Monday, February 26, 2018

Newsday TV Books, February 1974.

I'm back in the swing of things (whatever the fuck that means) with another look at a month of old Newsday TV Books! We're well into February/damn near into March, so let's get cracking with a look at the littlest month of 1974!
(Remember: click on images to enlarge.)
GAAAH!!! Unenlarge! Unenlarge! Yikes, I wasn't expecting Jeanette Nolan without makeup. Or teeth. Or Dack Rambo trying to lingually extract a Jujube from his own choppers, for that matter. As the titular Dirty Sally in this Gunsmoke spin-off, Nolan played it heavy on the cornpone in a performance that had Irene Ryan saying, "Jeez, turn it down a notch, lady." Here's the explanatory theme song.

This week's TV Line tells us about Ricky Segall, who was born a fortnight before me in my very own hometown. I mainly recall him singing "Say Hey Willie" on The Partridge Family (although he also sang this memorable tune). Also, creepy P.D. of Elmont wants TMI about the kids of Zoom.
Here's more about Dirty Sally, and I don't mean the kind mentioned in the Urban Dictionary.
There's quite a cast in Sunday's "The Migrants," an episode of the revived CBS Playhouse 90.
And there was another fine cast on Monday's Mitzi Gaynor special, including Josephine the Plumber.
I've already posted this Gary Viskupic drawing for the TV movie version of Dracula, but not only is this one slightly different, the caption mentions that the original airing was pre-empted by Watergate business.
Here's Saturday's late-night schedule, just because I like Saturday late-night schedules.
Bonus Ad: It's Howard Stern's beloved Camp Baumann!
I almost didn't include this article written by Leslie Gourse, who typically covers jazz musicians. However, it's unusual for the TV Book to include a second article, and the topic (celebrity commercials of the day) is totally up my alley. I just don't think it's particularly well-written.
As with last December, I'm missing another issue here, goddamn it, so we jump ahead to this Paul Winfield cover. He played Roy Campanella in the TV movie It's Good to Be Alive, detailing the Dodger catcher's career-ending paralysis. Is it just me or is there something seriously spooky about Winfield's eyes in this pic?
The TV Line has an interesting note about why Peter Sellers didn't appear on a Bob Hope special as advertised, and claims that Amos and Andy were played by white guys in blackface on their TV show, which is not true. TV Line will eat its words.
Late Monday, sleepy New Yorkers had the bedtime choice of watching Psycho, a classic Twilight Zone, or Gary Collins playing against type. (I'd go with Mr. Corwin.) Wait, I just noticed that Wayne Newton was guest-hosting The Tonight Show--now there's your chills!
This Viskupic drawing is elsewhere on the blog, so I present it now in its original Wednesday night context. Check out the "Horror Hall of Fame" special at 11:30.
The reputedly unpleasant Joey Bishop appears perplexed by his booking on Thursday's Music Country USA.
Now here's a Visku-pic that I haven't reproduced anywhere: It's Jack Benny being literally roasted, get it? Because he's being "roasted" on The Dean Martin Comedy Hour, by show biz pals such as... Mark Spitz?
Since I'm missing that issue this month, and next week's edition is scant on items I found interesting, here's the entire Saturday schedule. (Plus, I realized I haven't posted a Saturday morning sched in about a year, and that needs to be remedied.)
Now here's something for you true TV nostalgia fans: a crossword puzzle filled with now-obscure references! Print it out and give it a shot, answers at the end of the post...
Bonus Ads: TM at the Vet's Club, and GW's B-Day...
Here's the back cover, an atypically subdued Colonial Shoppes ad. (Yes, this is subdued for the Colonial Shoppes.)
Lastly, a chewed-corner cartoon cover for the aforementioned Music Country USA (nee Dean Martin Presents Country Music).
Musings on the Batman theme, 70's hottie Christina Raines, and the misandrous All in the Family chair trick are among the delights to be found in this week's TV Line, (along with that mea culpa about Amos N' Andy).
This Sunday evening would have been a long-awaited one for many, as it featured the annual pre-Easter airing of The Wizard of Oz. This one was shortly before my fifth birthday, so it may have been my introduction to its enchantments and wonders (to which reviewer John Cashman refers).
If the week began with enchantment, let Viskupic end it with horror--his gruesome depiction of the unquietly doomed Rosenbergs for a Saturday PBS special.
Here's that puzzle answer. If you couldn't solve it, well, eat my Will Shortz!
Stay tuned for March--I'll be coming in like a teevee-addled lion!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Going Back...

