Sunday, November 30, 2008

Funniest TV Show Ever

Just finished watching the 12-episode box set. Still as funny as when it first aired. Never have I laughed out loud as much as when revisiting Basil, Sybil, Polly and Manuel.
A true classic.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band

You'd think I would have learned my lesson with THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE. Well, here's another late 1960s musical from the Disney studios (directed by TV western vet Michael O'Herlihy) featuring subpar Sherman Brothers songs and performances by Lesley Ann Warren and John Davidson. Once again, Warren and Davidson are young lovers. She's again the eldest daughter of a wacky family (they have a band-hence the title) and he's the handsome suitor that someone in the family doesn't approve of. Just like in MILLIONAIRE, her father is portrayed by another beloved TV star (Buddy Ebsen), and the mother character (Janet Blair) is sadly underdeveloped. Seems like awfully familiar territory. Like MILLIONAIRE, it's also based on a true story!The difference this time around is that Grandfather Bower (Walter Brennan) is the problem. You see, Civil War vet gramps is a staunch Democrat - he's even written a song honoring President Grover Cleveland for the 1888 Democratic Convention which he wants the "family band" (including a young Kurt Russell) to perform. Only young Republican Joe Carder (Davidson) shows up and one by one seduces the family (not literally) with the notion that they should pick up and move to Dakota. The family moves and the political division between the family members intensifies when the old coot starts preaching to anyone who'll listen about how evil Republicans are. Normally I would agree with him, but the character is so pathetic and annoying that you just kind feel sorry for him. Grandpa really gets his knickers twisted when the Dakotans decide to split their territory into two states, thereby doubling their amount of Republican senators!You might be asking - does this really subject really make for a fun, freewheeling family musical? My answer is a resounding NO. As I continued to watch, I wondered - just where the HELL is this One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band I was promised? I was expecting a silly, mindless comedy about a 19th century Partridge Family, but what I got was two long hours of an old man whining about political issues that seem relatively simple compared to what we have going on the states today. I guess it might have been interesting in 1968, but 40 years later it just seems un-entertaining. Once again, as with MILLIONAIRE, I wonder who the studio was aiming this film at - kids certainly could not care less about these political issues. There were no cute fluffy animals or magical British nannies to be seen - just a lot of yelling and pontificating about how politics should never be discussed in the home.It was fun seeing a young Goldie Hawn (at 1 hour and 32 minutes in) in a small role (though it would have been fun to see her interact with future lover Kurt) and other child stars like Pamelyn Ferdin (THE ODD COUPLE) and Jon Walmsley (THE WALTONS) as members of The Family Band, but overall this effort was a major disappointment - I guess I still haven't found what I'm looking for in terms of a Disney musical that even comes close to be being as wonderful as MARY POPPINS.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hard Candy Christmas

A lot of people will be cutting back on spendin' this holiday season. Why not give some hard candy?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Last Thursday in November

What ever you decide to eat-enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NBC 1974 Line-Up, Part 2

A few months back I posted some of my SLIDESHOW slides - which was a parody of the 1974 NBC primetime line-up. As a treat to ME, here's a few more just for shits & giggles...

Well, 1974 is a season that will have people turning their heads to NBC. Let's start with Monday night... which we like to call "Freedom Night". Kicking the night off is a family show that is sure to bring in BOTH animal lovers AND music lovers. Remember that sweet film from a few years ago about the family that lived in the wild with a pride of lions...well, the lions are back....joined by Swedish supergroup ABBA for...
BJORN FREE - Yes, Bjorn free as the wind blows. Join Frida, Agnetha, Benny and Bjorn as they learn to get along with each other and the wild animals of the African jungles. An adventure series with an emphasize on preserving wildlife & European pop songs, the show follows the couples as they move from Sweden to Kenya with their adopted lioness Ingrid. Think of it as THE MONKEES meets "the monkeys"!

Tuesdays start off with an old favorite, but this season, we've added a new twist...
Yes, ADAM 12 becomes ADAM 12 INCHES - Well, it's not what you are thinking ladies - This year Officer Pete Malloy gets struck by lightning and gains magical powers that enable him to shrink down to 12 inches tall - and then the action really begins! Speaking of action, there's none whatsoever in our next show...but PLENTY of belly laughs...Yes, introducing a fat, homosexual clown...AND her roommate Mombo, who works in a circus in MOVE OVER MOMBO. TV's newest odd couple is sure to make everyone guffaw til the cows come home. Our special guest stars will include some of the biggest names in showbiz.

