYC cable access show comes to video--and Blu-Ray, no less. That deserves a hearty...oi? I don't know; I ain't a punk rock guy. But I'm sure a lot of punks who have grown up and can afford 100-some bucks for the set will be thrilled!
The Magician: The Complete Series: VEI is listing this 1970s short-lived Bill Bixby show for an August 25 release, though it isn't listed anywhere else yet. A lot of people have been anticipating this since it was announced as a title VEI had licensed several years ago. Don't get Bill Bixby angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry. I mean, he might flub a trick or something.
Would you like to see us cover this on the podcast? Please say yes so that I have an excuse to buy this.
Night Gallery: The Complete Series: Universal repackages the 3 seasons into one spiffy complete box set for the first time, but the transfers and extras are the same...OR ARE THEY?
(Just trying to add a little element of the macabre)
The Paper Chase Season 3: It's great that Shout! is finally continuing yet another long-stalled series (2009 since previous releases of this one), but would it have killed them to include the handful of episodes in season 4 and just wrapped up the whole deal?
That's not a legal to provoke some deeper question, such as those asked by John Houseman's Kingsfield on the series. I actually want to know.
Greatest American Hero The Complete Series: If you missed your chance to get this great (I'd say "seminal," but I already used the word in this post, and besides, it really doesn't fit here) show earlier, well, guess what? You can get it again and pay about 2-3 times as much as you would have the first couple of times!
Thursday, July 27, 2017
CHIPS Season 6: June 6 brought us the final non-epic season of BOTNS fave and season 1 ender CHIPS. And just out of the goodness of their hearts, the folks at Warner Home Video also made a Complete Series set available. No Jon? NO PROBLEM! As long as the heart and soul of the show, Robert Pine, is still around.
Actually, I tell you, I see Phil Silvers and Julie Newmar are among the guest stars, and I kind of want to see this.
Tales from the Crypt Complete Series: I remember very little about specific episodes. It was on HBO, so everyone kind of hoped to see some nudity, right? Or am I selling this way too short?
Father Dowling Mysteries Complete Series: A reissue of the largely forgotten ABC light drama. Should we cover this on the podcast? If so, the first thing I want to explore is why Tracy Nelson's character is called "Sister Steve."
Highway to Heaven: Messages from Above: A collection of two-part episodes of the series. That's a pretty good idea, now that I think about it. I would like to see some Very Special Episode collections of other shows.
That's My Mama Complete Series: Sony's strategy, as best as I can tell, seems to be to take DVDs that were out of print and combine them into one package that is more expensive than the earlier individual season sets together. In 2017. This is one of the lesser known "blackcoms" of the era but worth a look...at a better price.
Rockford Files Complete Series (also Blu-Ray): Mill Creek saves you money and shelf space by cramming scores of episodes on like 3 discs. It's a lot better than paying
McCloud Season 1: Reissue of the first portion of the Dennis Weaver NBC Mystery Wheel series.
Jake and the Fatman The Complete Series: Did you know this series ran for 5 seasons with over 100 episodes? Talk about something that just vanished after it went off the air. And it's pretty hard to lose sight of William Conrad (Sorry).
TJ Hooker The Complete Series: Another Sony series (though this release is from Shout) that has seen some cheap DVD releases now getting a really expensive "deluxe" set. If you need every TJ Hooker, though, here it is.
Diff'rent Strokes Season 6: Hot off the presses this week is the latest release of this series, and it's a doozy. Maggie and Sam! Smoking! Kidnapping! Mr. T! Milton Berle!
Thursday, July 13, 2017
The first thing that stands out content-wise about the volume is the access Colucci has gained. Despite its release coming after the death of several key figures, the text makes frequent use of interviews with everyone. He personally interviews bea Arthur, Betty White, and Rue McClanahan and uses archival material for some thoughts of Estelle Getty. He also talks to the producers, writers, and many of the more notable guest stars and supporting players involved with the show during its 8 seasons.
