Well, I had gambled on having some new material cobbled together so that I might slap it up onto the blog…but as usual, a number of factors (eBay, laziness, the heat) interfered and so here I am once again on a Saturday with nothing but a fantabulous swag giveaway to entice you to keep checking in on this tiny scrap of the blogosphere. I’m going to come clean and say that the members of the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear faithful are in for some stiff competition, timewise: The Filmrise Channel on Roku has added Naked City to their list of classic boob tube offerings, and I am powerless to resist its charms. (I dearly love that show.) I also found Route 66 on another streaming channel, so it looks as if the caper has been blown.
Another show that I was delighted to come across—TDOY cub reporter Tom Stillabower reported its sighting on Amazon Prime, but I found it available on Tubi as well—is The Joey Bishop Show, which saw its entire four-season run released to DVD (from SFM Entertainment) in March of 2018. (Before this, only the second season of the sitcom had seen action, in a previous Questar disc release.) The hefty price tag on the set scared me off but I was curious to check Bishop out because the black-and-white first season had been MIA from the syndication package for many, many years and I wanted to get a gander at that. I did watch the inaugural episode, “On the Spot” (09/20/61), and was thoroughly entertained because Joe Flynn was in it as Joey’s brother-in-law. The first season of his sitcom found Bishop (as Joey Barnes) working for a publicity agency but by Season 2 he was hosting his own talk show and was married to Abby Dalton, with character greats like Joe Besser, Mary Treen, and Corbett Monica filling out the supporting cast.
“On the Spot” was scripted by Ray Singer and Dick Chevillat, the veteran radio writers who made The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show one of the medium’s comedy highlights in its waning years…and that’s when I got the great idea for this week’s giveaway. Radio Spirits offers a collection of the first twenty broadcasts the Harrises did for Rexall (“Good health to all from Rexall!”), and since I wrote the accompanying booklet…I just happen to have an extra copy to give out to a lucky cartooner. Behold the contest rules!
1) Send an e-mail with “20 Episodes” in the subject header to igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com. You have until 11:59pm EDT on June 29, 2019 (next Saturday) to enter, and if you’re skittish about the whole online privacy thing, just your name is okay-fine for an entry. (If you emerge triumphant, however, I will pester you for the snail-mail deets.)
2) You will need to be a resident of either the U.S. or Canada to participate. I have seen what they’re asking for postage to send items overseas…and I found the figures to be staggering. (I had to have a couple of shots to calm me down…and then I was staggering. [Crickets] “Ann-Margret…right here!”)
3) If you’ve been a previous winner in a TDOY giveaway, please consider waiting thirty days before entering another so that someone without your phenomenal streak of good fortune gets a chance to win some swag. They say Boy Scouts are “Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.” I was going to suggest this as the official TDOY motto and then I received a visit from the BSA’s legal team…which persuaded me to change my mind.
4) I will choose a winner (via the Random Number Generator at Random.org) the morning of June 30 and inform the lucky individual via e-mail shortly thereafter. I will also not only try to have this announcement up on the blog in a timely manner but attempt the additional daring feat of getting the prize out to the winner. (I’ve been getting pretty good at this…though not as good as I would like.)
The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show: The First 20 Episodes is classic radio comedy at its best and would make a wonderful gift for the old-time radio fan in your family…though personally, I wouldn’t blame you if you kept it for yourself and got them something else instead: that’s why the Good Lord created Cracker Barrel, you know. But you can’t win if you don’t enter…and remember: Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is the phrase that pays!