August 24, 2018

Around the dial

Let's start this week with another edition of "The Hitchcock Project" at bare-bones e-zine. This week Jack's back with a follow-up on Emily Neff, the author of the short story "Partner in Crime," about which Jack wrote a couple of years ago. One of the many things I like about Jack's project is that he goes so far beyond what most episode guides provide - you not only find out about the episode, you learn about the original source material, differences in how the story is adapted, other versions that may exist, and - as in this case - background on the authors.

Of course we need to know seven things about Tina Louise - that should go without saying. And that's just what Rick gives us this week at Classic Film and TV Café. Did you know that prior to movies and television (and Gilligan's Island), Tina was a successful Broadway actress? Or that in 1957 she released an album called It's Time for Tina? Go to Rick's place (I've always wanted to say that) to find out the rest.

At Garroway at Large, Jodie looks back to the first time Dave appeared in a full-length article in TV Guide - it was the July 10, 1953 issue (the 15th issue in the magazine's national history!), and he appears on the cover with the ubiquitous J. Fred Muggs. As Jodie says, it's a nice reminder of just how big a star Dave Garroway was at the time, and for many years thereafter.

One of the things I always have to be careful about as a blogger is the constant temptation to give someone a piece of my mind. In the first place, I don't have that many pieces left, and second, the web is dominated with people who seem to dedicate their lives to shooting their mouths off, often in the most vulgar way. However, there are times when I'm tempted to make an exception - but at Comfort TV, David spares me the trouble by taking on "The Worst Entertainment Critic on the Planet," someone who understands nothing about classic TV. I have only one thing to add: what a bollock.

As if to belie what this twit wrote, at Criminal Element, Julia Keller writes about the detectives that were "Too Cool for TV" - five detectives from the classic era of television. Take that!

Here's a very cool story - DC Video's restoration of the oldest color videotape of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. It's from August 24, 1964 - you can see a few minutes of the footage at the website. Those were the days - unless, of course, you're the worst entertainment critic on the planet, in which case television might as well not even have existed! TV  


  1. I gotta mention that six-minute Carson clip:

    Because I was around in '64, I knew what he was referring to, in re the '64 AL pennant race.
    All most people nowadays would know is that the Yankees won that year, but the whole story (as written up in detail later on) is way more complicated.
    In August, the sale of the Yankees to CBS had just been announced, coinciding with a really bad losing streak that everybody in NY was blaming on the rotten job that Yogi Berra was doing as manager.
    The incident with Phil Linz and the harmonica that Johnny's talking about was front-page on all of NYC's daily papers (I think they still had six dailies back then), and the sports writers were all giving up on the Yankees and blaming Berra, etc.
    Bill Veeck wrote all this up in his second book, The Hustler's Handbook (years afterward, Jim Bouton confirmed much of this in Ball Four and its follow-ups); seldom have so many proved to have been so wrong at the time.
    But on taping day, nobody knew any of this; that's the fascinating part of this clip.
    That, and the runup to the Democratic Convention, which in '64 was basically a formality; LBJ was all but reelected anyway, helped by the GOP picking Barry Goldwater a couple of weeks before (That Was Then - now is another story …)

    In a way this ties in with the recent fixation hereabouts on how the Current Generations seem to know little about context - apparently by choice.
    I've been holding back about that, because it works both ways; hardliners of all stripes tend to edit context according to their own agendas (and it's been that way all my life - and long before).
    But that's another argument for another time, I guess …

  2. Thanks for posting the link to the Carson clip. The link has the wrong date on the Carson video, as it's even 3 days older than the link states. Carson states a couple times "It's Friday", and August 24, 1964 fell on a Monday. August 24 was also the date when the Democratic Convention opened in Atlantic City, so this show was taped the Friday prior, August 21, 1964.


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