Sunday, October 9, 2016

What Might've Been: The Nut House (1963-4)

Maverick animator Jay Ward had skewered silent films with the short-lived Fractured Flickers. The genius behind Rocky & His Friends then decided he could try a sketch comedy show in live-action form, all but leaving his signature animation style behind.

Unfortunately, The Nut House, an unsold pilot produced for CBS during the 1963-4 season, might've been just a wee bit ahead of its time. The offbeat humor that powered Rocky doesn't translate as well in live-action form. Had Ward opted to hire other writers outside his staff (i.e. Bill Scott, Chris Hayward), the results might've been different.

Funny thing. Four years later, George Schlatter perfected the concept with Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, which lasted 5 seasons. The common link? Actor-comedian Alan Sues appeared on both shows. You'll see Alan near the end of this clip, which is the final sketch in this episode.

Jazz musician Jack Sheldon, later of Run, Buddy, Run and Schoolhouse Rock, looks like he's right at home with a guitar in his hand just as much as he would be with his trumpet. Len Maxwell is better known for his voice acting as well (Batfink, Celebrity Deathmatch).

No rating.

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