February 16, 2018

Around the dial

First off, just a reminder that the Classic TV Blog Association's blogathon on TV villains starts Sunday and runs through Monday with, as usual, terrific articles on the characters you love to hate. You can read the lineup here; my own contribution, as you can see, runs on Monday, which means that the program listings will, for one week only, be bumped to Wednesday. And now for the rest of the news.

Sadly, another week - another obituary of a classic entertainment legend. This week it's Vic Damone, who died on Sunday at age 89. In addition to having his own summer replacement show, Damone was a frequent guest on all kinds of variety shows, as well as musical comedies such as The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood and The Stingiest Man in Town, to name just two. A Shroud of Thoughts has the look back. He also remembers John Gavin, the former actor and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, who died Friday at 86, who will be a familiar face to classic TV and movie fans. And lest we forget, Marty Allen, the "Hello dere" half of Allen and Rossi and the onetime "Darling of Daytime TV" died on Monday at the ripe old age of 95.

At Garroway at Large, our guest blogger Jodie returns to her usual haunts with an ad for Dave's Place, the unsuccessful 1975 radio comeback effort by Dave Garroway.

The Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland has a terrific-looking full-color copy of NBC's 1967 full-color schedule.

Cult TV Blog looks at the Doctor Who adventure "The Time Machine," starring the irrepressible Tom Baker. I remember, when last I saw this story some years ago, having an opinion not much different from that of John's, who said, "it is probably best avoided by people who may be overly critical of the quality of the TV they watch."

Eventually Supertrain is back, with episode 39! In this installment, Dan and the gang are back to look at The Green Hornet, Ellery Queen Mysteries, and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. Be sure to give a listen to one of my favorite podcasts, and I don't say that just because I'll be on a future episode or two...

Another returnee is Television's New Frontier: the 1960s, and the new show on the block is the 1961 animated Dick Tracy Show, featuring a host of well-known voices. I remember this show growing up; I thought those two-way wrist radios were the coolest thing! Little could we imagine what the iPhone would be capable of.

At bare-bones e-zine, Jack brings us to part 13 of the latest Hitchcock Project on Francis and Marian Cockrell - season three's "Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty." It's another episode with a great punchline; let Jack explain why!

And at The Twilight Zone Vortex, part 7 of Jordan's review of The Twilight Zone Magazine includes pieces by Theodore Sturgeon, Gahan Wilson and George Clayton Johnson, among others.

Pretty good week, if you ask me. We'll have to do our best to keep up with it. Tomorrow we'll look at an unusual TV Guide - and remember, the Classic TV Villains piece is on Monday, so TV listings are moved to Wednesday for this week only.  TV  


  1. Thanks, Mitchell. I'm looking forward to the Blogathon.

  2. I have to tell you about the Dick Tracy cartoon show.

    The stations that bought the cartoons used them as elements for a locally produced daily half-hour - at least that's what we had in Chicago.
    WGN - Channel 9 - bought the cartoons, and created a daily half-hour, using a host that they'd just hired away from Channel 2: Ray Rayner.
    The Tracy show was set in the Crimestopper Cruiser, manned by Sgt. Henry Pettibone (Rayner) and a dog puppet named Tracer (after a viewer contest).
    Between the cartoons, Sgt. Pettibone and Tracer were involved in continuing storylines pitting them against bizarre villains, all the while taking phone calls from various characters.
    All of these characters - on the phone, at the door, and Tracer - were voiced by a very talented guy named Ron McAdam.
    The stories featured villains like Reggie Marplot (who sounded like Robert Newton as Long John Silver) and Dexter Ashley Montague (who sounded like middle-period Roddy McDowall).
    Calling in on the phone would be Sandy VanElmy, who would do a newscast to Sgt. Pettibone, with occasional inserts from correspondent Wells Droppin (if you remember NBC's reporters from the '60s, the names may ring a bell, sort of).
    stories would run a week or two, sometimes more - and what I remember was that they were a helluva lot funnier than the cartoons ever were.
    I always suspected that Rayner and McAdam may have done their share of improvising here (don't know for sure).
    I bring it up here for the record; I don't know how your local station may have handled these cartoons, but I can only hope that you had guys as talented as Ray Rayner and Ron McAdam for backup.

    1. Great job describing it!!! Wish tere were kinescopes of it to see what it's look like!!!


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