I AM TOLD THAT EVERY MARCH THERE'S A THING CALLED MARCH MADNESS. I wouldn't know about such things. However, since this is the 10th anniversary of this blog . . . and since doing Fields of 64 is his thing, my pal Sweet Cheeks has suggested that I do a "Field of 64" of my own of the best Classic DOCTOR WHO stories.
Now, I suppose this sorta thing would've been very appropriate two years ago when DOCTOR WHO was celebrating it's 50th anniversary but, hey, I saved it for this blog's 10th. I have been watching DOCTOR WHO since 1977 or 1978 when my Dad's friend Ronnie told me about this cool British science-fiction show airing weeknights on PBS. You know, the ones which had the Howard DaSilva "previously on DOCTOR WHO narration". The very first episode of DOCTOR WHO I ever saw was the second or third (I can't remember which) episode of PYRAMIDS OF MARS and I was immediately hooked! So yes, my first Doctor was Tom Baker and he still remains my favourite. Since the first Tom Baker story I ever saw was PYRAMIDS OF MARS, I thought I'd mention briefly the first story of each Doctor I ever saw. My first William Hartnell was appropriately AN UNEARTHLY CHILD; the first ever episode of the series. My first Patrick Troughton story was THE SEEDS OF DEATH. The first Jon Pertwee story I ever saw was the psychedelic THE CLAWS OF AXOS. And from then on I saw all the other Doctors when their very first episodes were new and originally aired on PBS: Peter Davison's debut CASTROVALVA, Colin Bakers' THE TWIN DILEMMA and Sylvester McCoy's TIME AND THE RANI. Yikes! Those last two!!!
Sweet Cheeks, henceforth known for the duration of this Field of 64 as Jon Pertcheeks, (pictured below)
is going to be doing his own Classic WHO Field of 64 over at his own blog (click here) while I'll be doing my own version right here this month. Now the rules are very simple. I will be selecting my own Field of 64 favourite classic DOCTOR WHO stories. Now, that means the original DOCTOR WHO series from AN UNEARTHLY CHILD to SURVIVAL. The 1996 TV movie and the subsequent reboot series starting in 2005 and continuing to this day are not eligible.
As this is the very first time I've attempted a "Field of 64" (whereas Jon Pertcheeks is an old pro at this kind of thing), I'll just stumble along as best I can. For those of you in the know, you're aware of how a Field of 64 works but basically I'll be posting the full list of all the stories and then two classic DOCTOR WHO stories will go head-to-head against each other with one declared the winner. And so on until the final champion is crowned. As some favourites are eliminated, I'm sure there will be some tears along the way. After all, even a Time Lord can cry. So join us, won't you, all month long for the CLASSIC DOCTOR WHO FIELD OF 64. You have nothing to lose but your cloister bell!
Saturday, February 28, 2015
AND NOW WE WRAP UP OUR TOUR THROUGH THE SEVENTIES VIA THE BEST COVERS OF TV GUIDE. The 1970s were indeed a magical time for me as it saw me grow from a little kid in 1970 to entering high school at the end of 1979! Most of the stuff before 1970 I was too young to remember and the dawning 1980s saw me pretty much as a "grown-up" so the seventies were to me those mythical, magical childhood years. The eighties would be terrific years and a whole lot of fun in different ways. But it was sure fun to look back at those 1970s TV GUIDE covers. It's interesting to see that a lot of the covers I've chosen depict old stalwarts of 70s television still chugging along at (or near) the top of their popularity.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 6 -12
Case in point. The first cover pictured is ALL IN THE FAMILY portrayed by the king of caricaturists Hirshfeld. Possibly the quintessential TV comedy of the 1970s, ALL IN THE FAMILY wouldn't last long into the new decade of the 1980s. First the departure of Gloria and Meathead led to the anemic Danielle Brisbois years followed by the series cancellation and morphing into the equally anemic ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE. But I'll always have the glory days of the original run as tip top comfort TV.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 27 - FEBRUARY 2
At last we have that slick portraitist Amsel painting a splendid cover of Katharine Hepburn; the second appearance of the great lady on this post series. Kate appeared in a number of TV movies over the years and this particular cover is referring to her television remake of THE CORN IS GREEN; the last, in fact, pairing of Katharine Hepburn with her debut director George Cukor.
THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 10 - 16
I've mentioned before that I was a lifelong viewer of PBS and I can vaguely remember my first encounter with Shakespeare occurred on public television. I can't remember exactly which television airing I saw first but it was probably MACBETH. I also dimly recall that in 1979 I must've caught at least some of the Shakespeare broadcasts trumpeted by this TV GUIDE cover. However, it wasn't for another year or two when in high school I actually read the plays in English class that I became a real Shakespeare fan.
THE WEEK OF APRIL 28 - MAY 4
Ah, yes. Now here we have possibly the last great TV sitcom of the 1970s: TAXI! I loved TAXI the moment I saw it. Terrific writing and a classic ensemble cast (except for that nerdy guy in season 1 who nobody remembers and was replaced by season 2). I always watched it then but I also have great memories of when TAXI was being rerun on Nick At Nite in the 1990s. My late friend Peg and I would always watch it and laugh our asses off or else collectively groan whenever we'd realize it was a "Tony" episode; they were always the least funny ones. Sorry, Mr. Danza.
THE WEEK OF MAY 19 - 25
Here we have another 70's stalwart still powering along. LAVERNE & SHIRLEY was a favourite of mine from the moment it debuted; however by this time it may have been showing signs of losing steam. However, this is another terrific Amsel cover painting. And it reminds of me playing the LAVERNE OR SHIRLEY game. Did you ever play the LAVERNE OR SHIRLEY game? I'll have to remember to do a post about THAT sometime soon. The 10th anniversary of this blog seems just the time to do it!
THE WEEK OF JUNE 2 - 8
And speaking of terrific cover paintings. Here we have THE ROCKFORD FILES James Garner painted by Pablo Picasso. Sorry, I can't decipher the artist's signature. Did the great ROCKFORD FILES last into the 80's? I can't recall that either. Sure did love the show, though.
THE WEEK OF JUNE 9 - 15
And speaking of loving a show . . . I loved ANGIE. Practically nobody remembers ANGIE but the show was in fact quite a big hit for it's first season. And then, almost as quickly as it shot to popularity, it seemed to disappear without a trace. Donna Pescow appeared in the film SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and then she got this sitcom co-starring Robert Hayes (of AIRPLANE fame). I'd sure love to see THIS show again. And it also had a theme song which I loved and was a big hit single for Melissa Manchester.
THE WEEK OF JUNE 23 - 29
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny. What is this, his third or fourth appearance on this blog post series? Well, that's because he was the king of late-night. And here's a little hint . . . we're gonna see Johnny one more time before this post is through.
THE WEEK OF JULY 7 - 13
Here we have again another 70's sitcom stalwart we've seen before with a nice group photo of the cast of BARNEY MILLER. One night I tuned in to the show only to have it pre-empted by three guys named Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat signing something. I was livid!!!
THE WEEK OF JULY 28 - AUGUST 3
Back what I was saying about being a comic book fan who rarely saw comic book heroes appearing on television. I wanted to like this show. I really, really did. Like WONDER WOMAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK fumbled the ball on television. When it comes right down to it, THE INCREDIBLE HULK television show was merely THE FUGITIVE with a big, green monster guy appearance about 3 to 5 minutes an episode. Bill Bixby's great but we wanna see the Hulk. And we saw precious little of the big guy. I'll stick to the commix, thanx.
THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 13 - 19
After THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON, I'd always stay up even later to watch TOMORROW WITH TOM SNYDER. Tom Snyder was a bit of an odd duck but he was perfectly suited to this bleary-eyed late, late night time slot. He was simultaneously post-modern and squaresville! Hey, give yourself a treat and look up his interviews with the great Sterling Hayden on youtube. You'll thank me for it!
THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 20 - 26
MTV was still a couple years away so the hippest rock & roll television was WKRP IN CINCINATTI. I passed up a previous appearance of the show on TV GUIDE's cover because I didn't really think much of the photo but this striking cover design works better for me. This was another more modern-feeling sitcoms along the lines of SOAP or TAXI which seemed a step forward from the more traditional sitcoms of the 70s. With another knockout ensemble cast. And who could forget the infamous "Turkey Drop"?!?
