Monday, December 31, 2007

Musings on New Year's Eve

As we go into the year 2008, I’m wondering: Will we achieve world peace? Will we stop world hunger? Can I make it to midnight and watch the ball drop on TV without falling asleep?

I have serious doubts about that last question.

So, I’m going to put on a pot of coffee, maybe play a round or two of Scrabble, and see what happens.

In the meantime, my best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy, safe, serene, fun-filled, adjective-laden, totally tubular New Year.

And, as always, thanks for reading. See you in 2008.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

“Plastic Man”

Plastic Man, Plastic Man, does whatever a plastic can ….

Wait, I’m mixing up “Plastic Man” with “Spider-Man.”

The cartoon “The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show” ran from 1979 to 1981. It featured the adventures of the rubbery superhero Plastic Man, along with his cohorts Penny and Hula Hula. Plastic Man acquired the ability to stretch his body after being doused by acid. (And, he didn’t need four cups of coffee to be bouncing off the walls …)

The show also featured the adventures of Mighty Max, assisted by Yuk, the world’s ugliest dog. I remember Yuk’s head was covered by a dog house. And there was the“Rickety Rocket,” about four teenagers who run a detective agency along with their makeshift talking robot.

Here’s a clip from “The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show”:

For more information on “The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show,” go to:

For more details on “Rickety Rocket,” go to:

Saturday, December 29, 2007

“Divorce Court”

Last a four-part series.

Truth be told, I’m not a “Divorce Court” watcher.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some episodes when Mablean Ephriam presided over the show.

But, I haven’t seen it in quite a while, so it took me somewhat by surprise that Judge Ephriam had been replaced by Judge Lynn Toler. Toler rules over couples getting—sorry to keep shocking you all like this—divorced.

Her predecessor, Judge Ephriam, always reminded me of Rosetta LeNoire, Grandma Winslow on “Family Matters.”

Personally, I’m always amazed how many people would want to go through something like this on national television.

Check out “Divorce Court” at:

You can go to the “Divorce Court” Web site here:

Friday, December 28, 2007

"The Newlywed Game"

Third of a four-part series.

Today, we continue following the course of love on television. Previously, we looked at “The Dating Game,” and then, “The Honeymooners.”

Now for a look at “The Newlywed Game.”

The game show was hosted by Bob Eubanks, and ran from 1966 to 1974.

It featured four couples, competing to see which couple knew their spouses the best. While their spouses were offstage, the other partner would answer Eubanks’ short series of questions. The couples would then be reunited and try to match answers. The process would be repeated with the other spouse going offstage, coming back and answering questions.

God help the poor spouses who endured being whacked with the answer cards when they didn’t match answers.

For more on “The Newlywed Game,” go to

Check out this clip from It’s a riot.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

“The Honeymooners”

Note: This post is the second in a four-part series following the course of love through television shows. Yesterday, I took a look at “The Dating Game.” Let’s stroll down memory lane and talk about “The Honeymooners.”

Definitely one of the classics. This comedy premiered in 1956 and starred Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows as Ralph and Alice Kramden. They lived in the same apartment building as their friends, Ralph and Trixie Norton, played by Art Carney and Joyce Randolph.

Ralph works as a bus driver, while Ed toils away working in the sewers. Ralph and Ed usually find themselves in some predicament, and, in the end, their wives are always there for them. Ralph would kiss Alice and exclaim, “Baby, you’re the greatest!”

One of my favorite episodes was when Ralph and Ed decide to chip in and buy a television set. They wind up putting it in the Kramden’s apartment, which of course causes friction when there’s TV schedule conflicts. OK, everybody say, “Captain Videoooooooooo.”

Here’s “The Honeymooners” intro from

Here’s a clip from “The Honeymooners” from

For more on “The Honeymooners,” go to

Next: “The Newlywed Game.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Four-part series on the stages of love begins today

Today, I kick off a four-part series, going through the various stages of love. I’ll start off with “The Dating Game,” then I’ll look at “The Honeymooners,” “The Newlywed Game,” and, finally, “Divorce Court.” Hope you enjoy it!

“The Dating Game”

If you were looking for love—and tried the bars, social clubs, and blind dates—and still weren’t successful, there was always “The Dating Game.”

According to, the show began in 1965 and ran for 15 seasons.

Hosted by Jim Lange, the show featured either a bachelor or bachelorette asking questions of contestants of the opposite sex, trying to determine which of the three were the right match. After a time, the interviewer would have to make a decision between (saying in my best Jim Lange voice) Bachelor Number 1 … Bachelor Number 2 … or Bachelor Number 3. (or bachelorette, depending on the episode).

And some people who would later become celebrities—such as Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman and Bill Bixby—turned up as contestants.

The show would close with Lange and the couples who had paired off gesturing a big kiss to the audience.

Here’s a clip featuring Andy Kaufman, better known as Latka Gravas from “Taxi”:

And one with Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And now another word from our sponsor …

Where has the Hawaiian Punch guy been? Did he leave Hawaii? Is that why we haven’t seen him? Maybe he’s in Jamaica, now asking, “How about a nice Jamaican punch, mon?”

Here’s a clip of the Hawaiian Punch guy—I just discovered his name was “Punchy” (how fitting!) from

More on Hawaiian Punch at

And we doubled our pleasure (and our fun) with the Wrigley’s Doublemint gum Doublemint twins. Sure, Wrigley’s may be able to double my pleasure, and my fun … but can they double my salary

Or how about the kids hanging out in the “Honeycomb Hideout,” hawking Post Honeycomb cereal. Did they all just love the cereal, or was it really just peer pressure? We may never know:

She could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, never, never (I think she meant never) let you forget you’re a man. Yes, it’s Enjoli perfume:

And finally, how about the Reese’s peanut butter cup commercials, where one person’s eating chocolate, another’s eating peanut butter, and they collide and find that chocolate and peanut butter are “two great tastes that taste great together”? The clip features actor Robby Benson and Donny Most (“Ralph Malph” from “Happy Days.”)

Happy holidays!

--Brad Wadlow, Staff Writer


You can check out Staff Writer Brad Wadlow's "Totally TV" blog at:

Monday, December 24, 2007

The bad luck tiki on “The Brady Bunch”

Why do the Bradys go on vacation? In the two-multi-episode vacations they took (I’m not counting the one episode camping trip where they all went camping for the first time), they run into problems.

When they traveled to the Grand Canyon, for instance, viewers wondered during the cliffhanger episode if Bobby and Cindy would ever be found after wandering away in the Grand Canyon. (Relax, they were).

And the Bradys really get into trouble when they all (including Alice) travel to Hawaii. Bobby finds a tiki idol on a construction site, and WHAMMO! Bad things start to happen, such as a wall hanging falling down and narrowly missing Bobby; a spider crawls into Jan’s bag and makes its way onto Peter’s chest while he’s sleeping with the idol on; Alice hurts her back while hula dancing wearing the idol, and Greg wipes out while surfing while the idol’s around his neck.

They talk to an island native, who tells them the idol has to be returned to its proper burial spot, or they will continue to have bad luck. While returning the idol, they are temporarily captured by a Professor Whitehead (played by guest star Vincent Price) who’s afraid the boys are going to steal his great archeological find. But, the boys are rescued when Mike and Carol Brady show up. The boys DO return the idol to it’s proper place, and good luck resumes. As least until the series is cancelled.

Here’s a clip of surfer dude Greg surfing and wiping out:

Here’s another clips with the Brady boys and Vincent Price:

For more details, on the “Tiki Caves” episode, go to

Sunday, December 23, 2007

“The Mothers-In-Law”

This comedy, which premiered in 1967 (a very good year, since it was the year I was born!) starred Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard, as, respectively, Eve Hubbard and Kaye Buell.

Eve and Kaye are next-door neighbors, and their children (played by Jerry Fogel and Deborah Walley) marry each other. Try as they might, Eve and Kaye (the characters, not the actresses) can’t help but meddle in the lives of their newlywed kids. Herbert Rudley and Roger C. Carmel played Eve and Kaye’s frustrated husbands.

Executive producer of the show was “I Love Lucy’s” Desi Arnaz. Arnaz not only produced the show, but also made appearances on it as Raphael del Gado. His son, Desi Arnaz Jr. also made some appearances on “The Mothers-in-Law.”

What I remember most about this show were Kaye’s gestures when she was upset or angry.

For more on “The Mothers-In-Law” go to\

Check out some scenes from an episode of “The Mothers-In-Law” on

Saturday, December 22, 2007


As I’m typing this, I have the song “Kids Are People, Too” (wackadoo, wackadoo, wackadoo) stuck in the void that I call my head.

The part I remember most about Wonderama (hey, it’s been a while since I’ve seen an episode), is when the kids from the audience would come down and select a can out of a row of ten cans. Nine of them were filled with those fake, springy snakes that would pop out when the can was opened. And, in one can, there was a small bouquet of flowers.

According to, hosts of the show were: Sandy Becker (1955-1956 and 1957-1959), Herb Sheldon (1956-1957), Sonny Fox (1959-1967), and Bob McAllister, (1967-1977). Bob McAllister is the host I remember. Well, him and Michael Young, who hosted the spin-off, “Kids Are People Too.” (McAllister hosted this show from 1978-1982).

Take a look at the clip I found on below. And check out the prizes of toys. Talk about memories! Do you know where your Chip Away statues are?

Here’s the link:

For more details on “Wonderama”:

For more details on “Kids Are People, Too”:

Friday, December 21, 2007

“The Waltons”

It would be a quiet night on “Wadlow’s Mountain” back in the 1970’s. My family and I would be just turning in, five of us in a pop-up trailer in some RV park.

