Tuesday, December 06, 2016

A Christmas Toast. To Me!

Since it's December and I'm feeling all Christmasy and Yule-logged and stuff, I will periodically be interrupting this, uh, periodical to give you the holiday business. First, however, I'd like to jingle my own bells a bit by reposting a Facebook shout-out from the swell fellas over at Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast. I'm sure Gilbert himself has never seen the nonsense I plaster all over this blog, but co-host Frank and web honcho McBeardo seem to enjoy it. If you dig this blog and haven't tuned in their podcast, do yourself a favor and check it out. They interview a fabulous array of back-in-the-day stars (some of my favorite eps featured Dick Van Dyke, Peter Marshall and Orson Bean) as well as serving up themed mini-episodes covering all manner of pop culture, from the trivial to the somewhat less trivial. To quote unlikely Christmas icon Jean Shepherd: Excelsior, you fatheads! Keep up the great work! I will too--other than not being able to figure out how to resize your post or make it legible, that is!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Newsday TV Book, December 3-9, 1972.

Paul Lynde graces the cover of this issue of Newsday’s TV Book, with an equine grin that would make Gene Rayburn recoil. He’s joined by the mysterious Elizabeth Allen. Mysterious in the sense that I’ve never heard of her. (Don't forget to click pics to enlarge, though I recommend the faint of heart avoid this one.)

The accompanying piece has great details about Lynde’s life and career, too many to sum up here, but my favorite is that he ran lines with his houseboy and his young friends. I can’t help but picture Lynde nestled into a sofa among four Filipino boys in cut-off tank tops and gym shorts.
TV Line addresses Ronnie Graham’s “Mr. Dirt,” the whereabouts of Ed and Ali, what’s up with that Kwau Chang Caine dude, and “Phantom” movie reviewer John Cashman gives a smart-alecky reply to a reader who calls him on his smart-alecky review of The Magnificent Seven.

The late page for Sunday includes a close-up on The House Without a Christmas Tree, starring Jason Robards as a guy who just really doesn’t dig Christmas trees.

Monday night offered a Perry Como special coming after Frosty (which was preceded by the Grinch).

Madhouse 90, another late-night ABC comedy program, only aired Tuesday (as seen here) and Wednesday. Note Cashman’s description of Sheldon Leonard at 1:10.

The nighttime launch of Apollo XVII gets prime-time coverage, thankfully not interfering with The Paul Lynde Show and guest star JoAnne Worley. WOR channel nine cleverly scheduled a showing of Cape Canaveral Monsters for midnight.

Rubin’s Luggage offers gift ideas such as the “Knap-pak,” a backpack that looks like a flotation device, and those old movie star statues for the film geek in your life.

Suburban Dream: Not buying a piano in case the kid stinks!
The African Queen close-up features a pretty lousy drawing by “R.N.,” whoever that is.

Friday night gave us Rudolph, a rerun of our first look at the Walton clan, a litigious bum and child nudity.

Here are some holiday ads for Andrews (at Mid-Island Mall) and Lobel’s (in Plainview), plus Johnny Blits and Tony Dee want to tame your toupee.

 Plesser’s seems ahead of its time with their ad for microwave ovens and the Magnavox Odyssey videogame system. The rest of Saturday’s daytime schedule follows, which includes one of my favorites as a kid, Dr. Cyclops.

Two punny ads (“Specs” appeal! Christmas “shaping!” Get it?) finish off the issue, along with a back cover for County Federal Savings which is not that interesting but at least it has Santa.

Next Week: Carol Burnett upon a mattress!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Newsday TV Book, November 26-December 2, 1972.

We're heading into December, but it's a green field and flowers for Bridget and Bernie on this week's cover.
 David Birney talks about not being Jewish, riding All in the Family's coattails and vominous scripts in the accompanying story.
The TV Line addresses such crushing concerns as Bill Cosby's shirt, the whereabouts of Ben Murphy's nose, and Eyewitness News' Forgotten Dream.
Across from the TV Line is this eye-catching Christmas ad. I never visited Elwood's Storybook Caverns, but I do remember my family having that eminently flammable cardboard Yuletide Fireplace. I wish I could see the commercial mentioned.
Sunday brought Columbo, sure, but let's not ignore WNEW's showing of a Scoey Mitchell variety special with Buddy Hackett! With a repeat on Saturday! (I have found more than one online reference to this as "The Scoey Mitchlll [sic] Show." Go figure. In any case, I couldn't find video anywhere.)
The Smother Brothers appear on Monday's Bill Cosby Show, where Cos tells of an early sexual encounter. I'm hoping there was a sketch that had Foster Brooks as a mickey-slipping paramour who's even more out of it than his doped-up date!  Yinks! (There's also a listing for Muppet Musicians from Bremen, as seen in last's week's Holiday Specials Guide.)
Tuesday debuted a grim-sounding TV movie, but more interesting is the premiere of ABC's late-night offerings, Comedy News and A Bedtime Story. These would air several nights this week and next, then replaced by Dick Cavett's Carson-challenging talk show. Hard to believe the comedy stylings of Lawrence Pressman didn't invigorate retiring viewers.
I know what I'd be tuned to on this particular Wednesday--some Paul Lynde Show (with Charlotte Rae and Ray Walston) and then "The Man Who Came to Dinner" with Orson Welles, Marty Feldman and Don Knotts! (This New York Times reviewer didn't find it especially entertaining, however.)
This week's Gary Viskupic sketch is for a PBS performance of Oscar Wilde's Salome.
Suburban Dream: A boss sound system!
The third airing of Santa Claus is Coming to Town leads off Friday's prime-time, causing many to miss seeing Lamont Sanford almost bang his half-sister.
Late Saturday brings your choice of A-bomb flicks at midnight and a spate of snarky Cashman reviews.
Finally, we learn a lot about animator Richard Williams. His take on "A Christmas Carol" is very impressive indeed, but alas it was not the seasonal stalwart producers were hoping for.
Next week: Brace yourself for a Paul Lynde cover! Not an attractive man!
(You know what? I have a bunch of Christmas ads left over from last week's oversized T-Day issue, may as well throw them in here, where you can enjoy them briefly before heading to eBay to search "Mattel Dareplane Stunter.")

