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Brian Miller
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Posted: 28 March 2020 at 2:15pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Finished TIGER KING. Wow. What a deplorable group of degenerates.
Sadly, there was no face eating by tigers, but every one of them
deserved it. That lady in Tampa more than any of them.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 March 2020 at 6:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Continuing with MY NAME IS EARL. Something of a drop in the second half of the third season.
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James Best
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Posted: 29 March 2020 at 6:24pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Went retro today watching two episodes of STAR TREK: The Original Series.

First up was "Where No Man Has Gone Before", which I had only seen snippets of in the past. One of the more enjoyable episodes I have seen and some good performances as well.

Second was "The Apple" from the second season of the show. Not as good as some of the other episodes I have watched, but solid overall. And it was nice to look at Celeste Yarnall :-) 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 March 2020 at 7:10pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

From the sublime to....

“Where No Man has Gone Before”, the second pilot, is one of my top ten TOS episodes. “The Apple”, tho... Keith Andes’ dead straight performance elevates it, somewhat, but it cannot escape being a rather clumsy rehash of “The Return of the Archons”.

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Tim O Neill
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Posted: 30 March 2020 at 6:26pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply



THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR - three episodes:

Season 1 - Janet Leigh, Simon and Garfunkel (1967)
Season 2 - Bette Davis, Mickey Rooney, The Who (1967)
Season 2 - Arthur Godfrey, Moms Mabley, The Bee Gees (1968)

This show is a big missing piece of comedy history for me. It never showed up
in syndication when I was a kid, and I wasn't a fan enough of the brothers
Smothers to seek it out. I knew more about their network fights than I did
about the actual comedy and music of the show. I was most intrigued by their
writing staff, which featured Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, Bob Einstein (Super
Dave, Marty Funkhouser), Albert Brooks, Don Novello (Fr. Guido Sarducci) and
Rob Reiner.

And none of those guys are in these three episodes! To the show's credit, they
hired those younger writers as the series went into its later, third season
episodes. Besides Mason Williams, I wasn't familiar with many of the names on
the writing staff.

Each show was very good - at first I thought it was more tame than its legend,
but there were spots that had some punch. It does have all of the trappings of
a late 60s, early 70s variety show. Each episode had guests for old and young
audiences. It wasn't just anarchy - it was a network show back when families
had one TV to watch together.

I have a better appreciation for the Smothers Brothers comedy after seeing
these - each opening routine was gold. Their concept is a strong one, but the
actual execution is really much stronger than I remember.   Tommy has such
good comic timing that I fear I thought he was an actual dumbbell when I was a
kid. It didn't help that I only ever heard audio clips - seeing them is a big part
of the routine.

Some of my favorite moments were from Pat Paulsen - if you don't know who
he is, he is worth a look. His delivery is dry as a bone, and add to that some
brilliant political double-talk, and you have some amazing moments. If Buster
Keaton sounded like Pat Paulsen, he would have had a huge career in sound
films.

Moms Mabley did a killer stand up set, and then followed up with a great
appearance in a gag commercial where she played a call operator. Really
fantastic.

It was wild to see Janet Leigh and Bette Davis go all in on the comedy
sketches. They really committed to the material.

The music was top notch - Simon and Garfunkel were great, and it was fun to
see Dick and Tommy join them in vocals at the end of "59th Street Bridge
Song." Simon and Garfunkel even sang the narration to an epic western
sketch.

The Who's performance is legendary and it was good to see it in the context of
the whole show. Drummer Keith Moon added extra explosives to the finale's
pyrotechnic special effects, and the final explosion singed Pete Townshend's
hair and lodged part of a drum cymbal into Moon.


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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 02 April 2020 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I first was able to watch "The Smothers Brothers
Comedy Hour" in edited form on the E!Channel back
in the early 1990s, after I became a fan first in
the 1980s listening to their comedy albums from the
library. I bought the show on DVD, but only select
episodes were collected onto two season separated
sets.

Tim, if you don't mind, how did you view the show
recently, in what format? I am curious because the
only DVD sets available were the "best of," and
thise were for seasons two and three, with no
release I know of for the first season.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 02 April 2020 at 10:23am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Albert Brooks, Bob Einstein (Super Dave, Marty Funkhouser)

*****

Also, brother of Albert Brooks
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 02 April 2020 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I forget which season it was, but a dark-haired Steve Martin did appear in one of the musical numbers on the show, along with other staff members.

There was also this appearance: LINK!
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 02 April 2020 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

About Bob Einstein: He regularly popped up on the show as Officer Judy.
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Tim O Neill
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Posted: 02 April 2020 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply


Matt H: "Tim, if you don't mind, how did you view the show
recently, in what format? I am curious because the
only DVD sets available were the "best of," and
thise were for seasons two and three, with no
release I know of for the first season."

*****

It is being featured on GetTV on Sunday nights - I stockpiled a few episodes on
my DVR and watched three in a row, and now I just want to see more. Get TV
is a digital substation that is available for people who get their TV using just a
digital antenna. My cable company, Spectrum, buries that station deep into
their channel line-up, but it's worth keeping an eye on this and other digital
substations like Antenna TV and Cozi Tv for random bits of TV history. I tried
watching SONNY AND CHER episode, but it was too awful to stand. I recorded
a Johnny Cash special that I am looking forward to watching soon.

I don't have those Smothers Brothers DVDs, but they appear too expensive to
pick up at this time, so I will keep my eyes peeled. I did see they only feature
"best-of" on the DVDs as you said, which is not great. I imagine this show is
similar to WKRP in that it must be expensive to get artist clearances for
everyone they featured.

And thank you for posting the Steve Martin clip! I'm currently reading David
Bianculli's DANGEROUSLY FUNNY, which is a real page turner. This show
came about at a perfect storm of political and societal change that was
causing a shift in both comedy and music - both of which are reflected in the
show.


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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 April 2020 at 1:40pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Into the fourth season of MY NAME IS EARL. Thought I sensed a drop in quality about halfway thru S3, but it seems mostly back on track.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 02 April 2020 at 1:46pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The 4th season does get back on track. And, unfortunately, it’s the last
one.
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