Stuff You Should Know · Television

You could get lucky…but it will be tough luck!

On radio and television, Jack Benny created for himself a legendary character that possessed many unflattering qualities: avarice, cowardice, narcissism, etc.  Such an individual would be tiresome to be around (if the tell-all books being written by ex-White House staffers is any indication), so to make Benny more sympathetic, his hard-working scribes also infused him… Continue reading You could get lucky…but it will be tough luck!

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Classic Movies · Movies · Television

Book Review: Shooting the Breeze with Baby Boomer Stars

Edward “Torchy” Smith may be a familiar name/voice to those of you who make listening to IHeartRadio a routine activity.  He’s the host of Baby Boomers Talk Radio, a program that from its inception has made its mission to appeal to what Smith calls “the new Lawrence Welk generation minus the bubbles” by interviewing celebrities… Continue reading Book Review: Shooting the Breeze with Baby Boomer Stars

Classic Movies

Adventures in Blu-ray: Joseph H. Lewis Double Feature – My Name is Julia Ross (1945) and So Dark the Night (1946)

He was known as “Wagon Wheel Joe” to his peers in the motion picture industry—a mocking nickname given to him by those who edited his B-Westerns during director Joseph H. Lewis’ early moviemaking days.  Joe is a solid example of the kind of film director who, to borrow an observation from author Gregory Mank on fellow… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Joseph H. Lewis Double Feature – My Name is Julia Ross (1945) and So Dark the Night (1946)

Stuff You Should Know · Television

It’s not E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed…but beggars can’t be choosers

Many apologies, cartooners, for allowing the blog to go dark for the past few weeks; there has been much outside activity here at Rancho Yesteryear—notably some extracurricular projects plus preparations for an event that looks like it’s shaping up to become what I have decided to label The Great DVD Purge of 2019.  This one won’t… Continue reading It’s not E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed…but beggars can’t be choosers

Television

“I’m going down the pub!”

From 1965 to 1975, British TV audiences made Till Death Us Do Part—a taboo-breaking program about a working-class family whose patriarch (played by Warren Mitchell) wasn’t shy about making his uncomfortably racist views loud and clear—one of the BBC’s most popular situation comedies.  Created by Johnny Speight, who based much of the show on his own upbringing (a situation he… Continue reading “I’m going down the pub!”

Movies

Adventures in Blu-ray: Willie Dynamite (1974)

If the 2005 film Hustle & Flow taught us anything, it’s that “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”—the tune in the movie that won an Academy Award as Best Original Song. William Andrew Short (Roscoe Orman)—known to friends and the ladies in his employ as “Willie Dynamite”—is a testament to this; he’s the Avis… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Willie Dynamite (1974)

Television

Children should be seen…and heard, to be honest

The success of importing the BBC’s Monty Python’s Flying Circus to public television stations in the mid-70s led to a “British Invasion” of sitcoms and comedy shows that, sadly, have been abandoned because these same stations are apparently unable to see offerings beyond the overexposed Are You Being Served?  I rag on AYBS a lot, but it’s mostly due to its saturation in the… Continue reading Children should be seen…and heard, to be honest