Monday, November 21, 2016

Newsday TV Book, November 19-25,1972.

Alright, we're really kicking off the season here with the Thanksgiving issue, and a Bob Newman drawing of some Macy's balloons, hovering untethered over bricks of Velveeta standing on end. 
A four-page spread on holiday specials not only gives us sneak peeks of "The Muppet Musicians of Bremen," Ray Heatherton's Merry Mailman, Laurel and Hardy, the Grinch and Jenny Agutter with her goose, but it also details the movie offerings and specials for the grown-ups.

The TV Line brings us the lowdown on Lupus and Lindley, whether some movies are the same, the posterlessness of The Duke, and the utter futility of Gilligan's Island.
On Sunday afternoon, there was The Bishop's Wife on WPIX, always a favorite--I remember the commercial promo they showed for ages, with the scene of Cary Grant magically decorating the tree. On Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Nosey the skunk cuddles up to a little girl who looks an awful lot like Ed McMahon.
That same night, ABC kept you up until half past midnight with their premiere of Patton, here heralded with a Viskupic drawing.
Sam Ash gets in on the Pre-Christmas hawking with this ad for (as the true musicians call them) a drum outfit and a fine classic guitar.
Morning programs always seemed so boring back in the day, but now, peering back from the future, they look fascinating. These Tuesday listings are accompanied by the second Hicks ad of the season, a reminder to head over to the Westbury nursery to check out their animated displays.
West Side Story filled NBC's primetime schedule that night, with a close-up picturing its "only weakness," Richard Beymer.
Wait, it was on against Brian's Song? And Gargoyles?!? Not fair, networks!
Here's the close-up for Wednesday's "Julie Andrews Thanksgiving Eve Show," with Mickey worriedly holding his mouse-sized bladder, looking like he needs to Unzip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.
Look at that beauty! I'm talking the side, not the bride!
I love the drawing for this ad. "ALL banks are Chanukah Clubs!" sneered a young Steve Bannon.
Also on Wednesday, Medical Center, Shelby Grant (Mrs. Chad Everett) plays a Catholic plagued by guilt. Whaaat? That's not the religion I remember. At 11:30, those who enjoyed comedy-variety specials and weren't picky about details could tune in to whatever "Let's Celebrate" was. (As best as I can figure, this was ABC testing out their late-night programming, aka the Wide World of Entertainment specials. This one apparently involved Tony Roberts and Steve Landesberg.)
Here are the listings for the big day, with parades, movies and specials galore.

Now on to Friday, with that morning's close-up show, "Jerry Lucas Super Kids Day Magic Jamboree." That's quite a Japanified title for something hosted by a basketball player who I have no recollection of. Mental gymnastics?
 Here's the rest of Friday, minus the late night listings because I just realized I botched the scan and can't redo it now. Refunds to follow.
There's no Joseph Lombardi, longtime Eldee commercial pitchman, to be seen in this ad. However, Irv Abraham, Ken Rosenblum, Alex Ogman, and Mike DeGregorio are on hand to give you the blue ribbon treatment.
Now the full Saturday sched, with "The Banana Splits in Hocus-Pocus Park" (here's some of it en Espanol!) March of the Wooden Soldiers, a Vonnegut "Space Fantasy," Frankenstein's kid, World Wide Wickets, and Mary Colleen Fitzpatrick turning over the Miss Teenage America crown. (The link is a pic of MCF winning the previous year--can you guess which one is her?)
I haven't presented the full Quick Guide before, and I figured this week is about as good a week as any to show what the back of every TV Book looked like, with all movies, sporting events, specials and children's programming encapsulated for convenience.
This last page also features an ad that teaches us that the Spanish word for furniture is "Spaniture." Also, in Spain they don't have love seats, they have "love benches," and from the look of it I'd guess the Inquisition sometimes used them instead of the rack.
A somewhat more comfortable-looking set is proffered by Macy's on this week's back cover. Sturdy oak and Herculon, huh? Maybe I'll just sprawl out on the floor in the den after demolishing the turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving, faithful Non-Paraders! I'll see you next week, along with Bridget and Bernie!