Saturday, January 19, 2008

Allan Melvin 1922-2008

Well, this was a shock. I was just listening to one of Allan Melvin's introductions to an episode of The Phil Silvers Show on the fine Sgt. Bilko DVD set and wondered,"Gee, how old is Allan Melvin now?" Typing his name into google produced an announcement from TODAY... he died this week. Unreal. The news hit the wires about an hour ago. Melvin was a staple of Bilko, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Brady Bunch, All in the Family, and countless television shows of the fifties, sixties and seventies and many, many commercials. Melvin also did many cartoon voices for Hanna Barbera. See him in some of the Bilko stuff previously posted on this site. Check out Melvin in a commercial, as a villain in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, as a "space enforcer" in Lost in Space, briefly in My Favorite Martian (well, according to IMDB listings he appears in this episode, but I didn't have the patience to sit through it - you tell me if you spot him), as Charlie in an episode of Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, The Phil Silvers Show and as Sarge Snorkel in a Beetle Bailey short. More of this to come as I find it.

Dodge Truck Promotional Film with Don Knotts (1965)

I can't tell you much about this oddity. Spanning about twenty-minutes, this film was probably made for Dodge shareholders or maybe its dealers to be shown at some kind of sales convention.

What's My Line with guest Benjamin Kubelsky (1966)

GSN has returned to showing What's My Line and I've Got a Secret every night at midnight, perhaps in response to some of the backlash that they've received for stripping their channel of most classic game shows and replacing them with unwatchable new game shows that few people care about. I watched an episode of What's My Line the other night that had Woody Allen as one of the panelists (and he visibly cringed each time Bennett Cerf spoke) that hopefully will be on the internet soon.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Howdee! Cousin Minnie Pearl - Starday Records (1963)

One of the most successful female stand-ups of all time, enjoying wide popularity simultaneously with both the Hollywood and Nashville crowds. Listen to the album in its entirety by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What's My Line with mystery guests Allen & Rossi (1966)

We've referred a fair bit to the faded-from-memory comedy team of Allen & Rossi here at the site, perhaps more than is necessary. However, there is no denying their enormous popularity once upon a time. It's also remarkable how few people remember them, even as Marty Allen continues to perform well into his eighties, primarily on cruise ships. Click Marty Allen on the subject line below to listen to LPs by the pair and witness other interesting clip including the trailer for the horrible movie they're promoting on this appearance.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Steve Allen Show featuring Don Knotts (1960)

Don Knotts performs a very funny routine that, as far as I know, he also wrote. This bit is also featured on his only comedy LP (and unfortunately, Don Knotts doesn't make an appearance on Capitol Records' The Andy Griffith Show album) An Evening with Me on United Artists. I think I'll try and upload both of those records sometime very soon.

To Tell the Truth with guest William M. Gaines

I've always wanted to see this! Mad Magazine publisher, William M. Gaines on To Tell the Truth! I imagine that panelist Gene Rayburn may have had the upper hand here, seeing as how the head writer of Match Game was Dick Debartolo, one of Mad's most prolific contributors. So perhaps Gene was acting coy when he delivered the wrong answer. Debartolo makes a rare public appearance without his moustache at the end of the show.

Dick saw the clip yesterday and wrote in to Classic Television Showbiz:

"How in the world did you know that was me without my stache? Amazing." Debartolo also put to rest the idea that Rayburn may have known who Gaines
actually was, "Actually, they led totally separate lives, so Rayburn probably heard MAD stories from me, but he never met Gaines. I don't think he was faking it when he didn't vote for him. Bill was thrilled that he stumped the panel. Especially since that was about the best dressed I ever saw Gaines! Still back stage Kitty [Carlisle] said to me: "I never figured it was him --- I mean look at the way he's dressed. I was looking for someone who ran a very successful magazine so I thought it couldn't be him!"

Thanks for the note, Dick, we'll be sure to hit you up for more anecdotes in a few weeks when we post the failed Vaughn Meader "comeback" comedy LP
The Second Coming.