Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Newsday TV Book, December 24-30, 1972.

It's been said many times, many ways, but screw it, I'll say it anyway: Merry Christmas! This week's cover features a cookie that looks like a real bicuspid buster. But we'll get to that shortly.
The TV Line gives us the skinny on Pierre La Cock, offers more evidence that astrology is bullshit thanks to a dopey query about Miyoshi Umeki, and teaches us (and by "us" I mean me) that Kris Tabori is the son of Viveca Lindfors and Don Siegel. Did you know this?
 
Elwood Nursery hawks its after-Christmas sale, which is a little annoying since, reading chronologically, it isn't damn Christmas yet! At least the Storybook Caverns are open until the 30th. Except in Bay Shore, which officially makes that store the worst of all Elwood Nurseries.
Now we get to everyone's favorite part: The celebrity greetings! On this first page (of only four--this section would be expanded greatly in Yuletides to come), we get all the info on that cover cookie angel. When it has to be pointed out that a cookie was made "using edible materials," that's a bad-looking cookie. If this had been a gift, I would have thanked Jean Loomis Newman and slipped it deftly into my pocket for later disposal. Otherwise, this page and the three that follow offer holiday wishes ranging from heartfelt (Chad Everett) and verbose (The Brady Bunch) to glib (Jackie Gleason) and crabby (Carroll O'Connor). My favorites are the ones with plugs for whatever show the person is on, some subtle, some not. A few get political, with the best being the folks at PBS' Electric Company urging us not to ride the Long Island Railroad during a strike! There's a Sudduth sketch of Gleason here...
 ...and a portrait of Joe Garagiola by Bob Newman here. (Wait, Newman? Same last name as the concrete cookie baker? Hmm...) Miss Louise from Romper Room relays a wish from Mr. Do Bee, and well, that makes my Christmas a little brighter indeed.
 Two Viskupic drawings edge the third page, and Paul Lynde not only pushes his show, he delivers his holiday greeting in character. How's that for sincerity!
A neat Cootner doodle of Dino and Geraldine graces the last page, with quotes from an uncharacteristically restrained Joe Franklin and a typically windy Geraldo.

To lighten my load this time out (hey, I got things to do this week!), I'm simply presenting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in their entirety for either your nostalgic enjoyment or your edification (as in you actually spent time with family over these days instead of watching TV and therefore you've never had any idea what was aired). Note the seventh appearance of WPIX's Yule Log, which varied in length over the years and was probably at its longest here--four-and-a-half hours!


On Tuesday night, CBS aired A Death of Innocence, which sounds like a real drag, but watching it would have saved your eyeballs from viewing Paul Lynde wearing a bunny costume in the Gidget TV movie. (Which, given the absence of online evidence, I may have hallucinated. I'll see if I can dig up this nightmarish image from my personal collection of video rarities...
[Later add: Whoops, wrong movie. I was thinking of 1969's Gidget Grows Up. I found the promo in my collection, didn't find it online, and so uploaded it to YouTube. Enjoy.]
 Bolting to Saturday, we have a close-up on a rerun of Bridget Loves Bernie. A rerun. I'm telling you, between Christmas and New Year's you may as well have unplugged the tube.

Next week: That Lombardo Guy and the Canadians he hung around with!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Newsday TV Book, December 17-23, 1972.

It's kind of a dull slog this time out I'm afraid. Even the cover, with Faye Dunaway and Richard Chamberlain as Mrs. Simpson and Edward VIII, is framed in a muted bluish-gray. The accompanying article is pretty boring too. When it says "Gun Moll to Socialite," they mean Faye's movie roles, not Wallis Warfield Simpson's life choices. (Click to enlarge, or don't.)
The TV Line has lots of info on The Waltons as well as Lucy's foot.

Fisher Sound Panels made a unique gift, in the sense that only one dope bought them.

I'm skipping Sunday because it's not very interesting other than Hawkeye writing his first Christmas letter to dad, M. Emmet Walsh on The Sandy Duncan Show, and Lucy Meets the Mustache with Ernie Kovacs. In fact, I'll be skipping several days this week. No wonder it seemed like forever getting to Christmas as a kid--there was nothing good on TV!

On Tuesday, NBC Reports reported on little Kristin Knapp. Unsuccessful efforts to find a current online presence for her hopefully reflect my inadequate searching abilities.

The center of this week's Book has advertisers' gift suggestions, with my favorite being the Hampton ad simply because it was in the Morton Village Shopping Center near my home. My only memories of that store are of going down the escalator (almost certainly my first) and being terrified to walk past an aquarium in the pet department that contained a lionfish. That thing looked dangerous!