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 8 - 14
For some reason, this is a TV GUIDE cover I vividly recall having when it came out on newsstands. That's probably because, at the time, I had a scrapbook in which I'd paste cuttings from TV GUIDE and other magazines of shows, movies, etc. that I particularly liked. I guess I likes this cover since I cut it out and pasted it in there. Disgracefully, I'm pretty sure that scrapbook no longer exists; it fell apart, probably, and was trashed. And oh, here's that second appearance of Johnny Carson I told you about; sitting at the top of the heap of talk show hosts pictured here. For the record they are Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, Tom Snyder and Phil Donahue thrusting his mike at us.
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 22 - 28
And we end our series of TV GUIDE covers of the 1970s with another traditional Christmas illustration. Is that Santa Claus or Sisyphus?
I'd like to thank you for travelling with me throughout the 1970s television landscape. It's sure been a lot of nostalgic fun for me and I hope you've enjoyed it as well. One terrific improvement of the modern day over the 1970s is the proliferation of many, many classic TV shows on dvd and the intermawebs. Back in the 70s, we were at the mercy of the TV programmers and could only watch something when they deigned air it. First with the advent of the VCR (I got my first one in 1982) onwards, we've become increasingly able to watch what we want when we want it. Of course, that cuts down on the "magic, special event" feel of having to wait all year for an airing of "THE WIZARD OF OZ" or a Charlie Brown holiday special or a CREATURE FEATURE airing of "HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN" or "THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD". But ain't it grand to have all this classic entertainment at our fingertips? Good night and thanks for watching.
Friday, February 27, 2015
IT WAS THE HEIGHT OF THE DISCO ERA. I was in the midst of middle school. The world had gone STAR WARS bonkers. And it was a year I could probably describe as a bit of my own "annus horribilis" -- to borrow Betty's phrase. But here are the most interesting TV GUIDE covers to me of the year 1978 . . . and it's quite astonishing that there's not a "disco-y" cover among 'em.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 14 - 20
As I just mentioned, a year after the May 1977 debut of STAR WARS on our movie screens, the entire world had gone space-opera crazy. Now don't get me wrong -- as an 11 year old boy I was immediately captivated by STAR WARS and saw it 14 times in the movie theatre in 1977. However, I was never really a science fiction fan as much as a horror fan with a sci-fi minor. So the de facto obliteration of the horror genre for the next half-decade was something of a minus for me. That's why it's so nice to see the first cover posted here is a horror-themed one produced by the great Charles Addams proclaiming the apparently novel idea of a night-time Super Bowl game. Nowadays, that seems like a given but apparently in its first years the Super Bowl was played during daylight hours. The mind boggles.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 28 - FEBRUARY 3
I can vividly recall that back in Maple Surple days, before moving to Claytown, I always watched the new show THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GRIZZLY ADAMS. I was a big fan of it. Briefly. But apparently I quickly forgot about it after the first season and never watched it after that. In fact, I'm rather shocked to see that it was still airing in 1978; a year or two after I'd assumed it had been cancelled. Still -- a nice painted cover though, which has the slick look of a greeting card.
THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 4 - 10
In 1978, my grandparents moved from their big ole house in Pennsauken to an apartment only a block away from us in Claytown. Now, I could ride my bike over to visit them every day if I wanted to and I still stayed over weekends quite often. I can't fathom it now but we always watched THE LOVE BOAT which was followed by FANTASY ISLAND; two fairly new shows. Both shows were basically the same: a haven for weekly guest stars -- one took place on a boat and one on an island. I'd never think of watching either of them today but back then we watched weekly. However, this great "Saturday morning cartoon-looking" cover art made it a must for this post.
THE WEEK OF APRIL 15 - 21
This was also the heyday of TV mini-series with the likes of ROOTS or SHOGUN being huge ratings winners. I watched them all, like everyone else at the time, and they were new and exciting television. A particular favourite of mine was BACKSTAIRS AT THE WHITE HOUSE which, apparently, didn't get a TV GUIDE cover. However, another favourite was HOLOCAUST -- I even bought and read the paperback book. I haven't seen it since 1978 but I'd like to rewatch it again, especially since it's come out on DVD in the last couple years, to see if it's as good as I remember. And it even had Meryl Streep in it.
THE WEEK OF JUNE 10 - 16
Along with the STAR WARS phenomenon, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND brought a huge resurgence in the UFO phenomenon. So big, in fact, that it made the cover of the TV GUIDE. What a terrific cover painting!
