Monday, August 14, 2017

We Interrupt This Blog with a Bulletin. From 1982.

Whoop-de-doo and fina-fuckin-ly! I've at last digitized and uploaded a cassette I have of the infamous live Bob and Doug McKenzie appearance mentioned in Dave Thomas' SCTV book.

Head on over to the Don't Parade in my Rain Facebook page for a bit more description, or just hit the audio-only video (?) right here at my YouTube channel.
Found this pic of WLIR staffers (including betoqued and mustachioed John DiBella) with the hoseheads at My Father's Place in the Village of Old Roslyn, where the show went down.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Newsday TV Books, July 1973.

It's July now in Newsday TV Book reminiscing-land, and as we hit the half-way point of 1973, still-relevant Bob Hope adorned the cover of that first week with a truly peculiar Gary Viskupic color drawing.
The story is a two-pager, mostly about Hope's political leanings and such. I was never much of a Hope aficionado (and even as I read the article I found myself hearing his quotes in the voice of Dave Thomas' impersonation on SCTV). I must admit I do recall a conversation I had with Maria from across the street when we were kids. We had heard that Paul Lynde was honored with some sort of "Comedian of the Year" award, and we both felt that it should have gone to Hope. I remember us reasoning that Lynde always laughed at his own jokes, which we found off-putting. We mulled over that observation and simultaneously realized that the same could be said of Hope, so we further reasoned that Hope wasn't laughing at his own material so much as just smiling with appreciation at the love he receives from his audiences. What a full-of-shit couple of seven-year-olds.
TV Line talks Larry Hooper, Scott Jacoby, Nancy Dussault and the NBC Mystery Movie's Flashlight Guy.
On Sunday night, Johnny Whitaker wide-eyes his way through "The Mystery of Dracula's Castle," a Disney presentation with Clu Gulager (and also the kid who played Johnny's little brother on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters).
On Monday, Not for Women Only declares fat unfunny, and Viskupic responds accordingly, with great sensitivity.
Later that night, here's Lucie on Here's Lucy, and some eviscerating John Cashman movie reviews.
Now on to late Wednesday and some "Comedy News" (I just see Mort Sahl and I laugh!), and WNEW's Reel Camp at 1:55 asks a perennial question.
Viskupic's tone turns ominous as he depicts a blind, voiceless press for a Thursday ABC news special about the first amendment.
A few ads now, first as a "Vacation Values" block (who knew Emilio could ski and surf?)...
...and then one for the Butcher Boy (Meat Market of Port Jefferson), who proffers no gifts and promises no gimmicks, but does serve up the grossest slogan of any food purveyor ever: "We cut anything including our fingers once in a while."
The following week, it's Dick Van Dyke and Hope Lange plugging away for their doomed show, which presented Van Dyke as a talk show host last season but for the coming season will change his character's profession to soap opera star/commercial actor. (Nothing draws 'em in like Dick dancing on a really big toilet.)
The TV Line dishes on deaf Osmonds, ugliest man in show biz Richard Boone, cute Judy Norton and super-cute (and deeply religious) Rita McLaughlin.
Viskupic inks another stark, startling image for the NBC News special about the Sinai.
Far lighter is his Queen Elizabeth holding a giant golf ball and festooned club for a close-up on the British Open that Saturday afternoon.
A rare local ad for WCBS news shows Rolland Smith and Dave Marash having a josh in the newsroom, no doubt hollering to be heard over the clackety-clack of a dozen manual typewriters and the dit-dit-dit-dit of wire services.
A Cootner cover introduces a piece on American kiddie shows taking over the world. Morgan Freeman's a pig. (Newsday said it, not me!)
Bill Cosby is the true victim here... of bad ratings.
Late Monday, Marjoe Gortner brings you the sounds of Nashville...
...and the next night, Chicago is in the Rockies.
To illustrate this ABC comedy special, Viskupic does his familiar "let's-make-this-way-weirder-than-it-really-needs-to-be" bit by giving us gaping mouths where eyes should be.
Also unsettling in her own way, Helen Reddy hosts Joan Rivers and Jim Croce on Thursday night.
Friday night, Viskupic does Harriet, and hepcats stay up and dig on In Concert and Midnight Special. (Every once in a while I like to leave in the groovy font and graphics.)
Holiday Spa continues to MILF this Hot Mommy theme for all it's worth.
Sizzling summer sales include a service employing Lilliputian scalp scratchers.
Finally for this week, a bit more Rolland and Dave.
The profiles of Mike Wallace and Oliver Reed--no wait, that's Morley Safer--grace the next cover.
Their hit show 60 Minutes gets shunted to Friday nights for the summer.
Queries regarding the sounds of Hot Butter and Quaker Oats' ancient astronauts pop up in this week's TV Line.
Visk phones in this Music Country close-up on late Thursday.
The guide is light on content this week, so here are some ads. Custom Meats presents "Cookout Corner," featuring a grill mysteriously manned by a leprechaun.
Khrushchev's wife makes your mower last, or something.
Putting the lie to my earlier assertion that local news ads were rare, here's the third one this month.
As we head into August, 25-year-old (!) Georgia Engel is re-introduced to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, now as a semi-regular.
Linc's superfluous glasses, Maggie's Beautiful Machine and the erstwhile Westbury Music Fair get shout-outs in the Line this time out.
Late Monday, Geraldo gets his first shot at a national interview forum.
This Viskupic drawing is found elsewhere on DPiMR, so here's the full page.
Listen, if Bill Fiore and Shimen Ruskin didn't draw you in to The Corner Bar, will the addition of Ron Carey have you bellying up? (The answer, of course, is "of course.")
Just for the fuck of it (as Diet Coke used to say), here's the late-night schedule for the first Saturday of that August. I love when Cashman throws in the odd bit of trivia, as with this Saratoga review.
We close out the month with, yes, another WCBS newsroom ad, but Rolland and Dave have departed for an after-show doobie break.
See you next time! Until then, remember: No parading!
(So yeah, I'll keep working on a catchphrase outro.)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Newsday TV Books, June 1973.

