Tuesday, October 29, 2019

YouTube Spotlight: Big League Chew

Boy, does this 1982 commercial bring back memories. We just added it to last week's In Memoriam playlist to replace a Jim Bouton video that was taken down by THE MAN. Enjoy a look back at Big League Chew.

Bouton put up much of the money for the product after two fellow Portland Mavericks associated created the concept. Big League Chew is still around today.

I was not a huge gum kid, seeing it mostly as an obstacle in the wax pack separating me from my baseball cards, but you got to love Big League Chew. In fact, you have to admire that a product so clealry patterned after something dangerous and illegal (for kids) is so successful. this tobacco imitator broke through in a way candy cigarettes never did, and this kind of marketing had a lot to do with it.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Happy National Chocolate Day!

Celebrate with that staple of 1970s and 1980s TV and sponsor of many a CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION, Almond Joy and Mounds from Peter Paul!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

BOTNS Top Ten #39

1) Patrick Simmons: Still riding the wave of his success at the Batty Awards, Doobie Simmons announced that former members of the band would be welcome if the band were to win induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He must be feeling quite magnanimous, because he added, "Hell, if Gary Sandy shows up, he can join us, too."

2) Bay City Blues: As we enjoy the World Series this week, let;s remember the 1983 Steve Bochco dramedy even if nobody else does (except ESPN Classic, which did rerun the series years ago).

3) Al Burton: R.I.P. to a guy who had an amazing TV career. Not only did he produce shows like The Jeffersons and Fernwood 2Night and create Charles in Charge (hey, let's not speak ill of the recently deceased), but he has co-songwriting credits on Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes. And who could forget his theme for this Elliot Gould sitcom:

4) The Bradys: It seems like every week, HGTV announces some new Brady Bunch project combining alumni of the beloved show with some kind of home-related concept.

To be honest, I'm getting a little tired of it.

5) Disneyland: On this date in 1954, the first Disney series on TV debuted, and it was named after the new theme park. Of course it led to numerous incarnations of Disney anthology shows through the years, including the BOTNS era. I can live without Song of the South being on Disney +, but how about we lobby for something like this that should have an actual snowball's chance of being on there?

6) Room 222: The Closer magazine classic TV podcast interviewed Karen Valentine to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic high school show and also featured her in a big article on its website.

7) Ned Wertimer: Ralph the Doorman's birthday was today, but there aren't a lot of Ned Wertimer clips out there, so let's watch co-star Sherman Helmsley on Soul Train:

8) Joe Garagiola: Speaking of baseball, remember all those times we heard Vin Scully call the Series on NBC? Well, Joe wasn't as revered, but...he was often there, too!

 9) Ghost Story: Get ready for Halloween with Decades' weekend binge of the early 1970s anthology series also known as Circle of Fear.. Hey, wait, nobody gets this channel. Looks like we got a rock.

10) Dick Van Patten: I recently heard Tony Figueroa say on the TV Confidential radio show that he heard DVP was very protective of the kids on Eight Is Enough. We don't need more reason than that to put him on the list!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Batty Awards Season 6 In Memoriam Video Playlist

As a tribute to the many notable personalities we mentioned in our In Memoriam segment on this year's Battys, we put together the following YouTube playlist spotlighting some of their work. Click below to see (almost) all of the names listed below as read on the podcast. You'll also see Harrison Ford, Lucille Ball, David Letterman, wookies, Wonder Woman, the Heat Miser (!), and many more!

*Kristoff St. John

*Jan-Michael Vincent

*Morgan Woodward

*Katherine Helmond

*King Kong Bundy

*Sid Sheinberg

*Maury Laws

*Peter Mayhew

*Jim Bouton

*Peggy Lipton

*Doris Day

*Tim Conway

*Max Wright

*Arte Johnson

*Harley Race

*Jack Whitaker

*Valerie Harper

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Show Notes: Season 6 Batty Awards

*We can find no evidence of any discussions of a Doobie Brothers cartoon. Some bands who did have animated series: The Beatles, The Archies, The Jackson Five, Menudo, Josie and the Pussycats...and of course season 6's Jem and the Holograms. Who doesn't think the Doobies belong in that group?

