Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
You'll have to double click on this clip to go to the site to download the full forty-five minutes, but if you have a decent computer, it shouldn't take longer than ten minutes and it is totally worth it. This was the final episode of NBC's short lived The Richard Pryor Show, however, this piece of tape is raw footage. There is no opening theme or closing credits, and had you viewed the episode when it aired on television, at least twenty-two minutes of what you'll see here was missing - particularly Pryor's final turn at the end, which was laced with expletives and other colorful talk. Tim Reid of WKRP, Marsha Warfield of Night Court, Paul Mooney, Robin Williams and Sandra Bernhardt are all on the dais.
I've uploaded the classic Verve LP Are You Ready for Phyllis Diller? for yer listening pleasure and bookended it with the two best tracks off her novelty LP Born to Sing, an album that includes Diller's interpretation of The Rolling Stones' Satisfaction. Verve didn't have a lot of comedians under contract but those that they did have were top of the line... and they all recorded a lot of stuff for the label. Other than Diller, Verve had Jonathan Winters, Jackie Mason, Shelley Berman and Mort Sahl. Not a bad line-up. Here's the Diller record.
Phyllis Diller backstage with Robert Goulet:
An early Phyllis TV appearance:
The failed 1967 Diller sitcom, The Pruitts of Southampton:
Phyllis Diller on The Dean Martin Show:
Also watch Phyllis on The Muppet Show in three parts here, here and here. Watch some more Phyllis stand-up from The Flip Wilson Show here and here.
Pete Barbutti was/is an eccentric jazz musician and comedian, known best for his many appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. You can watch a couple of those old appearances over here. Barbutti eventually went on to host an absurd syndicated daytime television show called Celebrity Microwaves in the early eighties. I was going to upload his very funny Decca Records comedy album in its entirety today, titled The Very Funny Side of Pete Barbutti and released in 1967. But then I went to Barbutti's recently revamped website and discovered that the man himself has uploaded the LP in its entirety for free already! That and his earlier comedy LP on Chicago's VeeJay Records (primarliy the domain of Black R&B, DooWop, and Soul artists). The site immediately greets you with a montage of Tonight Show hosts introducing Pete. Other than Carson and Leno, you can see him introduced by guest hosts David Brenner, George Carlin, David Letterman, Martin Mull, Bob Newhart, Burt Reynolds and McLean Stevenson. You can also watch several of his television appearances that aren't anywhere else on the internet. That's all over here.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Captain Nice is the best of today's neglected sitcom offerings, and that probably has more than a little to do with the script from Mr. Buck Henry. It even has one of those familiar, "I asked you not to tell me that!" lines that were common over on Get Smart.
Well, I feel like posting some obscure, and certainly failed, sixties sitcoms today. Here's Jerry Van Dyke in the first of today's three kooky duds.
Before the feature-length, animated, theatrical release A Boy Named Charlie Brown was released in 1969, a live-action documentary showing a day in the life of Charles Schulz was made with the same name. Here's a five minute sample.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Here's a nice solid chunk of The Joe Pyne Show. The program has been showcased on Classic Television Showbiz twice before, and if I had access to more of this footage it would appear as often as possible. Always fascinating, combative and generally reactionary, you gotta hand it to Pyne. He was brave enough to bring on some very articulate people with totally opposing viewpoints and gave them a forum. Although he may have been utterly rude to them - he was generally rude to everyone. Compare this to a Bill O'Reilly today who is rude to a Phil Donahue but polite and complimentary to an Anne Coulter. Or a Glenn Beck who simply would never have anybody as far to the left on his show as Pyne has here.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
There are three notable things about this episode of To Tell the Truth and no, the fact that host Bud Collyer used to play Superman on the old radio show isn't one of them. The questioning revolves primarily around Okefenokee Swamp, which is the location where Walt Kelly's legendary Pogo comic strip took place. Pogo is mentioned several times, mostly by the two comedians on the panel, Orson Bean and Tom Poston who appear to be big fans of the great satirical cartoonist's work. Secondly, the real such and such sings a song at the end of the game titled Swamp Country. The obscure country-folk tune was used as the title track for a trashy drive-in moonshine exploitation film of the same name. The incredibly amateurish 1966 film is a great piece of junk and the infectious theme is played throughout. It has been released on DVD by the fine company Something Weird Video. Lastly, one of the contestants playing the game is the not yet famous film critic Rex Reed!