February 11, 2022

Around the dial

I've often written about sports announcers who were what I called "big-game announcers," and since there's apparently a big game this weekend, it's appropriate to start with Bryan Curtis's profile at The Ringer of one of the last big-game announcers around: Al Michaels. Not only is it an interesting look at Michaels, it's a very good reminder of just what it is that makes announcers like him worthy of the title.

Richard Long is a familiar face to any classic television viewer: Bourbon Street Beat, 77 Sunset Strip, The Big Valley, and Nanny and the Professor roll off the tongue, and he did guest appearances on just about every show of the 1960s, which makes Rick's "Seven Things to Know" feature about Long at Classic Film & TV Cafe particularly fun. 

"See the Monkey Dance"--a title like that tells me that this story isn't going to turn out well. It's the name of Lewis Davidson's first teleplay for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and it's Jack's first look at him in this Hitchcock Project entry at bare-bones e-zine.

At Cult TV Blog, John continues his look at "orphaned episodes" with "The Facts of Life," an episode of the 1960s series Our Man at St. Mark's. Like the American series of the same name, "The Facts of Life" is a comedy, but the similarities end there. John also has a couple of requests for those who might be able to help.

At A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence commemorates the truly impressive career of special effects genius Douglas Trumbull, who died this week, aged 79. Trumbull played a pivotal role in the design of 2001: A Space Odyssey, directed the movie Silent Running, worked on all kinds of films (including Close Encounters and Blade Runner), and animated the beloved opening graphics for ABC's Movie of the Week

Martin Grams has a very interesting story on the 1976 British anthology series Plays for Britain, which he refers to as "the British Playhouse 90." It's available on DVD now, and while not every episode is a home run, he feels it's well worth checking out. Have you heard of this, John?

From the email inbox, Brendan Somers poses this question: "After coming from England and hitch hiking from the East Coast I somehow got on Dick Martin's new game show Mindreaders on the 15th August 1979 and would love to have a copy of that show. Sadly nearly all that series shows were destroyed except about 4 of which one was mine. Whilst Youtube has a video of this show purporting to be a "full" episode there's no footage of the men (of whom I was one) being questioned etc, but only the women. I wonder if you can help me in any way to get the footage of me. Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In was a favourite show of mine and I'd love to get a record of my meeting with him and the show." Brendan, I think it's a longshot, but I'll throw this out for anyone to comment on. Thanks! TV  

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