1970’s Role Models Round Three

7 Jan

January 8, 2010

Who is the best 1970’s television role model?

Round two was a hard-fought battle of the unlikely, with “The Man” coming out of retirement to win a Charo-fueled win over Sweat Hog Juan Epstein. What did it prove? Sadly, that “The Man” can still keep a Latino down. (Just ask anyone whose bank turned them down for a loan.)

Round Three
“Battle of the Lawmen”

BARNABY JONES                           VS.                                             FISH          

 

BARNABY JONES                                                                         BARNEY MILLER

Barnaby Jones was a Quinn Martin production. Quinn Martin was a prolific TV producer who had the idea to cast an old man in a detective show. Unfortunately, the actor was a bit too old, as evidenced by the picture above, where Barnaby is not quite sure which is the phone and which is the gun. In the picture below, a gun-wielding thug has almost talked Barnaby into buying into his time-share.

 

The casting of the lead role was controversial from the start. Quinn Martin wanted an established television star for the role. After a long and deliberate casting process, he settled on this man, currently starring in the autobiographical Beverly Hillbillies:

      

It was never explained just how Barnaby made the jump from hillbilly to cop, but in a strange twist, both of this round’s contestants served together in an elite peace-keeping force:

 

Detective Phil Fish was born well over one hundred years ago, yet no matter how old he was, he never looked his age. He looked at least twice his age.

Early on it was noted that Detective Phillip “Abe Vigoda” Fish bore an eerie similarity to another television personality, Richard Simmons.

 

However, as he lost his hair, he became a dead ringer for Boris Karloff.

    

As you can tell from these rare photos, the resemblance was uncanny.

Fish went on to star in a series of films with Bela Lugosi, whose main claims to fame were that he played Dracula, became a drug addict, and he played Dracula.

 

This particular still is taken from 1935’s Universal release, The Cramped Fingers of Evil, starring Detective Fish as Professor Barnabas Lennsing and Bela Lugosi as Dr.Vampire J. Hammitup.

The battle was very close, but the win has to go to Fish. Why? Check out this very rare comic book from 1979. Barnaby Jones never had a view-master reel, let alone his own comic book.

 

WINNER: FISH

Coming Soon:

FINAL THREE-WAY
WINNER-TAKE-ALL
BRAWL-FOR-IT -ALL:

Esther Rolle Vs. “The Man” Vs. The Fish

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