Every actor from the TV of my early teen years is getting the Big Cancelation this week: now it’s Mike “Touch” Connors from Mannix. People forget - oh hell, they never knew, who am I kidding? This isn’t recent stuff - anyway, some people who actually saw Mannix forget that he was originally working for a big detective bureau that had COMPUTERS. His boss . . .
Who's the best agent for this assignment? Let's ask the big iron!
That didn’t last. I don’t remember those first-season shows. I hardly remember any of them. But I remember the credits - always karate-chopping toast, shaving while driving, shooting while falling, getting annoyed by a helicopter, kissing the blonde with the 60s ‘do, and jumping on Bruce Geller. It was a great theme - exciting, cool, swank - and damned manly in a way that would be leaving soon for sorrowful, sensitive theme songs. Mannix was a Sixties mainstream culture guy. He was the sort of guy Don Draper would realize right away he couldn’t BS.
I posted some gifs on Twitter, and someone said he remembered watching it as a kid, and being unaware that it was controversial that Mannix had a Black secretary. Exactly: I grew up with Peggy, Uhuru, Barney on Mission: Impossible; nothing out of the ordinary about it to a kid. Ironside, for that matter, wasn’t going anywhere fast unless he had his associate give him a shove.
It's been a while since we visited my favorite museum of 20th century things someone else's mother bought. It'll be this week's Friday Detritus.
She was someone’s daughter, to state the blaringly obvious, unless she was spawned by primogeniture, but how did this end up here? Is everyone gone who knew her?
It’s in a little shrine of sorts, with ceramic pieces that match the fabric.
A few pieces of fruit-crate art. Name that plane:
M-130? The logo looks like the Pan American Airlines logo. There were three built - the China Clipper, which had Fred Noonan as its navigator on its first flight but landed safely anyway (sorry, that’s not nice.) It crashed in 1945. The Philippine Clipper crashed in 43. The Hawaii Clipper disappeared in 1938.
A bad case of Statuette Smut, a fungus that spoiled small decorative busts:
As I always say, it’s the posing, the arrangements, the accidental and intentional compositions that I love.
Modern potions, cheerfully compounded:
A big happy pharmacist, eh? Where’s he been all these years? Looks like the surfer brother of The Professor from Gilligan’s Island; he went into pharmacy because he figured he could get the pure stuff, dude
The wall behind was blank because they just sold a huge movie poster. I don’t even remember what it was. Stuff comes and goes and the place is different every time.
Do you know what these held?
Right: bubble bath. Soaky, to be particular. One page says EXTREMELY RARE and gives a price of $69.00; a recent eBay auction topped off at $2.99.
This just isn’t right:
The fellow on the left, of course, is Deputy Dawg. He was voiced by Dayton Allen. Wikipedia:
Allen's talents as a mimic were showcased in October 1963 when he appeared alongside Groucho Marx on the CBS-TV game show I've Got A Secret. The show’s panelists had been blindfolded, and all their questions to Groucho were answered instead by Allen doing an accurate Groucho impersonation. Finally, with panelists Bess Myerson, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan, and Bill Cullen all stumped, the secret was revealed.
That would seem to indicate that his talents as a mimic were rather poor. Who can’t tell Groucho’s voice? As you can see, though, they knew it was Groucho.
According to the comments, Allen did the voice for the Vlassic pickle ads - but it seems not.
Finally: this made me stop and goggle. I’d completely forgotten about this.
Dad had one of those at the station; I used to play with it, and probably pretended they were spaceship controls. The handle on the top made a satisfying sound when you pulled it across to make the imprint. You could charge 999.99 on that thing.
Absurd to think you’d need more.
No one ever told me not to play with it.
PINNED INFO: If you're new to this feature, this isn't a bunch of old radio shows slapped up on the internet to duplicate dozens of other such sites. This is mostly about the music. But we'll learn a few things about the medium along the way.
As Dunning's Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio notes, the Gildersleeve show matured quickly around the time all the great radio comedies grew up and stopped dealing out the corn. There was a reason for this, as you'll hear.
Typical for the first season: it's rushed and rote. It sounds . . . insincere.
Another example: it's not quite warm, or domestic.
An other end-of-show cue. That's a lot of time to spend on music when you could be pushing cheese.
Then around season 3, a new team of writers. Listen carefully.
John Ogden Whedon (November 5, 1905 – November 22, 1991) was an American screenwriter. He is best known for his writing for the television series The Donna Reed Show during the 1950s. Whedon also wrote for The Great Gildersleeve on radio, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Leave It to Beaver.
He and wife, Louise Carroll Angell, are the parents of television screenwriter Tom Whedon and the grandparents of film and TV screenwriter and director Joss Whedon and screenwriters Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon.
Quite the pedigree. If I had the opportunity to interview the latter Whedon, I'd ask him about his grandfather before anything else.
This week's ad: another spot for the Modern Right One - sprightly and debonair. This would morph into the command to be Sociable.
Swinger, you say. Seems like that guy in high school was nerdy but smart and counter-cultural and held everyone in contempt.
The song is "Maria Moita," and this was a year before the "Brasil '65" album, if you need context.
In early 1994, after finishing his album Antonio Brasileiro, Jobim complained to his doctor, Roberto Hugo Costa Lima, of urinary problems. A bladder tumor was detected, but Jobim postponed the recommended immediate surgery for several months, while he tried spiritual treatment with a Brazilian medium and started working on his album Tom Jobim. After receiving a message allegedly coming from Frederick von Stein, a dead German doctor, who recommended not having the surgery, Jobim decided to stop listening to the spiritual guidance and have the surgery instead.
And then he had a heart attack.
New this year: end-of-show aphorisms. And so we end the week.
There you have it, or had it. Thanks! See you on Monday.