And, then it would begin ….

“Goodnight, Mom …. Goodnight, Dad!” I’d say from my spot, at one end of the trailer.

“Goodnight, Bradley!” my parents would respond. (I don’t think I’ve actually introduced myself as Bradley since around 1977, unless it was at a doctor’s office or some place where full names were required. But, that’s another blog.)

But, I couldn’t let it end there.

“Goodnight, John-Boy! … Goodnight, Mary Ellen!”

Yes, that’s right, “The Waltons.” To be honest, I wasn’t a big “Waltons” follower. The only episode I remember, for some odd reason (but, hey, that’s me) is the episode where Olivia (that’s Mrs. Walton to you, buster) contracted polio.

The show began in 1972, and revolved around The Waltons, a 1930’s mountain family.(who lived on “Walton’s Mountain”). It starred Ralph Waite as John Walton, Michael Learned as his wife, Olivia, and Richard Thomas as John “John Boy” Walton, Jr. John Sr. and Olivia had eight children—including John-Boy, and another who died at birth. Will Geer and Ellen Corby played the Walton grandparents.

You can watch “The Waltons” intro on here:

Check out the page on “The Waltons” here:

Here’s some more on “The Waltons”

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dr. Cassandra on “Batman”

I know, I know, I’ve already touched upon the villainess Dr. Cassandra appearing on the 1960’s show, “Batman.”

But, don’t think that’s going to stop me from talking about it further.

Portrayed by Ida Lupino, Dr. Cassandra, flattens the terrific trio of Batman, Robin and Batgirl with her Alvino ray gun into cardboard-like forms--with pulses!

Then, with the three crime fighters out of the way, Dr. Cassandra, accompanied by her sidekick Cabala (played by Howard Duff), makes her way into Warden Crichton’s prison office (thanks to her invention of pills that make a person disappear). Once inside, she gets on the PA system, and announces to the inmates she’s going to free all of the arch criminals, while keeping Warden Crichton at bay with her trusty Alvino ray gun. But, with apologies to all the others criminals in the pokey, just the arch criminals (who are housed, of course, in the arch criminals’ wing. “All others keep out!”) will be released. Freed from the slammer are: Catwoman (once again played by the incredible Julie Newmar), Penguin, Joker, King Tut, Riddler and Egghead.

The terrific trio are slid under Commissioner Gordon’s door like pieces of mail and are rescued by Alfred and restored to their 3-D selves once again. They find where the crooks are hiding and crash the party. But, the criminals take the disappearing pills, and well, disappear. So, our heroes and heroine turn out the lights so everyone’s on an even playing field. And, of course, in the end, good triumphs over evil, and the bad boys (bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you) and bad girls are hauled back to the pen.

All the arch criminals on the loose in Gotham City? Gotta love it. (Unless you live in Gotham City, that is.)

For more on this episode, go to

Here’s a clip from “The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra” episode from

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sundays with Abbott & Costello

Ah, childhood. Growing up in Hicksville, Long Island, I remember Sundays being a day of building Lincoln Log houses with my Dad (when I was too young to sit still in Church), going to the deli in the Bohack’s shopping plaza, and hot pastrami sandwiches.

And, of course, the Abbott & Costello movie shown every Sunday on Channel 11, which used to be WPIX.

Admittedly, I’m not a die-hard, gotta-stay-up-until-2 a.m.-to-watch Abbott & Costello fan, but I do have a favorites: "Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain.

Margaret Hamilton guest starred as a witch that Abbott & Costello go to see for a potion. While in her lair, the witch and Lou Costello have a duel with voodoo dolls. I loved Hamilton’s portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz" (still do), so obviously, I loved Hamilton’s scene in this movie.

Check out this movie trailer for "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" on

Check out the classic "Who’s on First" routine here:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Socks and shoes: What's the correct way?

OK, I just walked into work. Arrived in sneakers and sweat socks since it's still a little bit icy out there. As I was changing into my dress socks and Bostonians, I flashed back on an "All of the Family" episode where Archie and Mike (AKA "Meathead") were debating whether the correct way to put on socks and shoes was a sock and a sock and a shoe and a shoe (Archie's way), or a sock and a shoe and a sock and a shoe (Mike's way).

Archie's reasoning: If there's a fire in the house, with two socks on, you could run outside and be even.

Mike's reasoning: What if it's snowing outside? Archie's way, his feet would get wet. Mike's way, he could hop around on one foot and stay dry.

Personally, I'm a sock and a shoe, sock and a shoe guy. (You're all learning WAYYYY too much about me through this blog!)

What about you: Sock and sock, shoe and shoe or sock and shoe, sock and shoe? Let me (and all the blog readers out there) know.

UPDATE: 1:03 p.m.: I've just polished off a Dr. Pepper and started in on my gourmet liverwurst sandwich. And still no responses. Maybe I was a bit too specific with socks and shoes. They can be sneakers , too. Or boots. I'd say sandals, but I don't know anyone who wears socks with sandals. (I'm sure there's someone out there though). The latter could also be said for high heels. Snow shoes present their own dilemma, because you have a boot in between the snow shoe and the sock. C'mon, guys and gals, don't make me soliloquize all day long by myself (that never leads to any good).

Monday, December 17, 2007

“Solid Gold”

“The sound starts to glisten, the more that you listen, and slowly it turns into gold … Solid Gold.”

That’s part of the lyrics from—hang on to your mousepads, bloggeroos, here’s a shocker—“Solid Gold.”

Each week, the “Solid Gold” dancers, clad in sparse, eye-catching garb, danced to the top 10 songs, beginning with Number 10 and working their way through to Number 1.

The show had several hosts during its 1980 to 1988 run—Dionne Warwick, Rex Smith, Marilyn McCoo, Andy Gibb and Rick Dees. In addition to those “Solid Gold” dancers, the show also featured musical performances.

Should my writing career ever fall through, I’m going to lobby the networks to bring back “Solid Gold” and demand I be cast as one of the “Solid Gold” dancers. Trust me, we need more comedy on TV.

Check out the “Solid Gold” dancers performing to the show’s theme song:

Watch the “Solid Gold” dancers count down a week’s top 10 songs. (Talk about nostalgia!)

For more details on “Sold Gold,” go to

And take a look at this page at

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Todd wins "Survivor: China"

Todd Herzog just won "Survivor: China." While I've watched all the episodes, I can't say it's been one of my favorites. There really wasn't anyone I was rooting for. I'm just hoping that as soon after the last tribal council, Courtney got something to eat. But, congrats to Todd for being the sole survivor of "Survivor: China."

I'm watching the "Survivor: China" reunion show right now. Who ARE these people? Oh, that's right. They're the survivors. They clean up real nice.

"Big Brother" starts again next year. (I think the promo said some time in February). While I won't be bringing you episode-by-episode reports, I'll comment on anything big or funny or shocking or all three.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

“Family Ties”

Nestled in the prime time-slot of 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, right after the powerhouse, “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties” made its debut in 1982 and run until 1989.

When the show started, Michael Gross as Steven Keaton and Meredith Baxter as Elyse Keaton were the stars of the show. But Michael J. Fox, as young Republican, first-born, Alex P. Keaton, rose to meteoric fame (and would go on to star in the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy).

Rounding out the cast were Justine Bateman, sister of Jason Bateman (of “Silver Spoons” and “It’s Your Move”), as Mallory Keaton; Tina Yothers as youngest daughter Jennifer Keaton, and later, Brian Bonsall, as baby brother Andrew “Andy” Keaton.”

Others who would later join the cast were Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed, love interest for Alex P. Keaton. On the show, Alex and Ellen broke up, but in real life, Pollan would become Mrs. Michael J. Fox. Courteney Cox, who would go on to star as Monica in “Friends,” would become the next love interest for Alex. Other regulars included Scott Valentine as Nick Moore, as Mallory’s boyfriend, and Marc Price as Alex’s friend, Erwin “Skippy” Handleman. (I was in college in Massachusetts and Handleman performed a comic routine there while he was starring in the show.

For more details on “Family Ties,” go to

Check out the intro song to “Family Ties” on here:

Friday, December 14, 2007

ABC's '4:30 Movie'

Anyone remember the 4:30 p.m. movie that used to run every day on ABC?

Some of the ones that were shown that stick out most in my memory:

• “Batman”: The 1960’s version, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Batman and Robin battle not one, not two, not even three … but, four, yes, count ‘em, FOUR arch villains: Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and Riddler.

• “Planet of the Apes” week: Among them: Here’s a shocker, “Planet of the Apes;” also, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes,” “Escape from the Planet of the Apes,” and “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” and “Battle for the Planet of the Apes.” (I used to have the “Planet of the Apes” actions figures. Also had the “Star Trek” ship that I bought at a garage sale, but no action figures. So, the apes wound up in space instead. It was one small step for man, one giant step for monkey.

• “Bad Ronald”: A mother hides her son in her house after he accidentally commits a murder. Kim Hunter (“Zira” of “Planet of the Apes” fame, played Ronald’s mom).

Check out the intro to the 4:30 Movie. I always thought the guy with the camera looked like a dog when it zoomed out. (You should see me with ink blots …)

For a look at “The Planet of the Apes,” go to:

Here’s a clip I found on from “Bad Ronald”:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

“The Munsters”

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky …

Wait, that’s “The Addams Family” …

Have no fear, I’ll try get to that show in a future posting. Right now, let’s take a quick look at “The Munsters.”