Even back in 1973, June brought on the doldrums of summer, with rerun-clogged network schedules that just figured no one was really watching. Still, there's enough of interest in these TV Books for us weird nostophiles to merit some scans, so enjoy. Ya weirdo.

I don't know who did this neat cover, illustrating a CBS News special called The Last King of America, but I don't think it's the work of our favorite, Gary Viskupic. Peter Ustinov plays George III as he fields questions from modern-day Eric Sevareid. (Remember to click on the pics to enlarge them, squinty.)
It is a Viskupic drawing (and an oddly-unfinished one at that) which accompanies the corresponding article, with Leo Seligsohn interviewing Ustinov by phone.
In the TV Line, Carol Burton clears up the matters of Elvis' movies, Brandon Cruz' age, and Valerie Harper's weight. (34, 11, and 126, respectively.)
I can almost say for certain that, at a little over four years old, I watched this Wonderful World of Disney special, "50 Happy Years," and probably while in my bathrobe after my Sunday night scrubbing.
I see that Titus Chan, host of The Chan-ese Way, is still kicking and cooking these days. His show premiered on this Monday evening. Me, I was probably watching Wait 'til Your Father Gets Home.
Another lock for childhood viewing, the latest Peanuts special, He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown, aired Tuesday night. Then the kiddies could switch right over to ABC for the repeat of That Certain Summer, ensuring they'd never look at dad quite the same way again.
Charlie Callas (and a macaw I have learned was named Crunch) are your tour guides for The Wacky Weeki Wachee and Silver Springs Singing and Comedy Thing. I'm assuming the "Theodore" mentioned here is Brother Theodore, and I'll also wishfully assume that he strangles Charlie in the last act, as his diminishing cries of "Frrt!" go unheard.
Here's a Viskupic throwaway for a warmed-over episode of The Dean Martin Show on Thursday. More interesting is the 1:20 showing of Reel Camp on WNEW, a show minimally recalled on the intranerts, mostly, I'd suppose, by erstwhile New York City-area stoners. Here the show presents Love and Hisses (in fact, probably the 1927 Laurel and Hardy short With Love and Hisses, not the 82 minute film from '37) and 1950's Spooky Wooky.
 I've published this Viskupic close-up for a PBS profile of Thoreau elsewhere on this blog, so I present it here in the original context of the Saturday listings.
 In this ad, the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics (speed-reading) Course employs a stern-looking teacher brandishing a ruler to motivate you to enroll. In my hometown of Plainview, you'd have headed over to the King's Grant Inn for the free "mini-lessons." (I guess you would just read this TV Book really fast, in hopes of someday working your way up to Gravity's Rainbow.)
The back cover advertisement features a really fine-looking shed from Macy's. That is not a sentence I would once have imagined myself uttering sans irony, but there you have it. I guess old people appreciate a nice shed.
The lovely Pamela Shoop graces the cover for the week before Father's Day (more on that later!), but the related story is less about her and more about her Return to Peyton Place character and the many actresses who had thus far played her. (As far as I can tell, she was the last.)
TV Line fills us in on one-man band Jon Walmsley as well as where to get the travel version of Hounds and Jackals.