*Tommy Westphall Universe: For those unfamilar with this phenomenon, click here for a quick read. We thank the Westphall snow globe for hosting the Sixth Batty Awards.

*According to IMDB, Richard Mulligan and Richard Moll never worked together on camera, but Moll's Night Court co-star Marsha Warfield did become a regular on Mulligan's Empty Nest.

*The Pittsburgh drug scandals plagued Major League Baseball and the Pirates in the 1980s, with a series of trials in 1985 and multiple suspensions. The mascot was even involved! I recommend this excellent book by Aaron Skirboll for the whole story.

*Jayne Kennedy was a star on NFL Today, a host of Greatest Sports Legends, a Miss Ohio, an actress, and more. Jayne Meadows was an actress in movies like Lady of the Lake, a game show panelist, and one-half of a well-publicized marriage with Steve Allen.

So there's really no reason to confuse them...yet I mix up the names all the time.

Jayne Kennedy 1980.JPG

JayneMEadows (cropped and adjusted).jpg

*Rhea Perlman had a short-lived CBS sitcom in 1996 called Pearl (also starring Malcom McDowell), and did make a guest appearance on an episode of Hot in Cleveland.

*Michael Richards had his own eponymous sitcom shortly after Seinfeld but later had a recurring role on the TV Land original Kirstie, which starred Kirstie Alley. She was on Cheers, which may be why I thought Rhea Perlman and Richards were on a show together...but then again, consider that I keep mixing up Jayne Kennedy and Jayne Meadows.

Monday, October 21, 2019

BOTNS Top Ten #38 (Post-Battys Edition!)

1) Cheers: No surprise that the series tore through the back half of the Battys, considering it's one of our favorite shows. It's good to recognize it every now and then, though, because some people may not appreciate anything made in the twentieth century.

2) The Doobie Brothers: Last week they received one of the most prestigious honors a performer in their field can get...and they also were nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

3) Ed Flanders: Stupid Flanders. Everyone always thinks HE'S so great with his dumb mustache and his--Oh, ED Flanders! Yes! Congratulations to this season's Genius Award winner.

4) Shelley Long: Edged our Cybill Shepherd for Outstanding Female Performer, and if you think Cybill had a tantrum, shame on you for perpetuating that dated stereotype that successful, talented women are hypercompetitive and "difficult" and can't appreciate each other's acclaim.

No, Shepherd was just glad Christine Baranski didn't win it.

5) Ted Danson: Seriously, is it time to just name Ted Danson Emperor?

6) Alan Thicke: The Thickening of Battle of the Network Shows continues in 2019 with his wonderful exasperation, and because I need to get some video in this post, here it is again:

7) Moonlighting: The theme song lost a valiant battle against Cheers but put up a good fight, much like the knock-down drag-out battles between Cybill Shepherd and--hey, wait, you almost got me again.

8) Gary Deeb: Perhaps no other season 6 individual captured hearts and imaginations like former media critic Gary Deeb. Here's MY criticism of the media: Why isn't there more archival footage of Gary Deeb critiquing stuff?

9) Solomon Grundy: Has anyone ever explored a possible link between Grundy and fellow Batty nominee Cocaine? I'm not saying, but I'm just saying. The paranoia, the irritability, the general edginess, the pallor...

10) Bob Uecker: I can only speak for myself, but of all the people who didn't win (let's say that instead of losers to pay tribute to Ned Flanders), the one I most wish I could give an award to is Bob Uecker. Rest assured we put him in the front row inside the snow globe.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Your OFFICIAL list of Season 6 Batty Award winners!

Congratulations to all the Season 6 Batty nominees and especially to the winners! Listen to this week's podcast BEFORE reading this if you don't want the results spoiled, but consider this a handy guide to the categories and results.

