Friday, September 30, 2011 - 9:56am
For many fans season two was far superior to year one - there are more episodes and many classic stories by Rod Serling like 'The Diary' with Patty Duke as a viscous gossip columnist with a date book that predicts her future and Orson Welles as the narrator of Serling's adaptation of 'Silent Snow, Secret Snow.'
From the product description: Prepare for the unexpected as Season Two of Night Gallery comes to DVD! This 5-disc DVD set contains 61 stories, created and hosted by the master of mystery: The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling. With guest performances by Hollywood legends that reads like a roster of Who’s Who in Hollywood, you’ll be sure to see sights to amaze! Featuring audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and a gallery presentation of the paintings from the series, this collector’s set is the classic anthology of timeless, spine-tingling entertainment you don’t dare to miss!
The picture and sound quality are quite fine and many TV favorites turn up in both chilling and humorous storylines - 'Class of '99' with Vincent Price, H.P. Lovecraft's 'Cool Air' with Barbara Rush, John Carradine in Richard Matheson's 'Big Surprise' are just a few of the best.
In addition to the 22 hour long episodes, there are some very informative podcast commentaries by Night Gallery historians Scott Skelton & Jim Benson and 3 commentaries by director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth).
Night Gallery can be a frustrating experience because of all the poorly executed episodes and silly vignettes but when it works it's a very effective horror anthology.
Monday, September 26, 2011 - 11:49am
YOU MAY HAVE SEEN HIS WORK
Chet began his TV career playing one of the clowns on WJAR TV 10's (the NBC TV Affiliate) Tip Top Circus with Ted Knight and Walter Covell. When Ted Knight left Uncle Ted's Backyard to emcee another local kids TV series Uncle Ted & His Clubhouse Gang for a Utica, New York station.
Chet took over the series, which was retitled Uncle Charlie's Backyard. Here Chet Dowling would perform puppet and comedy skit between the reruns of Looney Tunes movie cartoons (he would even perform skits with a Daffy Duck puppet live on camera). He also served as the puppeteer on Hippity Hop: The Cartoon Cop (which had a rabbit-like police officer and his animal puppet pals perform comedy skits and interview guest performers and personalities between the reruns of cartoons).
In the early 1960s Chet left WJAR and moved to NYC where he would write and produce many of WPIX TV 11's most popular kid's shows, including Let's Have Fun (the Chuck McCann/Paul Ashley version), The Popeye Show with Captain Jack McCarthy, The Three Stooges Firehouse with Fireman Todd Russell, The Dick Tracy Show with Police Chief Joe Bolton and The Chuck McCann Show.
Chet also wrote and produced The Eddie Lawrence Show and, for a time, The Clay Cole Show.
He left WPIX TV and moved to Hollywood CA where he wrote and produced other TV series like Whitney & The Robot, The Lost Saucer (with Jim Nabors, the late Alice Playten and Ruth Buzzi) and Three's Company.
Chet would retire from the entertainment industry and became an appraiser of nostalgic memorabilia for an antique warehouse in Southern California. until the early part of the 20th century when he was forced to retire due to failing health.
Monday, September 26, 2011 - 11:49am
Who would have ever guessed Chastity (now Chaz) Bono would be starring in a hit show? Fox News has been hammering her and she's refused to give them any interviews. Hey, she grew up as Cher's daughter, she knows how to play the media!
Justin Kaplovitz writes: Reading Pete Delaney's article about the 1990 anti-drug "Epic" Cartoon All-Stars To the Rescue, I'm kind of surprised to see that the whole idea had sort of a "Doomed from the start" kind of feel around it, even though it mostly did what it was supposed to do in--what is essentially--a 30 minute anti-drug commercial. Even more surprising was the fact that our current VP was the mastermind behind it. While visiting one of my (other) favorite sites, I came across this review of the show from 2007. It was done by the same guy who did that review of the "Star Wars Holiday Special" I had sent you a while back, in fact, this was his first ever review on the internet--Back when he was on Youtube only, very primitive compared to his later work.
It pretty much mirrors the same sentiment felt in the article, but with far more of a slant.
Amazon has my book Beyond Our Wildest Dreams on sale now for less than $15.00. What a bargain for 340 pages with 400 pictures!
I'm just now getting the marketing outreach out for my new book. We're concentrating on publications, TV & radio in LA, Las Vegas, Cherry Hill, NJ, and Philly. If you know of a radio station (doesn't have to be in those cities) that might like to have The Rat Pack Golddiggers on their morning or other show please send me the info and I'll get in touch with them!
If you're into Twitter and you want to follow the Rat Pack Golddiggers you can find them here.
Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 8:12am
As for Two and a Half Men - I couldn't agree with you more. It was simply tasteless and unfunny and it'll be off the air possibly before January. I was listening to Bob and Sheri (they're a radio team here in Charlotte and syndicated throughout the US) on the way in to work this morning and they were saying the same thing - and made the same comment as you about the laugh track.
On the sunny side though, the premiere of How I Met Your Mother was fabulous, as was Raising Hope.