Herman Munster (played by Fred Gwynne), who remarkably resembles Frankenstein, is married to Lily, who has long black hair with a white streak in it. They live in a big, old house (complete with cobwebs), with their werewolf son, Eddie, and Lily’s niece, Marilyn (who is an all-American girl, and thus dubbed by the Munsters as different). And, there’s also Grandpa (played by Al Lewis), a vampire/mad scientist with a laboratory in the Munster’s basement.

Two of my favorite things about this show:

1. The Munsters’ telephone. They would pull a cord and a coffin would emerge from the wall, with the phone inside. A morbid phone booth, indeed. (Phone booth? What’s a phone booth?)
2. The Munsters’ pet dragon, Spot, who lived under the stairs. The Munsters would push down on part of the banister, and the stairs would lift up and reveal Spot.

Take a look at the opening of “The Munsters” on here:

Check out this clip of a cast reunion (minus Fred Gwynne, who had passed away)

Remembering Ike Turner

Ike Turner, half of the great rockin’ music duo, Ike and Tina Turner, passed away yesterday. He was 76.

Ike and Tina performed such hits as “Proud Mary,” “A Fool in Love” and “Shake a Tail Feather.”

Tina Turner—with or without Ike—is one of my favorites. I’ve had Ike & Tina songs on the iPod almost all morning long. (Which is pretty much like every other morning.)

Check out this clip of Ike & Tina Turner performing live in 1974 on “The Midnight Special,” which ran on television from 1972 to 1981:

For more information on “The Midnight Special,” go to:

For more details on Ike Turner, go to:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Batgirl makes her debut

It was season three of the 1960’s show “Batman,” when one of my favorite characters on the series was introduced. Yes, that’s right, all you Batfans out there—Batgirl.

Yvonne Craig played Barbara Gordon, a librarian and the daughter of Commissioner Gordon. But, when trouble ensued (and it always did!), Barbara would head to her vanity table in her apartment, flip a switch, and the wall would revolve to reveal Batgirl’s changing area. (I’ve been looking high and low for apartments with a revolving wall, but I haven’t been able to find one.)

Batgirl would then go into the next room, go to a vault-looking thing on the wall, flip another switch, and her Batgirl cycle would appear. She’d come out riding her motorcycle through a secret ramp in her apartment building. She’d wind up assisting the “Dynamic Duo” in their crime fights, turning them into a “Terrific Trio.

And, of course, the only person who knew of Barbara Gordon’s secret identity was Alfred, butler at “stately Wayne Manor” and also keeper of the secret identities of Batman and Robin.

Unfortunately, season three would be the final season for “Batman.” (At least, as far as this series was concerned).

You can check out the “Batgirl” theme song on here:

Take a look at this clip from the show’s next to last episode, where the three crimefighters are turned into cardboard-like shapes by Dr. Cassandra’s Alvino ray gun. They’re rescued by Alfred and brought to the Batcave, where faithful Alfred restores them. (One of my favorite episodes—Dr. Cassandra, played by Ida Lupino, frees all the arch criminals from the prison.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

That was too cool! Thanks, Ruth!

I walked back into the newsroom Monday after a week's vacation of braving the malls searching for Christmas gifts, suffering writer's cramp from writing out Christmas cards (I tend to type much more nowadays than handwrite), and kind of dazed as I tried to get back into my "normal" (those who know me know there's no such thing) routine.

I approached my desk, and there it was. An envelope addressed to me,
"Brad Wadlow, Staff Writer," mailed to the Courier News. No return address.

Feeling like I was at the Academy Awards, I ripped open the envelope and pulled out the contents.

Oh, wow.

Out slid two photos: One was a color photograph of Ruth Buzzi as "Gladys Ormphby" from "Laugh-In." It was signed, "To Brad, Thank you for my great mention in your TV blog!! Love from 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In's' Italian sex goddess, Ruth Buzzi as ..... 'Gladys Ormphby' '07."

The other photo was a black-and-white headshot of Ruth Buzzi, autographed, "Thanks again, Brad! Have wonderful holidays! Sincerely, Ruthie '07."

As I said, there was no return address on the envelope, so I'm sending a great big thank you to Ms. Buzzi via my blog. Thank you, thank you. That was too cool.


Created by Sid & Marty Krofft, “Lidsville” is another show I remember vividly from my childhood.

It revolved around a teenager named Mark (played by Butch Patrick, formerly Eddie Munster on “The Munsters”). One day, Mark’s at an amusement park, taking in a magic show. He’s so enthralled by the magician’s act, that he stays behind after the show when everybody leaves. (Let this be a lesson: ALWAYS leave with the crowd). He finds the magician’s hat, and when he sets it down, it begins to magically grow into a huge top hat. Mark climbs up to look inside the hat, and suddenly, the hat shakes and rocks and tosses Mark inside. But, as you’ve probably already surmised, this is not just a run-of-the-mill magic growing hat. When Mark falls inside, he’s transported to … you guessed it … Lidsville.

Mark finds that Lidsville is inhabited by talking hats. But, there’s also the evil Horatio J. Hoodoo (commonly referred to as Hoodoo), played by “Match Game” staple, Charles Nelson Reilly. And, then there’s Weenie the Genie, portrayed by Billie Hayes (better known to “H.R. Pufnstuf” fans as Witchiepoo.)

Several years ago, I did find some of the episodes on video. (Those were the things before DVDs, remember?) Although I was a hands-down Pufnstuf fan growing up, I also enjoyed “Lidsville.” Especially when Hoodoo threw his hat up in the air and it came down as a flying hat-mobile. (Don’t try this with your own hats at home. The only thing you’ll accomplish is getting it stuck in a tree.)

You can check out the opening and closing parts of “Lidsville” on here:

For more details on “Lidsville,” you can go to:

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm ba-a-a-a-ack (with some more old TV commercials, too!)

Welcome back, welcome back …

You thought I was going to start singing the theme song to “Welcome Back, Kotter,” didn’t you?

Relax, the only one I torture with my singing is my dog. But, it’s good to
be back after a week’s vacation. (They go by so quickly, don’t they?)

I’m going to revive the blog by talking about some more commercials.

Anyone out there remember the Calgon dishwashing detergent commercial? I have the entire commercial in my head now.

“How do you get your shirts so clean, Mr. Lee?”
“Ancient Chinese secret.”
“My husband, some hot shot. Here’s his ancient Chinese secret, Calgon.”

And people wonder why I have no short-term memory …

Or how about the McDonald’s jingle: “You deserve a break today. So get up, and get away, to McDonald’s.” And, I’ve decided I’m going to spend the rest of my life in Burger King so I can always have it my way, have it my way, at Burger King. I also became adept at knowing what went into a Big Mac long before I flipped burgers in my college days. (“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.”)

You can check out the Calgon commercial on here:

Take a look at this McDonald’s commercial (oh, the memories!)

And Burger King here:

Friday, November 30, 2007

“A Christmas Story”

Can’t let the discussion of holiday specials go by without mentioning “A Christmas Story.”

Set in the 1940s, all little Ralph “Ralphie” Parker wants for Christmas is his two front teeth.

Naah. I’m messing with you. What he really, really, really, REALLY wants is a Red Ryder BB gun. But everyone tells the kid, wonderfully played by Peter Billingsley, no because “You’ll shoot your eye out!” (Humor not lost on me since my left eye is prosthetic. And, no, it wasn’t from a BB gun accident.)

One of my favorite parts of this special is when Ralphie’s brother goes out to play in the snow, his mother has him so heavily dressed, he cries out, “I can’t put my arms down! I can’t put my arms down!”

You can read more about “A Christmas Story” on here:

You can check out part of “A Christmas Story” on here:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"A Very Brady Christmas"

The lovely lady and a man named Brady and their six kids (and Alice, too) reunited in this 1988 movie.

Carol and Mike Brady, unbeknownst to each other, plan surprise vacations for each other. When they learn what the other is planning, they decide to scrap their plans and instead bring the whole family home for Christmas. (Except for poor cousin Oliver. We missed you, Oliver.)

But, all’s not well in Bradyland. Alice has left Sam the butcher and winds up in tears on the Bradys’ doorstep, and they, of course take her in. Marcia’s husband, Wally, has lost his job with Tyler Toys; Jan and Philip are having marital problems, etc., etc.

On Christmas, Mike gets called to a construction project, dashes in to rescue people and the thing then collapses around him. But, Carol Brady knows the power of faith (and song) and starts belting out "Silent Night" with Cindy. And then the others chime in. And, Mike and the others miraculously emerge!

Cheesy, sure. But it’s fun to see the Brady kids as adults. (Susan Olsen, who played Cindy in the TV series, sat this one out and was replaced by Jennifer Runyon.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"It's a Wonderful Life"

"Buffalo gals won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight …. Buffalo gals won’t you come out tonight aaaaand dance … by the light … of da ….moooooon."

Yes, it’s time to talk about the Frank Capra classic, "It’s a Wonderful Life." Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, it’s the story of George Bailey, who is about to commit suicide when his guardian angel, Clarence, intervenes. Clarence, an angel second-class who hasn’t gotten his wings yet, shows George what life would be like for those he knows had he not been born. In the end, George realizes how much of an impact he’s had on other people and wants to live again. He not only gets the chance to do just that, but good, old Clarence finally earns his wings. ("Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.")

Definitely a feel-good movie. How the heck his brother Harry balanced all those pies, I’ll never know.

A favorite line of mine: "Boys, and girls, and music. Why do they need gin?" says Annie.

And, of course, you have to love a movie with cops named Bert and Ernie. (And, yes, this was way before the days of "Sesame Street.")