Winners are listed in bold below:

Best Sitcom Ensemble (Listener Award)

The cast of What's Happening!!
The Seavers (and others) form Growing Pains
The cast of Cheers
The Doobie Brothers (What's Happening!!)

Outstanding Villain

Eddie Sands (Hardcastle & McCormick)
Eric Raymond (Jem and the Holograms)
John Hurt (Donahue)
Al Dunbar (What's Happening!!)
The Riddler (Legends of the Superheroes)
Solomon Grundy (Legends of the Superheroes)

Outstanding Performance by a Youth

Ernest Thomas (What's Happening!!)
Jeremy Miller (Growing Pains)
Danny Cooksey (Growing Pains)
Dominic Lerner (Jem and the Holograms)

Outstanding Performance by a Non-Human

Cocaine (Growing Pains)
Cursor (Automan)
Automan (Automan)
The Coyote (Hardcastle & McCormick)
Tape recorder (What's Happening!!)

Biggest Exasperation

Frasier Crane (Cheers)
Maddie Hayes (Moonlighting)
Jason Seaver (Growing Pains)
Mr. Carlin (St. Elsewhere)
Phil Donahue (Donahue)

Outstanding Facial Hair

The Doobie Brothers (What's Happening!!)
Cliff Clavin (Cheers)
Dr. Craig (St. Elsewhere)
Willie Stargell (Greatest Sports Legends)

Outstanding Hair

Phil Donahue (Donahue)*
Sam Malone (Cheers)
Jem (Jem and the Holograms)
Jayne Kennedy (Greatest Sports Legends)
Lena Lerner (Jem and the Holograms)
Mike Seaver (Growing Pains)
Huntress (Legends of the Superheroes)

*Chosen by random number generator

Outstanding Performance as Oneself

Ed McMahon (Legends of the Superheroes)
Phil Donahue (Donahue)
Gary Deeb (Donahue)
Buddy Ebsen (Hardcastle & McCormick)
The Doobie Brothers (What's Happening!!)
Bob Uecker (Greatest Sports Legends)

Best Song

Takin' It to the Streets performed by The Doobie Brothers (What's Happening!!)
Gloria performed by Laura Branigan (Automan)
Limbo Song performed by David Addison (Moonliughting)
All Night Long performed by Various Artists in the Jem Jam (Jem and the Holograms)
Gimme performed by The Misfits (Jem and the Holograms)

Oustanding Theme Song (with vocals)

Jem and the Holograms
Growing Pains
Hardcastle & McCormick

Outstanding Theme Song (instrumental)

Legends of the Superheroes
Greatest Sports Legends
What's Happening!!
St. Elsewhere

Outstanding Supporting Performance by a Male

Kelsey Grammer (Cheers)
John Ratzenberger (Cheers)
George Wendt (Cheers)
Frank Gorshin (Legends of the Superheroes)
Alan Hale Jr.  (Growing Pains)

Outstanding Supporting Performance by a Female

Kristy Swanson (Charlie's Angels)
Barbara Bain (Moonlighting)
Rhea Perlman (Cheers)
Laura Branigan (Automan)
Betty White (St. Elsewhere)
Jan Hooks (Tush)

Outstanding Performance by a Male

Ted Danson (Cheers)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
Bruce Willis (Moonlighting)
William Daniels (St. Elsewhere)
Adam West (Legends of the Superheroes)

Outstanding Performance by a Female

Shelley Long (Cheers)
Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting)
Jayne Kennedy (Greatest Sports Legends)
Jem (Jem and the Holograms)
Mabel King (What's Happening!!)

Best Episode (that we covered)

Power Play (Cheers)

Best Show (that we covered)


Robert Pine Genius Award: Ed Flanders (St. Elsewhere)

Finally, we want to give a special thanks to our listeners for your support and for inspiring us as we completed another fun season. We had a great time making them and hope you enjoyed hearing them.

