Starting out in radio as a child star member of the REG'LAR FELLERS and later the teenage co-star of TV's MAMA, Dick Van Patten grew into the consummate character actor. Among his roles were the Jack Benny/Eddie Cantor character in the WONDER WOMAN episode featuring the late Christa Helm. Eventually, after siring his own little mini-empire of acting, tennis-playing Van Pattens, he became an outright star as the beloved father on TV's EIGHT IS ENOUGH.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
This year's Booksteve Channel Father's Day TV Father of the Year Award goes to...Inspector Richard Queen as played by David Wayne in the short-lived but top notch TV mystery series from 1975-76, ELLERY QUEEN.
Although the format of the series dictates that he never actually fully solve a crime, Inspector Queen is invariably shown to be a more than competent policeman, and, in fact, given a richer history and background than many supporting characters.
It's also shown that that he is and has been a loving and nurturing single father to Ellery. They fight and argue about a case but then immediately he might ask what Ellery wanted for dinner that evening.
With Jim Hutton's quirky and almost Autism Spectrum-like portrayal of Ellery unlike that of the literature version of the character, the writers and actors managed to take what could well have been a typical smart detective/dumb cop relationship and make it into one of the best father/son combos in TV history...even if the short-lived status of the series means that few people remember that.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Red Skelton was a good actor in 1940s movies, hilarious in his radio series, a star for two decades on television...and yet largely forgotten now. He was unique in his embracing of pantomime and silent comedy in a world where television just never seemed to shut up. He was patriotic and spiritual and clean...except when he was egotistical, dirty, mean and cruel to his writers and co-workers. And he painted clowns. LOTS of clowns.
His TV series--my father's favorite and thus on every week in our house--was canceled as too old-fashioned at the end of the sixties, only to be picked up and brought back on another network with "hipper" guests. It didn't last and a bitter Red threatened for years to have all of his old episodes burned just to spite the audience he felt turned on him. He continued working "concerts" for many years afterwards, however.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
One of my Facebook friends posted his list of top 25 favorite TV themes earlier. I agreed with many but not all. As it kept popping up throughout the day, i decided to do my own. It wasn't easy! There are at least a dozen that I feel SHOULD be somewhere on this list but there's simply no room!
My Top 25 favorite TV themes...in order!
THE ROCKFORD FILES
WKRP IN CINCINNATI
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER
MARY TYLER MOORE
LOST IN SPACE (2nd version)
WELCOME BACK KOTTER
THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW
HERE COME THE BRIDES
NANNY & THE PROFESSOR