Tag Archives: Barney Miller

Mr. Blog Remembers Abe Vigoda

27 Jan

January 27, 2016

Today, the world mourns the loss of Abe Vigoda. It is our great honor, in this time of sadness, to induct him into Mr. Blog’s Hall of Fame. We will forever remember this icon.Vigoda plaque
Mr. Blog had actually met Mr. Vigoda, and in his honor, the Editors and Staff of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride present this Classic Repost from 2010. This was the penultimate round of Mr. BTR’s contest to determine the best role model of the 1970’s. In round one, Esther Rolle (Florida Evans from Good Times) beat Mabel King (Momma from What’s Happening?). In the second round, Jack Alberston (The Man from Chico and The Man) knocked out Robert Hegyes (Juan Epstein from Welcome Back Kotter). Round three came down to The Battle of The Lawmen. Please enjoy!

From 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 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.


Coming Soon:


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

Who is the best 1970’s television role model? FINAL ROUND!

19 Jan

January 18, 2010

Who is the best 1970’s television role model?

Round Three was a hard fought brawl between two icons of justice, Barnaby Jones and Abe Vigoda. Despite heavy Geritol use and accusations of Viagra-juicing, the clear winner was Fish, setting up our

Esther Rolle        Vs.     “The Man”        Vs. The Fish                               
“panties”                 “Which way to the Wonka-crapper?”    First GQ cover

Before declaring a winner, let’s take a final look at our contestants.

I’m not sure what is going on in this picture, but JJ sure looks uncomfortable. Any minute I expect Chris Hansen to walk out of Thelma’s bedroom and offer some lemonade.

Here we see Jack “The Man” Albertson in a scene from the 1977 made-for TV movie, “Not Without my Psoriasis,” which exposed the then-little known danger of moles and skin lesions.

For decades, Abe Vigoda has been plagued by rumors of his death. These rumors began in 1978, when he actually died, and later came back as a mummy.

Here we see him attending his own funeral:

Before we reveal the winner, what does the Best 1970’s TV Role Model win? This fabulous trophy!

No, not those fabulous trophies, this fabulous trophy:

Before we reveal the winner, let’s take a look at two men who almost made the finals.


Quincy was ruled ineligible when it was discovered that he used performance enhancing drugs and lied to Congress during the MLB steroid inquiry.


Despite having died in 1966, we wanted to include him for the memorable TVLand commercial that featured his pants.

 Yes, his pants.



Whitman Mayo?

Yes, Whitman Mayo.
Whitman Mayo: Sanford and Son’s Grady.
Whitman Mayo:  Diff’rent Strokes mean Uncle Jethro, who tried to take Willis and Arnold away from Mr. Whitey, er, I mean Drummund.
Whitman Mayo: Star of

 Crash Corrigan Meets The Kelp Men

This serial is also notable as the first clothed appearance of porn star Monte Blue.

In this serial, Whitman Mayo spent 13 spine-tingling chapters evading this tin can robot:

Eventually, Whitman Mayo defeated the robots with a device that looked suspiciously like a cross between a fishing pole and a view master. In Chapter Eleven, Flaming Death, Mayo cemented his status as the Best TV Role Model of the 1970’s when he first uttered the immortal words that would become his catchphrase, “Great Googly Moogly!”

That locution, that seedy beard, that eerie resemblance to Wally “Famous” Amos, truly, the Best TV Role Model of the 1970’s!

One can only wonder what would happen if he were pitted against the Best TV Role Model of the 1980’s…..


Who Has The Best TV Mustache?

%d bloggers like this: