The Classic/Retro Pop Culture Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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  2. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    50th Anniversary Viewing

    _______

    Mission: Impossible
    "The Council: Part II"
    Originally aired November 26, 1967
    OK, so Fake Wayne needing to get out of the country for fake-shooting Barney's fake marshall is all part of the plan. Fake Wayne gets fake cosmetic surgery that makes him look like Rollin. All so Rollin can get some alone time with Wayne's safe. Meanwhile, the abducted and unconscious Real Wayne gets some actual cosmetic treatment to look like Rollin, for after the un-switcheroo...so the IMF operative who's a plastic surgeon who also happens to have experience having resuscitated a patient puts both of his talents to use.

    Despite all the elaborate set-up of the first part, the story still has the IMF gang benefiting from omniscient planning. In particular, it's awfully convenient that attempting to off Fake Wayne involved a mob boss shoving him out into a corridor where he could easily try to escape. I want to say that the double-twist on the disguise angle gave this one some good M:I flair that helped make up for the story's shortcomings...but Christopher 2010 makes a good argument that the whole makeover angle was itself a plot shortcoming, as they were ultimately going to put the real Wayne back in place to be killed. Still, this series's groove is doing elaborate schemes, and I think it works best if you don't think too hard about whether the elaborate schemes make sense, so long as they're executed with panache.

    TOS guest: One of the elevator switches makes the "hitting the phaser button" noise.

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    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
    "The Gurnius Affair"
    Originally aired November 27, 1967
    Open Channel Damn Lick of Sense, This Doesn't Make a

    Given the show's tongue-in-cheek nature, I can't help seeing the German prison commandant insisting that nobody can escape from his prison and that nobody has in 25 years (which would have been during the war) as spoofing Hogan's Heroes.

    This week's tacked-on female guest character is played by Judy Carne, who's about to become a regular occupant of TMFU's current timeslot in the coming year, as a cast member of the show's mid-season replacement, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. This is effectively another example of the babysitting formula...Solo is sidelined with her while Illya carries out his infiltration.

    It's very contrived that one of the former Nazis just happens to be a double of Illya (which is also played up as too much of a surprise reveal) to enable Illya to infiltrate the group. And pretty unlikely given the age factor. Illya portrays Nexor's lookalike son, but it's not made clear if the actual Nexor had been replaced by a lookalike son (which wasn't part of Waverly's briefing) or if it's an artifice of Illya's impersonation (in which case, how was this misinformation conveyed to the Nazi leader?). The hair alone seems like a rather unlikely choice for an aging ex-Nazi or a neo-Nazi offspring. And where does the son's rank come from? Self-assumed? Being his father's son wouldn't give him his father's experience.

    The Nazis' scheme involves projecting "mind waves" long distances via a telescope--Even if telescopes weren't made to look up into space, there's that annoying curvature of the Earth business to deal with. And of course, the whole observatory lair blows up from shooting up the control room.

    And if Gurnius is the leader of the operation, why is everyone wearing an "N" insignia? For "Nazi"?

    Episodes like this make M:I episodes with a few holes in the IMF's scheme look really good. There's a difference between wondering if a convoluted operation is really worth all the trouble and wondering what the hell the writers were thinking throughout the hour.

    TOS guest: Joseph Ruskin as a THRUSH representative.

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    The Rat Patrol
    "The Violent Truce Raid"
    Originally aired November 27, 1967
    Seems like that title might have been more appropriate for the Season 1 episode "The Moment of Truce Raid." This one actually has a couple of moments of truce, both of which go awry. Dietrich plays a substantial role in the episode.

    Guesting Bruce Glover (Mr. Wint, Diamonds Are Forever) as an American lieutenant who dies bringing the bad shipment to the Patrol's attention, and Howard Caine (Maj. Hochstetter, Hogan's Heroes) as the British major.

    This one has a few daytime scenes filmed on the desert set. Well, their desert set is more convincing than Trek's planet sets, at least.

    Overall, I'd say that this one pretty much hit the mark for what works on the show.

    _______

    Batman
    "The Foggiest Notion"
    Originally aired November 30, 1967
    The patrons of the Three Bells Pub are alternately described as mods and hippies; whatever they are, they don't strike a particularly American hippie vibe.

