Wednesday, January 29, 2020

You Know The Voice: Paul Frees (1955)

When we say Paul Frees worked for just about everybody in Hollywood, we're not kidding.

Paul makes a rare appearance in a supporting role on The Bob Cummings Show, aka Love That Bob, during its first season in the winter of 1955. In "Bob Becomes a Genius", Bob Collins (Cummings) is reluctant to do a photo shoot with a tempermental actress, and Frees plays a fellow actor hired by said diva to put the heat on Collins.

Paul appears around the 13 minute mark. Many thanks to Hal Horn at The Horn Section for the tip.

Hal talks about the episode in detail over at his blog.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Jana of The Jungle in The Golden Idol of The Gorgas (1978)

Let's take a trip with Jana of The Jungle as she solves the mystery of "The Golden Idol of The Gorgas":

It's a pity WB hasn't seen fit to bring Jana back, but when you consider they also own the 1976-82 Filmation Tarzan, which was part of the impetus for Hanna-Barbera and Doug Wildey introducing Jana, maybe they're just not interested. Their loss.

Rating: B.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Rein-Toon-Ation: Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs (2019)

This is no way to mark The Flintstones' 60th anniversary.

To be fair, Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs, starring Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm, has been in development since 2018, and was intended for Boomerang's streaming service here in the US. It'll debut on Boomerang in the UK next month, after its American counterpart basically rejected it.

This clip might help explain why:

Fans will remember that even as a baby, Bamm-Bamm was gifted with super strength. Intelligence? Not so much. I'm guessing the kids are the same age they were depicted in 1996's Cave Kids. Animator Mark Marek has worked on other series for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon (i.e. Breadwinners), and his style is influenced by Butch Hartman (Fairly Oddparents), with a side order of John Kricfalusi, especially in how Fred (Jeff Bergman) is drawn.

Why did it fail here? Because the morons in charge of Da Boom worked butt backwards in preparing the show. They sent test clips to subscribers after the pilot had been released, for example, instead of testing the pilot before release, as television networks traditionally do. Also, they couldn't be bothered promoting the show by airing it on either CN or Boomerang over the air. WB simply decided to cut their losses, as only one season was produced, and now the UK gets the scraps.

Judging from the above clip, Bamm-Bamm should've been able to take that "Little Shop of Horrors" knock-off out with his fists instead of his club, but what do I know?

Rating: C.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Saturtainment: Musty Musketeers (1954)

The Three Stooges are in medevial times in 1954's "Musty Musketeers", a remake of "Fiddlers Three", which was released six years earlier.

"Musty" aired tonight on Me-TV, which now has the Stooges airing every weekend. Unfortunately, due to too many commercials, it was heavily edited for time.

Standard fare of the period, even if it'd been to the recycling bin.

Rating: B.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Toonfomercial: An animated ad for Campbell's chicken soups (1967)

Here's a tune-ful commercial for Campbell's Chicken soup line. Bob Eubanks (The Newlywed Game) is the announcer:

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Saturtainment: Go Go Gophers in He's For The Berries (1966)

"He's For The Berries" is the series premiere of Go Go Gophers, believe it or else. Anyway, Col. Kit Coyote (Kenny Delmar) decides to take a nap before going berry picking. And therein lies the story.....

The theme song is performed by the three-man cast--Delmar, George S. Irving, & Sandy Becker. The series would get better, but not by much, as time progresses.

Rating: B-.

Monday, January 20, 2020

You Know The Voice: Pamela Segall-Adlon (1992)

Back then, she was just Pamela Segall, a young actress who would later be heard on King of The Hill (as Bobby) and other cartoons. Then, Fox gave her a chance to appear in front of the camera.

That chance was Down The Shore, a summer hit that managed to lurch forward into the fall season, only to disappear in the spring of 1993. Pamela appeared in 13 episodes as Miranda, including this offering, which was rebroadcast on New Year's Eve of '92:

Edit, 4/1/22: The video's been privatized, and the poster has all of the available complete episodes. Soon as we can find one that isn't privatized, we'll post it.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Toon Rock: Yellow Submarine (1968)

The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" was originally released two years before the namesake movie came out. The character designs for the movie were by avant-garde artist Peter Max, as you can plainly see.

Worth noting: The band's ABC animated series was out of production, and actor Lance Percival worked on the movie,  but did not reprise his voice roles from the show, which were performed by other actors. And, no, Paul Frees wasn't asked back, either. Go figure.

