November 30, 2018

Around the dial

Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, one of the most delightfully bizarre, surrealistic, laugh-out-loud cartoons ever to make it to television, died earlier this week from ALS. He was only 57. Among the many tributes paid to him was this article from The Ringer, in which the staff discuss some of the show's greatest moments. For me, it would undoubtedly be the one in which SpongeBob and Patrick wind up crew members for the Flying Dutchman. "You're good, you're good, keep moving, you're good."

Speaking of favorite episodes, at Classic Film and TV Café Rick has his own list: the five best Monty Python skits. Classics, each and every one, but I'd have to include "Deja Vu" and "The Spanish Inquisition" as part of my own list, not to mention "Philosopher Football." (Which I've mentioned before, so I guess it is to mention.)

The richness of Dave Garroway's time at Today extends to the people who surrounded him during those years (or, considering Garroway's influence over the show, it would probably be more accurate to call them the people with whom Garroway surrounded himself). As Jodie points out at Garroway at Large, that includes the fascinating Beryl Pfizer, who had quite a time during and after her stint on Today. It's yet another glimpse into the complexities of Garroway.

Things wrapped up early at the Blog last week, it being Thanksgiving and all, which meant I missed Jack's latest "Hitchcock Project" installment at bare-bones e-zine. I intend to rectify that now, by looking at "The Jokester," the grimly satisfying fourth season episode brilliantly adapted by Bernard C. Schoenfeld. As usual, it has an ending that's pure Hitchcock.

OK, so The Third Man is treading into movie territory (unless you're talking about the television version with Michael Rennie), but I figure I first saw it on TV, so I'm going to count it anyway, since The Last Drive-In writes about it this week. It features one of the great all-time movie quotes, spoken (and perhaps written) so memorably by Orson Welles: "Like the fella says, in Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love—they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." 

At Cult TV Blog, John takes a first look at one of the legendary shows in British television: the police drama Target. John calls it "a visual delight" of images of the '70s; I hope he writes more about it; I'm looking forward to reading about it.

The recent death of Stan Lee prompts David at Comfort TV to reminisce about classic television's checkered treatment of the Marvel universe. Let's just say that this is one situation where, compared to the spectacular superhero movies of today, older isn't necessarily better.

Finally, the Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland links to this article at Advertising Week on the history of the NBC peacock. TV  

1 comment:

Thanks for writing! Drive safely!