October 30, 2020

Around the dial

Tis the season for pumpkins and presidents, and at Comfort TV David talks about an episode that has both of them: 1968's "Secret Ballot" from That Girl, which portrays the excitement of casting one's first vote for president without having to broadcast a political message to the viewers. Radical.

Detouring into old-time radio for a moment, at A Shroud of Thougths, Terence offers a fine collection of classic Halloween-themed episodes, from Jack Benny and Fibber McGee to the Mercury Theatre's immortal presentation of "War of the Worlds." 

The Avengers has nothing to do with Halloween, or politicians, or anything else this week, other than fun. It's what John at Cult TV Blog calls the encapsulation of everything Avengers: "What the Butler Saw," from 1966. Sounds like just what we need right now.

At The Hits Just Keep on Comin', jb revisits some late-60s episodes from The Red Skelton Hour, courtesy of Amazon Prime (well, actually there isn't anything particularly courteous about it since we pay for the service, but I digress), and gives us a look behind the scenes at the famed comedian's style.

If you're looking for some podcast goodness, head on over to the Eventually Supertrain site, where Dan has some goodies for you: a Christmas (!) episode of Rockin' All Week With You with Christmas TV expert extraordinare Joanna Wilson, and the latest Eventually Supertrain

Finally, an email from Bill, one of our loyal readers, with a question about the March 20, 1960 episode of The Ed Sullivan Show, featuring acts from the International Circus show. Bill has an illustration by George Wachsteter promoting the issue; it has Ed and the two famous circus clowns, Emmett Kelly and Lindon. The illustration doesn't appear in the March 19, 1960 TV Guide, although Wachsteter's illustrations frequently appeared in the magazine. Wachsteter's work also appeared in the newspaper supplement Pictorial and TView magazine, but he hasn't found this illustration. Anyone heard of this magazine before? (I hadn't.) 

I'm grateful to Bill—for his readership, naturally, but also for writing and introducing me to more swell TV stuff. And does anyone (like Mike Doran) have any clues as to where the illustration might have appeared? TV  


  1. I did a scouring of newspapers and the drawing by George Wachsteter was of the International Circus episode of Ed Sullivan. However, this drawing was not used in ads during the first airing on March 20, 1960. This was actually used for the repeat airing of the show, which happened on August 13, 1961, per the Sacramento Bee TV listings. If I am able to capture it I will email the picture in question.

    1. Do I have the best readers in the world, or what? You're a hero, Sean!

  2. Wow, thanks for scouring the internet and finding this published example used to promote the re-run. I am very pleased. I do hope that this was also used for the cover of the PICTORIAL and TView magazine supplement during its first airing on March 20, 1960. I can't post photo examples here, but if you google "Wachsteter Pictorial TView" you can see many examples of his art used as full color covers. Thanks again for your help and for the newspaper image. I am most grateful.
    kind regards to all,
    Bill Leach


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!