    This one had middle installment issues...the plot did move forward somewhat, with Batman learning the truth about Lord Ffogg, and Batgirl and Robin being captured. But the bit about Batman having his memory stolen and then quickly restored by Alfred was pure, water-treading filler.

    It seems a bit inconvenient for Alfred to have to lug out Barbara's suitcase each time she wants to change to Batgirl. Couldn't she just stash it somewhere nearby? And it might be a bit less conspicuous to conceal if it didn't have a bat-logo on it....

    Am I misremembering a Batfight with "Olde English" sound effects? Is that in the third part? THWACK-ETH!

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    Ironside
    "A Very Cool Hot Car"
    Originally aired November 30, 1967
    Sign o' the times: A bitter old retired cop references LSD. Not terribly cutting edge, as Dragnet was basing stories on the drug culture last season. We also get a pair of complicit auto salvage heirs who are brightly-dressed "flower people."

    Mark plays a substantial undercover role in the investigation, even though he's the one member of Team Ironside who's not a cop.

    It's a bit contrived that Ed doesn't see the guy who forced him off the road...particularly as there's no worthy surprise identity reveal involved. I was getting the vibe that one of the guest characters inside the force was in on the operation, but nothing of the sort emerged. Guess I'm used to the murder mystery formula.

    Oooh, Harrison Ford's in the next one...!

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    TGs2e12.jpg
    "The Mailman Cometh"
    Originally aired November 30, 1967
    I'm probably beating a dead horse at this point, but I have to note that the opening involves Donald taking Ann out to eat at a restaurant that she describes as costing the same as a round trip to Boston.

    Don Penny carries a good deal of the comedic weight in this one as Seymour, the overeager, underexperienced agent. Looking him up, I found this interesting...
    IMDb also claims that he wrote for The Monkees, but I don't see any episode writing credits to his name.

    Other guests include William Boyett (Sgt. MacDonald, Adam-12) in a small, uncredited speaking role as a photographer.

    "Oh, Donald" count: 3+; She gets in about as many "Oh, Seymour"s, but I wasn't counting those along the way.

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    Tarzan
    "Mountains of the Moon: Part 2"
    Originally aired December 1, 1967
    As one might have guessed, Rosanna McCloud is Ethel Merman's character.

    M:I isn't the only series doing long recaps in this era...we get one here that clocks in at around 6:40!

    I think they went a little too "Western" with this one. I was willing to buy the natives on horses circling the wagons like Indians...but the bad guys have a stagecoach; and at the end of act III, the colonial cavalry comes charging in, complete with bugler!

    On the subject of the pilgrims taking up firearms...
    This episode has a pretty timely message about using violence in the name of an ultimately peaceful cause, coming as it does on the cusp of the year in which the counterculture shifts to violent demonstrations. While McCloud and her followers are genuinely conflicted about the situation, Harry Townes's colonial officer is played up as something of a parody of trigger-happy military types...

    William Marshall's chief character has a teeny-tiny Theoden moment before his tribesmen charge the pilgrims.

    Tarzan gets a tribal trial by combat against Whitehead, the bad guy who played the pilgrims and tribesmen against each other with his land-selling scam. Tarzan badass moment: He voluntarily leaves his hands tied behind his back!

    Jai and Cheeta don't pop up in the second part, either.

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    Star Trek
    "Friday's Child"
    Originally aired December 1, 1967
    Stardate 3497.2


    See my post here.

    _______

    The Prisoner
    "Hammer into Anvil"
    Originally aired December 1, 1967 (UK)
    The very famous Patrick Cargill is back (Does anybody here get Help! references?), but this time he's Number Two! It doesn't sound like Cargill did Two's voice in the opener.

    I take it this would be one of those less essential episodes that they made to fill out the season. It's 12th of 17 in production order. It feels different from the get-go...Six getting involved in another prisoner's situation and Two being reactive about it. Cargill does what he can to keep the episode afloat in amusingly depicting Number Two's spiral into paranoia, but it's a bit tedious spending an hour getting to something that we could tell was coming from the first act. The part where Two proves that it was Number Six on the phone via voice pattern, when we already knew that, seems downright gratuitous; as does the brawl with 14.

