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QUESTIONS ABOUT CHRISTMAS SPECIALS
Debbie writes: There was a show that I think I saw in the late 80's/early 90's called something like "A Wish for Christmas" about a little girl who wants a grandma for Christmas and she leaves the orphanage or school where she stays and gets on a bus and gets off at a town where she doesn't know anyone. Somehow she gets to an older woman's home and asks her if she'll be her grandma and the man and woman of course are delighted. It's an animated piece, probably 30 minutes long. I've never been able to find it and it was so touching to me because I am adopted and this really echoed my feelings at one time. Do you have any idea where I could find this?

Cecilia Tamayo: I have been looking high and low for this film/movie.  It would be showing during Christmas time when I was a little girl.  I believe it was out in the 1950's or 1960's, it may even be from England.  Although I saw it late 60's early 70's or so.

The story goes that there is a little girl sick in bed, very ill. Her father comes home and gives her a music box of "Twas the Night Before Christmas.  It veered away from that moment and started an animated story of the poem...it was done so well.  The station...2 - 4 or 7 (we only had about 5 stations back then) stopped it one year and started playing the ridiculous 'Twas the Night before Christmas a mouse tail instead.  It was surely a gloomy time, my mother was horrified.  Every time I see it come on, I long for the other.  It was so beautifully done.  They always seem to take the good stuff away and put on crap instead. 

Monday, December 7, 2009 7:35am
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ARGUING POLITICS
Jesse 'The Body' Ventura goes on the Opie & Anthony 'radio' show and watch what happens at the end - is it me or does Ventura look like he's a second away from pummeling the whiny, unattractive bald guy behind the microphone?

From The Onion News Network - why do I think there's more than a little truth to this? Does every point I have to make have to be framed as a question? Is it exhaustion from long shooting days?


Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP

Monday, December 7, 2009 7:25am
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HOLIDAY BLOG RERUN
I literally just got home from 15 hours at the Davidson County, NC detention center. What an ordeal, but I'm sure the results will be worth it (no, I'm not out on bail, I'm co-starring in an indie film called Lake of Fire and my character is, shall we say, a bit too free with the bottle). We started to get a bit loopy around 3:00 am but the camera is an unrelenting beast. Or the director is, either way. The folks at the jail could not have been nicer or more professional, Sheriff Page even showed up with his wife to watch for a while. The whole experience made us all really appreciative of the fact we're not incarcerated.

This was my first visit to Wentworth. It's always a pleasure to visit small southern towns, it's a way of life that is changing too rapidly- for better or for worse.

So it's blog rerun time again while I try in vain to catch up with my other work - here's the oldest known footage of Santa Claus ever shot, courtesy of James, from Great Britain in 1898.

You might enjoy this: Lee Mendelson, producer of A Charlie Brown Christmas, talks about his classic Peanuts holiday special, in a special Christmas edition of the Internet radio show TV Time Machine, hosted by TV historian Jim Benson.
 
In this one-hour interview, Lee Mendelson reveals the fascinating story behind this beloved 1965 animated holiday special including the genesis of
A Charlie Brown Christmas; casting the children to supply the Peanuts gang voices, and working with legendary creator Charles Schultz. Mr. Mendelson also discusses the yearly ritual of families watching the Charlie Brown Peanuts TV specials, a holiday tradition which has been passed from generation to generation. 

Friday, December 4, 2009 7:20am
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NO SMOKING
In weeks North Carolina - the tobacco state - will ban smoking in all public buildings including bars and restaurants. Let's look back at a time when smoking wasn't considered such a big deal and big tobacco sponsored your favorite TV shows. Here are some some Winston Cigarette ads starring the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies.

Sadly, the actress that played Cousin Pearl (and Betty Rubble) Bea Benaderet died of lung cancer a few years years later.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 11:43am
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LOOK WHO'S COMING OUT NOW
From advocate.com:
Since her TV career heyday in the 1970s and ’80s as a darling of the popular primetime series Family and Family Ties, Meredith Baxter has mainly flown under the radar, with the exception of a few acclaimed turns in made-for-TV movies such as My Breast and A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story. That is until she boarded the Sweet Caribbean Cruise with thousands of other lesbians last month. If the woman who famously played Elyse Keaton, liberal mother to Michael J. Fox’s conservative Alex, on the long-running sitcom Family Ties, thought she would go unnoticed amidst generations of gay women who idolized her for her blonde-haired, blue-eyed, all-American good looks, she was wrong.

That item got me to thinking. Yesterday was World AIDS Day and a friend - well, vague acquaintance really, you know how Facebook is - started a thread and, I don't think he meant it to be disturbing, but it really got me thinking about how much things have changed in the last thirty years in terms of coming out as gay.

In that thread Mark Sieber brought up a tragic story of a guy I was acquainted with who took his boyfriend to the senior prom in 1973. His parents disowned him on the spot and he never returned to school after that night. This is the first I've heard of this, the idea of being openly gay at the senior prom at that time was unheard of and this was down south. You know, in tolerant Greensboro, NC. (It's actually infinitely better now, thank God.) Another classmate, a varsity basketball star, came out to his friends, got a hostile reaction, and ran out into traffic and killed himself. So if you're up for a depressing story click here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 8:33am
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BLOG RERUN
I'm back to work on the film so it's rerun time.

Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy were major stars on radio and in films so naturally 'they' turned their attention to television in the 1950s. While they remained popular guest stars on other performer's shows until the end, Bergen's attempts at a weekly television series never really caught on.

First let's start with a sample of their radio antics as Edgar tries to explain income taxes to Charlie.

Now here's the opening of the first Edgar Bergen TV Special from the nifty fifties.

Saturday, November 28, 2009 11:15am
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