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Tag Archives: Bea Arthur

TV Then vs. TV Now (Classic Rerun)

18 Sep

September 18, 2013

Continuing our look at TV, here is a look back at some classic TV shows of the past.

from January 31, 2011

I don’t care what anyone says- TV used to be better. To prove it, all I have to do is say is say two little words- Jersey Shore. There ‘Nuff said. Want more proof? Real Housewives.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking- “But Mr. Blog! TV had crap like My Mother the Car, Manimal, and Supertrain! Not to mention Roseanne Barr.”

That’s all true, but none of them had the ratings of a crapfest like America’s Top Model, despite there being many, many less channels to choose from. Back them you had the stations between 2 and 13 plus some hazy UHF channels. Now your cable box goes into the thousands.

I have no excuse for Roseanne Barr.

I do, however, have proof that television used to be better.
Facts in the form of old TV Guide ads.

Aside from one of the milestones of classic TV- Who Shot J.R.?, this ad features one of the classic over the top shows, The Dukes of Hazzard. Why did I pick this particular ad? Because the Duke boys are using bows and arrows! In a show already totally silly, the Duke boys were not only expert drivers but also expert marksmen- with dynamite tied to their arrows! Does TV get any better than exploding arrows?

But not everyone liked the drama of Dallas or the shenanigans of the Dukes. for them there was family fare.

By “the whole bunch” they meant “everyone but Jan,” who was recast, and “no Alice either.”

And who better to kick off their show but such cheesy TV stalwarts Donnie and Marie? Everyone’s favorite fussy non-homosexual (though everyone thought he was) Tony Randall was along for the fun! Does it get any better?

It just got better.

So far we’ve had variety, action, drama, and jiggly women in tight t-shirts. What about the kids? Think of the children!

OK, I will.

Look at that lineup! Spider-Man! The Fantastic Four! The Beatles! King Kong! Casper! Bullwinkle!
And, uh, something called Milton the Monster.

Kids shows weren’t limited to Saturday mornings either. Remember these specials?

I ask you, where can you find Pac-Man on TV today?

Lest you forget, here is the most infamous TV special of all:

What a cast! All of your Star Wars favorites: Harrison ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, the guy who played Chewbacca, Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, Art Carney, and Jefferson Starship. Because no one screams “Star Wars” like Bea Arthur and Jefferson Starship.

What else did TV air at night? TV movies!

Sally Struthers in Hey, I’m Alive! The jokes just write themselves, and it is a good thing because I can’t come up with one myself. But seriously, think about her career and make up your own.

And of course, the previously bloggged Wonder Woman!

There was Killdozer (great title!)

And there was Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan. This is an example of a simply great ad in a style that you never see nowadays.

And speaking of great ads, check this one out.

Now that is one great ad. Tales of the Gold Monkey was an action/adventure show in the Indiana Jones mold. Seriously, look at that ad. Who wouldn’t watch that show? Turns out a lot of people wouldn’t watch that show. It was cancelled after one season. In the pilot, they went after the fabled Gold Monkey idol and it turned out to be made of lead, which I guess is a parallel to the show’s ratings. However, I was a fan and trust me, it was a good show.

And speaking of shows that feature monkeys:

And speaking of shows that feature other apes:

I may be one of the few people who remember this show. Spun off from Hill Street Blues, it featured Buntz and one of his snitches moving to Beverley Hills, which also happens to be Standard Sitcom Plot number 14 (Fish out of water: low-class guy in ritzy neighborhood.) And notice the sneaky way they stuck in an ad for Cheers.

I have to admit that I never heard of this show, but I was hooked by the description- “St. Louis struck out in the World Series.. now it’s struck by KING TUT’S CURSE!” That is the exact kind of silly plot that my friend Marc and I came up with all the time when we were teenagers. That could be OUR lousy cancelled TV show!

On the other hand, here we have the opposite- a good TV show with a lousy ad.

Were there no photos available? Who came up with this? Gary Coleman looks like he is lost in some sort of romantic reverie. And read that description- “… all of his friends and some of his enemies…” What enemies? All I remember was the Gootch, played by Andrew Dice Clay, looking about ten years too old to be a teenager.

Lastly, TV used to be the home of cheesy movies and horror hosts. Anyone who grew up in New York remembers this Thanksgiving tradition:

Who didn’t stay up late at night to watch some of these?

The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy is a poorly dubbed Mexican film from the 50’s and it is pretty much what you’d expect from the title, just a lot less fun. It shows up on cable from time to time and you really should check it out.

On the face of it this seems like a funny mistake- Movies of the ’50’s featuring Frankenstein 1970. but once you realize that Frankenstein 1970 was made in 1958 it makes sense.

Who would not have stayed home to watch that? Before you say “not me” remember, this was before TiVo and DVRs, before cable, before even VCRs were common. You bet your ass you’d stay home.

So there you have it. Indisputable proof that the television of yesterday was better than the television of today. Want more proof? Turn on BRAVO.

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1984 Previewed, by Rad Gnarly (Like Toootally Tubular Repost)

20 Aug

August 20, 2013

Another one from the Allan Keyes Archives. Coincidentally, the NYPD has its own Allan Keyes Archives, but the contents of their files are very, very different.

from August 27, 2012

Allen Keyes is still on vacation this week, without access to the internet while he explores the sewers of Oakland.  By agreement with his publisher, Shady Books, we present to you this reprint from the Nov. 1983 edition of Pictacular Magazine, where Allen Keyes writes under his non de plume, Rad Gnarly. In the meantime, be on the lookout for his album, Keyes Kroons Kristmas Ksongs, available at Tower Records and Virgin Megastores everywhere.

