Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

TV Quote Weekends

"I heard your dad went to the restaurant and ate all the food in the restaurant and they had to close the restaurant."

-Ralph Wiggum

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

“It’s a helicopter, and it’s coming this way. It’s flying something behind it, I can’t quite make it out, it’s a large banner and it says, uh – Happy… Thanks… giving! … From … W … K … R… P!! No parachutes yet. Can’t be skydivers. I can’t tell just yet what they are, but: Oh, my God, they’re turkeys! Oh! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they’re plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Everyone’s running around, pushing each other. Oh, my goodness! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!”

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The I.T. Crowd

The picture below might look somehow familiar to viewers of British sitcoms. Familiar, yet a bit different. 

In 2007, NBC put together its own version of the British sitcom The I.T. Crowd, complete with the hilarious Richard Ayoade playing the eccentric "Moss", imported from the British version. Rounding out the cast were Jennifer St. Clair, Joel McHale and Rocky Carroll.

The happiness of the cast, however, was short lived. Despite grandly announcing that the show had a spot on the Fall schedule, NBC quietly killed the show before filming any episodes. The success of The Big Bang Theory has inspired NBC to give this project another chance with an as of yet unannounced cast.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Would the Real Danny Tanner Please Stand Up?

The producers of Full House knew they'd found the perfect Danny Tanner after they auditioned Bob Saget for the role. Too bad he was under contract to CBS. Bob couldn't get out of his CBS Morning Show contract, so Full House went with Plan B- John Posey.

John Posey filmed the pilot and no doubt began counting the millions he'd soon be making from his starring role on this saccharine family sitcom.

But fate is a strange thing. CBS decided to shake things up and Bob Saget was fired. Now able to do whatever he wanted, Bob called up ABC to see if the role of Danny Tanner was still available. It wasn't, of course, but since ABC hadn't officially signed any of the talent to their final contracts, they made room for Bob Saget by showing John Posey the door. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Louie Anderson, a Perfect Stranger

Most 1980's television viewers remember the high jinks of Balki Bartokomous and his exasperated Cousin Lou, played by the hilarious Louie Anderson on their classic show called The Greenhorn. Wait, what?

Your eyes (and Photoshop) are not deceiving you. Pictured above are Bronson Pinchot as Cousin Balki and Louie Anderson as "Cousin Lou" starring as a latter day odd couple on the pilot episode of Perfect Strangers. When ABC picked up the show, they told the show producers that they loved the premise, but felt Mr. Anderson had no familial chemistry with Bronson Pinchot. If Lou didn't seem to get along with Balki, why would he put up with the eccentricities of his distant cousin?

So when the show began production, the title was changed to Perfect Strangers and Louie Anderson was replaced by Mark Linn-Baker. The character's name was also changed to Larry Appleton and television history was born.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

TV Quote Weekends

“We’re the bears that sing for Duke, Doo-dah, Doo-dah! Drinking moonshine ’till we puke all the Doo-dah day!”

-from "The Critic”

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

BANNED: Steven Seagal

In our continuing series on actors banned from Saturday Night Live, we come to our next banned actor- Steven Seagal.

How did the beefy action star end up banned? By being extremely difficult to deal with and coming up with sketch ideas that were non-sensical, bizarre, ridiculous and/or borderline offensive. Lorne Michaels still considers Mr. Seagal to be the worst host ever.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Carol Seaver's Growing Pains

It's the Seavers, just as you remember them! Except, who's that girl?

That girl was Elizabeth Ward, the original Carol Seaver. Test audiences didn't like her, so she was replaced by Tracey Gold, who was originally rejected for the role. While Elizabeth's scenes in the pilot were reshot with Tracey, Elizabeth was still visible in the background of one scene.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In the Not Too Distant Future- 25 Years Ago

Twenty five years ago, Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered on The Comedy Channel. The idea was a novel one- a guy gets stranded in space, forced to watch bad movies with his two robot friends. 

The show would run for ten years and popularize grade Z films like Manos: The Hands of Fate, infamous directors like Ed Wood and bizarre characters like Mr. B Natural.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Benson & Seinfeld

Years before he hit it big with his sitcom Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld was cast as "Frankie" on the 1980's sitcom Benson. The producers of Benson thought Jerry was a lousy actor and a bad fit for the show, so he was unceremoniously fired. In fact, they never bothered to tell him he had been let go; he realized he was fired when he sat down to a table read and saw that his character wasn't in the script. Mr. Seinfeld would eventually get the last laugh. Industry experts estimate that his sitcom has made over three billion dollars in syndication rights alone. That's a lot of something for a show about nothing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rest in Peace, Glen A. Larson

Legendary television producer Glen A. Larson has died at age 77.

Mr. Larson began his entertainment career as a singer with the group The Four Preps, whose best known song was 26 Miles (Santa Catalina). After settling down with a wife and kids, Mr. Larson tired of the touring life and left the group, choosing to make a career in television where he produced some of the biggest television series ever. Quincy, ME, Magnum PI, The Fall Guy and Battlestar Galactica were among his most successful shows.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

TV Quote Weekends

"Have a seat. let's see. Uh, how could I explain this? Ah! Ok, this is the church, this is the steeple, open the doors. See the big guy in the third row? Don't stick him up in the air at anybody."