One more note, and I'll go away. In a conversation with my father a week or so ago, I asked him how I got my name - Susan Camille. His response? "Susan, I hate to tell you this, but it was from a TV show." I was not displeased at all to find out that I definitely had been named for Ann Sothern's character in Private Secretary. Ms. Sothern was one of the all-time great actresses - a dame in the best sense of the word - and I'm thrilled and proud to have been named for Susie. I still adore her as Rosie Harrigan, aka "Countess Framboise" on The Lucy Show. Who can forget Gale Gordon clicking his heels and saying "COUN-tess!"
Maybe that's where I got my fixation with TV history - it began at birth!
Thanks Susan. Ratings were actually up for the reboot of Two and a Half Men but that was to be expected. And the critics in general lauded the show. I don't see how - the first scene alone, the funeral, was just crass with no redeeming value that I could discern other than bashing Charlie Sheen. I've seen very funny funeral scenes, as have you (Mary Tyler Moore Show anyone?) but that wasn't even close. And are we really supposed to believe Berta killed Charlie - on purpose apparently - and NO ONE cares a bit? I mean, I get that it's a sitcom and I get that this is LA, but really? That said, I thought Ashton Kutcher was really great in his role but it's a good thing he got a Play or Pay deal so even if the show is cancelled he still will be the highest paid actor on TV. Winning!
Susan mentioned Bob & Sheri - I think they have the best morning show in America, I would actually tune in if they were in my city and I despise commercial radio. So I'm relegated to listening when I travel.
Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 8:12am
Monday, September 19, 2011 - 8:09am
Monday, September 19, 2011 - 8:09am
FOR THE BEST REALLY
Timm passed away recently and yesterday I went to his funeral. I only found out about his death an hour before the service. Timm had a very tough life and suffered from ill health for years. I hadn't had contact with him this year due to my mom's own health issues and trying to get projects moving forward. This has been the toughest year of my life but it would have been Timm's best year ever, I suspect, if he were in my shoes. Beginning with his dad's sudden death from a heart attack (a broken heart, really) at age 55 in 1977, Timm never regained his footing in life. He had big dreams but not the where-with-all to make them come true. Of course, a lot of that has to do with luck and Timm had very little of that going for him.
Timm did do one thing extremely well - he played the definitive Santa every year at the Sedgefield Country Club, The Four Seasons Mall and other places. He was the city's 'real' Santa for a time. A Christmas tradition for me was taking Timm and his mother Martha out for a nice meal and they wwere always so appreciative.
Here's some video I shot with my phone of The Old Rebel Show auction that was held last October to raise money for Timm - I wish I had spent more time shooting more video, Timm looked and sounded exactly like his Father.
Timm recently had a leg removed due to Diabeties and was utterly and completely alone at the time of his death, ever since his mother's passing last year. They had lived together their entire lives. He was dependent on the kindness of others to survive and I feel really badly that I wasn't there for him at the end. My excuses aren't good enough.
But he was fortunate to have been taken under the wing of and cared for by the Rankin Baptist Church who gave him a send-off yesterday worthy of a dignitary, the music and the service was so beautiful. Every time I got together with Timm and his mother they spoke fondly of the people there, marvelling at how much help they had been to two people who, by that time, were so crippled they could barely get to where they were going.
But go they did, every day for years and years taking a bus to the Harris-Teeter or Barnes & Noble at Friendly Center - where they just went and hung out and talked to people. On Thursday evening at 7:00 the Friendly Barnes & Noble will be holding a get together in honor of Timm's passing and I'm going to reprint some Old Rebel Show booklets to give out I made for the reunion we put on at the Greensboro Public Library back in 1999. That may have been one of the happiest days of Timm and Martha's life.
Timm loved both his mother and father dearly, more than anything, and they are now together. That's why I say it's for the best.
Monday, September 19, 2011 - 7:03am
My talk with Wayne Dammert on July 5, 2009 was a real eye opener. He was a longtime employee at the fabled Beverly Hills Supper Club near Cincinnati and he was there the night of the mother of all modern nightclub fires in 1977.
He and others on the scene that night are convinced the fire that killed 165 people in just a few minutes was deliberately set and that one of the nation's worst mass murderers got clean away. He also tells me about the wild days when Newport, Kentucky was an "open town" with illegal gambling joints all over the place.
Wayne wants to get this story out because, at every turn since the beginning of the investigation, too many people have been willing to turn a blind eye to the possibility of arson. If it's true, the dozens of victims deserve justice.
From Wikipedia: On October 28, 2008, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear appointed a panel to investigate claims that arson may have been the cause of the fire. In March 2009, the panel, in recommending that the investigation not be reopened, characterized the new accusations as "a very tiny shred of evidence of arson and a huge mountain of conjecture, unsupported speculation and personal opinion."
The Beverly Hills Supper Club site sits relatively undisturbed over the last 30 plus years, surely there's an enterprising TV producer with a Cold Case type show that could bring together a forensic team to go over the site and search for evidence. It doesn't appear that the Governor's panel did that.
You can read more about this tragic event in the book Inside the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire by Ronald E. Elliott and based on an original story by survivor Wayne Dammert.
Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 8:05am
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