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* Classic & Current Television Blog *

I WOUD HAVE NEVER GUESSED!
Paula Abdul Reveals Struggle with Prescription Painkillers.

Bristol Palin Pitches Abstinence On "Good Morning America," Levi Johnston Calls It "Not Realistic."

Fox has cancelled Talkshow with Spike Feresten. The network will air a new talker starring comedian Wanda Sykes in the fall.

The CW will no longer offer a primetime slate on Sunday nights.

Fox has renewed J.J. Abrams' drama Fringe for the 2009-10 season. Prison Break ends next week.

Thursday, May 7, 2009 - 7:24am
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MATCH GAME 75
Waste a few moments with this clip from Match Game, I always liked that show - reminds me of happy summers past.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 - 9:35am
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DOM DELUISE AND TELEVISION
Kevin Butler writes: TV comedy, Cleveland, Ohio and NYC kids TV has suffered another loss. Dom DeLuise, the comic/character actor/singer/mimic/puppeteer/ author/comedy magician who was the assistant to "Uncle Joe" Bova and Ms. Shari Lewis and the fourth and last host and instructor of WJZ/WABC TV 7's Tinker's Workshop died Monday in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 75.

Born in Brooklyn, New York City on August 1, 1933, he studied at NYC's prestigious High School Of Performing Arts. During his summer vacations, he performed with The Cleveland Playhouse appearing in their productions of Guys & Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Stalag 17 and Hamlet.

He later appeared in the off-Broadway production of Little Mary Sunshine and other off-Broadway shows. DeLuise also appeared on numerous TV variety shows like The Garry Moore Show where he played a comedy magician who had to deal with an inept assistant played by (a pre Rowan & Martin's Laugh In) Ruth Buzzi.

He also hosted and or co-hosted such TV series as The Entertainers with Carol Burnett, The Dom DeLuise Show, The Dean Martin Show and The All New Candid Camera.

He also appeared in the forgettable sitcom Lotsa Luck with Beverly Swan, Wynn Irwin, Kathleen Freeman and Don Knight.

One of his early television appearances was serving as Cleveland, Ohio based kids host/performer "Uncle Joe" Bova's comedy assistant on Tip Top Clubhouse in the early 1950's. After the series run had ended the two moved to NYC with the hopes that they would work on WJZ/WABC TV 7's weekday afternoon kids wraparound program Time For Fun.

The show's producers - Jules Power and Danny Wilson - hired Bova to MC the series but they didn't hire DeLuise. Undaunted, Mr. DeLuise did become the fourth host of Channel 7's weekday morning educational program Tinker's Workshop in mid-1958.

He was hired to do the series after the show's third host/ performer and educator Gene London (as Tinker Tom the Toymaker) was fired following creative disputes with the station's programming director Al Hollander.

DeLuise would MC Tinker's Workshop as Tinker the Toymaker weekday mornings until the show went off the air on Friday August 22, 1958. He would later become a semi-regular on Shari Lewis' Saturday morning NBC TV kids series The Shari Lewis Show during the early 1960's.

On the program, Mr. DeLuise played the bumbling private detective "Kenny Ketcham". DeLuise and Lewis would be reunited again on the latter's last kids TV series Charlie Horse's Music Pizza on PBS TV in 1998; in this series he played "Cookie The Cook."

He also appeared in numerous movies like Blazing Saddles (as put upon movie director "Buddy Bizarre"), Silent Movie as film director "Mel Funn's" (Mel Brooks') bumbling assistant"Dom Bell", as Julius Caesar in History Of The World Part1, as the alien mobster "Pizza The Hut" in Spaceballs, as Burt Reynolds' nitwit mechanic in Cannonball Run, the drunken doctor in Smokey & The Bandit Part 2, as the undercover police Detective in Hot Stuff, and as the Medieval Italian mobster "Don Giovanni" in Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

Mr. DeLuise also did TV cartoon voice overs for The Roman Holidays with David Willock, Pam Ferdin, Barry Livingston, Daws Butler, Hal Smith, Shirley Mitchell, and Hal Peary.

He also lend his vocal talents to such animated features as Oliver & Co., An American Tail, All Dogs Go To Heaven, All Dogs Go To Heaven 2, The Secret of Nimh, and was the voice of the smart aleck "Magic Mirror" in Happily Ever After.

In addition to his other credits Mr. DeLuise also appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Last Of the Red Hot Lovers, Meredith Wilson's Here's Love (a Stage musical version of the Yuletide movie fantasy drama Miracle on 34th St.) and The Student Gypsy.

