The original 1970s Dark Shadows movies
Family Feud host Richard Dawson is dead. When I was living in LA I was at the ABC studios in Silver Lake. As I passed a stage the door popped open and I could see they were filming Family Feud except taping had stopped because Richard Dawson was having a screaming fit over something or the other. I stopped and watched for a minute while he ranted, then went on my way. Of course, there was a studio audience watching all of this, I'm sure it was much more interesting than the game. I've worked for screamers so I'm not that impressed by that kind of behavior as long as the screaming isn't aimed at me - and it never was.
Sunday, June 3, 2012 - 11:09am
JOAN CRAWFORD ON TV
Her fifties work was primarily on variety shows like The Colgate Variety Hour, The Bob Hope Buick Show and Caesar's Hour and drama anthology shows including three episodes of General Electric Theater. That's in addition to the talk and awards show appearances. Let's look at some of her comedy / variety roles on television.
In the sixties she made four trips to The Hollywood Palace in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1970. Here she is hosting one of those Hollywood Palace extravaganzas in 1966.
She entertained on The Joey Bishop Show in 1968 and made two guest shots on the short-lived Tim Conway Show in 1970, on the first and third episodes. Here are Tim and Joan in their skits from The Tim Conway Show.
She made a troubled guest appearance on The Lucy Show that aired in February of 1968 playing herself. She and Lucille Ball did not get along during the rehearsal week, in fact Ball fired the actress for drinking and Joan had to beg for her role back. However, when it came time to tape Crawford's performance, it was spot on, even Lucy was impressed.
Her most bizarre work on TV was her week substituting for daughter Christina on the CBS soap opera The Secret Storm in October of 1968. Sadly only the audio exists for her first day on the job. At this time in her life pills and booze fueled the actress and she delivered erratic performances that took a great deal of editing, something they rarely did on daytime dramas.
Here's the show in two parts but Joan doesn't appear until part two, clearly sloshed.
Saturday, June 2, 2012 - 8:09am
You may remember that there was an updated version of Captain Kangaroo in the 1990s that flopped because the producers didn't really understand the original show or Keeshan's approach. Here's what Wikipedia had to say on that remake: In 1997–1998, a sequel revival series tentatively titled The All New Captain Kangaroo was attempted by Saban Entertainment. John McDonough played the Captain on this version, which was shot in Tampa, Florida. Keeshan was invited to appear as a special guest called "The Admiral," but after seeing sample episodes, he declined to appear or have any association with the new incarnation. It ran for one season and inspired a spin-off show, Mister Moose's Fun Time. I'm always skeptical of TV remakes but any attempt to educate children through television has my support! Besides, Pat Cashin is a stellar performer (ClownAlley.net) and may have more insight into the character than that other guy had. He's got the look down!
Speaking of revivals there's a new version of The Care Bears coming soon.
Game of Thrones and Blackwater have both seen ratings drop.
I may have posted this before - but it's still funny! The hilarious Rodney Dangerfield's stand-up act in the 1970s.
Friday, June 1, 2012 - 9:08am
AUNT BEE AND MORE
Now that I'm finished writing PUNK (the editor has it now) I can get back to TVparty!
And Jim Longworth will have a talk with Patrick Duffy coming this week, they'll discuss the new Dallas series on TNT starting June 15th. I'm really looking forward to it - the series and the article! And Jim brought up an interview he wants to do with television LEGEND who's been out of the public eye for some time. Intrigued?
What was the local children's show you grew up with? Assuming you're old enough to remember such a thing! My local hero was The Old Rebel.
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 9:00am
Here's a very entertaining blog authored by L.A. Post-Punk performer Michael Ely that will be of particular interest to those lucky enough to live in Tuscon.
John Mayer talks about life now that he can no longer sing.
History Channel's 'Swamp People' star Mitchell Guist died after boat fall. History and Original Media, producers of Swamp People, offered this statement: "We are extremely saddened to report that our friend and beloved member of the Swamp People family, Mitchell Guist, has passed away earlier today. Mitchell passed on the swamp, doing what he loved. We appreciate your respect for the Guist family's privacy and hope you join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to his brother, Glenn, and the rest of the Guist family.
