We salute Ken Berry, who died this weekend at 85. His breakthrough hits, F Troop and Mayberry R.F.D., may be a little before our time period, but he was a fixture of 1970s and 1980s TV nonetheless. Remember when you were sitting down to watch a rerun of The Brady Bunch and that weird episode with the new family popped up? That Kelly's Kids episode was maybe the first "backdoor pilot" I ever saw, way before I understood the concept.
He was the lead in Mama's Family, but I remember him more for just...turning up everywhere. The Cat from Outer Space seemed to be on cable TV all the time.
Plus there were the Kinney shoe ads:
Plus he was one of those guys who always turned up on the shows that kept TV going in those days--the daytime talk shows, the game shows, the "these shows are more TV than anything else" shows like The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.
R.I.P. to one of the more versatile performers of the era, a reliable actor whose amiable screen persona always brightened up my TV set...even if I never did understand each time The Brady Bunch was hijacked by that Kellys Kids episode.