    It makes sense in-setting that Six would have enough experience dealing with Twos at this point that he could play one so masterfully, but we have maybe a half-hour's worth of story here, if that, and the flawless execution of Six's scheme undermines the premise of the series. The closest thing in the episode to a good, Prisoner-style twist is how Six gets Two to turn himself in...sort of the same thing conceptually as Six, Kirk, or Mike Nesmith talking a computer into self-destructing.

    The use of the Bizet piece as a recurring motif in the score was a nice touch, for what it's worth. Overall, even a relatively weak Prisoner episode is pretty watchable compared to the weaker fare of other series of the era.

    It's a small British TV world...I thought there was something striking about Number 73, the suicide victim...
    HD1.jpg

    It turns out she was Hilary Dwyer (later Heath), who also played the girl in the scold's bridle in The Avengers, "Murdersville."
    HD2.jpg

    Finally, Anbo-Jyutsu is no longer the silliest fictitious martial art that I've been exposed to...now I've seen Kosho, an aesthetically displeasing eyesore of a martial art that uses trampolines, crash helmets, and a small pool of water...or is it acid? (Can it please be acid this time, Christopher?)

    _______

    Get Smart
    "That Old Gang of Mine"
    Originally aired December 2, 1967
    If Batman had been on the same network, they might have had a crossover opportunity here.

    The foggy London street in the teaser turning out to be a hotel room was a nice bit of surreal business. Other good bits were Max's Churchill impression and British CONTROL's Umbrella of Silence filling up with pipe smoke.

    As half-hour heist caper stories go, this one plays out better than some Rat Patrol episodes in the same vein.

    TOS guest: Sid Haig, but he seems to be in everything.

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    I'm old enough to remember had I been exposed to that news item, but young enough to have apparently not been.

    Yeah, her talent is borderline at best. One can see why she didn't break out of the lower reaches of the chart. I had been inclined to include at least one more example of her musical wares for comparison, but she was sharing a post with a couple of Monkees episodes. So here's her other Hot 100-charter:

    "Hello, Hello"

    (Charted May 27, 1967; #91 US; #8 AC)

    Well, she did make the Top 10 of what was then known as the Easy Listening chart!

    The Wiki page that I linked to previously mentioned that, and how SNL had to make an on-air apology for it at the time. The description of that skit rings a vague bell...I wouldn't have seen it in original broadcast, but perhaps a rerun or series retrospective special. OTOH, I could just be getting it conflated with the ski jump sequence in For Your Eyes Only.

    I would have had all of those...I had to take speech classes as a tyke. I remember that I'd actually hear words with those sounds wrong...e.g., I once got "thinking" confused with "sinking."
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm pretty sure that was a real-life elevator motor activation sound long before it was a phaser sound effect. A lot of TOS sound effects were sourced from real life (for instance, the door sound was the firing sound of an airgun played backward, and I think the phaser sound was a swarm of locusts chirping.)


    I think that was from the Archer episode in season 2.


    I've seen this one criticized for putting Number Six in too much control. A story where he turns the tables on his oppressors could have worked well if it had been difficult to gain the advantage, but here he seemed to be able to dominate almost effortlessly.


    Now, there's a trio of characters you don't often see likened to each other. But hey, it works for me. Mike was always the brains of the outfit.
     
  4. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    A meaty amount of business...
    _______

    50 Years Ago This Week
    "2000 Light Years from Home," The Rolling Stones

    (B-side of "She's a Rainbow," which we'll be covering when it charts)
    Very Brief Bonus News Item Link

    A more detailed description of the incident...


