November 26, 2016

This week in TV Guide: November 25, 1967

Right off the bat we have to acknowledge the most distressing headline stretched across the top of this week's issue, and ask one of today's vital questions: are male models really the most unhappy fellows in TV? And if so, why? Cindy Adams goes behind the scenes with some of television's more familiar faces: the nameless, "ruggedly handsome" men who frequent TV commercials. And believe you me, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

One of the more successful, Barry Bartle, describes some of the hardships he regularly faces. "Women who earn a living by means of their looks look contemptuously on men who are in the same category," he complains. "They treat us like dirt." He cites one female model with whom he was trying to develop some kind of rapport while doing a commercial. "I tried a little conversation," Bartle says. "Well, she turned to me with an icy stare and snapped, 'I don't speak to male models!' "

Lest we think that Barry and his cohorts are being a little paranoid, one female model, a "25-year-old blonde who specializes in perfume ads," tells Adams that "It's obvious why we look down on them. The profession attracts homosexuals who love wearing pancake and who race you to the mirror to primp. The other kind feel obliged to prove their manliness, so they breath too hard on your hair and mess it all up and you come off the set looking like you've been in a wind tunnel." She reminds Adams that "Male models are hired purely to make us look good." Another model adds, "We female models anticipate that these guys will be conceited and many are. They're egotistical and terribly aware they're good-looking. Also it strikes you that their work is a little unmanly."

Bartle, a "happily married husband and father born in Australia, educated at Harvard and now up to his green eyeballs in acting lessons," says the trend on Madison Avenue is away from male models towards actors,much as companies today require college degrees for even menial work. "If they could find a way of peddling their products without ever using us, they would."

Adams finds that when you cut through it all, male models aren't that different from others who make their living in entertainment. Jobs are scarce. Preferred looks come and go. Age and weight are both enemies of those who depend on their appearance for their income. Location work is often grueling, with extremes in temperature. People fuss and work over you while you stand there, "like a dummy."Says Bartle, "We're treated like cattle...This business tears every vestige of self respect from you. I hate it."

So why do they do it? For the reason you might think, the reason why many might scoff at the headline on the cover. Money. The best make $60 an hour, and if your face is in style this year you can earn as much as $50,000 a year. One science teacher-turned model explained to his disapproving mother that he earned more for one Clairol commercial than he did from his annual salary as a teacher ($9,000). Many might think that makes it all worth it, that they don't have it so bad after all. I suppose it all depends on how you look at life.

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During the 60s, the Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace were the premiere variety shows on television. Whenever they appear in TV Guide together, we'll match them up and see who has the best lineup..

Sullivan: The Beatles (on film) in London; singers Jane Morgan, Connie Francis and the Doodletown Pipers; jazz trumpeter Al Hirt and his band; comics Wayne and Shuster, and John Byner; and Rogana, novelty act.

Palace: Host Milton Berle welcomes Nanette Fabray, the comedy team of Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber, singer-pianist Buddy Greco and the singing King Family. Joining the gang are the Los Angeles Rams' Fearsome Foursome (Roger Brown, Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy and Merlin Olsen) and their sidelined teammate Roosevelt Grier. The gridders sing a football song written by Grier.

Let's see - on one show we have the Fab Four, on the other the Fearsome Foursome, who may have been terrific football players, but singers?

The simple truth is that with this week's Palace lineup, you're not going to best The freaking Beatles. The winner, Sullivan, by a touchdown and extra point.

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No review by Cleveland Amory this week, but that doesn't mean we're without his wit and wisdom. In the last of his five-part series on "Who Killed Hollywood Society," Amory focuses on "The New Order," and how they've taken over the scene. Gone are the lavish parties of days past, the time when traditional Hollywood Society ruled. It's been replaced by a younger generation, one that dismisses "stuffy dinner parties" in favor of a more informal, looser order.

Jack Hanson, owner of The Daisy, one of the biggest membership clubs around, tells Amory how his place serves this new clientele. Speaking of his membership he says that there are "only things that count here: (1) are they attractive and (2) are they fun? If they're a celebrity, they've still got to be both. Most celebrities, you know,, are a pain in the neck." If those two qualities exist, the "the biggest director of all will sit beside a nobody, and if they're attractive and interesting, he won't give a damn." He points to actors John Ireland and George Hamilton embracing. "They didn't even know each other before they started coming here. They know they're OK, you know, if they are here. I've learned who the good guys are and who the asses are." As proof, he talks of people who've tried to bribe or B.S. their way into membership. "But I won't let just any jerk in - our members would feel like suckers." He modestly refers to The Daisy as "the most famous club in the world."

But not for long, Amory notes. Already there's another club, the "new" place in town. It's called The Factory, and its owned by nine directors - Paul Newman, Sammy Davis Jr., Anthony Newley, Pierre Salinger, Peter Lawford, Jerry Orbach, Peter Bren, Ronnie Buck and Dick Donner, "all of whom, ironically, were either close personal friends or best customers of Jack Hanson." It's The Daisy, just on steroids - four pool tables instead of one, live music instead of recorded, dinners instead of just desserts. It shows how fleeting fame can be in Hollywood, in the celebrity industry. Amory seems to miss the old days, when glamour ruled, when there was a certain elegance that seems to be missing from today's scene. from The Daisy and The Factory and the rest. As a piece of very self-conscious graffiti says, "Aren't We All Too Much." That Amory ends his piece with this phrase tells you all you need to know.

