Sunday, October 1, 2023

Old Time Radio: A Halloween Story (1981)

 Between 1981-5, NBC Radio presented a live Halloween special from the Magic Castle in Hollywood. A troupe of actors was assembled with some names familiar to radio, others not so. 

The first annual show presented "A Halloween Story", with film star Yaphet Kotto as narrator, Marvin Miller (ex-The Millionaire), who had been doing voice-over work for the Kroffts during the 70's, and game show announcer Rod Roddy are the announcers. Roddy is heard at the end of the program. Our cast: Film legend John Carradine, Gary Owens (ex-The Green Hornet, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In), June Lockhart (ex-Lost in Space, Lassie, Petticoat Junction), John Houseman (The Paper Chase), Lynn Redgrave, and the husband & wife team of Casey & Jean Kasem.

Here's "A Halloween Story", produced to benefit UNICEF.

Locally, these specials aired on WGY-AM. I remember hearing one of the later shows that isn't presently available online with the same cast.

Rating: B.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Sports this 'n' that

 Earlier this week, Michigan State dismissed football coach Mel Tucker with cause amid allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Thursday, Tucker, through an attorney, fired back, filing an unlawful termination lawsuit.

The allegations surfaced just before the start of the season, which begs to ask why the university let Tucker on the sidelines in the first place when the season began earlier this month. Simple answer is they waited to see if they had enough evidence before forging ahead with terminating Tucker's contract.

Look at it this way. Ohio State should've done the same with their wrestling team years ago, before assistant coach Jim Jordan became a delusional Republican Misrepresentative. Would Jordan have been elected if he had his reputation damaged? We'll never know.
Baseball lost another legend Tuesday with the passing of Hall of Fame 3rd baseman Brooks Robinson, who played his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles. Robinson, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983, was 86, and hailed as one of the greatest at his position.
No matter where he's been, be it Washington or Philadelphia, Bryce Harper has gained a reputation for having a very short temper, especially when it comes to strikeouts.

Thursday, Harper fanned in his only at-bat vs. Pittsburgh, when 3rd base ump Angel Hernandez, easily the worst umpire in baseball, called strike 3 on a check swing that didn't look like a full swing.

Hernandez, clearly in need of corrective vision, ejected Harper as the latter walked halfway up the 3rd base line. As you'll see, Harper tossed his helmet into the stands....

With the Phillies having clinched a playoff spot, we'll see if Harper finally gets the World Series title that has eluded him. In his first year in Philly, Washington won the title. Go figure.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

YouTube Theatre: NBC salutes Disney's 25 years on television (1978)

 In launching the 10th season of The Wonderful World of Disney (1st series), NBC decided it was time to give Disney its just due, as it was the studio's 25th season of television programming, having started at ABC in 1954 as Disneyland.

Ron Howard (Happy Days) & Suzanne Somers (Three's Company) are the hosts, joined by a number of TV luminaries past & present (as of that era), including Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Buddy Ebsen (Barnaby Jones), Dan Haggerty (The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams), Bill Bixby (The Incredible Hulk), Melissa Gilbert (Little House on The Prairie), Gavin McLeod (The Love Boat), Bob Hope, Ray Charles, Crystal Gayle, Ricardo Montalban (Fantasy Island), Ed Asner (Lou Grant), and Fess Parker (ex-Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone), who reunites with Ebsen for a segment.

Some, like Howard, Parker, Ebsen, Asner, & Montalban, had ties to Disney's storied past. We had previously posted a segment reuniting "The Aristocats" castmates Phil Harris & Scatman Crothers, over at Saturday Morning Archives, but it was taken down due to copyrights. Now, we have the whole enchilada.

Dick Tufeld, who had taken over as the announcer for Wonderful World by this point in the series, succeeding Dick Wesson, is the announcer.

I did not see this the first time, since I was at church that night. However, this makes up for it.

Rating: A.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

More examples of GOP stupidity

 The final Jewish holiday of the year, Hanukkah, or, Chanukah, is in December. Monday was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

As you know by now, Georgia Misrepresentative Marjorie Taylor Greene got the two mixed up, posting a Menorah on X while offering best wishes for Yom Kippur. Someone needs to hire a social media editor for Empty-G. Yesterday.
Former president Donald Trump suffered a massive legal defeat on Tuesday when judge Arthur Engoron ruled that Trump had in fact lied about his finances to various banks in order to game the system. Gee, what a surprise. Less surprising is the fact that the perpetually whiny Trump complained on Truthless Social, and claims he'll appeal. I don't know if you can appeal a summary judgment, which makes next week's bench trial all but a mere formality.

One domino down, more to follow.
Lawyers for Diaper Don tried to convince judge Tanya Chutkan not to grant special prosecutor Jack Smith's request for a partial gag order on the Archduke of Affluenza, and----get this----they're trying to blame President Biden, who has nothing to do with any of Trump's legal problems.

