IN THE FAST LANE
Last week he went before his church for a mea culpa - but many are criticizing him for a self serving speech asking for support and money. Was he over the line here? Or is forgiveness called for?
What a coincidence that the church service was broadcast over the same station Tolly Carr was employed by? Would he have gotten the same reaction at your church? It's as sad situation, that's for sure, with two young men's family's devastated.
March 27, 2007 - 9:46am
Cher takes questions from the audience on The Mike Douglas Show.
March 27, 2007 - 9:00am
Very funny Foster Brooks routine from a Dean Martin Roast of Lucille Ball. It's weird how the roasts got tamer as the years went by but this is one of the early ones and the 'perpetually drunk' comedian is on fire here.
'Lydia the Tattooed Lady' sung by Groucho Marx in 1969 from the Dick Cavett Show. This was one of his classic routines.
March 25, 2007 - 10:24am
WORD MOVIE REVIEWS
Film Is Not Yet Rated
March 25, 2007 - 9:32am
ON THE NET
March 25, 2007 - 9:29am
OF THE COMIC BOOKS
When I was a kid I had a crystal radio in my bedroom and I would listen to stations near and far. One show I particularly enjoyed was an overnight talk show hosted by a young Bob Lacey in Charlotte.
At the time I was a big comic book nut so I wrote to Bob Lacey and suggested some people that might make good interviews. Much to my surprise he had them on as guests via phone. Artist Carmine Infantino, then the head of DC Comics, was one I remember - and I recently stumbled upon this recording of an interview with Phil Seuling.
This broadcast occurred right after a fellow named Mitchell Mehdy (right) made national news when he bought Action Comics number one for a little over $1,800. He was the laughing stock of the nation, but today that single comic book sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At the time of this interview, Phil Seuling was building a very successful mail order business selling back issues of comic books - something few people had thought to do before him. He also organized the first New York comic book convention in 1967; this became a yearly event and a smart business move that helped make Seuling a very wealthy man.
value of classic comics grew by leaps and bounds between 1970 and 1974.
On his salary as an English teacher for the NYC public school system,
Seuling amassed one of the most valuable collections in the world.
Seuling quotes the worth of Big Little Books at five dollars at most - and is astonished when an old lady calls up to say she was offered ten dollars each. But then, Phil made a fortune buying comics for next to nothing and selling them for a mint.
By the 1980s, Seuling headed a thriving comic book distribution network that supplied the newly emerging comic book specialty shops around the country - in the process creating the so-called 'Direct Market' that is the standard distribution method today.
Phil Seuling passed away in the 1980s from Liver Cancer.
Today the interviewer, Bob Lacey, is the co-host of the very popular Bob and Sheri Show, heard in syndication nationally. This is absolutely the best morning show out there - I tuned in for several months before I made the connection that this is the same Bob Lacey I listened to as a kid.
March 24, 2007 - 9:59am
Simply send your short film, no longer than 5 minutes, on DVD and I'll choose the 5 best films to be showcased here on TVparty! for a month. You'll be seen by TV producers and artisans working in every aspect of the motion picture and television business, not to mention potentially tens of thousands of net citizens. This could be your big break!
your films to:
I'll post the best films as they come in - good luck!
March 23, 2007 - 12:59am
Houdini's kin want to exhume the magician's body to see if he was murdered. I say yeah! Let's dig up all the historical figures we can and poke around, how about it?
Must reading about our TV news from a public affairs sergeant in Afghanistan.
March 23, 2007 - 4:49am
LOCAL TV 1966
Lorraine Goodman shares with us a wonderful find, an episode of Birthday House from February 1966 starring Paul Tripp, TV's first child educator. As the producer and star of the critically celebrated Mr. I. Magination program on the CBS network from 1949 until 1952, he influenced and predated Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street and every children's program that followed.
Birthday House aired live on WNBC 4 Monday through Saturday mornings from April 1, 1963 until September 8, 1967; it was nationally syndicated for a while and two best-selling soundtrack albums were released with songs from the show.