It starts off with a general history of the show and continues with a selective episode guide. It's surprising that such a hefty book does not include a comprehensive episode guide, but Colucci is not just listing the plots. Rather, he uses the episode chapters to work in other details about the series, how it was made, and the many guests who appeared. If you have a favorite episode, chances are it's included in this section.
Several things stand out from reading this book: 1) Everyone working on The Golden Girls took pride in it and felt they did good work. 2) Bea Arthur could be really prickly as a collaborator. Many stories in here begin with someone talking about how she was cold or distant to them, though they often take pains to say she was a real pro. 3) Estelle Getty's memory issues plagued her from the beginning. Several anecdotes center around her inability to remember lines, an unfortunate circumstance which often annoyed others on the set (including, yes, Arthur).
And I'm not saying this because the author happens to be gay (he mentions this), but there is a significant amount of coverage of the show's appeal in "the gay community," and there is extensive coverage of the fate of Coco, the live-in housekeeper who was axed after the pilot. There are a few appendices asking "Which Golden Girl Are You?" or questions like that, with the respondents being gay showbiz figures. It's no secret that the show has a following in that sector, and I am not complaining, but I will say that while any fan will love this book, gay fans will really love it.
It's an outstanding piece of work by Colucci and a valuable source of info about a beloved sitcom. The commentary from the cast and creative team is useful, of course, but this book goes the extra mile by getting info from the likes of guest stars (Debbie Reynolds) and even bit players like Quentin Tarantino. I'd be a happy man if every show we covered on the podcast inspired this kind of book--well written, detailed, and offering attractive design and fine production values.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
You hear different things about why the producers got rid of the character, but the essence is that while Coco was a popular (and, in 1985, rather novel) presence who was popular with the pilot audience, Dorothy's mom Sophia was a real breakout star. Hence the decision to go with a group of 4 and get rid of Coco. Another consideration was that the dynamic was just better with all gals, the girls might not have much to do besides just sit around if an actual domestic was there, and plus it may have looked like an extravagance for these working ladies to have an actual houseboy. In 2017, I can only say, who actually has a houseboy anymore except for the fabled 1%?
Producers considered comedians Dom Irerra and Paul Provenza (who recalls auditioning in drag), plus future Ferris Bueller stooge heel Jeffrey Jones, for the role, but NBC exec Brandon Tartikoff suggested Levin. The actor had a recurring role on Hill Street Blues as a rather over-the-top gay character, but he reports that pilot director Jay Sandrich told him to tone down all the flamboyant stuff.
As Levin recalls, the role as written was much more "swishy," and he found it hard to reconcile Sandrich's advice with the way show co-creator Susan Harris put Coco on the page. Nevertheless, he played it straight (sorry) in the first reading and thought he blew it. He felt the vibe of disappointment from those who expected him to be Eddie Gregg from Blues.
The night of that audition, an NBC exec called Levin and told him they didn't know what he had been doing, but just show up again and be Eddie Gregg. The actor took this advice the next day in front of an audience and was a hit. Unfortunately for Levin, he wasn't enough of one to survive the pilot, so now Coco remains a lost and largely forgotten character with a cult following.
Levin, who also had a recurring role in Alice, would appear on BTONS season 1 spotlighted program Facts of Life, and also showed up in This Is Spinal Tap, did quite well himself. His biggest post-Girls spot is probably appearing as the Mohel on Seinfeld, though I can't help but recognize him as being part of the 1989 Hulk Hogan vehicle No Holds Barred.
(Note: Thanks to Golden Girls Forever by Jim Colucci for the background info for this post!)
Monday, July 3, 2017
Keep checking in during this offseason for posts about the shows we have already covered, news updates, and of course details about our next Batty Awards. Let us know if there's something you want to be honored at the Battys. Thanks again!
