Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Monday in 1970

Monday, September 7th, 1970

Let's face it, I spent most of the day watching Jerry Lewis and his MD telethon. We may have even contributed. In years where we were financially able to, we sometimes did.

What were some of the shows I COULD have been watching?

Well, TODAY featured a report on DISNEY ON PARADE along with tennis champ Billie Jean King. CAPTAIN KANGAROO's featured animals were a dog and a goose. SKIPPER RYLE's daily show for younger kids was still on as was UNCLE AL. I had outgrown both but still tuned in from time to time out of habit.

Gane show choices included HOLLYWOOD SQUARES and SALE OF THE CENTURY. Daytime reruns of former primetime shows were prevalent and included GOMER PYLE USMC, BEWITCHED and THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.

Local favorites like THE PAUL DIXON SHOW in the morning were popular and BOB BRAUN'S 50-50 CLUB and THE NICK CLOONEY SHOW were on in the early afternoon.

Soaps abounded in the afternoon along with more game shows like THE DATING GAME (Bill Bixby guested this day) and THE MOVIE GAME, talk shows with Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas and Art Linkletter, and a Reds baseball game!

DARK SHADOWS trumped everything else at 4 on Channel 12, followed by an ADDAMS FAMILY rerun. I caught SESAME STREET from time to time (it was still pretty new then) because I liked The Muppets and also tuned in THE FRIENDLY GIANT, perhaps the gentlest children's show ever.

I'm sure we watched the news at 6 PM, ignoring the opposing episodes of BURKE'S LAW and MAJOR ADAMS (the syndicated title for early Ward Bond WAGON TRAIN episodes) that intrigue me now.

At 6:30, after the Telethon had ended, Channel 19 debuted a variety special saluting America. Its unlikely cast included host Pat Buttram and guests Anita Bryant (before her ant-gay controversies), Red Skelton and Apollo 13 astronaut James Lovell (played by Tom Hanks in the later movie).

At 7, we either watched an F TROOP rerun or TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, most likely the latter.

7:30 had the final episode of William Windom's Thurber-inspired sitcom, MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT but I'm thinking we skipped that for my Dad's never-missed GUNSMOKE. We certainly didn't watch IT TAKES A THIEF. We never did.

That would take us up to 8:30. At 8PM a network baseball game  had taken over NBC's Channel 5 so all we had to choose from after that was ABC and CBS basically. The latter had a 1959 Robert Taylor western, THE HANGMAN, but we probably stuck with the family favorites, THE LUCY SHOW (guest-starring Danny Thomas), MAYBERRY RFD and then THE DORIS DAY SHOW on Channel 9. Larry Storch was funny as a boxer on this episode of Doris's series.

At 10, with the movie and the ball game continuing on the other stations, the only real choice was THE WILD, WILD WEST or INSIGHT on PBS, the latter being a dramatized religious anthology, here presenting a pre-M*A*S*H Jamie Farr. Guess what I watched.

I rarely stayed up past 11 in those days but if I had, I could have watched CAN YOU TOP THIS?, HE SAID SHE SAID (with Sally Field) or more news.

The late night talk shows had Henny Youngman guesting with DICK CAVETT, newsman Charles Kuralt with MERV GRIFFIN and future LOVE BOAT singer Jack Jones subbing for Johnny on TONIGHT.

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