October 13, 2017

Around the dial

I've never had anything in particular against Friday the 13th. I'm not superstitious, so in a way I suppose it's as good a day as any other. One thing's for sure - it's your lucky day if you're looking for the best in the classic TV blogs.

Jack continues the Hitchcock Project look at Francis and Marion Cockrell at bare-bones e-zine with the first season story "The Case of Mr. Pelham." (I almost added "123" afterwards out of habit.) It's an episode directed by Hitch himself, with the wonderful Tom Ewell in a typical Tom Ewell role.

At The Horn Section, Hal is back with his continuing look at the Jack Warden series Crazy Like a Fox, and this week it's the 1986 episode "Fox and the Wolf," with Gene Barry over the top as a preoccupied Hollywood type, and it sounds wonderful!

Next, The Twilight Zone Vortex reviews the Richard Matheson short-story collection The Best of Richard Matheson, and although there are some glaring omissions, it still looks to be the best one-volume introduction to the works of the writer who penned so many of the greatest TZ episodes.

The Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland recalls the anniversary of the 1975 debut of Saturday Night Live (or NBC's Saturday Night, as it was first known; Howard Cosell already had the Saturday Night Live tag as part of his show) with a look at the first TV Guide cover for the Not Ready for Prime Time Players.

Some Polish American Guy has a bevy of podcasts for your listening pleasure - I suggest you check them out. Never know when I might be on one of them!

Even after the Golden Age of Christmas variety specials had passed, Perry Como's themed specials were still around, and at Christmas TV History, Joanna watches the 1978 edition, Perry Como's Early American Christmas. Having been to Colonial Williamsburg myself, this is one that I'd really like to go back and watch.

Classic Television Showbiz is back after a break with a video look back at ABC Comedy News from 1973, featuring Fannie Flagg, Andrew Duncan, Kenneth Mars, Mort Sahl, Bob & Ray, Dick Gregory, Peter Schickele, and Joan Rivers. Quite a cast, but what do you think of the show? Of course, anything with Peter "PDQ Bach" Schickele is usually worth watching.

At The Lucky Strike Papers, Andrew notes the anniversary of the 1950 debut of Your Hit Parade, which later on featured Sue Bennett, Andrew's mother, as one of the singers. You may recall I reviewed his excellent book about those times here.

Television's New Frontier: The 1960s has now moved on to one of the most venerable television western, Death Valley Days; it was the second-longest TV western of all time, and its run covered pretty much the entire length of television western era. Always remembered the sponsor, 20 Mule Team Borax, and those covered wagon toy sets they sold.

And at Garroway at Large, Jodie shows us a copy of Fleur Cowles' book Bloody Precedent, the story of Juan Peron's regime in Argentina. Important, why? It was the first author interview ever on Dave Garroway's Today.

Assuming triskaidekaphobia doesn't get the best of you, see you back here tomorrow for a look at another TV Guide. TV  


  1. Thanks, Mitchell! Happy Friday the 13th!

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! A lot of great articles out there this week

  3. Thanks for the clip on the 1973 Comedy News. The name Andrew Duncan didn't register with me, but when I saw him, I said, "It's Jim Carr from Slap Shot!"

  4. The Jack Davis TV Guide cover with the SNL cast actually is from July 1978, during the summer break in between seasons 3 and 4 - Jane and Dan are wearing their "WU" Weekend Update buttons, which didn't debut until they co-anchored Update in season 3.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!