December 14, 2018

Around the dial

It's the last edition of "Around the Dial" before Christmas, so let's see what kind of shiny things might be under our classic TV Christmas tree!

It's Volume 1, Number 11 of The Twilight Zone Magazine on tap this week at Twilight Zone Vortex, and among the features, Gahan Wilson reviews John Waters' Polyester, Tom Seligson interviews Wes Craven, and it's Part Eleven of Marc Scott Zicree's essential TZ episode guide.

In a related development, David has another installment of "The Unshakeables" at Comfort TV: this one is Rod Serling's seminal 1955 teleplay Patterns, as presented on Kraft Television Theatre. So large was the impact of this live broadcast that it was restaged again a month later—remember, this was the era of live TV.

Speaking of sci-fi: proof that truth can be, if not stranger, at least more fantastic than fiction, is shown at The Federalist, where Howard Chang and Jordan Lorence look back at the Christmas Eve, 1968, broadcast of Apollo 8, and how it was a "Christmas miracle for a weary world."

At Bob Crane: Life & Legacy, Carol recalls the wonderfully surrealistic Hollywood Palace Christmas show of 1965 in which the entire cast of Hogan's Heroes, in character, appear as guests with their "boss," host Bing Crosby, whose production company was responsible for Hogan. Yours truly is quoted in a very nice article.

Martin Grams reviews Side by Side: Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis on TV and Radio, a new book by Michael Hayde, that takes a look at a part of the duo's legacy that isn't often discussed: their work on radio. I have Hayde's very good book on Dragnet; this one should be equally interesting.

At Television Obscurities, Robert answers a reader's question about the 1973-74 program The Burt Reynolds Late Show, which aired in place of the Saturday Tonight Show reruns in the days before Saturday Night Live took over the timeslot. Talk about obscure; I have no memory of this, although seeing as how this was during my exile in The World's Worst Town™, we would have gotten a local movie in that timeslot instead. But I'm in a good mood now, so don't get me started with those memories!

Finally, a blog note: we're now on Twitter, so be sure and follow us here; as I continue to build up the feed, look for exclusives you won't see here, as well as links to more classic TV goodies.  TV  


  1. Replies
    1. Personal to Carol Ford:

      Just read your comment about that Hollywood Palace appearance by the Hogan's ensemble.

      The origin of Bing Crosby's nickname "Der Bingle" goes back to the WWII years, to a period when Armed Forces Radio and the BBC began sending Allied entertainment radio shows and music across Axis lines; part of eventually winning the peace, as it were.
      Bing Crosby's radio shows and records were a major part of this endeavor; an American correspondent named Robert Musel (yes, Mitchell, that Robert Musel) wrote that (quote approximate) "Our most potent weapon against German arms just might be 'der Bingle' and his music."
      This would be 20+ years before John Banner's Palace script included the nickname; in wartime, "der Bingle" caught on majorly with Allied troops here and abroad.
      My source here is Gary Giddins's newly published Crosby biography, the second volume of an epic three-volume work.

      Just so you know …



Thanks for writing! Drive safely!