Friday, June 23, 2017
*The series lasted from 1976 to 1988 and consisted of 19 specials. The 1988 captains were John Davidson, Greg Evigan, and Lorenzo Lamas.
*Highly recommended: this Mental Floss piece we mention on the show, "A Brief History of" the series.
*$20,000 in 1976 money = $87,000 today.
*Holmes and Yo-Yo was a new ABC sitcom for the 1976 season and was yanked after 13 episodes. The series, about a veteran cop who gets a robotic partner, is not to be confused with Future Cop, a 1977 ABC series about a veteran cop who gets a robotic partner.
*"The diminutive Gary Burghoff" is reportedly 5'5".
*The Quest was a short-lived 1976 Western series co-starring Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson.
*Gemini Man was a short-lived 1976 NBC series with Ben Murphy, previously the star of Alias Smith and Jones, as a secret agent.
*Reggie Jackson, AKA "Mr. October," hit 563 home runs in a distinguished Hall of Fame career. After this appearance, he moved to New York and became an even bigger star as a Yankees slugger.
*Rona Barrett was appearing in ABC specials at this time as well as making regular appearances doing gossip and celebrity interviews on Good Morning America.
*U.S. Olympian Mary Decker failed to finish the 3000 meters in the 1984 Olympics after colliding with Zola Budd.
*Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett were married from 1973 to 1982 but separated in 1979.
*Gymnast Cathy Rigby starred in the 1968 Olympics, then entered acting, where she became famous for playing Peter Pan on stage.
*Dr. Joyce Brothers was a psychologist who became famous for being famous and was a guest star on...just about everything.
*Telly Savalas did indeed claim to give Howard Cosell his first TV role, hiring him when he was a producer on ABC's Gillette Cavalcade of Sports.
*The Superstars competitions, pitting athletes from around the world in a variety of events, aired as a series of TV specials beginning in 1973 on ABC.
*Sadly, Michael Landon never competed on Battle of the Network Stars.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
For our season two finale, we finally take a look at perhaps the ultimate example of the Battle of the Network Shows era, our namesake, Battle of the Network Stars. In this first-ever Battle from 1976, Robert Conrad, Telly Savalas, and Gabe Kaplan lead teams from NBC, CBS, and ABC in athletic competitions for bragging rights and a sizeable prize. Celebrities, Howard Cosell, controversy, swimsuits, short shorts, Speedos, mustaches, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat! This one has it all!
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
At first, I am taken aback by the haircut, but as I settle in and get past that (OK, it may have taken me a few watches), I am THERE. I want that salt. I mean, I want that salt he has right there in the ad. I want to take that little jar and chug that Morton's Lite Salt. If this were Sale of the Century, I'd throw away $10--the value of two questions--just for a heaping portion of salt. He wouldn't even have to sweeten (or salt?) the deal by throwing in a set of shakers.
The poise, the delivery, the confidence--even in the 1970s, Jim Perry was the man.
Monday, June 19, 2017
|Brooke caught herself|
a Burgess Meredith (Cameron from Search)!
|Great art one, plus the great David Morse|
and Valerie Bertinelli.
|Great art two!|
|Great art three!|
|Most of the schedule we used.|
|Not made up.|
|What good is a T.J. Hooker ad |
|We mentioned this Lynda Carter/Loni Anderson|
vehicle in our Wonder Woman episode.
|1984 in music!|
|Ghosts of episodes past and possibly fu-CHA.|
|Did someone call Matt Houston|
a cut-rate Magnum?
|File under What We'd Like To See!|
|Rick's been watching this show recently...|
strictly for research...TV research.
Listen. An episode featured Burt, OK?
Give the guy a break.
|Possibly the greatest sentence ever written.|
Friday, June 16, 2017
*Jim Perry was born in New Jersey but first hosted game shows in Canada. He was the first emcee of Card Sharks (1978-1981) but was busy with Sale of the Century and other work when the series was revised--hence the use of Bob Eubanks and Bill Raferty.
