March 10, 2017

Around the dial

It's been a couple of weeks since I've been able to do this, so there should be plenty of good stuff to go over, right?

Terry Teachout takes an affectionate look at the TV commercials of his childhood. It's interesting, considering that when we were young we were as eager to skip through the commercials as we are today (but lacked the ability to do so, there being no such thing as fast-forwarding), but of course these are the same commercials we enjoy nowadays on YouTube. And he's right; in retrospect, they were often better than the shows they interrupted.

Cult TV Blog takes an equally affectionate look back at one of the great Simpsons episodes of all time: their version of The Prisoner, complete with an appearance by Patrick McGoohan.

I've often turned to bare-bones e-zine for its wonderful Alfred Hitchcock summaries, so it's no surprise that Peter has come up with a Hitchcock-themed winner: an interview with mystery author Kevin Egan, whose latest, A Shattered Circle, began life as a short story in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

David at Comfort TV takes a fond look back at the '70s-'80s staple Battle of the Network Stars, and explains why it won't work today. Of course, whenever I think of these, this is what comes to my mind:

Some  nice memories of days gone by in Child of Television's look at this week in television history, including Dick Cavett's appearance in Alias Smith and Jones.

I was always intrigued by the name of television writer William F. Nolan, since there was a famous doctor named William Nolan,*who also wrote books and appeared with Johnny Carson. I knew they weren't the same person, but still - Anyway, this week The Twilight Zone Vortex has a birthday tribute to Nolan the TV writer, who penned many a memorable episode of The Twilight Zone.

*AKA "The Great White Father," according to my mother, who actually had him look in on her once when she was at U of M Hospitals.

Carol at Vote for Bob Crane has a very neat demo reel featuring Bob with Mel Blanc in a project that Blanc had created called "Superfun." Enjoy!

The Last Drive-In takes a closer look at the two movies leading up to the classic Night Stalker series with Darren McGavin: The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler.

I think that should hold you until tomorrow, don't you? TV  


  1. The Dick Cavett clip:

    That was obviously made on a Cavett Show trip to California, at about the same time that Dick filmed the Smith & Jones scene.

    When the completed episode ran, it was only days after Peter Duel's suicide.
    It fell to Cavett to plug the appearance on his show, which he did, most uncomfortably, he seemed at pains to mention that the main reason he did the part was to be in a Western with Walter Brennan.
    This seemed to be Dick Cavett's fate with crossovers: around the same time, he also did a cameo as himself in The Most Deadly Game, the snakebitten detective series. His show was the series's final episode - and he had to plug that on his own show as well.
    Some guys have all the luck ...


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