Thursday, December 31, 2015

Rest in Peace, Wayne Rogers

Wayne Rogers, best known for his role as Dr. "Trapper" John McIntyre on the television series M*A*S*H has passed away at age 82.

Mr. Rogers was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1933 and attended Princeton University where he majored in history. He enlisted in the Navy and became an actor afterwards, starring in numerous television westerns. It would be M*A*S*H, however, that would make him a household name.

He would impulsively leave the show after the third season and his career never fully recovered. In his later years, he became an investment advisor, though he continued to book roles on television.

TV Legends: Walter Cronkite

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Week: Funzo

Over its twenty five years, the Simpsons have celebrated Christmas several times, despite the fact that they have seemingly never aged. One Christmas brought about the nefarious toy "Funzo", a devilish cross between Furby and Teddy Ruxpin. The evil toy was designed to destroy all other toys, a feature discovered by Bart and Lisa. To save Christmas for everyone in Springfield, the kids enlist Homer's help to steal and destroy all Funzos. Their scheme is successful.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Week: "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Now considered to be a holiday classic, this holiday special was originally hated by Charles Schulz, thought to be too religious by the network and was not appreciated by the sponsors. Even the now classic musical score by Vince Guaraldi was criticized at the time.

Of course, it's really the audience that determines how successful something is, and Charlie Brown's audience decided that this special was something special.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rest in Peace, Patricia Elliott

Actress Patricia Elliott, best known for her role as Renee Divine Buchanan on One Life to Live has passed away at age 77.

Born in Colorado, Ms. Elliott decided upon becoming an actress at an early age. The vast majority of her work was on stage; she didn't get her big break in television until 1987 when she joined the cast of One Life to Live as the feisty on again, off again wife of show patriarch Asa Buchanan. She would play the role off and on for over twenty years.

Christmas Week: "Futurama"

Christmas in the future is far bleaker in the world of Futurama. An experiment gone haywire produces an extremely strict robot Santa Claus who delivers punishment to this who have been naughty- which is everyone! 

This horrific Santa Claus forces the denizens of New New York to spend Christmas Eve cowering indoors, hoping to stay alive to see Christmas Day.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hallmark Christmas Movies: A Christmas Melody

It's that time of the week when we look at those bizarre Christmas films that keep getting churned out by the Hallmark Channel and make up a plot based solely on the movie poster. Today we look at the last film for this year- A Christmas Melody.

One of these actors is not like the others...

Wow. I bet we can guess who is starting to run out of money. However, we're supposed to guess the plot of this Hallmark travesty, so let's go ahead with that. That poor woman in the middle. She loves her piano playing friend who is allegedly straight. Despite her love, he only has eyes for the musical diva he plays for. Can she get his attention? Probably, because this is a Hallmark film. See you next year!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

TV Quote Weekends

"Yeah, uh whenever you notice something like that, a wizard did it."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Anniversary to The Simpsons!

On December 17, 1989 The Simpsons premiered on the three year old Fox Network, a last ditch effort to try to build on the success of the channel's only hit show- Married... With Children. Devised at the last minute by creator Matt Groening, who didn't want to cede the rights to his popular Life in Hell characters, the show would make him more money than he had dreamed of. Along the way, Our Favorite Family conquered Bill Cosby and became an established American icon. The Simpsons is a perfectly cromulent institution and we are all embiggened by its existence. Happy Anniversary, Springfield!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Simpsons Files: Handsome Pete

Handsome Pete is the dwarf clown busker who sort of resembles a distorted Krusty. Pete doesn't talk and works out of the back of The Sea Cap'ns Bait'n Barg'n B'n. Bart and Lisa encounter him while looking for Krusty and annoy the Sea Captain by throwing money in Pete's hat.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bizarre TV Guide Ads: "Mrs. Sundance"

The 1970's were a strange time. The television networks seemed enamored with "Mrs." sequels. There was the ill fated Mrs. Columbo and this bizarre entry- Mrs. Sundance, which imagines that the Sundance Kid had a wife who was now on the run from the law. Who better to play a woman who found herself on the wrong side of the line than Bewitched's Elizabeth Montgomery? Seeing as how the delightful Ms. Montgomery was one of America's sweethearts, just about any other actress out there.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hallmark Christmas Movies: Family For Christmas

It's that time of the week when we look at those bizarre Christmas films that keep getting churned out by the Hallmark Channel and make up a plot based solely on the movie poster. Next up: Family For Christmas.

Wow, that award winning professional woman looks like a first class Scrooge! Too bad she has to show her new bosses a family of sorts! In her haste, she convinces this laid back guy to pretend to be her family, and boy is he annoying! However, is there a glimmer of the possibility of love between them? Possibly. Maybe he'll be un-chilling that heart of hers and sweeping her down the aisle- at Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

TV Quote Weekends

"Oh, you know how mothers are.  She just kept pushing.  And I’m like, 'Fine, mom, be a whore.  Be a drunken whore, even.  But don't be a nagging drunken whore, you know?  Don't come yell at me to do the dishes if you've been banging a clown in the next room!'"

Saturday, December 12, 2015

TV Quote Weekends

"I can bring tears to your eyes and resurrect the dead. I form in an instant and last a lifetime. What am I?"

Friday, December 11, 2015


The NBC show 227 was Marla Gibbs' turn to shine. The breakout character from The Jeffersons, she was a hot commodity when that show ended. She got her chance with 227.

However, the show now had its own breakout character- Sandra, played by the talented and sassy Jackee Harry. Not as gracious as Isabel Sanford, who didn't mind being overshadowed on The Jeffersons, Marla Gibbs resented Jackee and allegedly made things difficult for her. When NBC offered her a shot at her own show, Jackee was more than happy to take them up on the offer. Unfortunately, the show didn't get picked up past the pilot. Jackee would find greater success on th show Sister, Sister.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

In Search Of.... Anastasia?