Farron Cousins explains:

If you've been hired to work for the Orange Toddler, you need to leave your brains at home, it seems. Trump doesn't know anything about the law, and can't be bothered to Google anything about it. The way Fraud Fauntleroy sees it, he doesn't owe anyone anything, but that's no longer a valid point.

Of course, the lawyers assigned to this case, representing the firm of Dumb & Dumber, Esq., get the Dunce Caps.
We have to get this in. 

We know Trump is a narcissist, a major league vanity case. Now, we're finding out why he refused to wear a mask during the early stages of the COVID pandemic.

According to Cassidy Hutchinson in her new book, Trump discovered that one mask he actually wore smeared the bronzer he uses as makeup to create that orange look on his face. That upset him to the point where he decided he can't wear a mask. If he had any real sense of priority, he'd have not bothered with the makeup and wore the mask for the duration........

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Musical Interlude: Along Comes Mary (1966)

 The Association's "Along Comes Mary" still gets a ton of airplay on oldies channels to this day. With good reason. It's that good.

In memory of vocalist Terry Kirkman, who passed away September 23 at 83. Rest in peace.

Monday, September 25, 2023

David McCallum (1933-2023)

 For fans of 60's television, this hurts.

David McCallum, who rose to fame as Ilya Kuryakin in The Man From UNCLE (1964-8), and saw a career revival with NCIS over the last 20 years, passed away earlier today from natural causes at 90, one week after his milestone birthday.

Like a number of his contemporaries in the 60's, such as Star Trek's William Shatner & Leonard Nimoy and Batman star Adam West, McCallum dabbled in music during his stint on UNCLE. He not only sang, but played a number of instruments, including the guitar and oboe. 

Originally from Scotland, McCallum split time between England and Scotland during his formative years, and began his career as a voice actor on radio for the BBC in the late 40's. After UNCLE ended, McCallum spent two seasons starring in a BBC-Universal co-production, Colditz, which, if I recall correctly, was imported to the US. Back in the States, he top-lined a short-lived adaptation of HG Wells' The Invisible Man for NBC & Universal, playing a secret agent rendered invisible by an experiment gone awry. It lasted half a season.

Four years later, McCallum was back in England, paired with Joanna Lumley (ex-The New Avengers) in Sapphire & Steel, which ran for six seasons, or, as they are called in the UK, series. He also appeared in a number of movies, including "The Great Escape".

McCallum did his due diligence in preparing for his role as forensic scientist Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS, to the point where producer Don Belisario cracked that he had considered making the veteran actor a technical advisor.

From The Man From UNCLE is a scene with David and special guest star Nancy Sinatra, including a duet, "Trouble", composed by McCallum.

Rest in peace.

Football this 'n' that

 Colorado coach Deion Sanders is trying to stay positive after the Buffaloes absorbed their first loss of the season Saturday, getting blown out by Oregon. The Buffaloes (3-1) waded into the deeper end of the Big 12 pool, and without two-way star Travis Hunter, were outplayed by the Ducks.

It was noted in commentary that Sanders' son, Shadeur, Colorado's quarterback, is suffering from a lack of offensive line protection, having absorbed dozens of hits already in 4 games. Giants fans know all about that, as the O-line has been a problem for Big Blue for years.
"Here's another fine mess you've gotten me into!"---Oliver Hardy to Stan Laurel.

Sean Payton had to have known what he was getting into when he was hired to replace Nathaniel Hackett as Denver's head coach. Hackett, now with the Jests, is still catching heat, but we'll address that shortly. The Broncos were completely outclassed in a 70-20 drubbing at the hands of Miami.

The 1st place Miami Dolphins.

The 70 points is the highest point total in an NFL game since Washington dropped 72 on the Giants in 1966.
There are three things inevitable to Jests fans. Death, taxes, and losing to New England.

The Patriots picked up their first win Sunday, 15-10, clinching the game with a safety in the 4th quarter.

Unsurprisingly, fans are calling for ownership to cut bait on coach Robert Saleh and the aforementioned Hackett, neither of whom can see the forest for the trees with 3rd year QB Zach Wilson, but Saleh is standing by his QB. Talk about deer in the headlights.

And it won't get any better for the Jests. Next up is the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in primetime next Sunday. Calling it now. Another stink bomb vs. Patrick Mahomes and company, and Saleh is likely gone-ski. Suddenly, that overtime win 2 weeks ago over Buffalo is a distant memory, and we know the Bills will collect the receipt later in the season.
When baseball season started, fans in New York salivated over the prospect of seeing model Kate Upton at Citi Field whenever her husband, Justin Verlander, pitched. Verlander was traded two months ago back to Houston, but come October 1, another instant gate attraction will likely distract Jests fans.

Of course, that would be singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, who was in KC on Sunday, in a skybox with the mother of her rumored new beau, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Last I checked, Taylor still maintains a home in New York, so........!
Kelce, by the way, has joined Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid in doing State Farm commercials this season. Apparently, the insurance company finally parted company with Aaron Rodgers.