-Dan Conner

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Perry Mason and the Future Police Woman

Long before she was the sexy Police Woman, Angie Dickinson had a run in with legendary lawyer Perry Mason in the 1958 episode The Case of the One-Eyed Witness. The lovely Miss Dickinson played Mr. Mason's client and not the one-eyed witness.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: John Banner and Werner Klemperer

Years before they played the bumbling German overseers of Stalag 13 in Hogan's Heroes, John Banner and Werner Klemperer starred in the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The episode was called Safe Conduct and featured a naive young American who is asked to help smuggle a watch. John Banner plays a train conductor while Werner Klemperer plays a fellow traveler.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Win a copy of my book!

You Might Remember Him From Such Films As...

The Seven-Year Old Bitch

Sorry, Wrong Closet

Suddenly Last Supper

They Came to Burgle Carnegie Hall

Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die

The Verdict Was Mail Fraud

The Wackiest Covered Wagon in the West

Jagged Attraction

Look Who's Still Oinking

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rest in Peace, Carol Ann Susi

Character actress Carol Ann Susi has died at the age of 62. Ms. Susi had guest starring roles in numerous television shows like Married With Children, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Cheers and so many more. One of her most well known roles was as a hapless woman who is setup with George Costanza on a blind date by her mother, an unemployment benefits counselor. 

Most recently she provided the voice of Mrs. Wolowitz, the mother of Howard on The Big Bang Theory. Her hilarious performance put her in TV's "Heard But Not Seen" Hall of Fame.

Nancy Walker: TV Director

Known for her roles as the Bounty pitchwoman Rosie and Rhoda Morgenstern's mother, Nancy Walker was quite a versatile actress. She put her years of Hollywood experience to work when she directed episodes of Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda and Alice. In 1980, she turned her attention to feature films. Unfortunately, the project she chose was the disastrous Can't Stop the Music. She never directed another feature film.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Real Golden Girls House

Millions of people vacationing in Florida's Walt Disney World who took Disney-MGM Studios' "Backlot Tour" in the 1990's thought they were looking at the actual house used in the Golden Girls credit sequence. But the house (like much of Disney's Florida property) was a fake.

The real house actually exists in Brentwood, California where it still stands to this day. Much like how the company tried to export Walt Disney's real Magic Kingdom to Florida, it built a fake house to make its studio guests believe they were in a real studio. While the real house in California remains standing, the fake Florida house was torn down in 2003.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

TV Quote Weekends

"When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go."

-Carol Burnett

Saturday, November 8, 2014

TV Quote Weekends

"Well, she was gonna smell like a beer sooner or later." 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Mister T: The Cartoon Show

One of the worst and most bizarre Saturday Morning cartoons was Mister T. The gruff vigilante traveled the world with his teenage gymnastics team, bizarrely solving mysteries along the way.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bad Words on TV

Everyone knows George Carlin’s famous “Words you can’t say on TV” routine, but did you know that at least two of the words on his infamous list have actually been spoken on American broadcast television? Even more surprising, their appearance in scripted shows happened more than twenty years ago on a network not known for edginess- CBS!

 At a time when granny approved programming like Murder, She Wrote was still gracing American TVs, Sharon Gless was tearing down barriers. Believe it or not, she was the very first person to purposely use the word “tits” in a scripted show- the pilot of her short-lived drama The Trials of Rosie O’Neill. 

 Sharon Gless has always been known as someone who enjoys edgier, barrier breaking roles, so it’s no shock that she would willingly embrace the opportunity to fly in the face of convention. However, nobody would say the same of Mark Harmon. ‘Dependable’ & ‘Safe’ would describe his project choices. Who would have guessed that he’d be the first actor to say ‘shit’ on network television? He did- on his CBS show Chicago Hope. A daring choice for a network popular with the blue hairs.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Frances Bavier

Eagle-eyed viewers of Alfred Hitchcock Presents might recognize a familiar face playing a nosy neighbor- it is Andy Griffith's Aunt Bea herself, Frances Bavier!

In Revenge, Ms. Bavier lives next to a deranged woman who convinces her husband that she was attacked by a strange man. This being an Alfred Hitchcock story, the man realizes- too late- that his wife was lying and he has killed an innocent man. Perhaps he should have listened to Ms. Bavier's snooping character...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Twilight Zone Classics: Twenty Two

Twenty Two, a classic episode of The Twilight Zone, featured a young lady who was hospitalized due to "nerves". Each night, she has a vivid dream in which she wanders down to the hospital basement, where a creepy nurse  tells her that there's room for one more- in the morgue.

After checking herself out of the hospital, the young lady happens upon a familiar looking stewardess who has a frightening statement to make, leading to a shocking finale.

"Room for one more, honey. Room for one more!"

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Three Mr. Freezes

The 1966 Batman television series had a frantic shooting schedule. Its second season ran an amazing 60 episodes, which drained many actors. As a result, a few of the characters were played by multiple actors, including Mr. Freeze, who was played by George Sanders:

Eli Wallach:

And amazingly, even legendary director Otto Preminger:

Though Mr. Preminger did direct the film Skidoo a few years later, so perhaps he wasn't of sound mind at the time.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

TV Quote Weekends

“I mean it’s one banana Michael. What could it cost, $10?”

-Lucille Bluth

Saturday, November 1, 2014