Check out the movie's ending on here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1966)

One of the … yes, you guessed it … great holiday classics. In this animated tale, narrated by Boris Karloff, the Grinch decides to steal Christmas from the Whos in Whoville. So, he dresses as Santa, attaches antlers on his poor dog, Max, then hooks Max up to a sleigh and segts off for Whoville. He winds up taking all the residents’ presents, ornaments and Christmas trees. (Although he’s noticed by little, cute as a button, Cindy Lou Who). But, to his astonishment, although he’s taken everything, that doesn’t stop Christmas from coming, as he hears the Whos rejoicing in the morning. We see the Grinch’s heart grow and he returns all the Christmas presents, trees and decorations back to the Whos.

I always feel sorry for that poor dog, Max. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a cartoon, get over it.

And, you gotta love (yes, you have to. It’s a rule.) love the theme song. “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch ….” I’m going to have that in my head all morning now. (As a side note, Thurl Ravenscroft, who sang the song, also narrated the old Disney record, “The Haunted Mansion.”)

You can check out this clip from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on here:

You can also read moe here:

Monday, November 26, 2007

"The Year Without a Santa Claus"

OK, gang, here’s another one of my all-time holiday specials: “The Year Without a Santa Claus.”

It’s Christmas time, and Santa’s feeling under the weather, so he decides to take a vacation from Christmas. Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells, two of his elves, head out on Vixen the reindeer to find some children to convince Santa that Christmas is still important to people. However, before they land in Southtown, USA, they have to get by the Miser brothers—Snow Miser and Heat Miser. But the battling brothers can’t agree to let it snow in Southtown. So, Mrs. Claus resorts to a higher power: The Miser Brothers’ mother…Mother Nature!

I love the Miser Brothers! I’ve had this song in my head off-and-on for weeks now!

For more details on “The Year Without a Santa Claus” go to:

You can watch a clip of the Miser brothers on here:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

You know Dasher, and Dancer, And Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid, And Donner and Blitzen,
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all...

Yes, folks, that would be “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Another one of the great holiday classics.

It’s the story about a reindeer named (take a wild guess, here) Rudolph, who was born with a red, shiny (and quite noisy) nose. His father tried to cover it up, but when playing “reindeer games” the fake nose false off, and Rudolph’s shiny nose is exposed! And, so, of course the other reindeer make fun of him and kick him out of the games.

But of course, every reindeer has his day.

One Christmas Eve, it’s so snowy and stormy, Santa can’t see, until he decides that Rudolph’s shiny nose could guide him through, and he asks Rudolph to guide his sleigh. Rudolph, of course says yes. The day is not only saved, but on the way, Rudolph and Santa stop at the Land of Misfit toys and rescue them, too. During the story, Rudolph also befriends a misfit elf named Hermie, a gold prospector named Yukon Cornelius (“Silver? I thought you were after gold?” “Wahoooooooooooooo! Nothin!”)

You can check out more on “Rudolph” here:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Frosty the Snowman"

OK, can’t talk about the holiday shows without mentioning “Frosty the Snowman”!

In the classic cartoon special, a bunch of kids build a snowman. They find a magician’s hat, and when they put it on the big, snowy guy, he comes to life. His first words? “Happy birthday!”

But, it’s not easy being made of snow.

A magician sets his sights on the magic hat, and Karen--one of the children who built Frosty--tries to get Frosty to the North Pole before he melts.

I haven’t watched this one in quite a long time. I might just have to rectify that this year.

(As a side note, to those who watched Frosti get voted off “Survivor”: I couldn’t resist singing, “Thumpity-thump-thump, thumpity-thump-thump, look at Frosti go … )

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade experience

Note: I had the chance to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade yesterday, as an employee's guest. Last night, I e-mailed some people about the experience, and I figured why not share the gist of the e-mail with my faithful blog readers. (You know who you are!). So, here it is:

OK...I'm going to try to type this without making any type-o's, or falling asleep at the keyboard.

Woke up Thursday at 2 a.m. (some nights I'm just crawling into bed at that time). Shuffled into the kitchen, fed the dog and walked her (she might have been a little confused about the time, but didn't mind the food). Came home, got ready and we were out the door by 3;40 a.m. to catch the bus at the Bridgewater Commons for the parade.

Beautiful weather! But we dressed as if we were prepared for a blizzard (picture the "A Christmas Story", not the "you'll shoot your eye out, kid!"scene...but the one where the kid is so overdressed he exclaims, "I can't put my arms down! I can't put my arms down!" That's what I felt like.

Anyway, got our costumes (we were soldiers) and changed into them. Red pants, heavy green jackets, and HUGE--and tight for my fat head--hats. Wearing the hat reminded me of that "I Love Lucy" episode, where she's wearing a huge headdress and trying to walk down a set of stairs. We also had large candy canes to carry (but, unfortunately, they weren't real.)

Started out kind of sedately, just waving to the crowd and yelling, "Happy Thanksgiving" and "Merry Christmas" (since we were with the Santa float). I'm surprised I'm not hoarse this morning.

But once we got going, we started stepping out and greeting people in the crowd, which was fun. I'm actually a little shy, so this took some mustering. But, once I got going, there was no stopping me.

Got to see Wynonna. I'm not really a big fan of country music (unless "Achy Breaky Heart" counts), but, hey, a celeb's a celeb.

After the parade, went right back to the New Yorker Hotel, where we changed out of our outfits, then walked over to catch our bus back to the Commons.

Got home, and apparently no one saw us on TV! I know we passed some cameras, so I checked out the tape I had plopped into the VCR before I left. (Another reason I got up so early!). And we were actually on ... for about a second...and a half! But, hey, a second and a half is a second and a half.

All in all, a great time!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
Well, gang, we made it through Thanksgiving, and now it’s time for all of those old holiday favorite specials.

And, what better way to start out with talking about them then with the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Charlie Brown is feeling down during the Christmas season, so he goes to see Lucy for some psychiatric advice (after paying 5 cents for her services). Lucy tells him he needs involvement, and their Christmas play needs a director. So, Charlie Brown becomes the director of the slightly-out-of-control cast. They send him out to get a Christmas tree for the play, and after some searching, he comes back with a twig-like tree. They laugh at him, Charlie Brown sulks off, and Linus gives a speech, telling Charlie Brown the meaning of Christmas. Finally, the rest of the Peanuts gang get busy with the tree and somehow transform it into a huge, fully-decorated tree. (Don’t tell me … they’re all devotees of Martha Stewart.) Charlie Brown happens upon them, sees the made-over tree, and they all scream, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!”

My favorite part of the special is when the Peanuts gang is dancing around while Charlie Brown is trying to put the play together. I love that music. Even have it on my iPod. (Told you I was weird.)

You can watch Linus tell Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about on here:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"The March of the Wooden Soldiers"

One of my favorite childhood memories is watching “The March of the Wooden Soldiers,” (also known as “Babes in Toyland”), starring Laurel and Hardy, every Thanksgiving.

Set in Toyland, Ollie Dee and Stanny Dum live in Mother Peep’s shoe. (Toyland had some housing issues, huh?) They try to raise the money for the shoe’s mortgage to save Mother Peep, as well as preventing Little Bo Peep from falling prey to the sinister Barnaby. So they dress Stanny up in a bridal gown and veil and trick Barnaby into marrying him, instead of Little Bo Peep. Furious, Barnaby tries to destroy Toyland by setting forth the bogeymen. But, Toyland is saved when Ollie and Stan release giant wooden soldiers (the result of an manufacture order mistake by Stanny).

And, of course, the show always seemed to be accompanied by commercials for the toy store PlayWorld (“where prices gooooo …. So low, low, low, low, lowwwww….”)

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

For more information on “The March of the Wooden Soldiers” go to:

You can check out one of my favorite scenes from the movie (I love the three pigs and the cat and mouse! It STILL makes me laugh!) here:

--By Brad Wadlow, Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Let's hear what you have to say! (And, thanks for posting, Michael!)

I recently posted an entry on the comedy “Laverne & Shirley.” The post caught the interest of Michael, my faithful poster on my “Big Brother” blog until Dick called Dustin “princess.”

Michael returned to say, “Brad, Brad, Brad...finally a topic I can get excited about, especially with the release of "Laverne & Shirley Season 3" only a week away.”

Well, blog readers, I don’t want you to wait for me to stumble upon a show that interests you. If you’d like to see me cover a certain show, let me know! If it’s a show I’m not familiar with, I can at least give a little background info on it. And, of course, I’ll include your comments, too.

Feel free to contact me by replying to a post, or you can e-mail me a suggestion for the "Totally TV" blog at Or write to me at: Brad Wadlow, "Totally TV" Blog, Courier News, 1201 Route 22 West, PO Box 6600, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. Or call me at (908) 707-3131, or fax your suggestions or comments to (908) 707-3252. Be sure to put my name and "Totally TV" blog on the fax.

So, let’s hear what you’ve got to say!

“Hong Kong Phooey”

It was the fall of 1974, and everyone was “Kung Fu Fighting.”

One of those fighters was the cartoon character, Hong Kong Phooey, who had his own cartoon show, aptly titled, “Hong Kong Phooey,” which premiered in September of 1974.

Mild-mannered Henry the dog worked as a janitor, but … when trouble struck (and it did in every episode), Henry would leap into the bottom drawer of his file cabinet, and emerge from the top drawer as kung fu fighting superhero, Hong Kong Phooey! (Inevitably, the top drawer of the file cabinet would become stuck, and Hong Kong Phooey would utter some Oriental words to free himself. Little did he know it was Spot, his faithful sidekick cat, who actually freed him by banging on the file cabinet!)

Voiced by Scatman Crothers, this was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid!

(As a side note, please do not attempt to change into a superhero outfit by jumping in the bottom drawer of your file cabinet. It doesn’t work. Trust me.)

