Friday, December 28, 2018

Show Notes Episode 5-11: Forgotten Sitcoms

*Thanks again to listener and friend of the show Ian for making this episode possible!

*This week we discuss When Things Were Rotten's seventh episode, Ding Dong, the Bell Is Gone, which premiered on ABC October 22, 1975 at 8:00 P.M. against, as we say on the show, Game 7 of the 1975 World Series between the Reds and the Red Sox on NBC (seen by over 51 million viewers) and Tony Orlando & Dawn on CBS.

*We also discuss Best of the West's fourth episode, The Calico Kid Returns, which also aired on ABC. This episode premiered October 1, 1981 at 8:30 against Magnum P.I. (a repeat of the Digger Doyle episode we talked about here) and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island.

*HA! and The Comedy Channel launched April 1, 1990 and November 15, 1989, respectively. Viacom and HBO joined forces and merged the channels April 1, 1991 with CTV: The Comedy Network, and then in June, the channel was rebranded as Comedy Central.

HA!'s launch lineup included classics like The Phil Silvers Show and Car 54 along with short-lived sitcoms like When Things Were Rotten and Camp Runamuck.

*Dick Van Patten also starred in Mel Brooks 1993 feature film Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

*Misty Rowe (Maid Marian) was also on early Happy Days as carhop Wendy, was one of the Hee Haw Honeys, and created a children's show called Misty's Magical Mountaintop.

*The Who's on First routine was a staple of burlesque, but Abbott and Costello immortalized it. They first performed it for a national audience on The Kate Smith Radio Hour in 1938.

*Former singing cowboy and Frontier Doctor star Rex Allen sings the memorable Best of the West theme song written by show creator Earl Pomerantz.

Pomerantz, an accomplished sitcom writer before Best of the West, went on to write for The Cosby Show and develop Major Dad (1989-1993). For more on the series and why it didn't last, check out this series of posts on Pomerantz's excellent blog.

*Leonard Frey was in the original The Boys in the Band stage production and was in the film adaptation. He earned an Oscar nomination for Fiddler on the Roof.

*Valri Bromfield was a regular on Lorne Michaels' unsuccessful prime time effort The New Show. Check out this week's YouTube playlist for a few sketches!

*Be sure and let us know if you would like us to revisit more forgotten sitcoms or lesser-known shows from other genres!

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