Friday, December 28, 2007

The Giant Spider Invasion featuring Alan Hale Jr. (1975)

This is one of my all time favorite drive-in pictures and yes, a lot of it has to do with the fact it stars the Skipper from Gilligan's Island. The rest of it has to do with the fact it features a giant spider.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Joey Bishop Show with guest star Danny Thomas (1962) - Footage Offline - 6/07/08

Here it is, the obscure Make Room for Daddy spin-off. Incidentally, the first season is now available on DVD - who would buy it other than me - I am not sure.

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Make Room for Daddy with guest stars Lucy & Desi (1959)

Make Room for Daddy with guest star Jack Benny (1957)

This a very funny and very interesting episode. It features a great cameo by Jack Benny and many great exteriors of 1950s Las Vegas. At the end of the show, we also get to see a big chunk of Danny Thomas' actual stand-up act (not a very easy thing to find these days), of course under the guise of Danny Williams.
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Make Room for Daddy (1957)

For years I wondered why Danny Thomas was famous. I never saw Make Room for Daddy (eventually re-named The Danny Thomas Show), but I saw Danny Thomas regularly appear as a song and dance, joke telling guest star on countless nineteen seventies variety shows. I knew his name from the credits of The Dick Van Dyke Show but that was about it. That was then and this is now. Since then I have grown to love his work. Make Room for Daddy is a truly funny (unconventionally so - compared to most of its competition on 1950s television) sitcom from the fifties that gave birth to a huge spin-off called The Andy Griffith Show and a small spin-off called The Joey Bishop Show. Here's a full episode of the show when the widowed stand-up comedian Danny Williams (incidentally, the same name as the current Premier of Newfoundland) finally proposes to a new woman.
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Friday, December 21, 2007

The Paul Winchell Show (1957) - Footage Offline 2/15/08

The Whistler - Two Christmas Episodes

Murder and dementia didn't slow down in the forties just because everybody else was gettin' sentimental. Two December episodes of one of the top shows in radio noir. The Whistler Christmas episode number one and number two.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Fred Allen Christmas!

Listen to three Christmas episodes of Fred Allen's various radio shows: Here, here and here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Jack Benny Show: a Santa Sack Full of Christmas Episodes

Here's a huge onslaught of Christmas themed episodes of The Jack Benny Show from the thirties, forties and fifties. They're arranged chronilogically. Enjoy!

December 10th, 1938

Christmas Day, 1938
December 17th, 1939
Christmas Eve, 1939
December 22nd, 1940
January 5th, 1941 - Jack returns Christmas gifts
December 21st, 1941

December 21st, 1942
December 26th, 1943
Christmas Eve, 1944
December 22nd, 1946
December 21st, 1947

December 19th, 1948
December 18th, 1949
December 17th, 1950
Christmas Eve, 1950
December 23rd, 1951
December 21st, 1952
December 13th, 1953
December 20th, 1953
December 5th, 1954
December 11th, 1954
December 19th, 1954
December 26th, 1954

And a clip from the Jack Benny television show with Dennis Day and Richard Deacon.

Dragnet - Christmas Episode (1949)

This is easily my favorite episode of the Dragnet radio program. A child is murdered by another child, and Jack Webb's show includes a progressive theme for one time only. Listen to this classic Old Time Radio episode here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

ABC's Wide World of Sports profile of Evel Knievel (1974)

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with guest Evel Knievel (1973)

The Porter Wagoner Show featuring Buck Trent (1972)

Family Feud: Gilligan's Island vs. Hawaiian Eye vs. Lost in Space (1984)

This has little to do with Christmas other than it being my present ot you. It's also one of Jim Backus' final appearances on television. He was already very sick at this point but his voice is still immaculate. Of course, all of these heroes of sixties television are being moderated by Richard Dawson who came from the same world as a cast member on Hogan's Heroes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Milton Berle Show - Christmas Episode (1947)

Sponsored by FEEL-IP-MORRRR-EEEEEES! Here's the Christmas episode of Uncle Milty's radio program. I'm pretty sure it originally aired in December of '47. Listen to the whole thing here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Double Dare (Christmas Eve, 1976)

The Munsters in the Macy's Santa Claus Parade (1965)

Kent Cigarettes Christmas Spot with Dick Van Dyke and Rose Marie (1962)

The Doris Day Show with guest Bob Crane (1971)

The Doris Day Show does a take-off on late night talk shows in this episode. Bob Crane plays a character that is obviously patterned after Jack Paar (although his clothing reflects Johnny Carson) and his producer is a bit of an in-joke, patterned after Tonight Show producer Fred De Cordova.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Soul Train with guests Ike and Tina Turner (1972) - Footage Offline 1/30/09

Tina and Ike answer questions from Don Cornelius and members of the audience prior to performing.

