On December 3rd last year, the CBS Television Network paid fitting homage to the woman whose 1967-78 variety hour not only proved to be the gold standard of that type of series, but the last truly great example of the genre as well. In one of the extras on The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special—which… Continue reading “…just to have a laugh and sing a song…”
In correspondence that Dan Rowan composed to author John D. MacDonald in 1972, the longtime Laugh-In co-host/straight man observed: “Bland and nice have set in and we could be the Nelson family doing a variety show. Why is this? Maybe because we have run out of things to say.” Rowan’s ruminations about the series that was… Continue reading “Well, Dick…it’s time to say goodnight.”
In the fifth season of NBC’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, the comedy/variety program commemorated its 100th telecast by inviting to mingle with its regulars several of the show’s “alumni”: Judy Carne, Henry Gibson, Teresa Graves, Arte Johnson, and Jo Anne Worley. (Goldie Hawn had also been asked, but she declined.) The special also made good… Continue reading “I could show you scars that would tear your heart out…”
February 8, 1969 – Jackie Gleason plays host to another corpulent Jack (though he’s lost a bit of weight), famed insult comic Jack E. Leonard: LEONARD: Ladies and gentlemen…you’ve all heard of Frank Sinatra, The Voice…you’ve seen Jimmy Durante, The Nose… (indicating Gleason) You are now looking at The Lump… (Gleason breaks out in laughter)… Continue reading And away we go!
On the third show of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In's fourth season (September 28, 1970), stars Dan Rowan and Dick Martin prepare to welcome back a familiar face: DAN: Aren’t you excited this week? DICK: Why? DAN: Huh? DICK: Why? DAN: Goldie Hawn’s our guest star! DICK: Goldie Hawn a guest star? DAN: Guest star! DICK: Well,… Continue reading “Mervin…that was magnificent!“
In a featurette included on the Time Life DVD set Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Third Season—a stand-alone release that hit your friendly neighborhood brick-and-mortars this March—actress-comedienne Lily Tomlin reminisces that she first met Laugh-In executive producer George Schlatter while auditioning for The Garry Moore Show, a 1966-67 CBS-TV variety hour that was a… Continue reading Blow in my ear, and I’ll follow you anywhere
Back in June of last year, I did a post on the former site of the blog about Time Life's bodacious DVD release of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In to fans and collectors. It's the complete series; all six seasons comprised of 140 telecasts (and the pilot) and the sweet thing is that if you're unable… Continue reading Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls
Comedian Jackie Gleason’s television legacy is unquestionably that of “The Honeymooners,” which began as a segment on Cavalcade of Stars, the first TV variety series that he hosted on the DuMont network from 1950 to 1952 before being lured away to CBS in the fall of 1952. From 1952 to 1970, The Great One featured… Continue reading How sweet it is!
I know October is a month that we usually associate with Halloween and other things spooky…but to the folks at Time Life, it’s an opportune time to make certain there’s plenty of classic episodes from The Carol Burnett Show available for the DVD-buying public. Why October, I hear you asking? Well, it’s because Carol and… Continue reading A Christmas Carol
I know, I know…I lure you good people over to the new Thrilling Days of Yesteryear blog as if I were someone with a panel van and candy, and then I don’t post anything new in close to two weeks. I apologize profusely—it looks as if normal blogging has resumed. One of the recent TDOY… Continue reading “Go to the Slauson Cutoff…”