Monday, March 20, 2017

Newsday TV Books, February 1973.

February of 1973 kicked off with a mistake: The actress pictured on the cover from this production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is Ruby Persson, not Judy.
The Reese Witherspoonesque Persson was the wife of the show's producer, Gene Persson. Snoopy was played by Bill Hinnant, who was the older brother of the guy who played "Fargo North, Decoder" on The Electric Company. Bill drowned while on vacation five years after this show aired.
The TV Line offers info about Marty Brill, Karen Valentine (including the earliest reference to "lip-syncing" I can recall seeing) and Michael Landon's true age.
Tuesday night saw the first installment of the unique TV movie Divorce His; Divorce Hers with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Since that's really only mildly interesting, I've left in the rest of the listings with some enjoyable John Cashman reviews.
The next night, Gilbert Gottfried podcast guest (and Larry King crush) Jessica Walter appeared on Banacek with George Peppard. Don't care? Here's some more reviews. I particularly like the one for The Desperados.
It may not be one of Gary Viskupic's more inspired drawings, but the Bogie likeness is eye-catching in this close-up for a showing of The Caine Mutiny.
Onto the following week, with a cover feature on Here We Go Again, and its stars Larry Hagman, Diane Baker and Nita Talbot. Diane Baker is for me what Jessica Walter is for Larry King: Ring-a-ding-ding!
Here We Go Again also starred Dick Gautier and former Mineola resident/future Beverly Hills housewife Kim Richards. This story has lots of interest for Larry Hagman buffs. It takes longer to read than the show lasted.
Fans of James McEachin and Valerie Perrine (you know who you are) could spend Monday enjoying their pilots for Tenafly and Lady Luck, respectively. Tenafly became part of the NBC Mystery Movie; Lady Luck had none. (And here I thought she was a Perrine-ial favorite!)
The Great Man's Whiskers was a comedy with Dennis Weaver (almost unrecognizable here) as Abraham Lincoln. It had stiff TV movie competition that night, airing against The Great American Beauty Contest and Horror at 37,000 Feet.
WNET, New York City's PBS station, showed the Russian film Ivan the Terrible as part of its Film Odyssey series on Saturday night. Viskupic provided the art for the close-up.
I mainly knew (and crushed on) Judi Bowker as Andromeda in Clash of the Titans, but nine years earlier, at 18, she was the human lead in a syndicated version of Black Beauty. This atypical second feature story closes out the issue.

The next week brought Bobby Darin, going topless to portray Groucho on his variety show (which grew out of the previous summer's limited run-series, "The Bobby Darin Amusement Company"). This incarnation only lasted 'til April, and he died eight months after that--but managed to work a four-month marriage in between!
The TV Line dishes up all you'd ever want to know about Redd Foxx, Kami Cotler, and Maggie Litvin, plus the real von Trapp and some bad poetry.
An extra-large close-up of The Ten Commandments overtakes the Sunday evening sched.
Here's the real Groucho, guesting on Bill Cosby's show. Yes, in the accompanying listings I wrote "AL" to denote a review mentioning Alan Ladd's propensity for taking off his shirt. (It's called a hobby and I'm not gonna apologize for it!)
A Viskupic sketch for an Ed Sullivan comedy special. I say: no Lenny Schultz, no comedy special.
Another Viskupic, this one for... uh, a show about a guy who got jailed for printing flags, I guess. (No, I didn't read it. But you should definitely read the Cashman review for Swamp Fire at lower right.)
Thursday night, the fearsome Virginia Woolf, and more fun reviews (and a Cashman adjective for the sarcastically-recalled Norma Eberhardt).
In this Circle of Fear close-up, I suspect the Newsday writer might use "horror buff" interchangeably with "weird person with bad taste."
For no special reason, here's late Saturday.
The last cover of the month shows us chanteuse Diahann Carroll and composer Harold Arlen gamely hiding inside a piano.
Although the related story is ostensibly about the show, Timex Presents Jack Lemmon--Get Happy (also featuring Cass Elliot, Doc Severinsen, and Johnny Mathis), it mostly covers Carroll and her relationship with Arlen. (I love Bill Kaufman, but the grammar enthusiast in me has issues with that headline.)
An early Don Johnson inquiry distinguishes this TV Line entry, along with questions about Darin and Doris Day's doxie.
Let's take a look at Sunday night...
...and a rare TV Book network ad to go along the Lorne Greene special, which was either called "Bell System Family Theatre" or "Highlights of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus" (possibly both), and which aired at either 7:30 or 8pm.
This Custom Meats advertisement ran amongst the Monday evening listings, as studies of the 70's demonstrated that that was the point in the week when most Americans really begin to hanker for some fuckin' red meat. (Well, this is the top portion of the ad anyway. I didn't want to make it any smaller, hoping to emphasize those clip-art people and how pleased they are by meat.)
In the Bill Cosby Show close-up, Susan Tolsky wears an expression that Cos was accustomed to seeing from the ladies until he chemically perfected his technique. Reviews for Dracula, The Night Stalker and Strangers on a Train are interesting, too.
Late afternoon and early evening listings accompany a close-up for the creepily-titled You'll Never See Me Again, a David Hartman TV movie that sounds like it could work if it didn't have David Hartman in it.
I can't even tell you how much I enjoy this pic of Richard Castellano. I swear to god, it's the very one Newsday ran alongside his obituary almost fifteen years later. Doesn't he look more like a "Joe Bologna" than Joe Bologna ever did? Maybe "Sammy Salami."
We can't send off February without a Viskupic rendering, here of the classic Peter Pan.
Just because we all dig this sort of thing, here's Saturday morning's transmissions. Sometimes I think this crap came very close to its goal of damaging our brains irreparably with mind-stunting cartoons and commercials for edible, non-nutritive substances. Sometimes I'm sure it succeeded handily.
Fried Chicken Hungry Man and some Crunchberries. Huh? Oh, I thought I heard you ask what I was having for lunch. Anyway, stay tuned to this blog for a cumulative post on the March issues, and then at some point April will pick up on a week-by-week basis again! Maybe! Wish me luck!


Blogger The O'Shaughnessys said...

King Vitamin and "Rodan" made me what I am today.

Mon Mar 27, 12:14:00 PM 2017  
Blogger psaur said...

If it were made today, that Children's Theatre would be titled "Slenderman."

Mon Mar 27, 12:44:00 PM 2017  

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