THE WEEK OF JULY 1 - 7
Speaking of FANTASY ISLAND, here's another great painted cover with something of that "Bill Sienkiewicz-y" style mentioned in an earlier post.
THE WEEK OF JULY 29 - AUGUST 4
The great Jack Davis lends his talents to a portrait of the "Not Ready For Prime-Time Players" who, by this time, were huge. I was too young to stay up that late when SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE first went on the air in 1975 but, by this time, I was watching it every weekend. I also seem to dimly recall that they were either showing reruns or else airing "best of" compilation shows in syndication. It probably goes without saying that the original comic genius of the assembled talent in that first five years has never been surpassed.
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 16 - 22
Another odd example of a show I watched every week is EIGHT IS ENOUGH. Never seen it since then and have no particular wish to. Except for one episode. There exists in my memory a dim flicker of a Halloween episode in which an actor looking very VERY much like a PSYCHO-era Anthony Perkins menaced the family during a power outage. The episode does exist; I've looked it up. It aired on January 24, 1979, in fact, and I'd sure like to see THAT one again.
So that's it for 1978. Join us next time for the end of the decade (and this series of posts).
Monday, February 23, 2015
ON JANUARY 25, 1977, WE MOVED FROM MY CHILDHOOD TOWN OF MAPLE SURPLE (THE ONLY SURVIVING ALIEN COLONY ON EARTH) TO CLAYTOWN. I was eleven years old and leaving the only hometown I'd ever known for a new one was quite a change. While I did (and still do) have a nostalgic fondness for the old little town, the new bigger, somehow more "modern"-feeling town was an adventure and I immediately liked it. I recall that on the first night in the new house, with everything still in boxes piled against the wall as the sun went down, we ordered some takeout (I'm pretty sure it was pizza), plopped the TV down on the bile-green-carpeted floor and watched TV. There was no cable TV so the shows came in through the TV's aerial and the watching of old, familiar programmes provided a continuity from the old way of life to the new.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 15 - 21
Before moving to the new house, however, we got a new President. Changes all around. We went from fumbling Ford to cheery Carter. The ridiculously huge "Osmonds" grin and the fact that he was a Washington outsider sent a rush of optimism through the land as it seemed we were leaving the Vietnam/Watergate era behind. Carter invented the now-traditional walk down Pennsylvania Avenue on inauguration day which really cemented him as "a man of the people". In only a few short years, that image would go to doom and gloom. For such an optimistic start, this rather dark and moody cover art is oddly prescient about the coming energy crisis and hostage situation which would haunt Carter's term.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 29 - FEBRUARY 4
As an avid comic book fan, the rare appearance of a super-hero TV show on the tube was a thrilling prospect. Back then, we just didn't see comic book TV shows and movies and the proliferation of them in today's culture would've been unfathomable to my 11 year old self. However, my intense dislike for Lynda Carter cooled my enthusiasm right quick. However, more importantly, this is the first TV GUIDE issue we got after moving into the new house. I still remember it vividly. I can't see this cover without immediately thinking of our first week in our new home.
THE WEEK OF MARCH 19 - 25
What a fantastic cover. Mary Tyler Moore decided to end her classic show while it was still at the top. This wistful cover photo perfectly evokes the sadness of taking our leave of that final episode.
THE WEEK OF APRIL 30 - MAY 6
Just as you think we've put that aforementioned Vietnam/Watergate era behind us . . . I have no clear memory of seeing the David Frost interviews with Richard Nixon. After all, I was negotiating my way through my first year at a new school and making new friends. But as a kid who was always interested in history, I must've seen at least a little of it. Doesn't Tricky Dick look thrilled on this cover photo?
THE WEEK OF JUNE 18 - 24
Here we have another great Jack Davis cover illustration; this time for LAVERNE & SHIRLEY.
THE WEEK OF JULY 30 - AUGUST 5
If Johnny Carson could've said to have "made it" in the previous Norman Rockwell cover, then this great Hirshfeld caricature is the icing on the cake. By this point, in the summer months (as this TV Guide issue is from) I was beginning to stay up late enough to see THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON.