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Kentucky Woman," Neil Diamond
    • "She Is Still a Mystery," The Lovin' Spoonful
    • "Your Precious Love," Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

    New on the chart:

    "I Am the Walrus," The Beatles

    (B-side of "Hello Goodbye"; #56 US)

    "Love Me Two Times," The Doors

    (#25 US)

    "It's Wonderful," The Young Rascals
    (#20 US)

    "Susan," The Buckinghams
    (#11 US)

    "Nobody But Me," The Human Beinz

    (#8 US)

    "Goin' Out of My Head / Can't Take My Eyes Off You," The Lettermen
    (#7 US; #2 AC)

    "Chain of Fools," Aretha Franklin

    (#2 US; #1 R&B; #37 UK; #249 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)


    And new on the boob tube:
    • The Ed Sullivan Show, Season 20, episode 13, featuring Gordon McCrae & Carol Lawrence, The Mecners, and Frankie Fanelli
    • Mission: Impossible, "The Astrologer"
    • The Man from U.N.C.L.E., "The Man from THRUSH Affair"
    • The Rat Patrol, "The Life for a Life Raid"
    • Batman, "The Bloody Tower"
    • Ironside, "The Past Is Prologue"
    • That Girl, "It's a Mod, Mod World: Part I"
    • Star Trek, "The Deadly Years"
    • The Prisoner, "It's Your Funeral"
    • Get Smart, "The Mild Ones"
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    Ah...in which case, Fun Facts!

    Ah yes, that jogs a brain cell.

    Indeed. Or the hitch in his plan could have been if he found himself going too far in executing his plan...e.g., putting other prisoners in danger--the same angle I wish they would have played in another of the weaker episodes, "Free for All."

    :lol: I thought that bit of cross-referencing might be an attention-grabber...but all authentically drawn from story points in their respective shows.
     
  5. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Panache over realism every time. :bolian:

    Sometimes it really strikes me how recent WWII was when I was a kid.

    Cool. My second-favorite Laugh-In babe.

    Everybody knows that mind waves pass through the Earth like neutrinos and only interact with the brain cells of the people you want them to.

    Gas was cheap in those days.

    Gotta use what's available in the prop room. :rommie:

    Always counterproductive. You don't win anybody's sympathy by inconveniencing them, let alone hurting them.

    I don't remember that one. It's not really great.

    Interesting. I don't remember the apology, but I do remember thinking that the skit was pretty sick even for SNL. :rommie:

    Okay, they don't do psychedelic well. :rommie:

    Nothing like getting maced while "making out" in the shower. No wonder he was such an angry young man.

    A classic, although I remember it being longer.

    I'm not much of a... er... well, this has a nice, nostalgic sound to it now.

    Not familiar with this one. They certainly did better.

    Ditto.

    Probably not a great song, but it really conjures up the 60s.

    The Letterman are decent. This was an interesting video, with a second clip of a very slow version of "Never My Love" on the same set. I wonder where they're from.

    An all-time classic, of course. :mallory:

    We finally got back to Ed Sullivan after missing a couple of weeks (first my Brother's birthday, then my Mother had a tree-trimming at the retirement community). There was a really great performance of "Aquarius" by the 5th Dimension using super spacey special effects, and also stand up by Dick Cavett. He was pretty good. I don't think I knew that he started out in stand up. I used to watch his show fairly frequently back in the 70s, and I never thought he was a good talk show host but I always liked him-- he's like the Joe Cocker of talk shows.

    And, yes, I have been using the schedule tab for Decades to schedule recordings, thank you. Also I noticed something else that's very helpful. Somehow the DVR knows if you've previously recorded a show in the past and marks it as "Watched," so we can skip them.
     
  6. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Yeah, too bad they're shooting them into space.

    I picked that one because for me, it's the standout gem on an otherwise hard-to-listen-to album. I think that it captures the vast loneliness of deep space better than Trek usually does.

    That's all the Fabs saw fit to put on YouTube, we can be grateful that the song is represented at all. "I Am the Walrus" is a personal favorite of mine in the Beatles' rich song catalog. When I was first delving into them on vinyl, that was one that I listened to over and over again.

    One of us! One of us!

    An obscuro and definitely not their strongest work--especially coming on the heels of "How Can I Be Sure," which really grew on me with the anniversary playlist listening--but interesting for its attempt at a more psychedelic sound.

    As with other Buckinghams songs, good, pleasant, familiar oldies radio fare for me. Apparently they haven't gotten as much airplay in the Boston area. Their string of hits was a tightly packed one...their first Top-20 single charted in December 1966, and this will be their fifth and last.