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There's also a brief profile of Ron Harper, star of ABC's Garrison's Gorillas (the network's version of The Dirty Dozen) and this week's cover feature. Harper is a three-time loser in series television, starting with the very good police series 87th Precinct, in which he was upstaged by Robert Lansing, then as the husband of Connie Stevens, both of whom were upstaged by George Burns in Wendy and Me, and finally as the son of Jean Arthur in The Jean Arthur Show - a role in which, Dwight Whitney writes, Harper was reduced to saying, "Yes Mother" a lot.

Harper is, as actors go, pretty much a "what you see is what you get" type; frank about his ambitions to make it big but not given to talking a lot about himself; a man who planned to become a lawyer but was bitten by the acting bug (his political science thesis in college was on "The Efficacy of Art as an Instrument of Propaganda"); one who has always been big with the ladies, including his former girlfriend Marlo Thomas and his current "girl-of-the-hour" Jo Ann Pflug; and very confident that Garrison's Gorillas will be the vehicle that will finally give him the stardom he craves. "It's where it's at for me," he says of the World War II series. Unfortunately, it isn't where the viewers are at, lasting for only 26 episodes before being replaced by The Mod Squad. Harper goes on to more series work, in Planet of the Apes, Land of the Lost, and the NBC soaper Generations. He never becomes the star he'd hoped to be, but he's also a man always seemed able to find work.

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I wouldn't call this an extraordinary week on television, not like it is sometimes when networks pull out their blockbuster "What a Week!" schedules right around the beginning of the holiday season. Maybe it's because Thanksgiving was early in 1967, allowing for an entire week between Turkey Day and the start of December. (Not such a problem nowadays.) That doesn't mean there aren't some interesting programs for us to take note of, though.

Saturday is rivalry day in college football, and ABC's doubleheader kicks off with the traditional Big 10 showdown between Ohio State and Michigan. It's a rare year when neither team is involved in the race for the Rose Bowl (that honor goes to Cinderella Indiana, winner of a three-way tie with Minnesota and Purdue), but it's a game that always carries bragging rights - which, this year, go to Ohio State 24-14. That's followed by a southern clash between Georgia and Georgia Tech in Atlanta, which Georgia wins 21-14, even though neither team is having a standout season.

ABC's long-running news and public affairs program ABC Scope switched its focus earlier in the '60s to concentrate exclusively on the Vietnam War, and this Sunday the show presents it's 100th Vietnam report, taking a look at the villagers in the Viet Cong-controlled area of Hoa Binh Province, a farming village halfway between Saigon and Danung, and increasingly caught in the crossfire between the government and the Communist rebels. Their prospects, everyone agrees, are bleak. Today, it's considered a tourist destination,

Also on Sunday, NET looks at the Democratic Party's outlook for 1968, including George Wallace's plans to run for president on a third-party ticket. At this point nobody imagines that Lyndon Johnson will withdraw from the presidential race; there's no discussion of any alternative. Later on (8:00 p.m. CT), ABC presents a remake of The Diary of Anne Frank starring Max von Sydow and Lilli Palmer, with Diana Davila in the role of Anne.

On Monday, Ingrid Bergman* narrates an ABC documentary, "Can You Hear Me?", which follows the story of Mary Beth Bull, a deaf 2½-year-old, as doctors try to determine the extent of her deafness, and search for methods of treatment. In one scene, Mary Beth is fitted with a hearing aid, while Mrs. Spencer Tracy, whose son was deaf, discusses training for the deaf. I wonder how that little girl made out - were the doctors able to help her? Did she eventually get her hearing back?

*More on her below.

There's a celebrity softball game on NBC Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., taped at Dodger Stadium. In what must surely be one of the high points of his long and distinguished career, Vin Scully joins forces with Jerry Lewis to call the game, which pits a celebrity team managed by Leo Durocher and including Don Adams, Bobby Darin, James Garner, Hugh O'Brian and Dale Robertson against a major league side with Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Harmon Killebrew, Tim McCarver and Don Drysdale, managed by Milton Berle. Right after that, the network's Tuesday Night at the Movies gives us "McHale's Navy" in "their first full-length motion picture," which Judith Crist calls "another instance of television serving itself."

Wednesday might as well be Bob Hope Day on NBC, with the network recognizing the 30th anniversary of Hope's relationship with NBC. First, Today devotes its entire two hours to "The Eternal Hope," a filmed biography of Hope's life. That evening, Hope hosts one of his patented variety specials, taped at UCLA, with David Janssen, Elke Sommer, Jack Jones, the Kids Next Door, UCLA's own basketball star Lew Alcindor (today's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and the AP football All America team.

