Classic Movies · Television

“Ah ah ah ah…don’t touch that dial!”

After six years of drawing the comic strip Dumb Dora (about a brunette who “wasn’t as dumb as she looked”), Murat Bernard “Chic” Young handed it off to artist Paul Fung once Chic decided to embark on a new venture.  That new strip would soon become one of the most popular newspaper comics of all… Continue reading “Ah ah ah ah…don’t touch that dial!”

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Television

What a girl, what a whirl, what a life

Though she had firmly established herself in motion pictures as America’s favorite man-chaser, it could be argued that comedienne Joan Davis really achieved major fame in radio.  From 1941 to 1943 she was a regular on Rudy Vallee’s popular Sealtest variety show and when Vallee went into the Coast Guard to “do his bit” for… Continue reading What a girl, what a whirl, what a life

Classic Movies

“At last—America’s most beloved ‘Funnies’ family on the screen!”

This November 24, the longest running comic strip currently being published in the United States will celebrate its centennial birthday.  Technically, Gasoline Alley is the second-longest running strip of all time; the champion remains The Katzenjammer Kids, who enjoyed a staggering 109-year run in “the funny papers” (1897-2006) and is still in syndication today (though… Continue reading “At last—America’s most beloved ‘Funnies’ family on the screen!”

Television

Adventures in Blu-ray: Television’s Lost Classics, Volume 1

I recently celebrated a birthday a little over a week ago, and my sister Kat gifted me with a copy of David Bianculli’s The Platinum Age of Television, a book that posits that while the 1950s may have been the medium’s “Golden Age,” the offerings on what the late Harlan Ellison sardonically called “the glass… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Television’s Lost Classics, Volume 1

Classic Movies

Adventures in Blu-ray: Road to Rio (1947)

I’ve been making a concerted effort to cut back on my DVD/Blu-ray purchases...but to borrow a line from a classic broadcast of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show: “It ain’t been easy, Clyde...”  To illustrate: Kino Lorber has an August 2018 Studio Classics Sale in progress right now (it ends August 28), and when I went… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Road to Rio (1947)

Classic Movies

Adventures in Blu-ray: Down Three Dark Streets (1954)

It’s another all-nighter for Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Zack Stewart (Kenneth Tobey), who’s got a full slate of cases in his inbox.  His primary investigation is tracking down the whereabouts of fugitive Joe Walpo (Joe Bassett)—a law-breaking miscreant already wanted for gunning down a gas station attendant (William Schallert!) a few days earlier.  Stewart’s… Continue reading Adventures in Blu-ray: Down Three Dark Streets (1954)

Classic Movies · Television

From the DVR: Guns, Girls and Gangsters (1959)

You may recall that on Sunday (though it seems so long ago—doesn't it?) I did a post here on the blog that briefly described my happy dance over our free Epix movie channel weekend.  Meanwhile, at the paying gig, I wrote up an anniversary essay on The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, which made its radio debut on June 17, 1947. … Continue reading From the DVR: Guns, Girls and Gangsters (1959)