    Whereas these guys are strictly one-hit wonder territory...they had one follow-up single that made it into the Hot 100, at #80. But again, classic oldies radio fare.

    The first dual cover that I included the video for is the only of this week's selections that I don't have. It's pleasant enough in its own lounge muzaky way, but it just makes me want to listen to the two better songs that it's covering. One of those came up as 50th anniversary business earlier this year. The other...

    "Goin' Out of My Head," Little Anthony & the Imperials

    (Charted Nov. 7, 1964; #6 US; #6 R&B)

    Of course.

    That part's not as helpful as you think, because it's based on the faulty cable info. That's why I was always having to check my scheduled recordings and manually set it to record episodes that the DVR thought I already had. Those bad descriptions seem to have often been repeated for different episodes. So if the DVR thinks you've already seen it, ignore that. The only reliable source of which episodes Decades is airing is the Decades site itself.
     
  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks to the showrunners being out of touch, with their faux Brit/rough types that were more 19th century Bill Sikes types than any youth culture of 1967. Mods were already long out of the cultural eye by late '67.

    "Water-treading filler" That should be the subtitle of season three.

    It seems a bit inconvenient for Alfred to have to lug out Barbara's suitcase each time she wants to change to Batgirl. Couldn't she just stash it somewhere nearby? And it might be a bit less conspicuous to conceal if it didn't have a bat-logo on it....

    No, it would've never happened because Batman was not a sitcom, no matter what corner of the '66 fanbase tries to make that unsubstantiated argument.

    Absolute classic.
     
  8. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    So I just discovered some discrepancies with the cable info and the Decades numbering scheme for the first season of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In...it turns out that I've been sitting on the pilot special, which aired in September 1967, and just now realized it! I'll have to get that in soon.
     
  9. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Er... well... mind waves are smart. And can steer. And stuff.

    Early Trek did. Later Trek was too civilized, giving taxi rides to ambassadors and stuff.

    :rommie:

    That could be. They're not a band I'm very familiar with.

    That staccato "no no no" is Pavlovian. :rommie:

    Oh, yeah, that's wonderful.

    Well, crap. I'll have to keep my eye on that.

    I saw that one and it seems like it was a while ago. I don't remember it clearly, but I remember thinking that it definitely had a different vibe than the regular show does.
     
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    I was never able to wrap my head around what I've read of the mod/rocker British youth culture of the time, not having enough cultural context to go on, but one does see the term "mod" coming up a lot in this era, on TV and elsewhere.

    I generally agree with this.

    I remember a local oldies DJ saying that the Buckinghams sold more records in 1967 than any other act, including the Beatles...then broke up and disappeared. Not sure if there was a qualifier about the record sales (e.g., singles). Going by the single chart performance I've been seeing, it seems like "or the Monkees" could have been included in there, if the fact is true.

    I recall that being used in at least one commercial in relatively recent times. Think it was for Chili's. That Eastern drone-sounding opening note is also a nice Beatlesque touch.

    It had a different intro, I've seen that much. And used grainy, home movie-quality outdoor footage, which I don't recall seeing much of in what I've seen of the regular episodes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Anyone see the Carol Burnett Show 50th anniversary special last night? It was fun to revisit that show and its sketches (aside from the "Family" sketches, which I always loathed). Carol Burnett has always been such a gifted comedic performer, and an equally skilled dramatic actress, singer -- heck, I'm not sure there's anything she isn't good at. Harvey Korman and Tim Conway were hilarious too, and their tendency to break each other up onstage -- and have that actually left in the show rather than relegated to blooper reels -- was a large part of the cast's charm. (I'd forgotten how much Conway's physical and verbal comedy was something I tried to emulate as a kid when goofing around for my friends, family, and occasionally classmates.) It made them relatable -- like Carol's introductory Q&A segments, it let the audience feel we were connecting to the real people behind the performances -- and it gave it a feel like live theater or radio comedy.

    There were some interesting guest stars in the special, though there were some I'd never heard of before or was barely aware of. And poor Lyle Waggoner got short shrift -- they brought him out to join the group of reminiscers and then he hardly said anything for the rest of the segment. In the musical segment, it was kind of amazing to see Bernadette Peters and Kristen Chenoweth side by side, but they never sang together except in the closing bit where everyone was singing, so that was a missed opportunity.
     