THE WEEK OF AUGUST 20 - 26
As I've said umpteen times in this series, I was not a "cop show" watcher -- "cop show" includes private detective shows as well in my vernacular. As I've also mentioned, THE ROCKFORD FILES was a big exception. I watched it quite often as I was probably captured by James Garner's irresistible charm like the rest of America. My co-worker Angel and I were talking about how weird and unexplainable was the surprising lack of media coverage on Garner's death last year. Such a hugely popular star should've had many more tributes than he got. How soon we forget the immortals. This painted cover of Garner and Joe Santos reminds me a little of that portrait of Lyndon Johnson which LBJ hated and said it looked like it had been painted with soy sauce!
THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 22 - 28
Here we have another classic Jack Davis cover portraying the cast of WELCOME BACK, KOTTER.
THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 5 - 11
While all these other TV shows are holdovers from the past, THE HARDY BOYS/NANCY DREW MYSTERIES is the first show here which I associate with watching after that line of demarcation after I moved into the new house. Never a huge fan of THE HARDY BOYS books (I think I had three of them growing up -- my cousin and I prefer THE THREE INVESTIGATORS books), I dug this TV show which alternated a Hardy Boys adventure with a Nancy Drew adventure the next week. As a kid, I preferred the Hardy Boys to the Nancy Drew episodes -- I mean, who wants to watch a dumb old girl. However, a couple years ago I got the first season on DVD and I have to tell you that the Nancy Drew episodes are usually much better than the Hardy Boys ones. At the time (as it says on the cover), Shaun Cassidy was the huge teen idol featured on the cover of TIGER BEAT and on top 40 radio; however, my cousin Loran and I hated his guts! She had a crush on Parker Stevenson and I just continued my crush on Lindsay Wagner.
THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 12 - 18
Here's a superb cover illustration for THE GODFATHER PART II. Can this be the broadcast TV debut of the film? If so, what took so long?
THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 26 - DECEMBER 2
I love Jack Davis' artwork but I must admit this is not one of my favourites. Some of the likenesses are pretty good but some aren't (particularly Katherine Helmond who looks nothing like herself here). But I just had to use it because I was a HUGE fan of SOAP. Again, this was years before VCRs, so I used to plop my Radio Shack tape recorder down in front of the TV speaker each week and tape every episode. That's why I probably know every line of the first three seasons of SOAP by heart to this day!
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 3 - 9
Ah, but here's a cover which I think is pretty snazzy for a show which I was indifferent about. I watched THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS occasionally but didn't really count myself a fan. I would've preferred an AQUAMAN series; now THAT I would've been glued to! I can't decifer the artist's signature but it looks very "Bill Sienkiewicz-y" years before ole Bill adopted that style.
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 17 - 23
ONE DAY AT A TIME is another show which I loved at the time and never missed. This cover art features good likenesses of Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli and Pat Harrington with quite some xaggerated facial expressions.
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 24 - 30
Merry Christmas from 1977! Hey, remember such a thing as TV aerials on every rooftop???
Well, now it's on to 1978. . .
Friday, February 20, 2015
THAT'S THE SPIRIT! It was our Bicentennial and that's all we heard about for most of 1975 and all of 1976! CBS (I think) had been airing it's "Bicentennial Minute" shorts between TV shows. And some of those shows grace my list of favourite TV Guide covers of 1976.
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 10 - 16
Previously HAPPY DAYS had become a smash hit and by 1976 it was firmly on top of the cultural consciousness. "Sit on it!" was the new put-down and the Fonz was the epitome of cool.
THE WEEK OF APRIL 17 - 23
And then, the Sweathogs arrived and "Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose" vied with HAPPY DAYS' "Sit On It!" as the putdown du jour. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER's success brought another one of my childhood crushes to the cover of TV GUIDE: Marcia Strassman.
THE WEEK OF MAY 8 - 14
Oh wait . . . who's that running towards us now? Oh yes, it's Lindsey Wagner in an attempt to point out that SHE was my biggest crush of that year as THE BIONIC WOMAN became a successful spin-off from THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN show. With Lindsey and I it was true love; I was willing to move to Ojai.
THE WEEK OF MAY 22 - 28
And speaking of spin-offs, LAVERNE & SHIRLEY became just as hugely popular as HAPPY DAYS and, in fact, I liked it even better than it's parent show. I think my favourite episode was the first season one about the Schotz Brewery talent show. Laverne & Shirley were doing a calypso number while Lenny & Squiggy did their monumental ballad "Starcrossed". It just so happens that, on the episode's original air date, I audio taped the programme with my Radio Shack tape recorder placed next to the TV speaker so I knew this music-filled episode by heart long before I got it on DVD!