Similar in tone to Romper Room but with a birthday party theme, the broadcast was a smash hit with kids and parents alike thanks to the exemploray talents of Tripp and his spouse, co-host Ruth Enders Tripp. A creative team since the pioneer days of television, they were masters of the intimate, seat-of-your-pants nature of live broadcasting.
Each day one, two or three lucky youngsters were selected from the New York / New Jersey viewing area to attend a birthday celebration with their friends on television. The WNBC studio could only accommodate a dozen or so children at a time so naturally tickets were highly coveted.
Tom Tichenor designed, manipulated and voiced the many cheerful puppet characters and portrayed Strawtop the silent scarecrow doll; Jan Lara and Kay Lande also appeared in character roles. In 1964, WNBC Channel 4 received a special citation for Birthday House at the NYC Emmy Awards
The underlying focus of Birthday House was on learning, however simple the lesson; this was accomplished with segments like Buzzy the spelling bee, kids drawing together at a chalk board and a milk drinking game to encourage good nutrition.
In this found episode, Paul and his puppet pal Felicia the mouse play around with a couple of gerbils before Paul strolls to a fish tank where he ad-libs as the camera lingers on the exotic fish swimming about.
This is representative of what the NBC flagship station offered for the morning hours in the nation's number one television market, part of a steady diet of quality kidvid available around the dial - all day long - with top talent that included Chuck McCann, Sandy Becker, Officer Joe Bolton and a legion of other virsatile performers who instilled in their viewers a sense of fair play, virtue and a love for education.
are some video clips
greets the kids
Birthday march, the Spelling Bee, the gerbils and Ruth
Tripp created and developed the catchy, fanciful songs with Ray Carter.
of the tunes and one of the puppets
March 21, 2007 - 12:32pm
# 1: Eligible Woman
March 20, 2007 - 1:19pm
March 20, 2007 - 12:22pm
rosy scenarios are what keep us going in this business."
are really angry about a web site that encourages people to vote for the
worst singer. This is not a joke. We're voting for the next 'American
Idol' here. This is not some kind of game. I know it was funny when we
reelected President Bush, but this is serious."
March 20, 2007 - 2:07am
Whether you are for or against the conflict in Iraq, you have to admire the spirit of these young men. Chicken salad, anyone?
They ask that you visit dav.org or uswoundedsoldiers.com and make a donation.
March 19, 2007 - 10:27am
Quite frankly, is there a worse show on TV than Family Guy? It sucks from the first moment to the last, so derivative of The Simpsons it's impossible for me to watch. Every freakin' reference gets a freakin' flashback or visual aside. It's so annoyingly formulaic that I would assume only maroons could watch it - except some of my best friends love it and they're smart people. So I don't get it.
Poorly drawn, sloppily animated - and Carol Burnett didn't tug her ear as a sign to her mom, it was her grandmother who raised her, that's who she was signaling.
March 19, 2007 - 10:01am
From the 2000's: Kevin Butler is possibly the nation's number 1 expert on NYC TV kid shows. He was also a regular on Alf's Hit Talk Show on TV Land, a pretty darn good program. Here are some highlights from Kevin's comic bits.
From the 1990's: Bloopers from Dallas with Larry Hagman and Linda Gray. (I'm cheating here - the outtakes are from the 1980s but Dallas lasted into the 1990s so...)
From the 1980's: Every once in a while someone writes and asks about that crazy syndicated sitcom called Small Wonder, the story of a robotic little girl and her typical suburban family. Was this show literally made for 5 year olds? It was very popular, as I recall.
From the 1970's: What happened when the cast of The Carol Burnett Show unexpectedly showed up during a taping of Match Game? Ensuing hilarity, of course! (This You Tube clip won't embed but it's too good to pass up.)
From the 1960s: The Three Stooges are interviewed by Jack Linkletter (Hootenanny).
From the 1950s: How great is this? Dinah Shore, Chita Rivera and Julie Andrews all joining in a medley of standards from Dinah's variety show.