Stay tuned for more bonus episodes and news on season 7!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Season 6 BATTY Awards

Live on tape from Tommy Westphall's snow globe, it's the Season 6 BATTY Awards! Join Rick and Mike as the stars vie for top awards like: Best Show, Best Episode, and Outstanding Performance by a Non-human! It all happens!! on theSeason 6 BATTY Awards!

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

BOTNS congratulates The Doobie Brothers!

Congratulations to 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees The Doobie Brothers, seen here with some surefire TV hall of famers:

This is a huge week for the Doobies because not only do they have a chance to get into the Rock Hall, but they are nominated for at least one Batty Award, a new listener-voted prize! Will they win? Will they be in the mix for other Battys? Which Doobie do you be?

Find out soon on the Battys!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Check your local listings for Batty Night coverage

Check your local listings to see if you have a BOTNS affiliate on the dial in your area. Up and down the BOTNS network, our loyal stations will be running this schedule for Batty Night (all times EST):

9:00 AM: Marathon of nominated series and shows: Catch up on all the programs the BOTNS team will discuss on the big show.

3:00 PM: Pre-Pre-Battys Special hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse "the Body" Ventura: A close look at the major storylines heading into the sixth Batty Awards. Special interviews by Mean Gene Okerlund.

4:00 PM: Pre-Battys Special hosted by Bill Tush and Ed McMahon: An even closer look at the major storylines heading into the sixth Batty Awards but with slightly more upscale sponsors. Special interviews by Jayne Kennedy and Willie Stargell.

6:00 PM: The Hector Ramirez and Rona Barrett Special: Two of television's preeminent journalists sit down with some of the most intriguing personalities who captured the audience's imagination this past season.

7:00 PM: The Official Battys Red Carpet Special hosted by Ted Knight and Billie Newman: See the stars make their way to [location yet to be revealed] for the ceremony while hearing the latest chatter about the awards show. Also featuring roving reporter Jack McGee.

8:00 PM: The 6th Batty Awards: It's 1970s and 1980s TV's biggest night as stars, also-rans, and inanimate objects gather for the prestigious ceremony celebrating the best of Battle of the Network Shows' sixth season.

???: The Official Battys Post-Show Presented by Lowenbrau: Wrap-up of the highlights of the Battys hosted by ALF and Grossy from CHiPs.

????: Really Late with Tom Snyder: A final look back on the events of Batty Night featuring veteran broadcaster Snyder along with the celebrities still sober/alert enough to appear on camera, plus an assortment of random "civilians."

Sunday, October 13, 2019

BOTNS Top Ten #37

1) Gary Sandy: Or is it Patrick Simmons? Check out this week's bonus episode if you haven't already, and then look at the show notes for an unforgettable live performance of the theme from Shaft.

2) Patrick Simmons: Or is it Gary Sandy? Check out this week's bonus episode if you haven't already, and then look at the show notes to find out why music is The Doctor.

3) Rip Taylor: R.I.P. Rip. If it starts raining confetti, point up at the sky and thank the Ripper for moments like this:


Wow, Rip Taylor would have made an excellent addition to the cast of Happy Days.

4) Julia: Aspire paid tribute to the late Diahann Carroll Saturday with a marathon of her notable sitcom. If only more than a couple thousand people (like me) had access to Aspire.

5) Dean Martin: Amazon Prime Video, through its arrangement with Shout! Factory TV, added several interesting Dino videos this week: 1975 special Dean's Place and two different listings for Dean Martin's Red Hot Scandals of 1976, which confuses me since it looks like there were only one of those made.

6) William Shatner: The icon was at an autograph show in the BOTNS area this weekend, but unfortunately we didn't get a chance to go and ask him about Barbary Coast. There's always next time.

7) Robert Forster: A BOTNS salute to the late actor. To be honest, I've never seen a full episode of Banyon, but I'm betting if Forster is starring in a Quinn Martin Production, it's pretty cool.