  12. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Can't say that I did, I was watching Ed Sullivan and Mission: Impossible. Are they still making new TV these days? :p
     
  13. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    By late 1967, the Mod explosion (including violence in the streets, and influence by/on rock groups like the early Who & Yardbirds) was not "that scene" anymore in British culture. Some of it would last for a few years after this Bat-episode, but it certainly was not as much a thing as this episode would have audiences believe. Dozier and most of his TV-producing generation were out of touch, which explains why TV and movie versions of rock groups or youth culture post-1966 often had groups still in Beatles "She Loves You" phase (long gone by then), or presented them with exaggerated ideas on psychedelica, with everyone acting high, or spouting Timothy Leary-isms, as if culture was all dictated by Leary and like-minded followers.


    I don't know who that DJ was, but in '67, The Monkees outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, according to favorite music source (said no one--ever) Rolling Stone.
     
  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Did a bit of fact-checking and found that I was probably misremembering the DJ bringing up this: Billboard named them "The Most Listened To Band in America" in 1967. This likely owed to the fact that they had five hit singles that year, which was more than other acts were typically releasing...and that likely owed to the fact that the singles were on two labels.
     
  15. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    Lyle Waggoner was tall and good-looking, but he never struck me as particularly talented. I suppose at some point he must have realized he was on the wrong side of the camera.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think he was okay as far as filling his own particular niche went. He made a reasonably good Steve Trevor on Wonder Woman, although the acting bar admittedly wasn't very high on that show.
     
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    He had a very distinctive voice. That alone is worth something.
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Lyle Waggoner was almost unnaturally handsome. He competed for the part of Batman and lost to Adam West. It would have been cool if he could have guest starred as Superman in an episode-- he had that level of super good looks.

    Yes, it had much less polish, as I recall.

    A little bit. Some of it is worth watching. :rommie:

    People can make statistics say anything they want. :rommie:
     
  19. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    Kitchen Sink Review Business

    _______

    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for 55 years ago this week:
    Interesting thing going on here is that this is from before whatever point in the '60s that they split Holiday singles onto their own chart, so we have some then-recent Holiday hits reentering the charts for the season...and awkwardly, "Monster Mash" is still lingering around, as it's enjoying its original chart run. Post-Halloween, I've been tending to skip it when it comes up in the shuffle.

    Also of note: Dionne Warwick's chart debut.

    _______

    12 O'Clock High
    "R/X for a Sick Bird"
    Originally aired September 20, 1965
    FYI, "R/X" is spoken as "Prescription" by the QM announcer.

    Guesting several familiar faces: Tige Andrews, Hans Gudegast (later Eric Braeden; Dietrich from The Rat Patrol), James Brolin...and I wasn't familiar with Gia Scala, but she was quite fetching.

    OK, when Han Gudegast is in an episode about Nazi saboteurs, playing an ostensibly Allied officer (didn't catch his character's nationality, but he wasn't hiding his accent; if he was supposed to be a Brit, then his accent was damn lousy), you know he's gonna be the Germans' guy on the inside...but to the show's credit, they didn't try to keep that a mystery to the audience.

    Here we catch part of why they may have added Komansky to the cast--In addition to giving us a regular on the enlisted side, in this story he was used as a POV character on a mission that Col. Gallagher wasn't flying.

    It's kind of cute that the sabotage attempt in Act IV was bringing the Picadilly Lilly an explosive coffee thermos, when Gallagher's bad coffee was a bit of a running background gag earlier in the episode...and mentioned again in the epilogue! I don't think it was a coincidence.

    I can only assume that the personal bomber of the group's commander is traditionally named the Picadilly Lilly, given that the one Savage was flying went down with him...not to mention that time not long before when Savage scattered her fuselage all over that English manor property.

    _______

    Say, guys, do you remember that week that I didn't review...?

    Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
    Pilot special
    Originally aired September 9, 1967
    I like that they keep the NBC peacock intro in syndication.

    Contrary to the list above, Monte Landis is announced in the episode as one of the regular cast members, not a guest.

