Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Show Notes: Episode 8-6: Poor Devil

*Sammy Davis Jr. was indeed involved with Anton Lavey's Church of Satan, but he eventually had a falling out with the organization, though his memoir doesn't give details as to why.

This piece is a nice summary of various proclivities of Davis, including his association with Satanism. It also makes the case that Poor Devil was Davis' attempt to get a Satanistic sitcom off the ground.  This article and others claim that religious groups' protests killed off the project. 

*The blog/website/podcast by Amanda Reyes is Made for TV Mayhem, but I misidentified the book as such. The book's title is Are You in the House Alone?

*NBC Follies lasted 14 episodes at the beginning of the 1973-1974 season.

*Sammy and Company was a late-night program in first-run syndication weekends from April 1975 to March 1977. Here is a fascinating account of the series. Davis needed the money at the time, sure, after some rough years, but he also loved the format. However...

However, Sammy’s familiarity with his guests, mixed with his legendary generosity and the occasional effects of drugs and alcohol, became a toxic combination; Sammy generally exhibited his worst tendencies as host. On screen, he came across as unduly unctuous – with his over-the-top flattery and his uncontrollable laughter at the mildest of his guests’ jokes. Sammy arguably had more individual talents than anyone in entertainment history, but being an insightful interviewer probably wasn’t one of them. (One episode featuring Chita Rivera and Liza Minelli found Rivera patiently waiting for Sammy’s rambling and incoherent questions; both Sammy and Liza were seemingly high as kites.)

The series inspired the famous Sammy Maudlin sketches on SCTV.

*NBC made-for-TV movie Poor Devil premiered February 14, 1973 (Valentine's Day), preceded by Adam-12 and followed at 10:00 by Search.  ABC had The Paul Lynde Show, The Girls f Huntington House, and Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law with guest Robert Reed.  CBS' lineup: The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Medical Center, and Cannon.

*The movie has some great location shooting of early 1970s San Francisco, but the scenes in Hell were done on soundstages.

*To hear more about A Year at the Top, check out this bonus episode.

*Helen Wheels is a 1973 single from Paul McCartney and Wings.

*Finally, thanks again to James, and we ask, *What are YOU gonna do when Pine-a-Mania and Battymania run wild on you? 

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