THE WEEK OF JULY 3 - 9
Oh and then there's that Bicentennial thing...
THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 11 - 17
Valerie Harper as RHODA in another superb Amsel painting rounds out the year.
Join us again in a little while as we visit the year 1977!
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
WE NOW SAIL INTO MID-DECADE WITH MY FAVOURITE TV GUIDE COVERS OF 1975. 1975 was a pretty good year; it was, after all, the year I turned 10. You probably don't know this unless you were there but the 4th of July fireworks were kept smaller and more sedate this year because they were saving up the big boffo display for the following year when the Bicentennial would be celebrated. Other than that, there was nothing disappointing about 1975. While I was rather young to go to the movies very often, the TV, comic books and music were fantastic. UHF was full of classic reruns and the new shows of that year are what we now regard as classic TV. Saturday morning cartoons were king and, when they ran out and some dumb grown-up sports programming like golf came on, one changed from network TV to UHF for an entire afternoon of horror movies (CREATURE DOUBLE FEATURE on Channel 48 or Dr. Shock's MAD THEATER and HORROR THEATER on Channel 17) as well as all those B&W movie series like MA AND PA KETTLE, BLONDIE, FRANCIS THE TALKING MULE and all the ABBOTT & COSTELLO movies. FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine was still ruling the newsstands, CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER hosted by E.G. Marshall still haunted the radio waves and pet rocks, Black Jack gum and YOU'LL DIE LAUGHING trading cards ruled my heart!
THE WEEK OF JANUARY 18 - 24
Another show my grandmother and I never missed was THAT'S MY MAMA. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen it since it was originally broadcast but I'd sure like to see it again!
THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 8 - 14
A nice triptych cover of Valerie Harper, Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore. Apparently the "MTM Comedy Machine" was a topic of conversation in this issue. Indeed, Mary Tyler Moore's production company had a stellar list of bona fide hit shows by this point and I watched them all. I've mentioned before the nights staying over my grandparents' house when our evening's TV watching began with MARY TYLER MOORE and continued into THE BOB NEWHART SHOW. And, of course, after RHODA spun off from Mary's show, Rhoda's two-part wedding episode was the most-watched up to that time.
THE WEEK OF MARCH 1 - 8
Back to CHICO AND THE MAN with this wonderful caricature cover by Hirschfeld.
THE WEEK OF JUNE 21 - 27
Yet another monstrously-successful spin-off by Norman Lear was THE JEFFERSON and here's another show I never missed. Here's a terrific family portrait cover of Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford and Mike Evans. The Jeffersons' apartment was another of those iconic sets which I felt like I was physically visiting each week when the show went on the air. Many of these old 70's shows had sets which I knew as well as my own living room!
THE WEEK OF JULY 5 - 11
Oh yes, this was around the time when variety shows began to take off in the 70s once again. Before long, the TV schedule was littered with variety shows; some would last and some would be gone in a matter of weeks. Tony Orlando and Dawn were flying high after there multi-kazillion-selling hit single "Tie A Yellow Ribbon ('Round the Old Oak Tree)" and they were given a variety show which, believe it or not, was quite fun as well as funny if memory serves. I certainly watched it. All three revealed a deft hand at comic timing and Telma Hopkins would continue on in sitcoms after the pop music thing had cooled: most notably as a cast member on BOSOM BUDDIES.
THE WEEK OF JULY 12 - 18
The linkup between the U.S. Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft was huge news and this moody painted cover commemorates all the hubbub. Around this time, my grandfather and I briefly collected stamps and I have the original U.S. Post Office stamps of the Apollo/Soyuz linkup to this day.
THE WEEK OF JULY 19 - 25
Another great ensemble cast was featured in the cop comedy BARNEY MILLER. I never missed this long-running comedy either and here's a terrific group portrait. And I think my favourite, funniest episode is the one entitled "Hash" which concerns the entire precinct consuming some "suspicious brownies" baked by Wojo's new girlfriend. Fall on the floor funny. "Mooshey Mooshey!"
And we'll continue soon with the year 1976 . . . right after we hear from tonight's Bicentennial Minute.