Here's a close-up on Ted Knight, co-hosting on The Mike Douglas Show this week, which tells his real name and his character's name but not his, uh, name name.
Viskupic sketches up Brando (as he's done before) for his appearance on Dick Cavett's late-night program. You can see my penciled-in note where movie reviewer John Cashman has dropped in one of his helpful actor-identifying adjectives--and it's one I haven't even gotten around to including on my page collecting them...
If there are two phrases that guarantee guffaws in a sitcom, it's "Julie Harris" and "ailing octogenarian father." Bring on the funny!
Another pilot that doesn't appear to be long for this world is Love Thy Neighbor. (There isn't even a Wikipedia entry for it.) Please note the channel 9 movie at four, the final guest visiting Mike Douglas, and that F-Troop episode...
Not much of a week, but at least there are these two Father's Day advertisement pages to remind us just how goddamn groovy dad is. Why not show him with the gift of a hairpiece?
Here's a series of Galloways... let's read the article to see what he Gallo-means! (Yeah, I know that was bad.)
Kung Fu's parables, Radar's drumming ability, Sonny and Cher's ball, Liza and Wayne... Long Islanders want to know what's up.
Good luck finding info online about the pilots for The Fabulous Dr. Fable or D.H.O., as they seem to have been dumped onto this Monday night schedule and subsequently forgotten.
Famed drummer and renowned asshole Buddy Rich has his head replaced by a cymbal by Viskupic in this Monday night close-up.
The next night, Visk offers a creepy crying baby (or the upper portion of one, anyway) for an NBC Reports feature on yankee-fathered Vietnamese orphans. More pilots are shot down, with tonight's casualties being Keep an Eye on Denise, Big Daddy with Rosey Grier, and Daddy's Girl with Eddie Albert.
Other than some memorable sitcom episodes, this evening is notable only for a third Viskupic sketch, this one for a PBS Rembrandt bio.
We'll end this week with a couple of ads. First here's a futuristic item for an optometrist in Cedarhurst (I guess it's a line drawing of their front door?)...
...and then it's four ads for grads, in which we find that Mickey's Mart has the latest in "hiphugger bells" for you and a naked pal to share.
Into the last week of June we go, with Second City alums Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber kicking off their summer series. Burns looks especially Leno-ish in the cover shot, but rather rodent-like in the pic with the accompanying story (which seems appropriate considering the menagerie he's got at home).
More Kung Fu info in this TV Line, plus the skinny on Roddy McDowell and Mel Blanc.
A while back I made a reference to a local program hosted by newswoman Melba Tolliver being pre-empted, but I must have gotten my timeline a bit screwy. I was almost certainly thinking of this style edition of People Places and Things, which clearly was given a close-up before Brezhnev decided to address the American public at six p.m. on a Sunday.
Nasal bleater Helen Reddy gets her own show on this Thursday, and George Voskovec gets the high hat from reviewer Cashman as the only Angry Man out of twelve without a mention.
Two more Viskupic inkings now: One for Music from Ambler, the meaning of which I can't discern;
And another depicting a spooky-eyed Dickens with a nib for a beard. Do you see why Gary V.'s art always gave me the willies?
We kill off this month with yet another cluster of ads, these proffering "vacation values for the whole family," but really mostly dad.