True, I often gaze retrospectively, that's a given. But right now I'm going back in order to bring you the Newsday TV Book covers of November and December 1973, plus January of '74 since I skipped that month as well. Maybe someday I'll revisit them with more detail like I usually do, but for now I'd just like to get caught up. (In the meantime, if you really feel you're missing out, here's a look at a January 1974 issue I wrote ages ago, and here's the Christmas week edition of 1973, and 1983 to boot.)

I left off at the last week of October 1973, so here it is. If you think I'm giving that week short shrift, take a look--Newsday left off two days!
Barbra Streisand's latest special, "Singer Presents Barbra Streisand... and Other Musical Instruments" doesn't get much of a touting in her two-page interview with Newsday's Jerry Parker. As she closes their conversation, she says she likes it, but then she suggests Parker call this article "She'd Rather Stay Home." Way to shill, Babs!
"The Men Who Made the Movies" was an eight-part PBS series created by Time Magazine's Richard Schickel and hosted by Cliff Robertson. Newsday film critic Joseph Gelmis offers four columns, mostly about Raoul Walsh and Frank Capra, and staff artist Bernie Cootner gets busy with the cover.
"Vivacious Valerie Harper" graces the next cover. Her interview is pretty straight-forward--there's talk of her own spin-off!--but critics of her lefty activism will be delighted to learn that the Jersey girl's first role (at the age of five, in the South Orange Winter Pageant) was as a snowflake...
This makes me miss Thanksgiving. Seriously, let's go back!
November wraps up with this color Gary Viskupic cover depicting Michael Sarrazin as himself and Frankenstein's Monster. I'll throw in the Bill Kaufman article.
We're into December now, with knobby-nosed Karl Malden in his Streets of San Francisco role.
 His article talks about how he'd delve into parts through hands-on research, as he was taught at The Actor's School (and which he himself taught at many colleges). He enjoyed performing card tricks, learned while filming The Cincinnati Kid.
The World at War was a British documentary series narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, airing at the time on New York City's WOR-TV channel 9. The episode of this particular week, "Whirlwind," about bombing raids on Germany between 1939 and 1944, can be viewed here.
So, yeah, the issue for December 16th through the 22nd is missing from my collection. (I'm not OCD exactly, but I'd prefer to not even think about it.) Thus we move on to Christmas week with Maude's Bill Macy, born Wolf Martin Garber, getting cozy with a snowman.
The New Year brings Bowl games, of course, so this issue offers Newsday sports guy Stan Isaacs a rare opportunity for a TV Book piece. Much of it is about Rex Lardner, Jr., of NBC Sports (and Ring's grand-nephew). In another unusual by-line, Newsday Religion Writer Ken Briggs covers Religious America, a PBS series which I couldn't find any clips from (but I did dig up this review by not-yet-Archbishop John J. O'Connor).
ABC aired "The Fragile Mind," a special narrated by Joanne Woodward, profiling five people with mental disorders. Today, they'd each get their own E! show.
In the article for this week's cover story, Bill Bixby claimed to have become an accomplished magician under the tutelage of Mark Wilson. Bixby's show, The Magician, was retooled after folks found part of the premise too far-fetched: in early episodes, the title crime-fighting character traveled around in an enormous jet which served as his base (and garage for his Corvette), flown by a single pilot. This conceit was scrapped and his home became a mansion, reportedly based on the Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Last, we have Benjamin Kubelsky giving Nathan Birnbaum (or possibly his wax figure) a touch-up for "Jack Benny's Second Farewell Special." A third was not to be: Jack died eleven months later, the day after Christmas.

Stay tuned, I'll be back with a more detailed look at the month of February, 1974. I'm missing a week here too, unfortunately, but listen to this: the next issue's cover features crusty old Jeanette Nolan as Dirty Sally. No wonder you can't tear yourself away!

Monday, February 05, 2018

Remembering Old Snow.

Just dropping in to say that I've "updated" an old post. It's the 40th anniversary of the big blizzard of 1978, so I've refined and added to the commemoration I wrote twelve years ago. Check it out right HERE!