*In addition to his work on Face the Music, Tommy Tedesco was a regular on Fernwood 2Night and of course played on countless recordings. As Mike mentions, his son Denny directed The Wrecking Crew documentary that features him.
*Renae Jacobs, a contestant on the episode of Sale of the Century that we watched for the podcast, was April O'Neil on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series that premiered in 1987. She also starred in Masters of the Maze on The Family Channel.
*CBN was a cable network from 1977 to 1988, when it became CBN Family Channel. It later morphed into Family Channel, Fox Family, ABC Family, and is now Freeform. It hasn't aired anything like Face the Music reruns in a long, long time.
*Summer Batholomew won the 1975 Miss USA pageant representing California, edging Miss Alabama and North Carolina. She had a short stint on a version of Wheel of Fortune. A clip of that pageant is in our playlist for this episode!
*Ron Ely's stint as Tarzan on the NBC series lasted 1966-1968. Besides his acting career, he hosted several Miss America pageants
*Fred Dryer was an NFL player turned actor who starred on NBC's 1980s action series Hunter.
*Lisa Donovan, the vivacious singer on Face the Music, still performs, and according to her website had a stint in Nunsense in Las Vegas.
*Make me Laugh aired in 1958, 1979-1980, and in 1997. The "classic" version is the 79-80 one, which was syndicated and featured Booby Van as host.
*Sale of the Century began as an NBC daytime series in 1969 with host Jack Kelly of Maverick fame, then later Joe Garagiola. After becoming a success in Australia, producers brought it to the USA in 1983, where it aired on NBC until 1989. A syndicated version also hosted by Perry ran from 1985 to 1986.
*The TV Guide game at the end of this episode uses the October 27-November 2, 1984 edition and focuses on Saturday morning, 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.
*The Get Along Gang cartoon was inspired by a greeting card line.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
This week, we dive into the world of game shows with a look at the syndicated "Face the Music" and NBC's fast-paced "$ale of the Century." Plus, an all-new TV Guide Game! Will one of us go home with a brand-new car?!
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Friday, June 9, 2017
*This episode, "Castle of Heroes," is #57 in the "first season" of the series and premiered in syndication on November 9, 1983.
*Filmation Studios cranked out animation and live action programming for over 25 years. We may well revisit more of its work in the future!
*The Mattel toy line that spawned this series began in 1981 after several years of development. Mattel had to fight off a lawsuit that claimed the concept was a ripoff of Conan. The Princess of Power line that introduced She-Ra debuted in 1985.
*The action figures came with mini-sized comic books that introduced the characters and the universe. There was also a DC Comics series in the early 1980s.
🎵🎵🎵 HE-MAN 🎵🎵🎵
*Skeletor (Alan Oppenheimer) apparently started out as a minion of Hordak, but much like with Darth Vader, I refuse to believe he was ever subordinate to another super villain.
*The voice of He-Man/Prince Adam is John Erwin, who did other voice work for Filmation in various Sabrina and Archie (as Reggie) series. He also had a recurring role on Rawhide.
*Hannibal of Carthage (born 247 B.C., died in the 180s) was a legendary general and renowned military strategist, not just the dude who rode an elephant through the Alps into Italy. But he did do that, which is pretty cool.
🎵🎵🎵 HE-MAN 🎵🎵🎵
*Mattel did not make a Blackbeard action figure, unfortunately, but there are several cool figures of the historical figure, including a Pirates of the Carribbean tie-in and a "historical"one from Accoutrements.
*The real Blackbeard straddled the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries and is one of the most infamous pirates in history. He died quietly of natural causes surrounded by loved ones who sang sea shanties at his bedside.
No, actually, he suffered a violent death in battle. Doesn't that make you feel better?
🎵🎵🎵 HE-MAN 🎵🎵🎵
*In fairness to Orko, he comes off as buffoonish sometimes in part because his powers do not work in Eternia as they do on his home planet.