Simon Cowell almost sounds like he wishes Britney Spears will fall apart during a live episode of 'X Factor.'
Remember the blow to the head that nearly killed Bret Michaels? His lawsuit against the producers of the Tony Awards and CBS is over - the settlement is confidential.
ABC has ordered 10 - count 'em 10 - new series for this fall.
Harry's Law was cancelled - here were my two questions with Kathy Bates recorded before the show debuted two years ago.
This guy wants to built a working, real life replica of the starship Enterprise. Yes, as in fly the thing to Saturn, real life working.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 9:32am
As I predicted Dark Shadows is a stiff, so-so reviews, only $28 million at the box office (Dark Shadows was predicted to earn a minimum of $35M). It looks like the movies based on TV shows curse is alive and well. I'll see it and offer my take - is it better than House of Dark Shadows? I am looking forward to the laughs and show references. The Avengers - over $100 million this weekend.
This is a must-read article on Jack Kirby's influence on the movies.
Jim Longworth will have an interview with Mad Man creator Matt weiner. He's in North Carolina shooting a feature length comedy that's loaded with stars.
Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 3:35pm
Born in Newark, N.J. on March 21, 1923, Lindsey had received his formal education at Newark Arts H.S. and he later studied musical composition at Columbia University in NYC where he earned his doctorate in music education.
He created scores for the movies "Gay Purr-ee" (an animated feature film for UPA and Warner Brothers which starred the voices of Judy Garland, Robert Goulet, Paul Frees and Hermonie Gingold), "The Best Man" and "Stolen Hours".
He also served as Ms. Garland's musical director for her CBS TV musical/variety series and for her 1961 concert at NYC's Carnegie Hall (which was recorded and sold as an Grammy winning LP disc). Mr. Lindsey also appeared on camera as Ms. Garland's conductor for her last movie "I Could Go On Singing" in 1963.
He also arranged and performed the music for Pat Boone and for Barbra Streisand's CBS TV concert "A Happening In Central Park" (this televised concert was also produced, cut and released as a successful recording).
But Mort Lindsey will always be remembered for his work on "The Merv Griffin Show" which aired in national syndication (and briefly on CBS TV) during the 1960's, '70s and '80s and was taped first at NYC's "Little Theater" (now known as The New Helen Hayes Theater) and later in Los Angeles-first at The Hollywood Palace TV Theater and then at "The TAV Celebrity TV Theater". His work on Mr. Griffin's series earned him Emmy nominations and he won an Emmy for his work on Ms. Streisand's TV concert. He is survived by his wife Judy,three sons and three daughters.
We've lost so many great television talents lately.
Here is Merv Griffin in a duet with the great Jack Sheldon backed by Mort Lindsey and his orchestra.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 5:34am
Me-Too is airing a tribute to George Lindsey all this week at 12 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. with episodes of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ that feature stories around ‘Goober.’
Mr. Lindsey was best-known as the grinning gas station employee in ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ from 1964 to 1968, as well as in ‘Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.’ as the title character’s cousin in the Andy Griffith spin-off TV series.
Oh that Fun Girls episode is so funny!
Speaking of which Kevin Butler has an obit for George Lindsay, he was such a great character.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 7:29am
I HAD LUNCH
The chain went under in the mid-1970s and the restaurants disappeared almost completely by the mid-1980s but two still survive using the same recipes with the same basic look to the places. One is in St. Petersburg, Florida the other I just ate in, the renamed Beef Burger (the owner changed the name in the 1980s in case the franchise was revived and he got hit with back fees).
Beef Burger is a 50+ year institution in Greensboro, NC, it's like going back in time with the 1970's chairs and tables (yellow and attached as one unit, naturally) and the 1980's arcade games. They still use the classic "Biff" character, one of the worst designed mascots in history!
And the food - grease-liscious. Best steak sandwich I've had in a while. UNC-G students have long flocked to this place to down cheap eats that really soak up the alcohol - although they have a sign on the door that says, "If you're drunk eat somewhere else."
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 11:03am
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