Wednesday night had Stevie Wonder and Weekend Nun, which would be a great band name.

Since there's just not much going on, here's all of Saturday. I have the That Girl cartoon in my collection, with original commercials.

Tom Jones hosted David Frye for Christmas, and later Tennessee Ernie Ford took his chances with Claudine Longet.

You could stay up and enjoy the impending holiday with Godzilla or limbless Bela Lugosi. Oh, and here's the answer to the crossword I included last week, for any mental patients that bothered to take a whack at it.

Even the bonus bit is a snore: The Quick Guide listings for children's shows and specials. Wouldn't mind checking out Thursday's Poseidon Adventure premiere special, though...

Yawn. I'll wake you up when Santa leaves next week's Christmas edition! Now we're talkin'!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Newsday TV Book, December 10-16, 1972.

Yeah, yeah, I'm a coupla days late on this one--it's the holidays, I've got a cold, I'm doped to the gills on the Big Fuckin' Q, etcetera-yada-blah.  Maybe Carol Burnett will cheer me up! I always loved The Carol Burnett Show as a kid, but this is some kinda musical crap.
 Burnett had played the lead in this production several times at this point. In the cover story, she says it's been updated to appeal to adults by adding "an unmarried pregnant lady." Which is pretty funny... provided she was only making a joke. There's some cast in this: Ken Berry, Jack Gilford, Wally Cox, Lyle Waggoner. Carol prefers that you eggheads don't heavily analyze the plot, ya dig? That wouldn't be groovy.
 
B.B. (from Wantagh) wants to know about VD (from toilet seats). J.R wants to know more about M.K. Douglas. M.N. wonders what the Falk's up with Peter's left eye. Bobby Darin and Zulu draw inquiries from Floral Parkers. And we learn of the greatest mystery of MacMillan's career: Why did NBC executives terminate his wife's pregnancy?
On Sunday, The Little Drummer Boy leads the way for the latest Christmas special with Bing and the Crosbys, not to mention Struthers and Villella. For the Christmas trifecta, Bob Hope then leers wholesomely at Elke Sommer. Over on CBS, Sandy Duncan has a rotten tooth in an episode of her show that has not been seen by a single person on earth ever.

It's Sommer-time again, as Monday brought a network showing of '65's A Shot in the Dark. Some classic John Cashman comments in the reviews, and a WNET showing of The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, which sounds interesting.

Tuesday offered a Don Rickles special with Carroll O'Connor and Harvey Korman, but before that you had to watch that mopey asshole Charlie Brown. Unless you had a thing for Jenny Agutter and geese, in which case you ratcheted over to Hallmark Hall of Fame. (What else might one call the act of rotating that old TV dial? Cranking? Sputtering?)
The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine on Wednesday had a Charlie Chan sketch with Bill Cosby as Number One Son. I'm gonna guess that Globetrotter Bobby Hunter had never heard of Charlie Chan until sometime between putting on the white suit and being handed a magnifying glass. (According to an online source, this program also featured Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers, Dom Deluise, Norm Crosby, Cass Elliot, Teresa Graves, Ted Knight, Will Geer and Keye Luke. Don't ask me why this font came out different.)

This Thursday late-night schedule is interesting mainly for the Armored Attack review, Peter Lorre in The Big Circus, and an action flick with Drew Barrymore's dad.

Friday night was the night they aired The Night the Animals Talked. As far as I know, neither incident occurred again. The Sha Na Na joined the John Lennon and the Yoko Ono on the One-To-One concert, which preempted Love, American Style. Thus, you Stuart Margolin fans had to look elsewhere for your mild innuendo. Of course, if Barbara Eden was as naked as the mildly creepy "Love Is" cartoons she was mimicking in her variety special, well... that would do. (I should add that this is yet another variety special of which I can find no video evidence. MeTV or Decades or any of these retro programmers would do well to dig these treasures up, if the licensing is agreeable.)
Some sci-fi movies and the Groovie Goolies enjoying some pork and duck on Saturday Morning...

...and here's that afternoon. Comedian Mario Cantone mentioned the Prince Street Players when he hilariously guested on Gilbert Gottfried's podcast, and I swear it's the only time I've heard of the New York performers outside of these old TV Books. Here they put a Christmas spin on Pinocchio at five PM.
 Viva Brigitte! Some more witheringly succinct Cashman reviews on this evening.
And lastly, since the back cover is a repeat, an ad for a sweet 8-track player and the crossword. Here's a gimme: 4 Down, three letters, "___ Haw," is haw. Haw haw!
Next week: Faye Dunaway puts up her dukes as the Duchess of Windsor!

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!