Here's the video:

Toonfomercial: Old King Cole had Post Toasties for breakfast? (1955)

Nursery rhyme characters like Old King Cole must've been in the public domain by the 50's. How else to explain Post's ad agency using Cole to shill for Post Toasties corn flakes....

Friday, January 17, 2020

Game Time: A Post Cereals sports promotion (1969)

In 1969, Post did its part to promote youth sports with this promotion. I can safely assume it was '69, because Sugar Rice Krinkles & Crispy Critters were off shelves soon after. Rice Krinkles, in fact, was rebooted as the Flintstones-inspired Fruity Pebbles (followed by Cocoa Pebbles). They tried rebooting Crispy Critters in the late 80's, but it didn't take.

This might have been a case of sportscasting legend Marv Albert, at the time the radio voice of the Knicks before signing with NBC, doing his first national work.

"Early 70's" is incorrect.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Remembering Rocky Johnson

The news has just crossed this desk that former WWE tag team champion Rocky Johnson, father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, has passed away at 75.

Billed in most places as "Soulman" Rocky Johnson, he captured tag titles and regional singles titles across the globe. From 1983, here's Johnson & Tony Atlas in a TV squash on Championship Wrestling:

Yep, ya might say Dwayne made his first TV appearance at this taping. Rest in peace, Rocky.

A complete episode of Soul Train (sans commercials) (1977)

From season 7 of Soul Train (national syndication):

Thought we'd do things a wee bit different this time. In this case, we're serving up a complete episode of the series as it aired on Bounce, but with the commercials edited off. Musical guests are The Emotions & Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. No rating, just a public service. Enjoy the show.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Lone Ranger vs. The Trickster (1966)

From season 1 of The Lone Ranger animated series from 1966:

The very first short pits the Masked Man (Michael Rye) & Tonto (Shep Menken) against "The Trickster" (guest star Howard Morris, who went uncredited), a master of disguise who plots to kidnap the governor. Not to be confused, of course, with the Flash's foe of the same name, who was a little more inventive than this clown......

Rating: B.

Monday, January 13, 2020

From Primetime to Daytime: An early portrait of a troubled youth (Dragnet, 1967)

Dragnet, having been revived as a mid-season replacement at the beginning of 1967, began its second season with "The Grenade". Seems Jack Webb and his staff of writers, in this case Robert C. Dennis, had a handle on societal ills affecting the youth of the 60's.

Consider, then, the case of Gerald Paulson (Mickey Sholdar, ex-The Farmer's Daughter). As explained by Paulson himself, his father passed away, and his mother remarried. However, as the story progresses, we begin to see that Gerald hasn't entirely connected with his stepfather. After pouring acid on a classmate's jacket in a darkened movie theatre, Gerald is first brought to the Georgia St. Juvenile precinct. However, things go from bad to worse when he doesn't get invited to a party being given by a girl he seems to be interested in.

Jan-Michael Vincent (billed as Michael Vincent, a year away from Danger Island) and Heather Menzies (later of Logan's Run, and better remembered as Mrs. Robert Urich) co-star.

I first discovered this episode during Dragnet's syndicated run in the 70's. I'd later find out that Webb was a little more open to fight scenes during the series' 1st run in the 50's than he would be during this run, hence his struggle to disarm Paulson, but also to ensure the grenade didn't go off.

George Fenneman (ex-You Bet Your Life) and John Stephenson are the announcers.

Rating: A.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits: Jessie's Girl (1981)

I don't know if Rick Springfield had appeared on American Bandstand in the 70's, particularly to promote his American debut and/or Mission: Magic, but in 1981, Springfield was appearing on General Hospital as Dr. Noah Drake, and landed a record deal with RCA. The first single from "Working Class Dog", "Jessie's Girl", landed Springfield on Bandstand in May.

This video also includes an interview conducted by host Dick Clark:

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Toon Legends: Popeye in I'm in The Army Now (1936)

Popeye and Bluto have served in the Navy. But when Olive Oyl sees a recruitment poster at an Army office, she swoons, and coaxes the guys into enlisting. The usual chaos follows, of course.

Here's "I'm in The Army Now":

I remember seeing this back in the 70's, and couldn't wrap my head around why they went to a clip show episode so soon (this was the 42nd short in the series), let alone Popeye & Bluto, two Navy men, thinking they could jump to the Army.

Then again, it was a one-shot, after all.