Next up is last year's biggest hit,
UNDERCOVER NUN - Sister Patty packs heat for another sinful season of captivating Catholic crime conundrums! With her deadly rosary bead nunchuks & her baptismal brass knuckles, there's no match for this hot & holy cop with a crucifix. Research shows that even the Jews love this one.
On Thursdays we have DICK. DICK IN A WHEELCHAIR that is. Starring Raymond Burr as a handicapped detective...We hope viewers will find it as captivating as we do- that's why we've added a hypnotic element to make sure they watch it.

Garry Marshall, the man who transformed the play & film THE ODD COUPLE into a hit series has done it again - introducing...
You only thought the fire was out at the end of the film...but the drama and flames linger on in this weekly series featuring a cast on par with the theatrical original. An all-star cast week after week... catching on fire and running for their lives. Viewers will want to watch this one again and again. If there was only a way to videotape TV shows! But there isn't. And sadly, there never will be.

Fridays we have...
CUCHI & THE MAN - That's right Jack Albertson just loves Chicanos! The show is set in East Los Angeles and focuses on a brothel owned by a sweet cranky old bigot called "The Man", where Cuchi aspires to work. The two just can't along, so that's where the comedy begins! Join Jack and Charo this season with outstanding guests like Ruth Buzzi, the guy who played Dr. Smith from LOST IN SPACE, The New Zoo Revue and musical sensation Yoko Ono! This one has prostitutes AND minorities.

Also on Fridays we the unusual mystery series: THE AMISH GRANNY'S CRIME FILES...Each week Granny Sarah Stoltzfus jumps into her buggy and solves the most grisly murder mysteries you could imagine in Pennsylvania. It's like "Helter Skelter"... in a pretzel factory... without electricity... or running water..

You know Saturday night TV is very boring. CBS has four really dull sitcoms on...snooze city. That's why we've moved the award-winning 
DOCTOR'S MEMORIAL MEDICAL HOSPITAL CENTER to start things off for us at 8PM...
The show that won whole shitload of Emmys last season due to its super-realistic examination scenes. Speaking of realistic–poverty remains a great concern for Americans. That's why NBC thinks you'll want to gather all the young'uns around for GRANDPA BUCK'S HILLBILLY HOE-DOWN GOODTIME VARIETY HOUR.
Who needs those cornball hippies Sonny & Cher when you've got Grandpa Buck and his bucktooth clan???

Oh, at 10, we've got a news show. BOR-ING!! 
Isn't there anything for the cool kids on the block to watch? That brings us to Sunday - Starting at 7 with Disney's Psychedelic World of Dementia. This season we've got treats like "The Invisible Dentist Returns," "The Computer That Solved Everything for Us So All We Had to Do Was Order a Pizza," and the heartwarming "Raisins Don't Have Wings".You want sci-fi adventure? First NBC brought you STAR TREK (then we cancelled it)... now on Sundays we'd like you to meet... "The Man from A.N.U.S." a show that probes deeply into the Atlantic Nautical Underwater Seatown.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Latest Obsession: Mitzi Gaynor!

You can keep your yawn-inducing Britneys and Beyonces - give me a gal with REAL talent...

For more about the fabulous Mitzi Gaynor go here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jesus is a Friend of Mine LIVE

As a special Thanksgiving treat - the amazing Sal Polichetti of Sonseed, has gifted us at Dougsploitation with exclusive web premiere of JESUS IS A FRIEND OF MINE as performed live at the 1983 Sonseed Farewell Concert. Thanks Sal! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanks for Tooning In...