*The 1987 movie with Dolph Lundgren, Courteney Cox, and Frank Langella is indeed a Cannon production. It draws more from the toys themselves than from the cartoon, and Prince Adam is not even a part of it. According to Wikipedia, a proposed sequel was recycled for the Jean Claude Van Damme vehicle Cyborg when Cannon had to bail due to being unable to afford the licensing fees.
🎵🎵🎵 HE-MAN 🎵🎵🎵
Thursday, June 8, 2017
In this episode, we take another look at the animated toy tie-in phenomenon of the mid eighties with the granddaddy of them all He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Skeletor's "friend" Monteague, a toad-like wizard, unleashes Hannibal and Black Beard on Eternia in a plot to recruit He-Man into his army and, um, take over the universe or something. Listen. He drank a bunch of martinis with his pinky before he hatched the plan. He probably doesn't even understand it. Will Monteague prevail (doubtful)? Will Orko annoy us (probable)? Will we get to the bottom of Skeletor's anatomy (doubtful, but we'll try)? Plus, a band-new game: PICK YOUR PINE.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Friday, June 2, 2017
*The Diana Prince as Kind of emma peel "depowered" version of the Wonder Woman character lasted from 1968 to early 1973. Diana voluntarily gave up her powers so she could become more of a secret agent (I'm sure cashing in on the spy craze--albeit a few years late--was a nice coincidence).
*The Cathy Lee Crosby pilot movie aired on ABC in March 1974. It's not a direct pilot for the eventual series; the concept was changed after the modest success of the Crosby version.
*FX Networrk showed Wonder Woman reruns weekdays when it launched in June 1994.
*The series theme song was composed by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, who also did the themes for Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Fox co-wrote the Love American Style theme with Arnold Margolin.
*Wolfman Jack (1938-1995) did indeed start on a blowtorch border radio station heard all over the country, but he also appeared in syndication, on Armed Forces Radio, and even in New York City for a year.
*Here is the official site for the Touchdown Club, which hosted the Timmie Awards event Rick attended years ago and kind of saw Lynda Carter: http://dctouchdownclub.com/
Thursday, June 1, 2017
This week in a crass attempt to cash in on the Wonder Woman movie, we take a look at the 1970s TV show and Lynda Carter's definitive performance as the Amazon princess. This one features some of our favorite discussion topics: superheroes, seventies fashion, unique guest stars, and disco. Wonder Woman has to stop an espionage ring using telepathy to steal state secrets, but she also has to survive going to a disco.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
*Tina donated this game to Amy's collection, which includes a number of TV-related games, and we also played a 1970s game about the sinking of the Titanic. Really.
Check out some pictures and minor commentary below!
|The full board. Lots of Morks, fewer Mindys.|
|"Na-no, na-no"? We think not!|
|Grebbles equal money, but money seems very un-Orkan.|
|I'm not a Nimnul! I'm not!|
|"Gleek"? I thought this was about Mork and Mindy,|
not the Wonder Twins.
|So cheerful and so pink!|
Friday, May 26, 2017
*The OJ Simpson episode we reference is "Mork the Gullible," also from season 1, in which Robert Donner's eccentric Exidor character begins worshipping the Juice. We'll save you the trouble: Simpson does not appear in the episode.
*It is believed there are about 1,500 independent record shops in the USA today, including several in Boulder, Colorado.
*Mork premiered as a Thursday 8pm series, then moved to Sundays at 8pm for season 2. When ratings slipped, ABC switched back to Thursdays, but the damage had been done.
*Ralph James voiced Orson as well as Mr. Turtle in the Tootsie Pop ads (see an example in our YouTube playlist for this episode).
*The article I reference in the episode, a great oral history leaning on interviews with the show's writers, is right here.
*In and Out with Kevin Kline premiered September 1997 and was a modest success. It earned Joan Cusack a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination and also co-starred BOTNS fave Tom Selleck.