8) Phil Collins: We send "get well" wishes to the reportedly ailing Collins, who defined a decade when his music had a prominent role on one of the most influential television programs of the 1980s.

I'm talking, of course,about Take Me Home's use as the closing theme of Saturday Night's Main Event.

9) Demond Wilson: Happy birthday to Wilson, born on this day in 1946 and of course best known for creating the role of Son.

10) Marie Osmond: Happy birthday as well to Osmond, in part because it gives us an excuse to post another Rip Taylor clip:

Friday, October 11, 2019

Show Notes: Simmons or Sandy?

*Thanks for listening to this week's bonus episode! For more background on why we would want to play, let alone create, a game called Patrick Simmons or Gary Sandy? check out our season 6 finale in which we talked about the Doobies episode of What's Happening!!

*Why was Gary Sandy not in The New WKRP in Cincinnati? It's unclear. A Los Angeles Times article from the time of the revival's 1991 debut in syndication says Sandy and Jan Smithers expressed interest in doing guest shots, but this Sun-Sentinel article says:

Gary Sandy and Jan Smithers have been out of contact, but if they can be located and coaxed aboard, they'll be welcome.

If they can be located? The article makes it seem like everyone got the gang back together (or many of them) for a new go-round and just decided to wing it and find the others if they could.

*The Doctor reached #9 on the pop charts in 1989.

*Here's the Isaac Hayes performance of Shaft at the Oscars. Can YOU spot background dancer Gary Sandy?

*The Falcon and the Snowman was a 1985 Orion motion picture based on a true story and a 1979 book.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Gary Sandy or Patrick Simmons

On our recent "What's Happening!!" episode, Mike suggested that WKRP actor Gary Sandy and Doobie Brother Patrick Simmons share an uncanny resemblance. Now he puts Rick to the test to see if he can differentiate between Sandy or Simmons, and we learn a few things along the way!

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

BOTNS Top Ten #36

1) Room 222: If you're nor a member of our Facebook group, you're missing out on a lot of Room 222 talk--well, one of us rewatching the show on DVD and me wishing I had the DVDs, but, hey, it's still talk!

2) Henry Winkler: Are you as fascinated as we are by the existence of a long-running feud between two of the most popular stars in Hollywood? I still don't understand the beef between Winkler and Tom Hanks, but I'm standing with Winkler...just because.

3) Diahann Carroll: R.I.P. to the groundbreaking actress, who, as the star of Julia, proved a black actress could headline a sitcom as well as a white one, then later on Dynasty proved a black actress could wear ridiculously large shoulderpads as well as a white one.

4) Fantasy Island: Sony Crackle added seasons 3 and 4 to the streaming video service recently. MY fantasy is that unlike a few years ago, Crackle keeps the episodes up for more than a month.

Just read that back. I have a sad fantasy life.

5) Life with Lucy: CBS released the much-reviled 1986 Lucille Ball sitcom on an overpriced DVD set...and I kind of want to see it.

6) Movin' On: Decades' "weekend binge" featured the 1970s Claude Akins trucker show, which I swear has been more widely seen in the last 5 years than in the previous 40 for some reason. I think Decades marathons it every couple months. I guess Claude Akins works cheap?

7) Gemini Man: We still haven't given up hope that the Will Smith movie somehow spurs a DVD release of the real thing:

8) Monty Python's Flying Circus: The series is celebrating its 50th anniversary. I remember not quite "getting" it when I was growing up, nor understanding why it was on PBS all the time.

9) Rona Barrett: Happy birthday to the intrepid reporter who keeps showing up in the BOTNS-verse but fortunately hasn't yet found the dirt on US.

10) Fred Stolle: More birthday wishes go to the Australian tennis great. I miss the good, old days of tennis on ESPN in the 1980s, when the voices were the reserved, classy Cliff Drysdale and Stolle, the ads were for champagne and luxury autos, and John McEnroe's mere presence created electricity.

(Note: this clip isn't Drysdale and Stolle, but who cares?)