    This show's style of humor is very blink-and-miss-it, throw everything against the wall and something's bound to stick. If I zone out for a bit or look down to jot a note, I've missed five jokes. Not everything works for me, but not everything has to at that pace. One bit I particularly enjoyed was right in the opening monologue, when Dick is being coy about having attended a nudist camp, and everyone gets what he's talking about before it's stated outright.

    Signs o' the times department:
    • The introductory explanation of "-ins" and flower people.
    • News from 20 years in the future...September 9, 1987! (Were the song and dance numbers during the news meant to be a commentary on news becoming more like entertainment?)
    • A troll doll--the fad started in the '60s.
    • Arte Johnson doing a guru character in the cocktail party skit.
    • Barbara Feldon's cocktail party persona uses the pronunciation VietNAMese...like "Vietnam" with "-ese" stuck on. Perhaps mocking the ignorance of the person she was pretending to be, but still a sign o' the times that people might be uninformed enough to pronounce it like that.
    • Ruth Buzzi sings a "Ladybird" song...were all of these "Ladybird" songs of the time inspired by the first lady's nickname?

    From what I already know of the show or was able to look up easily, lots of regular features were established here:
    • Introducing the ongoing cocktail party skit by walking into it from the opening monologue.
    • Getting our first several "very interesting"s.
    • Ruth Buzzi doing what appeared to be a proto-version of her Gladys Ormphby character.
    • Henry Gibson doing poetry.
    • The Mod, Mod World segment.
    • Is Dick's "I'll drink to that" a running gag?
    • "Say goodnight, Dick."
    Most noticeably absent: The Joke Wall.

    They seemed to be sending up variety shows like Sullivan with the cast introduction segment, which had the cast members doing comically bad songs, dance, and ventriloquism.

    Was the "Stamp out John Wayne" button setting up his appearances on the show?

    Overall, I'm looking forward to this replacing TMFU...I think I'll enjoy it a lot more.

    _______

    The Ed Sullivan Show
    Season 20, episode 8
    Originally aired October 29, 1967

    When "The Rain, the Park & Other Things" made its chart debut, I held onto a live color clip from the Cowsills' appearance on Sullivan with the expectation that it might come up on The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show. It didn't, so here it is:



    _______

    The Monkees

    "A Coffin Too Frequent"
    Originally aired November 20, 1967
    Ruth Buzzi comes to us between the pilot episode and regular season of Laugh-In, while also playing a recurring role in the second season of That Girl as Pete Peterson. I didn't recognize him by name or face, but Mickey Morton is a TOS guest-to-be (Kloog, "The Gamesters of Triskelion").

    An IMDb reviewer says that this is the last appearance of the wool hat.

    Songs include "Goin' Down" (an in-story sequence that I couldn't find on YouTube) and a reprise of the non-episode-specific "Daydream Believer" video.


    "Hitting the High Seas"
    Originally aired November 27, 1967
    Chips Rafferty is recognizable as two-time Tarzan guest character Dutch Jensen, a landlocked sea captain.

    They did give Mike an in-story reason for disappearing this time, though it's easy to miss.

    Davy's name gets the boys out of a tight spot. And fortunately the captain's parrot sounds just like Micky doing a parrot. Micky's the Monkee Martin Landau!

    The climax gives us a rather incongruent use of "Daydream Believer" as the three Monkees present stop the hijacking with swordplay.

    Disconnected song sequence:

    "Star Collector"


    So Mike was going AWOL because he thought the story material was weak? If so, I'm finding myself in agreement with him. I've been trying to get into the show, but it's generally not really clicking for me. It's an easy enough watch that I'll stick with it, though.

    _______

    That kinda sorta catches The Monkees up with 50th anniversary viewing. The problem is, this week's episode doesn't air until Sunday, at which point I'll have posted this week's other reviews...so it'll be another week before the show properly falls into 50th anniversary sync.

    _______
     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    It does get old.

    I don't think I've ever seen it with a slash like that. I wonder if it's an archaic usage, or just a mistake.

    Probably more useful now than then. :rommie:

    Weird. I could have sworn I saw this on one of the episodes I recorded. Very nice song, though.

    Not bad, not great. I like the peace signs in the video.