On Thursday NET presents two interviews sure to capture some attention. The first is with former vice president Richard Nixon, who discusses both his and the Republican party's prospects for 1968; Nixon is one of several unannounced candidates, and he's expected to make known his plans just after the new year. He also talks about the "nuts and bolts" of party politics, from grassroots involvement to the role of television to the importance of primaries and the workings of the electoral college. Like him or not, Nixon was always one of the most knowledgeable when it came to politics, which makes his own misjudgment with Watergate all the more inexplicable. I would have loved to hear his analysis of the Trump campaign, which I suspect might have been more accurate than that of many pundits out there.

Later on, NET has an hour-long interview with Ingrid Bergman, still one of the most beautiful actresses in the business. She sits down with Los Angeles Times drama critic Cecil Smith to discuss her professional return to America after an absence of 21 years to act in Eugene O'Neill's play "More Stately Mansions." During the hour the candid Bergman (Jean Renoir once called her "so honest that she will always prefer a scandal to a lie.") also talks about other theater roles she's played, those she'd like to take on, and how it will feel returning to Broadway.

On Friday, dueling documentaries. First, WTCN, the independent station, presents "Freedom's Finest Hour," an award-winning documentary narrated by Ronald Reagan and Robert Taylor. Jimmie Rodgers sings period songs. This pretty much falls under the Reagan category today, and while I couldn't find the video, the audio is available for anyone who'd like to check it out. That's at 7:00 p.m.; at 9:00 p.m. NBC presents a news special, "Same Mud, Same Blood," with Frank McGee reporting on the experience of the Negro soldier in Vietnam. "Is the Negro accepted in the ranks - and does he make a good soldier? Does he command the respect of his men?" This is kind of a two-for-one for the network, hitting two of the hottest buttons that 1967 has to offer: race relations and the war. TV  


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  2. Even after the Beatles stopped doing concerts, they still did occasional Ed Sullivan appearances.

    Supposedly, John Lennon and Ed Sullivan became close friends; I once heard that Lennon did the eulogy at Sullivan's funeral.

  3. I'll just do a day-to-day thing here:


    - The Diary Of Anne Frank tape remake caught my eye for an odd reason:
    The supporting cast includes a German actor named Paul Andor, whose story is kind of strange.
    Andor's career began in Germany, under his birth name, Wolfgang Zilzer.
    When he decided to emigrate to the USA in the Thirties, Zilzer discovered that although his parents were German nationals, he was in fact born in Cincinnati, Ohio - and was therefore a natural-born American citizen.
    Not looking a gift horse in the mouth, Andor proceeded to Hollywood, where many years of playing menacing Nazis awaited him.
    Zilzer adopted 'Paul Andor' as a stage name after several false starts (in a couple of his early American films, he was 'John Voight').
    His best known stint was as Joseph Goebbels (whom he resembled closely) in a movie that came to be called Enemy Of Women, thanks to being picked up for release by Monogram.
    Post-war, Paul Andor went back and forth between the USA (where he acted as Andor) and Germany (where he performed as Wolfgang Zilzer). He ultimately retired in Germany, where he passed away in 1991.
    (I got most of this from IMDb, where he's listed as Wolfgang Zilzer.)

    - Monday:

    - The NET Nixon interview is airing on ch11 at 8 pm, with two repeats scheduled for later in the week.


    - On The Invaders, one of the space guys is caught burglarizing an Iron Curtain embassy; David Vincent tries to get the Reds to turn him over before the space guys try for a reprisal.
    Of interest because the Red ambassador is played by Fritz Weaver, who just passed on over the weekend, aged 90.
    (I'll be looking at the DVD later tonight, I think ...)

    - Meanwhile, ch11 is airing the Ingrid Bergman interview tonight at 9 pm.


    Run For Your Life is showing Part 2 of "Cry Hard, Cry Fast", based on a paperback thriller by John D. MacDonald - and Ben Gazzara publicizes it as such.
    This wasn't all that long after the Bus Stop/Fabian flap, so NBC, Roy Huggins (who'd been involved with Bus Stop way back when), and Ben Gazzara (a fan of JDM) were taking a chance here.


    -Dragnet '68 has one of its best shows tonight: an lovely explication of a "pyramid" sales scam. Virginia Gregg (Jack Webb's house harpy for years) is the quasi-evangelistic scammer.

    - After that, Dean Martin's show presents a tab version of Don Rickles's nightclub act, with a couple of dozen stars in attendance to get insulted.
    Generally considered to be Rickles's TV breakthrough.

    I'll put the Friday stuff at the next post, where I suppose it really belongs.

    1. Why are my comments double-posting?
      Explanation would be helpful.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The Fearsome Foursome's appearance on the Hollywood Palace is no match to their performance in Shindig a couple of years earlier, because I seen it on the NFL Network's A Football Life episode of them, and Deacon Jones and Rosie Gerier tickled at it!!!

    1. It was on the NFL 75th Anniversary special back in 1994. Deacon ragged on Merlin Olsen's dancing.

  6. While Frank McGee rightly got much acclaim for his documentary special "Same Mud, Same Blood", he's best remembered by people of a certain age not for that program, nor for his hosting "Today" in the early 1970's, nor even for moderating one of the Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960, but as anchorman for NBC's live coverage of early American space flights.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!