October 2, 2020

Around the dial

Take it from me: there are few things in life quite as satisfying as pulling off the perfect punch line. (In my case, I've probably had more lines that made people want to punch me.) We'll kick things off this week at Comfort TV, where David treats us to ten perfect classic TV punch lines. You may find several of these useful from time to time, so be sure and write them down.

The Broadcast Archives at the University of Maryland links to this interesting article that, I think, reinforces the old saying about being careful what you wish for. A lot of people thought that presidential debate the other night was awful—even boring. The quiz shows of the 1950s could be boring, too, until someone got a great idea: let's rig the shows! That worked out well, didn't it?

When I was a kid, we had one of those old Kermit Schafer blooper books; I don't remember which one, because he wrote several of them. There were also several LP collections of bloopers, which was even better because then you could actually hear them (or at least a recreation). At The Horn Section. Hal takes some time to review volumes 5 and 6, including which of the cuts are the real thing.

My wife went to the store yesterday, and as she was on her way out the door I asked her to get me a can of chili for the weekend. Had I known that at Garroway at Large, Jodie would be reprinting Pamela Garroway's chili recipe, a favorite of Dave's, I would have asked her to pick up the extra ingredients as well. Looks mighty good.

The latest subject of Television's New Frontier: the 1960s is the single-season western Frontier Circus, which wasted some big name guest stars on plots that were "downright awful" according to the article. I wonder if some of these faults are actually real, as opposed to simply viewing them through the distorted filter of modern woke sensibilities? Not having seen an episode, I'm just idly wondering.

We're commemorating the anniversaries of a number of iconic series this year (The Flintstones celebrated its 60th this week), and at A Shroud of Thoughts Terence takes a time out to remember The Partridge Family on the occasion of it's 50th. My wife and I got to meet Shirley Jones a few years ago at the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention; still classy after all these years.

I proudly admit an affection for the original version of Planet of the Apes, particularly Charlton Heston's iconic over-the-top performance. Rod Serling is credited with the screenplay for Apes (along with Michael Wilson), but the finished product differs in many ways from Serling's drafts. Shadow & Substance tells us that a graphic novel version of Serling's screenplay is now available, letting us see what might have been. TV  


  1. Thanks for the shoutout, Mitchell!

  2. I remember Kermit Schafer's appearing on every episode of "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" dedicated to his memory.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!