1984 Previewed, by Rad Gnarly

As 1983 draws to a close, we’re beginning to look forward to 1984. Lots of big things are in store! But we should not be remiss in looking back at some of the high points of this past year.

It was a pretty good year for me personally. I mastered the hackey sack, solved one side of the Rubik’s Cube (that’s right ladies, all this and brains too!)  and nobody- and I mean nobody!- had a more stonewashed pair of jeans than I did. Collar up, hair teased, jeans cuffed, I was the king of the mall! And we didn’t take any backtalk from those preppies either! Ahh, I can’t imagine a day where hackey sacks and stonewashed jeans wouldn’t be hip! And if it ever was, I wouldn’t want to live in that world man!

Setting my own life aside, 1983 had some major highs. For example, we were introduced to quite possibly the greatest movie creations ever:


Return of the Jedi itself was a dreary mess, why did they waste all of that time with the boring Luke storyline anyway? The Ewoks were where it’s at!  Totally dudical! I guarantee, everyone who watched left the theater longing for more of these adorable little rascals! I’m glad this is the final Star Wars film anyway, it’s nothing but an inexplicable fad that is finally buried for good. That said, I look forward to the inevitable series of Ewok spin-off movies. I’ll be first in line!

In political news, 1983 bought some welcome relief in the form of this man:

“Fritz” Mondale! He’s running against this Reagan guy – gag me with a spoon! I predict that the nation is ready to listen to and embrace Mondale’s tax-and-spend policies. It’s a slam dunk! It’s so in the bag I’ll even say Fritzy boy runs away with the election and wins 49 states! I’ll give old Ronnie one just to be generous.

Ok, enough looking back! 1984 is shaping up to be a fly year, and I have the scoop on the highest of the highs (besides my stockbroker that is. Nobody is higher than him! It’s all good though….I trust him with my money. Junks bonds are very safe investments. I won’t be doing this gig forever! Me and my boombox will be in Tahiti for the duration soon enough!)

TELEVISION:

 There’s been a lot of press recently over the announcement by NBC that they’re giving some nobody named Bill Cosby his own show. And he’s naming it after himself! What chutzpah! I mean look at this guy:

Would you give this guy a show?  Yeah, me neither. DESTINED TO FAIL! While this one gets all the hype, let me give you the inside dope (inside my nose lol!) on what the real breakout show of ’84 will be:

That’s right! AKA Pablo.  Paul Rodriguez is a much more talented comic than Bill Cosby could ever be, and the subject matter – a Puerto Mexican trying to pass himself off as an American – just lends itself  to all sorts of HYSTERICAL situations. I mean, look at this advance solicitation from beloved eternal American institution TV Guide:

“GET AN AMERICAN NAME!” HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  Early contender for catchphrase of the year! (And delivered by the sultry Bea Arthur to boot…..grrrrrrrawl!) Now compare it to this plot of a Cosby Show: “Theo Buys a Shirt”  — I know which one me and my brothers at the Sons of the White Race Lodge will be watching at 8:30 this season!

 CINEMA:

Going to be hard to top the accomplishments of 1983. Some of the best movies were actually sequels:

JAWS 3-D

 Smokey and the Bandit Part 3

 Superman III

 

And 1984 will be no different. The early line favorite (got that from beloved eternal American institution Jimmy the Greek!) for tops at the box office is this eagerly anticipated sequel:

Burt Reynolds will FINALLY win his long-overdue Academy award for this one! And Jamie Farr plays against type as a sheik! I’m there dude!! Expect it to run over other films, including some overhyped indie project:

Look at it….looks kinda boring doesn’t it? Some tired old guy just sorta leaning against a pillar. *YAWN* Compare that to THIS from Cannonball Run 2:

Box Office Gold! Indiana Who? Temple of What? I swear, that Dom DeLuise is simply the living end!

SPORTS

1984 baseball is expected to sport (get it!) an impressive roster of rookies. Twins fans are predictably in a lather of excitement over their latest overhyped prospect:

Yeah, funny stuff! Like this guy will ever be more than a utility player. I mean look at his name. It’s a universal baseball axiom: “NO MAN NAMED AFTER A PICKLE WILL EVER BE A GOOD PLAYER” The Twins will NEVER win a World Series, not with guys like this clogging their roster.

Period.

I’ve been watching baseball for years, and the Expos have one packed farm system. They have one stud prospect ready to absolutely come up and dominate, and he’s even better than can’t-miss beasts Rene Gonzales and Joe Hesketh.

America, meet your new sweetheart:

 

Look at him! He just looks like a winning player! The Expos finally have some talent on that roster. My money is on the Expos winning the series this year. And yours should be too!

TOYS/POP CULTURE

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………..Mr. T!!!!!!!!!! will seek to extend his toy store and television domination to the supermarkets:

Delicious! And nutritious – just look at it! “Fortified with B-Vitamins and Iron!” JUST LIKE THE REAL MR. T!! I’d like to run out and get myself a huge bowl of it right now. Corn Flakes are dead, nobody will want to eat boring old flakes anymore! All the kids will demand their mothers buy this. Mr. T = quality. Just look at his other products if you don’t believe me (these are some of my private collection)

 

NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Look for Iran and Iraq to continue their long and bloody war. The good news here is democratically elected Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is a good friend of ours, and has promised us that if we lend him our support, he’ll end the war swiftly and treat his enemies with kindness, and compassion. He’s a true humanitarian, and he’s been a great friend to the United States to boot! Oh Saddam! Our good friend! We’ll always enjoy our mutually cooperative relationship. Godspeed Saddam, a true gentleman if there ever was one!

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