Saturday, October 22, 2016

Newsday TV Book, October 22-28, 1972.

The cover of this week's edition brings us Carroll O'Connor in a role rather different from the one he'd been playing since January of the previous year. The musical Of Thee I Sing gave him a chance to sing and dance as John P. Wintergreen, a dove who makes it to the White House, rather than spouting the usual obsceneries of Archie Bunker. Michele Lee played beauty queen Diana Devereaux, though she looks more like a burlesque stripper here. (Pics are clickable for embiggening.)
 The Bill Kaufman-penned article has interesting bits about O'Connor's songwriting sideline ("Ding-A-Ling Lady," anyone?) and where he felt his career was going.
 The TV Line tells us about Mets third baseman Jim Fregosi, whether Warrick wore a wig (try saying that five times fast! Actually, it's easy, never mind), how to give Jerry Lewis a hand in defeating muscular dystrophy (call on Moose Delgado, of course), and if Star Trek will ever come back (I'm pretty sure it did). My favorite might be the query that demands the TVL print a picture of Johnny Carson. Seeing him NINE HOURS a week, Monday through Saturday, isn't enough for you, F.F. in Hauppauge?
Sunday night's listings offer detailed program descriptions and a typically withering John Cashman review. Let's face it, the man was ahead of his time in the snark department.
NBC broadcast 1971's They Might Be Giants for their Monday Night Movie, and Newsday gave staff artist Gary Viskupic the job of illustrating the close-up. I suppose the stars on his cap refer to George C. Scott's role as Patton, but interestingly, he only gives him three. In the movie, Patton is depicted wearing four stars on the occasion of a speech when in fact he was not yet a four-star general at that time, so maybe Viskupic is commenting on that error. Or maybe I need to stop speculating about such an arcane matter and just have a nap.
 This portion of the Tuesday evening listings has the close-up for Of Thee I Sing, which I include mainly for the photo of a terrifyingly empty-eyed Cloris Leachman. There was also the premiere of the TV movie Short Walk to Daylight. As a back-in-the-day Battlestar Galactica fan, I could have imagined worse things than being trapped with Laurette Spang.
Wednesday had another disastrous TV movie, A Family Flight (with the once-ubiquitous Kristoffer Tabori), a Cool Million close-up featuring James Farentino (then married to cover girl Lee), and a WOR showing of the TV movie that introduced Rod Serling's Night Gallery.
Tucked into the Friday afternoon listings is a close-up for that night's Ghost Story, with Helen Hayes. On Abbott and Costello, Uncle Bozo visits.
The Banyon close-up features an unrecognizable E.J. Peaker, best known (to me) as Julie, the leader of a group of camping girls in the Odd Couple episode "Bunny is Missing Down by the Lake." (She looks more as I remember her here.) There are also some good movie reviews, Rick Springfield on Sonny & Cher, and the requisite overly-detailed Love, American Style description.
I wonder if this Saturday night was my first exposure to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. (I doubt my family tuned in the Kurosawa flick.) There was quite an embarrassment of viewing riches to be had in that 8 o'clock hour: All in the Family, Psycho, Mildred Pierce. Even Hee Haw had the original T.O., Tommy Overstreet...
Another ho-hum back cover, so here are some ads that caught my eye, starting with a business familiar to readers of the TV Book: Custom Meats Inc., on Gazza Boulevard in Farmingdale. Although the side of beef diagram is helpful, there's something off-putting about that knife-wielding clip art butcher peering out at me from the word "meaty."
Suburban Dream: Plastic-encased furniture and a three-room attic! I love that Carlson Construction ad for so many reasons: The giant hands, the reference to "mother-daughter" rooms (when looking up exactly what that meant, I won't even tell you what manner of filth my first search turned up), the instruction to "reverse charges," the lettered exchanges in the phone numbers, the old-fashioned slogan... Ah, good times.
Finally, another real blast from the past you don't see anymore: a sale on black-and-white portable TV's at Newmark & Lewis. Ours had a yellow case--sorry, "chassis"--and came in very handy on weekends when there was too damn much sports being watched in the den and I needed to check out some animated special or sci-fi stinker.
Next week: The 1972 Charlie Brown election special that smashed the Great Pumpkin!


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