The weekly documentary show In Search Of... featured Leonard Nimoy, who traveled the world hunting down mysteries and paranormal phenomena. One story covered by the show was the mystery of Anastasia.

Anastasia was the daughter of the last Russian Tsar who was believed executed along with the rest of her family. A legend, however, held that Anastasia had escaped and survived under a fictitious name. Many young ladies insinuated that they were, in actuality, Anastasia. One such woman was Anna Anderson, a Polish woman born as Franziska Schanzkowska. In 1978, In Search Of... highlighted her bizarre story, showing her as she was then- a possibly senile, stubborn old woman who insisted she wasn't Anastasia. (Though it was obvious she wished us to believe she was.) Nimoy expresses just the right amount of doubt and possibly belief. With the ability to test DNA non-existent in 1978, the answer as to her true identity was left to the audience.

The advent of DNA testing solved this mystery once and for all. Using tissue left behind after her body was cremated, Franziska was finally proven as the fraud she was.  DNA would also answer the tale of Anastasia's sad fate. When the remains of her family were unearthed, her true destiny was revealed- she was murdered alongside the rest of her family.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Murder, Jean Wrote?

When CBS was looking for a star for its proposed murder mystery show, it turned to a renowned actress who had just completed a run on one of its biggest shows ever- All in the Family's Jean Stapleton.

Ms. Stapleton, however, was not interested in jumping into another weekly series, much less one that was one hour long. She turned down CBS, who then offered the show to Angela Lansbury.

Murder, She Wrote became a huge hit, making Ms. Lansbury even more famous than she already was. She would play Jessica Fletcher for twelve seasons.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Santa Bundy

"A fat woman came into the shoe store today and wanted a pair of shoes to wear to a Christmas party. I told her to stand on her hands, put a star on her butt, and go as the world's largest, ugliest Christmas tree. Then she has the nerve to get mad at me because she's fat."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rest in Peace, Nicholas Smith

Nicholas Smith, the last living major Are You Being Served? castmember has passed away at age 81.

Mr. Smith, who played the clueless Mr. Rumbold, was encouraged at an early age to pursue his dream of acting. He successfully earned roles on stage and various non-speaking roles on television. His big break came when he convinced the producers of Doctor Who to make his minor role on the show one season into a major one. This led to other fantasy/Sci-Fi type roles. His biggest role, however, would be as Cuthbert Rumbold, the hapless senior manager on AYBS?

Mr. Smith continued to act and enjoyed meeting his many fans. He is the last of the Grace Brothers staff to pass away, leaving behind a hilarious legacy. He and his fellow cast mates are no doubt enjoying a tea break in the canteen in the sky. Thank you for the laughs, Mr. Smith and rest in peace.

Hallmark Christmas Films: "Snow Bride"

It's that time of the week when we look at those bizarre Christmas films that keep getting churned out by the Hallmark Channel and make up a plot based solely on the movie poster. Next up: Snow Bride!

How romantic! It looks like this loving couple is going to have a holiday wedding! But what's this? That bride is wearing sneakers and a tank top under her dress. She must be one of those free spirits you've heard so much about. The groom doesn't seem to care or notice, but his traditional mother certainly does! She obviously doesn't approve of this holiday harlot who wants to marry her son. Can she make him see that he's going to make the biggest mistake of his life? Will this unconventional bride teach her future mother-in-law a thing or two about Holiday magic? Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

TV Quote Weekends

"We were taken in the show when somebody tried to slip a mickey in my drink. Nice try, bub, but I work for Warner's!"

Saturday, December 5, 2015

TV Quote Weekends

"You've seen Disneyland the TV show, now we want to show you DISNEYLAND the place."

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Banned from MTV!

Twenty five years ago, MTV still showed videos and Madonna still "shocked" audiences with her steamy act. The two worlds collided in December of 1990 when MTV banned Madonna's Justify My Love video for being too sexy. "Forced" to sell her banned video for $19.95 on videocassette, Madonna went on the only show that dared show what MTV banned- Ted Koppel's Nightline.

For thirty minutes, Ted Koppel carefully studied the video, chatting with an outraged Madonna and expressing the idea shared by many of his viewers that this scandalous slattern had finally gone too far.

Eventually, Madonna's video was allowed on MTV, just in time for the network to stop showing anything having to do with music and Madonna's increasingly "edgy" attempts at gaining attention for her projects were no longer seen as controversial.

TV Guide Loves Lucy

The queen of television and her newborn son appeared on the very first cover of TV Guide in 1953. Lucille Ball would appear on more covers than anyone else in television history- 39 times in total.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Simpsons Files: Moe Szyslak

In a town full of crude, boorish, slovenly citizens, Moe Szyslak stands out as the crudest, most boorish and perverted of everyone living in Springfield.

Owner of the diviest dive bar in whichever state Springfield is in, Moe lives in an endless cycle of poverty and depression. Every time he seems on the verge of a breakthrough, something stands in his way, whether it is his own perversion or that of his sad sack customers.

Despite it all, however, Moe always finds his way, realizing that life is worth living and that not everyone is repulsed by his appearance. When push comes to shove, Moe will typically come through for his friends.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Bizarre TV Guide Ads: The Lucille Ball Special

What's going on here? The plot seems simple enough and is (bizarrely) fully spelled out in this ad, but the picture makes no sense. It appears that Lucy is trying to strangle Vivian Vance while Ed McMahon sternly looks on and the rest of the cast shout and gag at the camera. The cast is a who's who of hasbeens and the biggest surprise is that CBS seriously thought that this ad would attract viewers.