He also played the jailer in a revival of Die Fledermaus at NYC's Metropolitan Opera House and he has written a cookbook "Eat This..You'll Feel Better" and the children's books "Charlie The Caterpillar" and "Goldilocks & The Three Bears - The Real Story."

Mr. DeLuise has also appeared in two dramatic roles on TV - he played the irresponsible uncle of a terminal ill nephew (played by former kid actor Lee Montgomery) on an episode of Medical Center and he played an ex kid's TV clown who, while trying to make a comeback, is marked for death by a mafia hit man (played by character actor Henry Silva) in the CBS TV Movie crime thriller Happy. Happy also co starred Mr. Deluise's wife actress Carol Arthur, actress Dee Wallace, Jack Gilford and his son Peter.

In addition to his son and wife Mr. DeLuise is also survived by his sons David and Michael. I was lucky enough to meet Dom DeLuise in NYC back in the 1990's and he allowed to do a phone interview with him months later.

From TVGuide: Burt Reynolds tells TVGuide.com how much he will miss his beloved friend and co-star, Dom DeLuise, saying "as you get older, and start to lose people you love, you think about it more, and I was dreading this moment.”

"Dom always made you feel better when he was around and there will never be another like him. I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. I will miss him very much."

There's an official web site but it has apparently been swamped with too much traffic.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 - 9:14am
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SUNDAY MORNING CARTOONS
I always think of Sunday as a day of laughter, maybe it has to do with watching Bullwinkle & Dudley Do-Right reruns on Sunday mornings after Sunday school in the late-1960s. Even my dad would watch these with us and no wonder - they're just as much fun now as they were then.

Here's a 1965 promo for ABC's Sunday morning cartoons:

Now here's Discovery '68 as presented on Sunday mornings:

Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 9:34am
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SATURDAY STUFF
Glen Campbell doesn't get the props he deserves, IMHO, for the terrific variety show he hosted in the early-1970s, a program initially produced by Tom Smothers. In the first year or two Mason Williams and John Hartford were on staff; the Campbell show boasted the best comedy and musical talent in television at the time.

There's been a 'best-of' musical numbers release on DVD that I highly recommend but it's just a whet for the whistle. Thanks to You Tube we can see a bit more - but not much! Here's David Cassidy and Glen doing a medley of teen hits from years earlier.

From the DVD, Cher and Glen sing the lady's top 40 solo hit from the 1960s 'All I Really Want To Do' written by Bob Dylan with a jazzy arrangement I always liked but I'll bet the songwriter hated.

By the way, it's Free Comic Book Day, so go by a comic retailer and get your free goods! That's an event that's been going on for a few years and it's become a cultural mainstay now. Whoever thought that up is a genius. Where's our free DVD day?!?

Saturday, May 2, 2009 - 9:58am
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HUH?!?
Frank Crouch writes: "What a tease and rip-off. Why do we now have to pay outrageous amounts of money to see old television shows? Most of these programs were on television for free as fillers before the advent of crappy cable and dish networks. The economy is tanking and you still think that you can make a tidy profit by ripping off people that once had lots of cash during the bubble. Fuck you. Your ad is misleading. Go to hell."

Now could someone please tell me what in the heck he could possibly be talking about since the entire TVparty site - along with 3,000 video clips - is free? What is this word 'profit' that he speaks of?!?

I can't wait for the new Star Trek movie - as someone who used to art direct movie trailers I can usually tell from the trailer if a movie is bad. It's almost impossible to tell if a film is GOOD but the lousy ones sing through the clutter. Wolverine - big time dog. If you simply can't endure the wait for ST, here's a highly illogical Trek / Lost crossover.

Kevin Butler writes: "That plug for Arby's Roast Beef fast food restaurants is not the only time that Adam West (ABC's Batman) played an out of work actor. Back in the 1990s he did the voice of a former TV superhero "The Grey Ghost" AKA actor "Simon Trent" on an episode of Batman: The Animated Series on the Fox network. On this installment of the series Bruce (Batman) Wayne (voiced by Kevin Conroy) is trying to find out who is destroying Gotham City's buildings for extortion purposes. He suspects the bombings are connected to an old filmed episode of his favorite adventure show The Grey Ghost and that the program's star "Simon Trent" may be behind the terrorists threats. (Though Mr. Trent was out of work and about to be evicted from his apartment by an unsympathetic landlord he was not The Mad Bomber.)"

Friday, May 1, 2009 - 12:19pm
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