Soul to Soul with Ike and Tina Turner (1971)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Totally Weird Jim Backus Thing (1971)

Really no other way to describe it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

20/20 featuring Johnny Carson (1984) - Footage Offline - 10/14/09

Celebrity Bowling with guests Richard Deacon, Tom Kennedy, Ed Ames and McLean Stevenson (1972)

You Don't Say! (1968)

The bumbling Tom Kennedy might be my all time favorite game show host. There's something about his face that I just love - he looks like a Jack Davis drawing. And the late sixties are probably my favorite era for game shows as they were still pretty square, but elements of the hip, coke snorting heday of the showbizzy seventies were starting to creep in.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Jonathan Winters Show (1957)

This was Winters' first variety program, a show that was bi-weekly and fifteen minutes in length. Shortly before that famous mental breakdown.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Richard Pryor Show: The Richard Pryor Roast (1977)

Whatever happened to Jimmy Martinez?

A Tribute to Phyllis Diller

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.

The Very Funny Side of Pete Barbutti

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 (1967)

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.

My Mother the Car with guest star Avery Schreiber (1965)

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.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1963)

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

The Morey Amsterdam Show with guest Art Carney (1949) - Footage Offline 1/18/08

Art Carney's first television gig!

The Wilburn Brothers Show with guest Charlie Louvin (1968)

The Joe Pyne Show (1967)

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

To Tell the Truth with contestant Rex Reed (1965)

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!

Get Smart with guest star Carol Burnett (1967)

Here is the entire episode entitled One of Our Olives is Missing from Season Three of Get Smart.

The Tonight Show with Jack Paar with guest Vaughn Meader (1962)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Dick Cavett Show with guests Evel Knievel and Dizzy Gillespie (1972)

Evel Knievel 1938-2007.

Also go to this podcast and scroll to the 13:30 mark to hear the 1974 LP Evel Knievel, featuring songs about Evel Knievel and poetry written and recited by the man(!).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Allen & Rossi Live on Vinyl! (1963-64)

Listen to the two LPs pictured here, in their entirety, both recorded live at the legendary Sands Hotel, by clicking here.

Robert Klein Time with guest Ventriloquist Gary Willner (1987)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mel Tolkin 1913-2007

Tolkin's writing career spanned the gamut of American television. Watch Tolkin talk about that career in detail over here.

The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with guest Chuck Berry (1991)

Fractured Flickers with host Hans Conreid and guest Allan Sherman (1960)

The Dinah Shore Chevy Show with guests Wayne and Shuster (1960)

Shelley Berman at Home

Go here and watch some footage of Shelley Berman at home, from an upcoming documentary named Compass.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Colt 45 Commericial with Redd Foxx (1975)

The Gong Show (1976) - Footage Offline - 12/31/10

An entire episode.

Charlie Rose with guest Mort Sahl (1994)

You need to skip to the final twenty minutes of this episode of Charlie Rose to watch an interview with Mort Sahl. Sahl sadly endorses Alexander Haig and Henry Kissenger(!) in this segment. Overall, it really isn't that great of an interview, but Sahl footage on the internet is very limited.

The Spirit is Willing (1967) - Footage Offline - 2/28/08

Shock gimmick master William Castle made a handful of horror-comedies in the nineteen sixties including a remake of The Old Dark House starring Tom Poston and this film starring Sid Caesar. Great character actors appear like John Astin, Jesse White, Harvey Lembeck, Nestor Paiva and Doodles Weaver. Not only did the star of The Addams Family, Astin, appear, but Vic Mizzy, best known for composing the theme song to that sitcom, did the soundtrack of this film.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The David Frost Show with guest Groucho Marx (1970)

The Last of the Secret Agents? (1966)

Marty Allen is alive and well, still performing stand-up, primarily on the cruise ship circuit, making a decent, if not rather anonymous, living. At the height of his fame as part of the comedy team of Allen & Rossi and their string of comedy LPs and appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show (including the episode that had The Beatles play the program for the first time) the boys made this awful film. That's Nancy Sinatra singing the title theme.