*Just the Ten of Us aired on ABC from 1988-1990, meaning it does fall into our timeline. I stand by my dislike of the show, but does anyone want to hear us cover it?
*Jeffrey Jacquet, who appeared in some first season episodes as Eugene, is now retired and practicing law in L.A. according to Wikipedia.
*Conrad is a 'SAG New Media Web Series and can be found here.
*The Mork and Mindy cartoon was part of the Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour, which aired on ABC Saturday mornings in the 1982-1983 TV season. See an example in the playlist!
Thursday, May 25, 2017
In 1978, aliens walked among us in the form of Robin Williams in his breakout role as Mork from Ork. In "Mixed Emotions," a little encouragement and a kiss from Mindy (Pam Dawber) release Mork's emotions all at once. They overwhelm in a flurry of comic activity. We discuss this and more, including the complexities of Orkan anatomy, the shape of Jay Thomas' face, and Conrads.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
*The TV movie that launched the series, Probe, aired February 11, 1972.
*Name of the Game (1968-1971) rotated Tony Franciosa, Gene Barry, and Robert Stack as its leads.
*According to Hugh O'Brian's interview for the Archives of American Television, Hugh O'Brian asked for the rotating leads situation because he didn't want to do the whole series. Other sources have indicated the network asked for it.
*TV Obscurities reported that the series was renamed Search to avoid conflict with a local TV news show called Probe.
In fact, check out these great pieces (and their comments) for more tidbits about the series:
The TV Obscurities article reprints excerpts from negative reviews of the first episode (what were they thinking?) and has some specific numbers about the show's ratings/lack thereof from the get-go.
*Doug McClure died of lung cancer at the age of 59.
*I believe it was the Warner Archive Podcast, a great pod with people who were truly committed to bringing Search to the modern world, that referred to Grover as a savant.
*Mary Frann guested in the episode "Operation Iceman" and later went on to play Joanna Loudon on Newhart.
*The theme music was composed by Dominic Frontiere.
*Hugh O'Brian was born in 1925, making him 47 when this episode aired. His swagger made him seem...well, actually, still about 47, but easily twice as cool as most men half his age.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
This week, we introduce you to one of the shows that inspired the podcast. In Search, private security agents use a high-tech approach to solve problems. "The Murrow Disappearance" features Hugh O'Brian, one of three rotating lead actors, as suave, unflappable Hugh Lockwood plus a crew of technicians led by the grouchy Burgess Meredith and the sassy Angel Tompkins. Plus, we say the word "cool," like, 300 times.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
In "Falling in Love Again," he shows up near the end as a foil for Edward as Kate uses him to make Edward jealous. Still, Reilly and Bob Danish make the most of it, and the audience learns the basic elements of Bob Danish. Bob Danish is a pilot, and that makes Bob Danish cool. Bob Danish takes everything in stride, even his romantic rival declaring his love in front of him and all of Carnegie Hall. If you're a kid, Bob Danish calls you Scooter.
"Won't You Go Home, Bob Danish?" gives Bob Danish the spotlight, and while all the Bob Danish basics remain intact, Bob Danish gets more room to move and, dare I say it, some depth. In this episode, Bob Danish buzzes Edward's house in his airplane, thinking Kate's there, only to crash the plane in the backyard. His parachute conveniently lands at the back of the set, but he injures his leg when Edward and Ricky cut him down. The plane belonged to his girlfriend, who shows up and dumps him, and Bob Danish becomes an unwelcome house guest (except to
Let's work through the episode by working through the Bob Danish Handbook.
PLAY IT COOL
When Edward asks what happened, Bob Danish says, "Well, Eddie, I'd say we had a, uh, bit of a plane crash."
When Bob Danish struggles to walk to his plane (before it explodes), Edward tells him he's hurt his leg. Bob Danish says, "It's all right. I've got a backup."
When Bob Danish knocks over a vase, he says, "First the plane crash, and now this. Ever have one of those days?"
