Movies · Television



Stephen Bowie has posted the conclusion of his interview with the great character actor Jason Wingreen over at The Classic TV History Blog…so if this is the first thing you’re reading in the blogosphere today, you should really be reading Stephen’s conversation instead. Great anecdotes about Edmond “Jesus, but I’m sweaty” O’Brien, Allan “Magilla Gorilla” Melvin and Andy “Gooooood cracker” Griffith (the last two contain revelations that may surprise you)—but my favorite is the story involving Joe Flynn, Bill Quinn, and Quinn’s daughter Ginny’s wedding (she was getting hitched to a man named Bob Newhart on that momentous occasion).

breakerI want to get in a plug for the Chuck Norris Ate My Blog Contest blogathon that starts next Monday (May 24th) at Chuck Norris Ate My Baby…and to pass on a bit of good news in the bargain. I left a comment for CNAMB’s proprietor, Dolewhite, that I had planned to tackle the 1977 AIP Norris opus Breaker! Breaker! here at TDOY and that I probably wouldn’t be eligible for a prize because the film features Chuck sans his trademark chin whiskers. (I interpreted Dolewhite’s original post—in which he states “My only rules are that it has to be bearded and has to be posted with in the time frame”—to mean that any movie with a clean-shaven Norris was persona au gratin as far as the fabulous prizes go.) But he’s notified me that—in the words of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca—“I was misinformed,” so I’m pleased to be able to participate in this truly noteworthy endeavor…I watched the movie via IFC On Demand the other evening, and I’ll probably give it a second once-over in case there was something I missed.

albertI realize that the only other person who’ll be interested in this is my good friend from across the pond, Matthew Coniam—but Network DVD has a couple of interesting Britcom releases in the pipeline…both of which are shows in which the entire runs are not available, owing to the ravages of time and the practice of “wiping” videotapes of recorded programs to reuse. First up is Dear Mother…. ….Love Albert, which stars Likely Lad Rodney Bewes (who co-wrote and produced the show, basing it on the letters he wrote his mother during his halcyon acting days) as a young Northerner who moves to London with dreams of becoming a big success…but winds up toiling in a candy factory and falling for a young girl (Liz Gebhardt) who works in the PR department .Dear Mother…. ran for three series between 1969 and 1971 on ITV (Yorkshire Television)—the first series has vanished into the ether, but Series Two and Three are intact (totaling thirteen episodes); there was also a sequel to the series in 1972 entitled Albert! which lasted a single series of seven episodes. All twenty episodes will be included on this set, which has a release date of June 14th.

qualityThe other release is Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width—a sitcom from the prolific pens of Vince Powell and Harry Driver (Bless This HouseNearest and Dearest) that stars John Bluthal (who you may know as Frank Pickle from The Vicar of Dibley) and Joe Lynch as a pair of tailors (one Jewish, the other Irish) from London’s East End who struggle to put aside their cultural and religious differences in their never-ending desire to make a living. This popular series—telecast from 1967 to 1971 on ITV (Thames Television)—is also not available in its entirety; only series Three through Six (1969-71; twenty-six episodes in all) and a 1968 Christmas special survive. This set has a street date of June 28th. Of the two collections, I’d really like to get Quality on the basis of being a fan of Powell and Driver’s earlier shows (particularly Nearest).

5guysMark Evanier mentions that the fast food chain known as Five Guys Burger and Fries is setting up a store closer to his neck of the woods…so I sent him a brief Facebook note asking him to use his considerable influence in seeing that the East Coast gets an In-N-Out Burger in reciprocation. (He’s promised me he’ll get right on that.) I certainly can understand why he’s stoked; we have one here in Athens and the grub is mighty tasty.

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