Everybody has seen A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING at least once. While not as popular as the other Peanuts holiday specials, it stands out as the most memorable animated Thanksgiving program ever created.
Since 1977, when the show premiered on CBS, we have all enjoyed the exploits of the Peanuts gang as they gather for the annual parent-free feast of popcorn, toast and candy. I've always loved pushy Peppermint Patty and her entourage and how they invade Chuck's holiday meal. Maybe it's because I've known a few people like Patty over the years - but she has always been my favorite Peanuts character. The one disturbing aspect of the show is that Woodstock, clearly a bird, carves and ingests a turkey - therefore becoming a cannibal before our eyes. Yikes!
Some other not-so-well-known specials include: THE THANKSGIVING THAT ALMOST WASN'T - not to be confused with THE CHRISTMAS THAT ALMOST WASN'T! This syndicated special first aired in 1972-and hasn't been seen since. It told the tale of Jeremy Squirrel who helped orchestrate the first Thanksgiving feast. Who knew? This special came from the guys over at Hanna-Barbera.
Another critter tale, THE MOUSE ON THE MAYFLOWER was first broadcast in 1968. It's a Rankin-Bass classic that was narrated by Bing Crosby. You can read all about it here.
Comic strip cavemen from Before Christ came to life in B.C. THE FIRST THANKSGIVING, which  premiered on NBC in 1972. THE FLINTSTONES it's not. You can watch it in three segments here on YouTube.
Another comic strip came to TV in 1989. GARFIELD'S THANKSGIVING was one of the sourpuss cat's many CBS specials. I've never been a fan.
In 1980, NBC aired a compilation of old Warner Bros. cartoons mixed with a new Duck Dodgers episode and called it DAFFY DUCK'S THANKS FOR GIVING.
This was after CBS debuted the similar BUGS BUNNY'S THANKSGIVING DIET a year earlier to big ratings.
In 1980's THANKSGIVING IN THE LAND OF OZ , Dorothy Gale is carried back to Oz by a green turkey balloon to spend the holiday with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, who are moving to a nursing home! Along the way she meets Jack Pumpkinhead, a and Tic Toc, and must battle the evil Tyrone the Terrible Toy Tinkerer. Oh boy! This CBS Special should not be confused with the live action atrocity called THE WONDERFUL LAND OF OZ.
Also, it should not to be confused with 1974's JOURNEY BACK TO OZ, which was a theatrical feature from our friends over at Filmation (that actually took ten years to make it to the big screen). Liza Minnelli takes over her late mom's role and she's joined by such talents as Ethel Merman, Paul Lynde, Milton Berle, Mickey Rooney, Danny Thomas and Margaret Hamilton! With special guest Bill Cosby as the Wiz! (A little Filmation cross-promotion there). It premiered on ABC in 1976.
So there you have it - my quick overview of  that rare bird, the Thanksgiving special.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Three's Company too!

Not a real dvd. Well, there is a THREE'S COMPANY porno, but this isn't it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Where the kisses are hers and hers and his...

hmm....what was really going on in this photo? My guess: Suzanne Somers is thinking "if those fuckers The Goddamn Ropers can get their own retarded spinoff, imagine how much money I can get to stay on this shitty show. After all, I'm the only reason people tune in to watch. They'd never dare replace me!"Oh no they didn't!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We've been waiting for you...

It just dawned on me that Jack, both the Ropers and Mr. Furley are all dead. Depressing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Come and knock on our door...

...cause we're wacky.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SONSEED Nominated for a Gummy Award


Monday, November 17, 2008

What's My Line?