When Edward yells at him about the chaos in the backyard--burning plane, debris everywhere, burning greenhouse, firefighters everywhere--Bob Danish says, "My goof, OK?"
When Bob Danish sees Kate...
When Kate rolls her eyes and leaves the room...
Bob Danish continues to call Ricky Scooter, even after Ricky requests he call him Ricky, and this leads to a short vaudeville routine.
BOB: My dad used to call me Scooter, Scooter.
RICKY: Your dad used to call you Scooter Scooter?
BOB: No. He just called me Scooter, Scooter.
REFER TO YOURSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON
Bob Danish* does this on a fairly regular basis, but he doesn't stop there. He also has at least two nicknames for himself: The Great Dane and Roberto Danishero.
Along the same lines, he refers to his dad as "The greatest man who ever walked the Earth, my dad Dan Danish**," multiple times.
*Ricky almost always refers to Bob Danish as Bob Danish and not Bob or Mr. Danish.
**Sad but true, the greatest man who ever walked the Earth, Bob Danish's Dad Dan Danish, died after a piano fell on him.
This brings us to that "depth" I mentioned earlier, as we dig into the lesser known chapters of the Bob Danish Handbook.
BOB DANISH KEEPS MEMENTOS
He has a whole photo album but not just of photos. It includes parsley from the one date he had with Kate, and later he adds a handkerchief.
EVEN BOB DANISH HAS FEELINGS
After a few days, Bob Danish has made himself at home, eating a sandwich with "some kind of beef" on it (prime rib) and even taking a message about an urgent call for Edward. He can't remember the details but thinks Larry or Harry called. Then he finds a note his pocket. Frank called.
Edward has had enough and wants to kick him how...so he allows Kate to volunteer. She did cause this problem she argues, and Edward doesn't argue back even though she should. She can't help it if Bob Danish digs her.
Anyhow, Kate tells off Bob Danish, and his veneer of cool finally gives. What man's wouldn't if Erin Gray told him she didn't like him?
|Crushed Bob Danish.|
Kate feels bad about it and wants to fix it. Edward volunteers but only so someone else will, which Ricky does (technically, it is Ricky's fault).
Bob Danish has packed up most of his stuff when Ricky finds him. He's still feeling lousy about the whole week, what with the plane and Kate--"That gal's the greatest thing since Lava Lamps"--hurting him that he almost cries, but the greatest man who ever walked the Earth, Bob Danish's dad Dan Danish, told him real men don't cry. Well, the other greatest man who ever walked the Earth, Ricky Stratton's dad Edward Stratton III, told Ricky otherwise, that expressing your feelings and crying helps.
Bob Danish gives it a try, a real try, weeping with great sound and fury, enough to bring Edward and Kate out from the library. Bob Danish liked crying, and he's ready to leave.
Bob Danish gets his composure back, calls Ricky Ricky, and offers a romantic, near poetic exit line. Kate asks who wrote it. Bob pulls something out of his pocket and says, "Some clown at a match factory." Cool.
The writers and John Reilly do a bang-up job with Bob Danish. I'd like to think Reilly's performance in "Falling In Love Again" inspired them to write this episode, but I wish they'd brought him back (even if I can't readily see those episodes). Sure he had a great exit, but characters don't change that much in sitcoms, and he could have lived to annoy again.
Imagine an episode where Ricky, Edward, and Bob Danish end up stranded on an island together after he crashes another plane. Imagine an episode where Ricky, Edward, and Bob Danish end up stranded in the jungle together after he crashes another plane. Imagine an episode where Ricky, Edward, and Bob Danish end up stranded in Denmark after a snowstorm grounds Bob Danish's plane.
Reilly has had a prolific, varied career as a primetime guest star and regular in soaps but far fewer comedy credits than this performance would suggest (multiple of episodes of Arli$$ and Son of the Beach among others). Too bad, but in this age of TV revivals, one can dream of a new show called...BOB DANISH.