For more details on “Hong Kong Phooey,” go to here:

You can see the opening of “Hong Kong Phooey” here:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Laverne & Shirley”

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight … Schlemiel, schlimazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated…

Thus began the theme to the long-running television comedy, “Laverne & Shirley.”

The characters first appeared on “Happy Days” as dates Fonzie rustled up from his big black book for himself and his best friend, Richie Cunningham. The characters of Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney were so popular with viewers that they garnered their own show, which ran from 1976 to 1983.

The show revolved around—yes, you guessed it—Laverne and Shirley, single roommates in Milwaukee who worked together in Schotz Brewery in the bottle-capping division. Laverne (played by Penny Marshall), could easily be spotted by the big letter “L” she usually wore on her shirts, and Shirley (Cindy Williams) dated Carmine “The Big Ragu” Ragusa.

Other series regulars were Michael McKean and David L. Lander as upstairs neighbors, Lenny and Squiggy, who would often burst into the girls’ apartment unannounced, both saying, “Hello!” in unison. Phil Foster starred as Laverne’s dad, Frank, and Betty Garrett, who played Irene Lorenzo on “All in the Family,” joined the cast as Edna Babish, Laverne and Shirley’s landlord, who would eventually marry Frank DeFazio.

In later seasons, the girls moved to California, along with the rest of the cast. And instead of a brewery, the worked in a department store. Joining the cast would be Leslie Easterbook as next-door neighbor, Rhonda Lee. Easterbrook would go on to star in several of the “Police Academy” movies.

The series waned when Cindy Williams left due to pregnancy and the show pretty much became the “Laverne” show.

But now matter how long the show goes off the air, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get the Angora Debs song out of my head. (“Angora Debs, forever true, we stick together, two by two. And if we should part, we’ll know from the start. Whatever goes, whatever comes, we’ll always be, Angora chums….you got an A-N...G-O-R-A-, you got an A-N...G-O-R-A ... Angora Debs … hot stuff!”

Has anyone figured out I need a vacation?

Some sites to scope out:

You can see the opening of “Laverne & Shirley” on here

Monday, November 19, 2007

Farewell, Mr. Whipple

The Associated Press has reported Dick Wilson, better known as “Mr. Whipple” from the Charmin commercials, has died.

Appearing in commercials from 1964 through 1985, grocer Mr. Whipple would implore his customers, “Please, don’t squeeze the Charmin.” But, of course, not even Mr. Whipple could follow his own directions with the “squeezably soft” bathroom tissue.

Wilson was 91.

You can read more on Dick Wilson, also known as “Mr. Whipple,” here:

The much-injured, often re-incarnated Wile E. Coyote

Don’t get me wrong … I love the Road Runner.

And I certainly wouldn’t want to see any harm come to the poor thing. Besides, as the theme song goes, “poor little Road Runner never bothers anyone.”

But, no matter how many hair-brained schemes Road Runner’s constant nemesis, Wile E. Coyote, comes up with, it’s Wile E. who winds up paying the price.

He’s fallen off countless cliffs, pounded with boulders, and ran into canyon walls painted to look like tunnels.

But, you have to admire the poor guy’s persistence. With help from various Acme contraptions, he keeps going after his goal.

And, in once case, the Coyote DOES catch him, but, having just gone through a drain pipe, Wile E. Coyote is incredibly smaller than the Road Runn, and can only get his little arms around one of the giant Road Runner’s legs.

Check out the Coyote catching the Road Runner on at

Check out the Coyote using some of his Acme products to catch the Road Runner at

See the opening to the 1968 Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour here:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunshine, lollipops and … "Batman"?

In a previous blog entry, I mentioned my favorite portrayal of the “Batman” arch villainess Catwoman was done by the one, and the only, Julie Newmar. But, it was double the fun in Episode 74, “That Darn Catwoman” and Episode 75, “Scat Darn Catwoman,” with the portrayal of Catwoman’s assistant by pop singer, Leslie Gore.

Gore is probably best known for her songs, “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” and “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows.” In her “Batman” appearances, she sang the song, “California Nights.” So, how did Gore swing an appearance on the classic television show? It probably didn’t hurt that Howie Horowitz, the show’s producer, was Gore’s uncle.

I now have the “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” song stuck in my head. It’s gonna take me at least a week to get it out of there.

Here are some sites to check out:

A quick clip of Julie Newmar and Leslie Gore on “Batman”:

You can see Gore belting out “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” (not on “Batman”) here:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Three's Company"

Come and knock on our door (come and knock on our door), we’ve been waiting for you (we’ve been waiting for you), where the kisses are hers, and hers, and his, three’s company, too.

“Three’s Company” revolved around Jack Tripper (played by John Ritter), who winds up rooming with Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt) and Christmas “Chrissy” Snow (played by Suzanne Somers).

Originally the show also starred Norman Fell and Audra Lindley as Stanley and Helen Roper, landlords of the apartment house where the three lived. Helen would often lament about Stanley’s lack of attention in the boudoir, and Stanley would often crack a joke and then smile directly into the camera. The Ropers eventually got their own short-lived spin-off, and were replaced as landlords by Don Knott (Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show.”)

But it wasn’t just the landlords who would leave the show. Somers left, was replaced by Jenilee Harrison for a season, who was then replaced by Priscilla Barnes.

Somehow, I was checking out clips of “Three’s Company” and I wound up getting engrossed in clips of the kids' show, “Wonderama,” starring Bob McAllister. I’ll have to get to that show in a future blog entry!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy 26th anniversary, Luke and Laura!

Today marks the 26th wedding anniversary of Lucas "Luke" Lorenzo Spencer and Laura Webber Baldwin on the ABC soap, "General Hospital."

Where did the time go?

Back in 1981, having just saved Port Charles from a deep freeze by the maniacal Mikkos Cassadine, the duo was feted with a lavish wedding ceremony.

But, of course, nothing in soap world can go off without a couple of hitches. (pardon the marriage pun).

Elizabeth Taylor (always seeming to be a bride, never a guest) originated the role of Helena Cassadine, the widow of Mikkos, in these episodes. Dressed to the hilt, she seethes as she watches the newlywed couple cut the wedding cake. “My curse on you, Luke and Laura. My curse on both of you.”

And, of course, this is no ordinary curse, but a Cassadine curse, so it’s a curse with some oomph behind it. And it doesn’t take long for it to kick in. When Laura (Genie Francis) throws the bridal bouquet, who should catch it but Scotty, Laura’s ex-husband (played by Kin Shriner). So, of course, Luke climbs down from the balcony and dukes it out with Scotty.

In later years, the curse keeps working, with Laura disappearing and presumed dead (actually kidnapped by Helena Cassadine), the kidnapping and brainwashing of the couple’s son, Lucky, and the eventual descent into madness of Laura.

Some clips to scope out:

See Laura pledge her wedding vows to Luke

See Scotty and Luke duke it out at the wedding reception

Robert Scorpio (played by Tristan Rogers) and Helena Cassadine (Elizabeth Taylor)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

“The Jetsons”

Meet George Jetson (doo doo doo-doo doo doo-doo doo doo-doo doo doo)

“The Jetsons” was a cartoon about a space-age family named (take a guess) The Jetsons. The family’s patriarch was George, who toiled away at Spacely Sprockets for the hard-driving Mr. Spacely. (Their competition, Cogswell Cogs).

And then there was Jane, his wife; daughter Judy and “his boy” Elroy. And, of course, the family dog, Astro. (Rut-roh! Right, Reorge!)

According to, the series ran from Sept. 23, 1962 to March 3, 1963. Further episodes were produced for syndication between 1985 and 1987.

I can vividly remember being in fifth grade (that’s around 1977-78 for those of you keeping tabs on my age) and one of the usually assignments in the spelling workbook was to describe what it would be like to live in the year 2001. So, of course, in true “Jetsons” style, I envisioned flying cars, conveyor belts instead of sidewalks and self-cleaning houses. (I’m still holding out for one of those!) We haven’t quite reached the technology of “The Jetsons” yet, have we?

One memorable moment was George teaming up with Judy’s pop idol, Jet Screamer, to sing “Eep, Opp, Ork Ah-Ah” (George had replaced Judy’s song contest entry with these words, which were secret code words of Elroy’s, but the code words actually wound up winning!)

Check out “The Jetsons” at

Check out the opening to “The Jetsons” on at

Check out George Jetson and Jet Screamer performing “Eep, Opp, Ork Ah-Ah”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Ooh, my nose!"

OK, here's another one of the great "Brady Bunch" episodes.

But, then again, aren't they all?

In the episode entitled, "The Subject Was Noses," Marcia (known to her sister Jan as Marcia, Marcia, Marcia) has a date with nice guy Charley, but she absentmindedly forgets about it when Doug Simpson, the “big man on campus” asks her out on a date.

So, to solve the dilemma, she turns to big step-brother Greg, who advises her to tell Charley “something suddenly came up.” Taking the advice, Marcia breaks her date with Charley.

But, as the saying goes, what goes around, comes around. And, unfortunately for Marcia, that something going around is a football. Peter and Bobby are playing football in the backyard, and when Marcia goes out to call them in for dinner, WHAMMO! She’s hit in the nose with the football, which swells up bigger than a balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (but she doesn’t break it!)

When Mr. Big Man on Campus sees what's befallen poor Marcia, he tells her “something suddenly came up” (where have we heard that before??) and breaks his date with Marcia. In the end, Marcia goes out with good-guy Charley, and they run into Doug Simpson. Doug makes fun of Marcia breaking the date, and Charley decks him, causing Doug’s nose to swell up, too. Who said chivalry was dead?