Here's a little something from 2008.WHAT'S MY LINE is the greatest panel game show on TV ever. Sure the two other Goodson-Todman classics were TO TELL THE TRUTH - which had an awesome theme song (and the great Kitty Carlisle) and I'VE GOT A SECRET, which had the future Mrs. Pamela Vorhees (Betsy Palmer) on its panel- but WML?, which ran on CBS in primetime from 1950 through 1967 and in syndication from 1968 to 1975 is the granddaddy of all guessing games. THE MATCH GAME, which I love, is in a different category altogether.
Oddly I only discovered WML? only about 7 years ago when it was airing as part of the Game Show Network's vintage Sunday night line-up. I do kinda recall seeing the syndicated version when I was a kid, but it didn't really leave a great impression on me. Reruns of the B&W classics still air weeknights at 3AM on GSN and have been a fixture on my dvr for the most of the Bush years. I have now seen each episode at least three or times each - and I still cannot stop watching. It's "comfort TV" in a sea of loud, abrasive game shows that populate today's TV landscape.
The original version, for most of its run, aired LIVE weekly on Sunday nights from New York City with filmed playbacks airing a week later on the west coast. Hosted by honored ABC newsman John Charles Daly, the show was low on glitz, but big on smarts.
The game itself was simple - contestants came on and the four panel members tried to determine what they did for a living through a series of "yes" and "no" questions. The big prize of $50 was awarded to players who could stump the panel. A special feature, usually the third round of the evening, was a "mystery guest" who the panel would try to identify while blindfolded. These individuals were usually showbiz folks who had a movie or show to promote, but sometimes were politicians, athletes or newsmakers of the day. Fun!
The panelists changed little over the years. The main players were:
Broadway gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen - an uptight old-school conservative with a vicious determination to win the game. Miss Kilgallen was dubbed "the chinless wonder" by her nemesis Frank Sinatra and also co-hosted a radio chat show with her husband Dick Kollmar while carrying on a torrid affair with bisexual crooner Johnny Ray. Dorothy died suddenly of a drug overdose in 1965 while investigating the JFK assassination. Hmmm... An account of her life and death was published in 1979. A fictional account of her affair with Johnny Ray followed in 2002 and A film based on her story has recently been optioned. The lovely Arlene Francis was a Broadway and film actress and a daytime talk-show hostess. Her honest sweetness and delightful humor were a direct contrast to Dorothy's seemingly constant discomfort and stern, guarded personality. Arlene was also quite a fashionista, often dressed to the nines, while at sixes and sevens was Dorothy. Miss Francis was sheer class - but not a prude. Some of the show's sassiest double entendres came from her lips. Arlene appeared on the syndicated version into the 1970s. Miss Francis' memoirs were published in 1978, she passed away in 2001 at the age of 93."Is it bigger than a bread box?" came from the tirelessly witty and then uber-liberal Steve Allen, who was an early panelist, though he left to pursue other endeavors (like creating THE TONIGHT SHOW). His replacement was sourpuss comedian Fred Allen (no relation) who sat on the panel from 1953 until his death in 1956.
Steve returned on occasion after Fred's death, and rotating celebs filling this spot included the ever-spiffy Tony Randall, smart-guy Robert Q. Lewis and the likable Martin Gabel (Mr. Arlene Francis). Other memorable guest panelists include the brilliantly insane Groucho Marx, the entertaining Ernie Kovas and the exasperating Victor Borge. The final regular panelist was Bennett Cerf, who's day job was running the Random House publishing empire. Bennett was always making corny jokes, awkward remarks and odd non-sequitors. He was like having a charming, but embarrassing "grandpa" on the panel. He died in 1971. His collection of reminiscences, AT RANDOM, was collected in 1977.Part of the fun of WHAT'S MY LINE? is watching these people interact. It's as if there was a weekly cocktail party where five friends played a parlor game and the viewer was invited to watch. While the occupations of contestants are sometimes un-PC ("lady lawyer" ,"lady chiropractor", etc.) or downright offensive ("bullfighter") it's very interesting from a historical perspective to see what REAL men and women were like during the 1950s and 60s. Producer Gil Fates wrote a wonderful account of his 25 years with WML? in 1978.
Some recurring popular "mystery guests" include Jack Lemmon (8 appearances),
Jerry Lewis (7), Lucille Ball (6), Joan Crawford (5) and Bette Davis (5). Other memorable guests include Carol Channing, Judy Garland, Jacqueline Susann, Ethel Merman, Sal Mineo, Doris Day, Phyllis Diller, Barbara Streisand and The Supremes.
The syndicated version was hosted by Wally Bruner and then by Larry Blyden. Just as this edition was coming to a close, a 25th Anniversary Special aired on ABC in 1975. Unfortunately most individuals involved with the show have now passed on, with panelist Martin Gabel passing in 1986. Host John Charles Daly and panelist Robert Q. Lewis both died in 1991. Steve Allen died in 2000, after sadly having become quite conservative in his old age and the ever-classy Tony Randall died in 2004. (Before he died, Tony forbid Bush and Cheney to attend his funeral - gotta love that!)

A live stage version of WML? hosted by J. Keith Van Straaten ran in LA for a few years, and later in NYC. It was tons of fun, and I was in the audience almost every week. Some cool panelists and mystery guests were featured. I suspect that it will be back one day.
Rumors of a new primetime revival on NBC surfaced earlier this year, with David Hasselhoff attached to host. I think I'd prefer to play a home game like this one:or even this one:That's all for now, but there's so much more to the WHAT'S MY LINE story to tell...maybe some day.