Friday, January 11, 2008

Breaking News! The Mike Douglas Show coming to DVD - March 25th, 2008!

Hopefully this will be more like Shout! Factory's The Dick Cavett Show collection and less like the Carson and Griffin DVDs. By that I mean, I hope they include some full episodes instead of just random "best of" clips. If we want "best of" clips or "memorable moments" we can get them up the wazzoo on the internet. What we truely need is universal access to the 60 and 90 minute programs unfettered from beginning to end. The Cavett discs are fascinating time-capsules and it doesn't even seem to matter who the guests are, it's always interesting. Here's hoping the Douglas discs follow the lead (they won't and they don't, but it'd be nice). has the scoop over here.

The Bob Hope Special with guest Telly Savalas (1976)

If you ever wondered what a vaudeville team consisting of Bob Hope and Telly Savalas would look like, well search no further. The legendary Greek golden throat is even exercised at the end.
And while we're at it, you've probably seen this before, but if not, Telly singing the "hit" single If off his album Telly. And Telly makes an appearance on the German television show Musik Laden in 1972:

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1960) - Footage Offline - 6/30/08

You may have noticed in the past couple months that we here at Classic Television Showbiz are doing our godamndest to present as many full episodes of programs as possible, as opposed to just mere clips that you usually get stuck with on the internet. Here's a complete episode of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis featuring Bob Denver as filthy beatnik Maynard G. Kribbs, the great Richard Deacon and elderly character actor Burt Mustin, who I've come to know thanks to a hilarious interview with comedian Norm Macdonald on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. You'll notice in the closing credits that he is mis-credited as Burt Muskin. Despite all the fine character actors involved in this one, it's a pretty weak offering. It was directed by Rod Amateau, who went on to man the helm on several car chase moonshine movies in the seventies and eventually created The Dukes of Hazzard. Appropriately enough, this installment is called "That's Show Biz."

I've Got a Secret with guest appearance from Milton Berle (1962)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Steve Allen Show with guests Jonathan Winters and Phil Harris (1960)

The Nat King Cole Show with guest Ella Fitzgerald (1957)

The first network variety program to star an African-American was the short-lived, but very popular, Nat King Cole Show. (Amos n' Andy and Belulah were the first TV shows to star African-American actors)To make up for its many airings of The Comic View, BET re-ran the show during its formative years. Wish they would show more early television featuring Black showbiz pioneers. Ella had just come out with the LP pictured above when she made this appearance. This show was cancelled when NBC buckled to pressure from racist advertisers appeasing their racist Southern clientele and their demands. After the cancellation, Nat King Cole remarked, "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark."

Car 54 Where Are You? (1962)

Joe E. Ross' "Ooh, ooh!" finally gets on the nerves of Fred Gwynne in this episode. I'll be posting the prostitute obsessed Joe E. Ross' comedy record, released on the notorious Laff Records label, in a few weeks.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with guest Don Rickles (1987)

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with guests Mel Brooks and Crosby, Stills & Nash (1988) - Footage Offline 4/16/08

Johnny Carson Sings on stage with The Rat Pack (1965)

Check it out over here!

The George Gobel Show (1956)

George Gobel is another one of those grand old stars who is today better known for his guest appearances on talk and game shows rather than the act that made him famous in the first place. Gobel was a great stand-up comic with a unique style that is on display on this episode of The George Gobel Show.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Newlywed Game (1978)

Unlike most old gameshow footage on the internet, this was not taped off the Game Show Network. This is an entire episode including the original commercials as it aired on Los Angeles' KTLA in the late seventies. Bob Eubanks really phones it in.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Kliph Nesteroff presents Here's Milt Kamen!

This is the 1961 LP Here's Milt Kamen! from Capitol Records. Mel Brooks produced this album and it's his voice you'll hear at the very start saying, "And now... Milt... Kamen." Groucho Marx sounded his praises on the back cover liner notes.

Maybe one day I'll write about Milt, but for now here's the facts you should know. Kamen was beloved by Groucho, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. Author Bruce Jay Friedman says Kamen was his favorite stand-up comic. Same goes for Jules Feiffer. For a while Kamen dated CIA operative turned television executive Raysa Bonow. The legend goes that Carl Reiner discovered Milt Kamen and Milt Kamen discovered Woody Allen. Herb Sanford, a producer on The Garry Moore Show wrote in his memoir Ladies and Gentlemen The Garry Moore Show, "Milt played in the Philharmonic and in pit orchestras in Broadway shows. As he sat in the pit and listened to the jokes on stage, he began developing some ideas of his own and veered into television. Milt's comedy bits were far out. One of those he did with us was, one might say, science fiction. It dealt with a giant tomato that attacked an entire town. It ended happily, the victorious tomato "spritzing" a giant Bloody Mary."

Jack Carter remembers Kamen in the days of the Sid Caesar program. "Kamen, the guy who did the run-through of those sketches was also a musician," says Carter.  "He was a french horn player - Milt. And he was really the one that ad-libbed the sketches and set it up. He would do the dress rehearsal and Sid would save [himself] for the show. But Sid got plenty of shtick from this guy."
Now, enjoy the LP in its entirety - there are no Vietnam gags, but it's still fun: Here's Milt Kamen!