One of the things I remember vividly from this episode is Marcia reflecting on getting socked with the football repeated. “Ooh, my nose!...Ooh, my nose!...Ooh, my nose!”

As a side note, Nicholas Hammond, who played Doug Simpson, went on to star as “Spider-Man” in the television series “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Paris Hilton's mom a Suede???

I was just checking out a clip of Leather Tuscadero & the Suedes from “Happy Days” on when I learned that Kathy Richards, who played the Suede named Gertie, is now known as Kathy Hilton.

Yes, that’s right, Paris Hilton’s mom was a Suede.

See, you DO learn something new every day.

You can read more here:

Remembering "Mahna Mahna"

I was surfing around when I finally found it.

Mahna Mahna.

It also listed as manamana. However, I had always thought it was "monomonop." And sung it that way, too.

Whatever it's called, I'm sure I drove my family nuts as I sang it all the way as we drove from the family home in Hicksville (now, come on, where else would I be from?), Long Island to Florida.

From the show, "Sesame Street," "Mahna Manha" was a simple song sung by two girl muppets, who sang "ba-dee-ba-dee-bee" and one heavily bearded muppet who would exasperate his co-singers as he frequently embellished his "mahna mahna" part.

I've had this song stuck in my head for several days now. So, I just figured I'd share.

You can check out the muppets singing "Manha Manha" on at

“Fantasy Island”

“My friends, I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island!”

Thus spoke Ricardo Montalban’s character on “Fantasy Island” as he greeted his guests each week. (Not to mention his trademark, “Smiles, everyone, smiles” to his staff before the guests arrived).

Every episode, characters (portrayed by celebrity guest stars, a la The Love Boat), would fly into Fantasy Island to have their wildest fantasies (well, at least the ones they could show on television) fulfilled.

And, of course, there was Tattoo, Mr. Roarke’s diminutive assistant, who as the plane was landing on Fantasy Island, would climb up to a bell tower, ring the bell, and announce, “Da plane! Da plane!”

According to, from 1980 to 1982, Wendy Schaal joined the cast as another assitant. Herve Villechaize, who played Tattoo, quit before the show’s final season, and was replaced by Christopher Hewett (who later went on to star in “Mr. Belvedere.”)

Among the guest stars: Eve Plumb (“Jan” from “The Brady Bunch”), Fred Grandy (“Gopher” from “The Love Boat,” Adam West (from the ‘60s “Batman” series), and many, many more.

Some sites to check out:

You can check out the beginning of “Fantasy Island” on YouTube at

Monday, November 12, 2007

“The Love Boat”

“Love, exciting and new, come aboard, we’re expecting you….”

So began the theme song to “The Love Boat,” which ran from 1977 to 1986.

Each week, guest stars would board the Pacific Princess and, for the most part, either find themselves in the boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl scenario, or couples rekindled those old home fires. (Who says you can’t cram a bunch of clich├ęs into one sentence?)

The cast: Gavin MacLeod (AKA “Murray” from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) as Capt. Merrill Stubing; Ted Lange as Isaac Washington, ship’s bartender; Bernie Kopell as the ship’s amorous doctor, Dr. Adam Bricker; Fred Grandy as purser Berl “Gopher” Smith, Lauren Tewes (pronounced “tweeze”) as the ship’s cruise director, Julie McCoy. In later seasons, Jill Whelan joined the cast as Capt. Stubing’s daughter, Vicki; and Ted McGinley came aboard as ship photographer Ashley Covington Evans (or “Ace”) and Pat Klous stepped into the cruise director position as Judy McCoy.

Notable guest appearances: Charo, as the guitar playing April, made several trips on The Love Boat, and Ethel Merman portrayed Gopher’s mom in several episodes.

What they don’t show: I can only recall an maybe and instance or two of a passenger trying to find their cabin. Were all the passengers equipped with homing devices upon embarking the ship? I’ve been on two cruises, and I spent the majority of the time looking at the ships’ maps and trying to find my way around.

Maybe it’s just me. Probably is.

If you want to check out the opening theme to “The Love Boat” on, go to’

For more cast/guest star information, go to

Sunday, November 11, 2007

“Murphy Brown”

Another one of my all-time favorite shows, although it lost its luster for me in the final season or two. After Grant Shaud (who played executive producer Miles Silverberg) left and Lily Tomlin came aboard, and they changed the set, it just wasn’t the same.

But, man, oh man, before that time, it was great. Set in a television newsroom, it focused on ace reporter Murphy Brown (wonderfully played by Candice Bergen).

And I don’t recall any television show garnishing attention from a vice president (Dan Quayle), who took “Murphy Brown” to task in a speech for having a baby out of wedlock and glamorizing single motherhood. In the next season’s opener, Murphy, frazzled from a crying baby and in desperate need of a shower, says to her colleague and friend, Frank (played by Joe Regalbuto), “Look at me, Frank! Am I glamorous?”

I also loved how Murphy would go through secretaries faster than I go through a bag of Herr’s barbecue potato chips (now that’s FAST!).

Check out this clip I found on YouTube. It’s part of the episode where Murphy gives birth to her son, Avery (named after Murphy’s late mother).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

“The People’s Court”

Oh, my God! One of my favorite shows today! (and every other day of the week! Yes, I know it’s only on Monday through Friday, but I have a lot of them on tape.) I just love Judge Marilyn Milian!

She’s everything rolled into one—she can be serious, funny, she runs her courtroom well, and pulls out a Spanish expression every now and then. (And she translates them, too!)

Although I’m glad I don’t have to be, I’d rather be in her courtroom than any other judge’s courtroom on television. Although, being the smart-aleck that I am, she’d probably kick me out of there in less than 10 minutes. I’d be giving some sort of evidence to her baliff, Douglas, and I’d say, very Judge Milian-esquely, “Thank … you … Douglas!” And I love when she decides the outcome of the case and says, “Here’s a surprise … ZERO!” and either makes the “L” sign for loser or makes a zero with her hand. That always cracks me up. (I know, it takes so little to amuse me, doesn’t it?)

I didn’t watch the series much when Judge Judy’s husband, Jerry Sheindlin, was at the bench. Didn’t like his style at all. I did watch when Judge Wapner was on the bench, but not as religiously as I do now. (As a side note, did you know Wapner’s baliff, Roy J. “Rusty” Burrell, was a bailiff during the trials of Charles Manson and Patricia Hearst?)

You can watch Judge Milian go ballistic on a defendant on at

You go, Judge Milian.

Friday, November 9, 2007

“Schoolhouse Rock”

What would a day of Saturday cartoons be without an intermission of “School House Rock”?

“School House Rock” was a series of short animated segments that taught kids about grammar, legislative procedures, and math. According to, they began airing in 1973.

Some of my favorites:

• Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here. (Father, Son and Lolly get your adverbs here…) This segment taught about, you guessed it … adverbs.

• Conjunction Junction: A railroad engineer teaches about conjunctions, using and, but and or to hook up railroad cars. Conjunction junction, what’s your function? (“You should always say thank you, or at least say pleeeeease.”)

• Interjections. I remember the opening part of this vividly, of a doctor giving a kid a shot and the kid shouting interjections.

• Ready or Not, Here I Come: Multiplication Rock with kids playing hide and seek that taught kids how to multiply by fives, up to 120. …5…10…15…20…(hey, I DID remember something…)

• And, of course, we learned how a bill became a law. “I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill …”

You can check out Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here at

You can check out the Conjunction Junction School House Rock at

You can check out the Interjection School House Rock at

You can check out “Ready or Not, Here I Come” School House rock at

You can check out “I’m Just a Bill” School House Rock at

You can check out School House Rock at at

Thursday, November 8, 2007


One of my favorite shows when I was growing up (although some—quite a few, actually—would argue I still haven’t grown up).

The show aired in 1979 and 1980 and starred Donna Pescow, from the movie “Saturday Night Fever” as Angie, and Robert Hays, who would later go on to star in the “Airplane” movies, as her husband, Brad. (What a great name that is. OK, so I’m a little biased.)

Angie marries the wealthy Brad and, being from a middle-class Italian family, tries to adjust to the new lifestyle. Among the cast were the late Debralee Scott (who was often seen on the game show “Match Game”) and Doris Roberts, who portrayed Angie’s mother and would later go on to star as Ray Barone’s meddling mother, Marie, in the hit show, “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

I loved the show’s intro song. (What can I say, I was around 12 or 13 at the time).

You can check out the full cast list and more at

If you’d like to check out the “Angie” intro on YouTube, go to:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

“The Chuck Cunningham Syndrome”

This morning, I was racking my brain (don’t worry, it’s a little rack) trying to think of a good blog topic when two thoughts came to mind. After I recovered from the momentary overload, I thought about television characters that have been portrayed by two actors or actresses, as well as those characters that disappear off the face of the television screen with no explanation. Leave it to and Wikipedia to leave me a wealth of examples to choose from.

Two incidents of characters disappearing from shows with no explanation that stuck out in my mind was the youngest daughter, Judy, on “Family Matters” (portrayed by Jaimee Foxworth) and Chuck Cunningham, the oldest brother on “Happy Days.” I found in my research that the mysterious disappearance of characters from television shows has been dubbed “The Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.” The character of Chuck Cunningham also gets a double score because before his inexplicable vanishing act, the character of Chuck was portrayed by two different actors, Gavan O’Herlihy and Randolph Roberts.

I don’t know what’s worse…losing a favorite character entirely, or having him or her portrayed by a different person. Although one of my favorite switcheroos was the character of Becky on “Roseanne.” Originally portrayed by Lecy Goranson, Sarah Chalke stepped into the role for a bit, and then Lecy Goranson returned. During one of the season’s openings, the characters morph on the screen from the show’s beginning to the present, and when we get to the Becky character, we see Goranson morph into Chalke and then back into Goranson.

