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GROOVY!
This cool animated intro uses a penguin instead of the NBC Peacock to introduce the first showing of Hard Day's Night in, I think, 1967.

And here's a 1967 promo for NBC's morning line-up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 12:48pm
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FROM NUREMBERG TO KIDDIE TV
Jeffrey Muenker writes about a Philadelphia area legend: I'm writing about my memories of Rex Morgan. As you know Rex was a TV personality on WFIL in Philadelphia in the early sixties. I came to know Rex and his family after we moved to Washington Township, NJ.

My dad was in the same army outfit with Rex after WWII. Rex was a pretty impressive man. I remember he was tall and powerfully built. Dad told me he had played football for the Univ. of Penn as a lineman.

We use to go out to stay with Rex and his family at their home in Newton Square, PA. He had the coolest house I had ever seen with a secret passage from the upstairs to the basement. He had horses and livestock in a barn, but the thing I remember most fondly was the mule that would gulp down bottles of coke that were held up for it in seconds flat. Rex had a coke machine out at the barn and we were always buying cokes for the mule. He also had antique cars and fire engines that I would play on. In his garage he had a cherry Stutz Bearcat (circa 1930's) that was really cool.

My mother and my other 5 brothers were guest on his morning kids show called Rex Morgan and Happy the Clown. I vaguely remember going out on stage and being introduced by Rex. One Saturday Rex had a big horse and carriage that he was using to take inner-city kids for stagecoach rides around the block in center city Philadelphia. I got to ride up front the whole day with him and I remember all the other kids asking me why I didn't have to get off after their ride was over. He would also do magic tricks for the kids.

I've seen some of the info that has been put on some internet sites about Rex like that he was a hangman at the Nuremberg trial. I asked my father about that before he passed away. Dad told me that Rex was in the Army Quartermaster Corp. Funerals and burial service is part of their duty. He told me it was Rex's outfit responsibility to dispose of German Field Marshal Goering ashes after he had been cremated. The army didn't want him buried in any permanent place where his remains might become a cult destination so they went out and scattered his ashes along the Rhine river.

We lost contact with Rex and his family after they moved to Europe in the early seventies.

Friday, September 19, 2008 - 5:46am
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Chicago Local TV horror HostsGREAT BOOK
I'm reading the most wonderful book called Chicago TV Horror Movie Shows: From Shock Theater to Svengoolie. It's delightful light reading and I mean that in the best sense. From the colorful cover to the index of horror movies seen on these programs (with credits and synopsis of each film) it's cover to cover time travel.

Shock Theater, Svengoolie, Son of Svengoolie, Creature Features, Screaming Yellow Theater, The Early Show, The Ghoul - they're all here and more.

Even though I didn't grow up with these shows (we had Shock Theater with Dr. Paul Bearer before he relocated to Florida), I still found this book to be a zippy read full of highly enjoyable stories about the unforgettable, talented guys and gals who toiled in early TV, entertaining kids of all ages.

What a thrilling time to grow up with television, much of which was local programming. Co-authors Ted Okuda and Mark Yurkiw perfectly capture that golden era with remarkable insight, it's a brilliant ride back to a happier time that reveals so much about the fascinating folks who made television so much fun in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

I can't recommend this book highly enough and I'm really looking forward to delving into another volume from the same publisher dedicated to Chicago local kid show hosts. What a world of wonder!

You can order this book by clicking here, it's a great deal at less than $15.25 if you order online now. A great gift idea for your friends who grew up in Chicago or who are big local horror show fans.

Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 10:10am
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TV STUFF
Dexter's Daniel took over as producer of Dirty Sexy Money but his first two episodes were so poorly received by the network that they were scrapped, he was fired and replaced by Jon Harmon Feldman (Big Shots, Dawson's Creek).

FOX's Terminator / Prison Break Monday night block is sinking slowly, this could be the last year for both shows.

Classic TV fave Tim Conway won the Creative Arts Emmy Award for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (30 Rock, NBC).

Stephen Colbert will host his own one-hour musical Christmas special this year. A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! will air Nov. 23 on Comedy Central with guests Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, John Legend, Willie Nelson, and Jon Stewart. The DVD will be released right after the special airs.

Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 7:59am
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THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 4:59am
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SOMETIMES YOU'RE YOUR OWN WORST CRITIC
Ed Golick writes: I've been a Smothers Brothers fan since their first CBS variety show, so I jumped at the chance a few years ago to see Tom and Dick in concert. Their performance was great, and they received a well deserved standing ovation.

After the show I decided to hang out at the stage door to shake their hands a maybe get an autograph. A few dozen other fans had the same idea. After a few minutes, the brothers walked out of the stage door and somebody yelled, "Look! It's Tom and Dick!" Tommy heard the fan and said, almost under his breath, "Yeah, big deal!"

The boys couldn't have been nicer, but it surprised me that Tommy seemed to have such a low opinion of himself. Sometimes you're your own worst critic. Any vintage Smothers Brothers on DVD is welcome, but I wonder if the shows would have been a bit longer if somebody else had edited the classic shows.

I totally agree. I interviewed Tommy for my book and he was very gracious and humble. I wish I could find that tape, darn it! He seemed to be gratified that I had such an interest in his career, especially his short stint producing The Smothers Brothers Show in 1975.

What am I doing up at this hour?!?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 4:02am
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