Rating: B.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

You Know The Voices: Maurice LaMarche & Rob Paulsen (2019)

Scope this out from Postmodern Jukebox:

The theme from Pinky & The Brain gets a cabaret workout from singer Emily Goglia. Meanwhile, Rob Paulsen (Pinky) & Maurice LaMarche (Brain) are the bartenders, and get to do some schtick in between!

Makes ya wonder if they'd do that with Animaniacs or Tiny Toon Adventures.......

Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits: The Four Legged Zoo (1973)

"The Four Legged Zoo", written and sung by Bob Dorough, was one of the first Schoolhouse Rock entries, from February 1973. Yes, this was a mid-season debut, believe it or else.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Saturtainment: Go Go Gophers in Root Beer Riot (1966)

The Go Go Gophers present another curiosity.

Running Board and Ruffled Feather discover that the soldiers have cut off their water supply. Having a faucet in the teepee is one thing, but a water pipeline? Anyway, the Gophers have a solution. They always do. Here's "Root Beer Riot":

There's always a bad apple in the bunch, the army's being Criff.

Rating: B.

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Isis in Year of The Dragon (1976)

From season 2 of The Secrets of Isis:

Isis (Joanna Cameron) helps a Chinese-American teen reconnect with her father and overcome the shame of his old world ways. Victor Sen Yung (ex-Bonanza) guest stars in "Year of The Dragon":

Standard fare of the period.

Rating: B.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: A complete episode of Moby Dick & The Mighty Mightor (1967)

Finding episodes of Moby Dick & The Mighty Mightor are increasingly hard to find.

This particular show was uploaded to YouTube in 2018:

Little Rok (Norma McMillan) headlines the two Mightor shorts, "Rok & His Gang" & "A Big Day For Little Rok". We'll assume that he would be the equivalent of an elementary school student, so enamored of his hero, Mightor, that he fancies himself to be Mightor's sidekick, but trouble always follows.

In between, Moby Dick and Scooby the seal (who predated Scooby-Doo by two years, both voiced by Don Messick) have to rescue Tom & Tub from "Toadus, Ruler of The Dead Ships":

You have to take what you can get.

Rating: B+.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

From Primetime to Daytime: Juvenile Genius (Dragnet, 1969)

I've lost track of how many times I've seen this episode of Dragnet.

Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and Officer Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan) are accustomed to busting adult crooks. And, then, there's the case of a juvenile gang whose leader seems to be a couple of steps ahead of the police.

Buddy Foster (Mayberry RFD), brother of future Oscar winner Jodie Foster, and one of fellow blogger Ivan Shreve's favorite actors, guest stars.

Rating: A.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Family Toons: The Flintstones Meet The Frankenstones (Fred & Barney Meet The Thing, 1979)

Oh, did Hanna-Barbera fumble the ball with the Frankenstones, or what?

The monster family had no true ties to the Frankenstone who'd appeared in a primetime special with The Flintstones, but the producers decided that, after nearly 20 years of the Flintstones & Rubbles, and rather than bring back the Gruesomes, it was time for a new family in Bedrock.

John Stephenson is heard here as Frank, doing a Boris Karloff mimic that he'd used in previous roles, including on The New Scooby-Doo Movies a few years earlier. When the Frankenstones were given their own feature on The Flintstone Comedy Show the next year, Stephenson was inexplicably replaced by Charles Nelson Reilly (Match Game, ex-Uncle Croc's Block, Lidsville, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir), only because they wanted conflict between Frank & Fred, even though their wives were buds. They were trying to recreate the adversarial vibe between Fred & Barney. By 1980, Ruta Lee (ex-High Rollers) was cast as Mrs. Frankenstone, but isn't heard here.

Here's "The Flintstones Meet The Frankenstones". The title cards and credits have been deleted.

As you can see from the above screen cap, Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm were reverted to toddlers for this one, but went back to being teens the next season, all so they could set up Frank's teenage son, Freaky (Paul Reubens), as a secondary love interest for Pebbles. Con-fuze-ing!

Rating: B.

You Know The Voice: Julie Bennett (1969)

In addition to being a prolific voice actress during the 60's & 70's, Julie Bennett also spent some time in front of the camera.

For those of you who never knew what she looked like, Julie turns up in a 1969 episode of Dragnet, making her appearance around the 19 1/2 minute mark. She's on the wrong side of the law in this one, working in tandem with Anthony Eisley (ex-Hawaiian Eye). Both were frequent members of Jack Webb's repertory company.

For you older viewers, at the open, Webb schools us on the history of horse racing in California.......