You can see more examples of same character, different actor and inexplicable character disappearances at:

“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”

OK, I’m too young to remember the original airings of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” but, through the magic of television, I’ve caught reruns.

Some of my favorite parts: The end of the show where the cast pops art of doors in a wall and tell joke to each other. I would have loved to do that. But with my luck, the door would have been stuck and I’d have to share a window with Alan Sues.

And I just adore the daffy Goldie Hawn. Gotta love a giggly blonde.

One of my favorite characters was Ruth Buzzi’s hairnetted Gladys Ornphby, who was continually whacking Tyrone (played by Arte Johnson) as he cozied up to her on a park bench. Another character that deserves mention is the telephone operator, Ernestine, played by Lily Tomlin, who extolled, “One ringy-dingy…” Equally as amusing was Tomlin’s Edith Ann, a child who sat in an oversized rocking chair and proclaimed, “And that’s the truth!”

And, of course, I can’t mention “Laugh-In” without giving a nod to the catchphrase, “Sock it to me!”

In the style of Arte Johnson’s German soldier, it was all verrrrrry interesting.

Check out more on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” at

“Land of the Lost”

Rick Marshall and his children, Will and Holly, were on a routine expedition on the rapids when an earthquake struck their raft and took them down 1000 feet below to the Land of the Lost (lost … lost …lost)

Suddenly finding themselves back in prehistoric times, they find themselves pitted against irritable dinosaurs, such as Grumpy, and green amphibious, hissing, nasty men called Sleestaks. (Of course, there was one good one in the bunch, Enik. There’s always one good one in the group.). And, of course, there was the little monkey boy (no, not me) named Chaka (no, not Khan) who befriended the family.

Then, after the second season, Rick Marshall left “The Land of the Lost” (sure, leave the kids behind. You know, there’s laws about that, buster). And, suddenly, Will and Holly’s Uncle Jack (Rick’s brother, who went searching for them) shows up.

And there were these structures all over the place called Pylons, which had tables of crystals inside them. Messing with the crystals meant messing with the weather.

Hey, it’s raining out right now … stop messing with those crystals and get out of that Pylon! Now!

You can watch the opening of “Land of the Lost” on YouTube at

You can also check out this Land of the Lost Web site:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The men behind the voices

There were several big mysteries during the 1970s, such as: why I couldn’t get the color on my mood ring to change when I wore it, why bellbottoms were in style, where Patty Hearst was hiding out when she was on the lam, and who were the men behind the voices of Carlton the doorman on “Rhoda” and Charlie of “Charlie’s Angels.”

The mystery of Charlie’s identity was solved much quicker than the question of Carlton’s identity. During an episode of “Charlie’s Angels,” my Dad piped in from his chair, “That’s John Forsythe!” Forsythe, of course, later stepped in front of the camera for “Dynasty,” in which he played Blake Carrington.

And I just solved the mystery of Carlton when I did an Internet search for Lorenzo Music. (I know, I’m a little bit of a procrastinator sometimes). Music was also the voice of the cartoon cat, Garfield.You can check out Lorenzo Music’s picture, which accompanied his obituary, here

Check out pictures of John Forsythe at

Monday, November 5, 2007

More "Brady Bunch" memories - Davy Jones!

Girl, look what you’ve done to me … me and my whole world..
Who can forget "The Brady Bunch" episode where Marcia tells her classmates that she could get Davy Jones of The Monkees to sing at their prom, because he promised her in a letter he would be glad to help her if ever he was in town. (Marcia’s president of his Fillmore Junior High fan club.)
And, of course, Davy’s in town, and there’s no entertainment for Marcia’s prom.
So, Marcia tries to track the Monkee down, and finally finds out, with her brother Greg’s help, that he’s at a recording studio. When she gets there, Davy overhears on the studio microphone Marcia telling his manager about the pickle she’s in. But, the manager won’t let Marcia in to talk to Davy.
But, that doesn’t stop a Monkee.
Back at home, Marcia is about to admit defeat when the doorbell rings. And it’s …
Avon calling.
Nah, I’m just messin’ with you. You guessed it (of course, you’ve seen the episode a million times) Davy Jones! And he agrees to sing at Marcia’s prom. Except for one little problem … he doesn’t have a date. Of course, Marcia quickly solves that problem and agrees to be Davy’s date, and even gives him a kiss on the cheek. And one on the flip side, too.
You can check out this clip of Davy singing and Marcia begging the agent for him (Davy, not the agent) to sing at her prom on YouTube at

Friday, November 2, 2007

More television commercials revisited

Seeing the recent Geico commercials featuring a troubled, grown up Cabbage Patch kid set me to wondering: Whatever happened to Mikey, the kid from the Life cereal commercials. ("Hey, Mikey! He likes it!")
Of course, we can’t forget that nasty rumor either, that Mikey met an untimely demise by mixing Pop Rocks candy and soda. But, the rumor turned out to be false (I’m sleeping much better now, thank you) and the actor who played him, John Gilchrist, is apparently alive and well. You can read more about it at this Web site:
And remember when The Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz" hawked coffee? (Hey, witches need caffeine too every now and then). Actually, it was the actress, Margaret Hamilton, and not the witch, who promoted the brew. In her Maxwell House reincarnation, Hamilton portrayed a kindly lady named Cora. Remember, Maxwell House is good to the last drop.
Finally, I’ve always wondered how many dogs wound up with concussions after running into the kitchen cabinets after the Chuck Wagon. What a tease!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"The Underdog Show"

Have no fear, Underdog is here!
"Underdog" was a cartoon featuring a humble, and loveable shoeshine boy (or dog), whose alter-ego was the superhero … here’s a surprise, Underdog. And then there was Sweet Polly Purebred, a television reporter and Underdog’s girlfriend.
First airing in 1964, some of this cartoons villains scared the Count Chocula out of me. Among them: RiffRaff, an underworld boss, and the giant featured at the beginning of each episode.
"The Underdog Show" also featured the cartoon, "The Go-Go-Gophers." I loved these guys. One of them only spoke in wild and crazy gestures. The catch-phrase of the other one was "Ooooopie dooooopie." Go-go-gophers, watch ‘em go go go.
Other segments of the show included "Klondike Kat" (remember "Savoir faire is everywhere!") and "The World of Commodore McBragg."
For more information on "The Underdog Show," check out these sites:
Check out my rendition of The Go-Go Gophers, done in acrylic paint, on

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Remembering "Too Close for Comfort"

"Too Close for Comfort" began its run in 1980, and it was definitely one of my favorite shows. It focused on the Rush family, who lived in a two-family house in San Francisco.
In the first episode, after the Rushs’ downstairs tenant dies (and they discover not only his crazily decorated apartment, but also that the tenant was a cross-dresser), the Rushs’ two daughters, Jackie (played by Deborah Van Valkenburgh) and Sarah (played by Lydia Cornell) decide to rent the apartment. ("What happened to those nice tenants we had, the ones with the musical instruments?" Henry Rush asks his wife, Muriel. She replies, "They kidnapped Patty Hearst." Power to the People, man!)
The late Ted Knight (also known as "Ted Baxter" to "Mary Tyler Moore" fans) and Nancy Dussault, played the parents, Henry and Muriel. Henry worked from home drawing his comic strip, "Cosmic Cow," usually wearing a cow puppet on his hand while he drew.
And then there was the bumbling Monroe Ficus, played by JM J. Bullock, who had a not-so-secret crush on Sarah Rush, and was a constant thorn in the side of Henry Rush. Audrey Meadows ("Alice" from "The Honeymooners") also made guest appearances at Muriel’s mother, Iris Martin.
But the show lost it’s oomph when the daughters left and the Rushes moved into a house with their small son (born during the show’s run) and the show was renamed "The Ted Knight Show."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reader suggests checking out "Mrs. Brady" on Web site

After reading my blog posts on The Brady Bunch and spin-offs, a reader wrote to me, suggesting I check out the Web site below. Florence Henderson (that's Carol Brady to you and me), appears on a set reminiscent of "The Brady Bunch" house and challenges site viewers to find the germs.

Not quite as entertaining as Greg's hair turning orange, but still worth a look if your a die-hard "Brady Bunch" fan. Thanks for the suggestion, Joel. Keep reading, and keep those comments and suggestions coming!

Check out Florence Henderson at

“The Magic Garden”

I was just checking out some clips of this old children’s television show on YouTube, and while it brought back some fond memories, it also stirred up some hidden resentments buried deep within my psyche. I was watching the “Hello Song” video, where Carole and Paula would sing, “I’m fine” “Me too” “We’re fine and how are you?” and then they’d hello to the children out there in TV land, giving a short list of children’s names. Do you think they ever mentioned a Bradley? Or a Brad? Nope. I know I would have remembered that. That’s just the kind of guy I am.

OK, I know, time to make that appointment with a therapist.

But, seriously, “The Magic Garden” was one of my favorite shows as a kid. In addition to Carole and Paula, there was also Sherlock the Squirrel, who lived in the Magic Garden’s tree. (What, you were expecting him to live in, a condo?)

And, then there was the Story Box (“There are no locks on Story Box, on Story Box, on Story Box…” –a phrase I still use on occasion when someone’s telling me too much information and I’m out of Tylenol.) Story Box contained props that Carole and Paula would use to act out stories.

There was also the Chuckle Patch, a group of chuckling flowers, which had slips of paper with jokes attached to them. Hey, what can I say, it was the ‘70s.

And, at the end of each show, they’d close with the goodbye song, “See Ya.” “See ya, see ya, hope ya had a real good time …”

See ya.