March 18, 2007 - 10:07am
March 17, 2007 - 2:37pm
Can you imagine in our fast paced TV culture a comedian taking the time to set up and deliver a story like this one, a full 6 minutes long? Certainly couldn't happen in prime time today - or late night either. That was one of the charms of The New Bill Cosby Show.
March 16, 2007 - 2:32am
What I think is that something big is going to come along and knock it out of the media sandbox.
March 16, 2007 - 2:24am
I love South Park - it's so cool that the show hasn't lost it's edge after more than a decade. Who would have guessed? I'm even looking forward to the movie this summer. At least I think its this summer, I'm too lazy to find out. In this clip from this week's episode, Cartman 'goes gay' in a satire on the Jesus Camp crazies.
Another TV cartoon will be coming to the big screen on April 13th - Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film. Remember the big deal the officials in Boston made over those clever light box devices they mistook for bombs? How dumb can you get? Now we'll find out if the steep fines Cartoon Network and their ad agency paid because of the city's hissy fit will result in a public relations bonanza for the movie. I just hope the film doesn't suck! Here's the teaser trailer. They've got a hell of a great print campaign - is that Boris Vallejo that did the painting for the poster? Or Earl Norem?
If you're a fan of American Idol (not me), sitcom writer extraordinaire Ken Levin provides the best episode recaps. Check it. I'd rather read his recaps than watch the show itself. Here's one of his money quotes: "Could they pad the show any more? Christ! It was so long Paula’s drugs were wearing off."
One of my favorite shows, Reno 911, returns to Comedy Central on April 1st. The question is, given that the movie tanked and got such horrible reviews (like, it wasn't funny, stuff like that) could the TV series still be entertaining? Well, I'm happy to say, the show is as hilarious as ever. On the upcoming April Fool's Day episode, the Reno Sheriffs accepts a sponsorship from a Hooters-like business. Believe it or not, the plotline is pulled from real life - police departments around the U.S. are considering allowing business logos on the squad cars to provide extra income. This episode points out the inherent absurdity of the idea and the possible pitfalls.
March 16, 2007 - 8:04am
Shadows - Bloopers and Treasures
That said, there is a lot to like about this DVD release. Game show fans will cheer at the segments from Generation Gap with guests Jonathan Frid and other DS notables. I wish they had included whole episodes, but this is the first I've seen of this rare, short-lived daytime game. We also see Frid, Joan Bennett and 'The Wolfman' in segments from three episodes What's My Line from 1970 with Soupy Sales, Gene Rayburn & Sandy Baron.
Another great feature - tunes from the Dark Shadows soundtrack album that I owned as a kid. This was a beautifully produced album; the DVD producers have created music videos from the songs and they work quite well. Lara Parker (Angelique on DS) takes you on a tour of Salem, MA and there are some promo spots and behind the scenes video. I enjoyed this very much.
By the way, MPI has the entire Dark Shadows series out on DVD now.
Central Roast of William Shatner
Jason Alexander hosts, with celebrity roasters Artie Lange, Nichelle Nichols, Patton Oswald, Lisa Lampenelli (who gets grilled as harshly as Shatner), Kevin Pollack, Betty White, Fred Willard, George Takei and others. Oh yes, the infamous, out of control, disgusting Andy Dick is on hand as well; you may have read about his performance, it made the news it was so over the top.
There are also bonus features that give you a behind the scenes look at shooting the special and Red Carpet video. Seriously funny!
Addams Family - Volume 2
One stand out feature on these this discs is the commentary one one episode by Steve Cox who wrote the book about the show. I mentioned Steve's excellent commentary on The Beverly Hillbillies a while back on this Blog and his ruminations here are incisive and entertaining, full of fascinating facts and trivia. I wanted more! The added 'commentaries' on several episodes by Thing and Cousin Itt are as irritating and unnecessary as they are bizarre. Why not have more of Steve Cox? I could sit and listen to his stories all day.
There's also a mini-documentary on the show that features AF experts and the show's star John Astin, who looks great by the way. I'm glad to see he's still working but why isn't he seen more on TV? The packaging is very attractive and the prints are pristine; it's almost like watching the show for the first time. Classic TV lovers should be very pleased with this brand new release.
