January 29, 2021

Around the dial

This picture is an anachronism, but why? Is it because we see a family watching television together, or is it because people are watching baseball on television? Only AC Nielsen knows for sure. One thing I am sure about, though, is that there's plenty here worth reading.

We'll start with bare-bones e-zine and part three of Jack's look at the Hitchcock scripts of William Fay. This week, it's the fourth season comedy "Safety for the Witness," adapted from a story by John De Meyer, and starring Art Carney. Does the adaptation work? Read and find out.

Some class acts passed away this week. The great Cloris Leachman, who stared in movies and television and excelled in both, died at 94; The Last Drive-In has a pictoral look back at some of her best-known roles. 

Meanwhile, at A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence has a couple of typically thoughtful retrospectives: first, on Bruce Kirby (father of Bruno), age 95, who was a familiar face on television for decades, and who's probably best-remembered as Sergeant Kramer, a recurring character on Columbo. And then, for people of my generation, there's Mr. Allakazam himself, the magician Mark Wilson, who died at 91. I still can't figure out how to produce a quarter from behind a small child's ear, by the way.

At The Hits Just Keep On Comin', JB takes a moment to look back at other icons of the 1950s who've passed on this month, Jimmie Rodgers and Phil Spector, and what they meant to the times. I don't think we're on a death kick here, by the way; I look at it as a chance to fondly appreciate the careers of great artists.

On the radio side, Once Upon a Screen looks at the radio career of Alan Ladd, an actor whose movies I've always enjoyed. I'm a relative newcomer to his radio apparances, but it can't surprise you that he was talented here, too.

And over at Classic Film & TV Cafe, it's time for the "film" part of the title, as Rick looks at the five best inspirational sports movies, inspirational being the key word here. With that as the criteria, I have no arguments with his list, which brings out everything we love about sports. That's a list that ought to be able to take you to tomorrow's TV Guide. TV  


  1. Coincidentally, Mark Wilson is referred to in the terrific new movie "One Night In Miami," as someone who would be a better draw at the Copacabana than Sam Cooke. I hadn't thought of him in decades, and now I hear the sad news of his passing within the same week. R.I.P., Mr. Allakazam.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!