Some sites to check out:

The Magic Garden “Hello Song” on YouTube:

The Magic Garden “Story Box” on YouTube

The Magic Garden “Chuckle Patch” on YouTube

The Magic Garden Goodbye Song “See Ya” on YouTube

And, finally, check out the Carole & Paula’s Web site, featuring an up-to-date photo of the duo at

Monday, October 29, 2007

H.R. Pufnstuf

Yes, another all-time favorite of mine when I was a kid. (OK, it’s still a favorite). Created by Sid & Marty Krofft, I loved everything about this show, starting with the show’s introduction.

First airing in September of 1969, “H.R. Pufnstuf” was the story about a boy named Jimmy, and his magic, golden, talking flute who decide to get in a boat. (Didn’t they know never to take boat rides from strangers? Guess not.)

But this wasn’t just ANY boat. This was a boat sent by a wicked witch named Witchiepoo (played perfectly by actress Billie Hayes), who wanted the golden flute all to herself. She waved her wand, caused a storm, and shipwrecked the boat on Living Island. But, before she could get to them, Jimmy and Freddie were rescued by Pufnstuf, the mayor of Living Island.

Among Pufnstuf’s friends were Dr. Blinky, an owl who lived in a house that sneezed (just about everything was alive on Living Island, hence the name). There was also a Judy Garland-esque frog named, you guessed it, Judy the Frog. And then there were Pufnstuf’s drivers of his car The Rescue Racer, named Cling and Clang, who were always bumping into each other.

My favorite character was Witchiepoo, who rode around on her Vroom Broom, with her henchmen, Orson, a vulture, and Seymour, a spider, in a sidecar. (“It’s the ooooonly way to fly,” she said as soared up into the sky). Security for her castle was handled by her two guards, which were scared of their own shadows.

The shows revolved around Jimmy and Freddie trying to find their way home, and Witchiepoo’s attempts not only to thwart them, but to get her hands on the golden flute.

As far as I know, Jimmy and Freddie never made it off the island. Perhaps we need to revive the series and rectify that.

You check it out the introduction to “H.R. Pufnstuf” on YouTube at

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Magilla Gorilla"

A cartoon that’s close to my heart, since one of my many nicknames (one of the more printable ones) is Magilla (or Mag, or Gilla, or Magzilla). Some of my friends call me Magilla so much when they call me Brad, I know there’s a problem.

And, yes, I admit it, I have the theme song on my iPod. (As the theme song describes him, “Handsome, elegant, intelligent, sweet.” No wonder I identify … )

The television cartoon debuted in 1964 and centered around Mr. Peebles’ Pet Shop, and the suspender-wearing gorilla in the store’s front window he was always trying to sell.Then there was Ogee, the little girl with no cash, who wanted to buy Magilla. Trust me, we Magillas can’t be bought. Although we CAN be rented. (Just kidding). Ogee is the little girl shown in the opening who asks, “How much is that gorilla in the window?”

By the way, did you know Magilla Gorilla was voiced by none other than Allan Melvin? That’s “Sam the Butcher” from “The Brady Bunch.”

I’ll get to other segments of “Magilla Gorilla,” such as Richochet Rabbit, in a future blog entry.

You can check out the opening of the “Magilla Gorilla” show on YouTube by going to

Saturday, October 27, 2007

“The Carol Burnett Show”

So much to write about this show too, that I’m going to have to do it in segments (sorry to all of you out there who hate those two- and three-parter television episodes …

One of my favorite parts of the show was when Carol would say, “Let’s turn up the lights and see if there’s anything you want to ask.” (And, of course, someone would ask her to belt out the Tarzan yell she was famous for.

There are several of Burnett’s characters that I love, but I think my all-time favorite is Stella Toddler. The aged, blonde haired, old-fashioned glasses-wearubg, slow-talking lady that Burnett played to perfection. As I was writing this, I was checking out a clip of Burnett playing Stella Toddler and I could barely contain my laughter.

Judge for yourself. You can check out the YouTube clip at

Who’s your favorite character from “The Carol Burnett Show,” which ran from 1967 to 1978? Reply to this post or drop me a line and let me know, and I’ll try to mention it in a future posting!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jump the shark!!!!!

Thanks to the Web site, I finally found the answer to a question that’s been bothering me for years. No, not about global warming. And not why Victoria Principal’s character Pamela Barnes Ewing dreamed a whole entire season of “Dallas.”

But, rather, what was the name of the song the Cosby’s lip-synched to for their grandparents’ anniversary on “The Cosby Show.” I finally found the answer on!

Sorry. I’ll try to contain myself.

"Jump the Shark" is a term that refers to a defining moment on a television show where you realize the show has reached it’s peak. Such as when Fonzie jumped the shark on “Happy Days”.

For those with inquiring minds, the song I was trying to find is “(Night Time is) The Right Time,” by the great Ray Charles. My head’s bopping to the music as I type this. If I start lip-synching, though, the editors are going to send me home. (Hmmmm … there’s an idea …)

Lots of fun stuff on that Web site, so be sure to check it out!


Brad Wadlow’s “Totally TV” blog can be found at

“One Day at a Time”—The Early Years

Debuting in 1975, “One Day at a Time” was the story of a divorced mom, Ann Romano, or as Schneider, the building’s handyman would call her, M-S Romano (played by Bonnie Franklin). She had custody of her two daughters—the troublesome Julie (Mackenzie Phillips, daughter of John Phillips from the group The Mamas and Papas) and Barbara (played by the future Mrs. Eddie Van Halen, Valerie Bertinelli).

The series also started out with Richard Masur, who played Ann’s lawyer and love interest, David Kane. When Masur left the show, Mary Louise Wilson came aboard as cocktail waitress Ginny Wroblicki, one of my favorite characters on the show (perhaps it was the cocktail dress …)

And then there was Dwayne Schnieder, played by Pat Harrington, who would burst into Ann Romano’s apartment totally unannounced with his pass key. And he almost always wore a dungaree vest over a white T-shirt. And there was always a pack of cigarettes rolled up under one of the T-shirt sleeves.

One of my favorite moments from the show was Phillips and Bertinelli doing an impression of Elton John and Kiki Dee performing, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

And regular watchers of the show surely can’t forget when Julie ran away with her boyfriend, Chuck. That was at least a three-parter show. (Don’t you hate those?)

I’ll touch more on this show’s later seasons in a future blog entry, so stay tuned!

Some burning 'Brady Bunch" questions

Some burning questions I have about “The Brady Bunch”:

1. OK, I’ve heard this one before, but I’ve never heard an answer, and it bears repeating anyway: If Mike Brady was such a great architect, why did he build a house with only two bedrooms and one bathroom for six kids? I’m assuming Carol and Mike had their own behind that partition next to their bed. But what about poor Alice? Did she have to run to the corner gas station? Or Sam the butcher’s meat shop?

2. Did the continuity editor fall asleep on the job? In an earlier episode, Greg wants his own room, so Mike reluctantly gives up his den. Carol had suggested the attic, but Mike says something like, “That would be great if Greg was three feet tall.” Yet … in later episodes, Greg moves up into a very spacious (and hardly three foot high-looking attic). One of those things that make you go hmmmmm.

3. Why can't I get the Fillmoore Junior High School cheer out of my head this morning? (F...F...F-I-L....L-L...L-M-O....O-O...O-R-E....Fillmoore Junior High)

Any ideas?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Remembering Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine

As I was riding into work this morning (it was one of those rare mornings where I was fully awake—relax, I’m a passenger, not a driver), I was trying to think of a topic for a future blog when I thought of “The Gong Show.”

I’ll take a look at the show in a future blog, but, of course I wound up thinking about Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine. He turned out to be a semi-regular on the show, and I loved it every time he showed up. He’d dance up a storm while Chuck Barris and the celebrity guests would join in the fun. (And at home, so would I). I found this on YouTube and it made me smile, so I figured I’d share it. Enjoy.


The year was 1977. The year’s top song was Rod Stewart’s "Tonight’s the Night," the original "Star Wars" movie (that’s the one with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford) was the top movie, and in September of 1977, the television show "Soap" premiered.

As the show’s intro says, it’s the story of two sisters--the well-off Jessica Tate and the not-so-well-off Mary Campbell, and both of their wacky families.

Among the characters we meet in the show’s premiere episode are Danny Dallas, Mary’s son, who works for the Mob; Burt Campbell, Mary’s impotent second husband (and, as we learn in the first episode, the killer of Mary’s first husband.). At the Tate house, there’s the shell-shocked grandfather, known as Major, who still thinks he’s in the war. There’s also Jessica’s adulterous husband, Chester.

The show launched the careers of several of the actors and actresses on it. Among them: Katherine Helmond, who played the sweet and slightly daffy Jessica Tate, went on to star with Tony Danza and Judith Light in "Who’s the Boss." Richard Mulligan, who played Bert Campbell, went on to star in "Empty Nest" with Kristy McNichol and Dinah Man off (who also starred briefly in "Soap"). And, of course, there’s Billy Crystal, who played TV’s first gay character on "Soap," Jodie Dallas. Crystal went on to "Saturday Night Live" and such movie hits as "Throw Momma From the Train," "When Harry Met Sally" and "City Slickers." And Robert Guillame, who played the Tate’s butler, Benson, eventually got his own spin-off, titled, you guessed it, "Benson."

I found all three seasons of "Soap" on DVD (now if I could only find my mind …), so throughout this blog, I’ll be touching on some of my favorite moments in the series.

But, I’d like to hear who your favorite characters were on the show, and why. And tell us about your favorite "Soap" moments.