Direction Home: Bob Dylan
Loop Season One
You know how it's been tradition for a couple of decades that up and coming attractive actresses MUST appear in their underwear in at least one scene in a movie? These days it's the guys who are required to strip down (why is that?). The lead in this sitcom was down to his skivvies in the first minute of the first episode - heck, he appears in boxers on the DVD cover.
This show's been compared to Arrested Development (hated it!) and I have to confess the more I watched the more I liked it. It's peppy and moves at a crisp pace; I also have the feeling that there's a dedicated staffer on the show that does nothing but come up with sexual euphemisms. Douche out? Meat stick? Pound your porcupine?
out these video clips from this DVD set:
Staying Out of Trouble - Real Player / Windows Media
Thesis: Work Vs. Play 1 - Real Player / Windows Media
March 15, 2007 - 8:16am
March 15, 2007 - 6:05am
YOU HEAR ABOUT
The 2006 hurricane season turned out to be mild, and the new pumps were never pressed into action. But the Corps and [MWI,] the politically connected manufacturer of the equipment are still struggling to get the 34 heavy-duty pumps working properly.
The pumps are now being pulled out and overhauled because of excessive vibration, Corps officials said. Other problems have included overheated engines, broken hoses and blown gaskets, according to the documents obtained by the AP.
And guess what the political connection was?
MWI is owned by J. David Eller and his sons. Eller was once a business partner of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a venture called Bush-El that marketed MWI pumps. And Eller has donated about $128,000 to politicians, the vast majority of it to the Republican Party, since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
My thinking shifted when I read that the military was firing translators because they are gay. According to the Government Accountability Office, more than 300 language experts have been fired under "don't ask, don't tell," including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. This when even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently acknowledged the nation's "foreign language deficit" and how much our government needs Farsi and Arabic speakers. Is there a "straight" way to translate Arabic? Is there a "gay" Farsi? My God, we'd better start talking sense before it is too late.
March 14, 2007 - 3:05pm
YOU ON TV
March 13, 2007 - 11:45am
THAT A MICHCROPHONE IN YOUR
Now the staffer (who was fired) wants major bucks from Vasquez and everyone else associated with the show. I don't watch American Idol myself but I can't help but wonder how come this kind of thing never happens to me? I mean, in a situation where I could end up with millions of dollars from the experience instead of a few thousand stem cells to mop up.
Seriously though, how messed up would you have to be to pull a stunt like this when you've been given the opportunity of a lifetime to advance the career of your dreams. All he had to do was wait until he had a few weeks of exposure on America's top rated TV show to get freaky - then there would be a line of eager participants queued around the stall for him. This is Hollywood after all.
March 13, 2007 - 11:43am
Someone's in biiiiiiiig trouble! Check out the slogan under the Krispy Kreme doughnut in this news graphic from a Georgia TV station.
Anyone with more than half a brain knows that Fox News is an arm of the Republican party. Not that there's anything wrong with that, if they would only acknowledge it One day staffers will write tell all books about what goes on behind the scenes, I'm sure. Here's a nice set of screen captures that illustrates that point, my favorite below was from the last election day.
March 12, 2007 - 2:49pm
CLASSIC TV SALE
March 12, 2007 - 12:44pm
Scenes from a Dean Martin Roast of Jack Benny. Very quaint when you compare it to the William Shatner Roast that Comedy Central recently aired.
Did you know Marilyn Monroe made an appearance on the Jack Benny Show in 1953?
Finally, George Burns, Bing Crosby and Jack Benny recreate a classic Vaudeville routines, Goldie, Fields & Glide.
March 10, 2007 - 12:24pm
YOUR SUPERFLY HOST:
Everything you're looking for is here:
TV on DVD
It's a bit different - a collection of correspondence and sketches from the reclusive master artist Alex Toth's last 25 years.
Click here for more info about the book. There are very few copies left and I haven't heard any serious talk of a second printing; it was released only through comic book stores in August of 2006.
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