I Love Lucy: Rare Color Footage from 1951

Color footage secretly shot on the set of the original I Love Lucy!

Even in the early fifties, television producers routinely banned studio audience members from bringing cameras of any kind onto the set.  Luckily, every so often there are one or two attendees who are smarter than their “schmuck off the street” appearance might suggest.  If you’ve ever wondered what the Ricardo apartment looked like in color, you’re curiosity is about the be satisfied.

Click below to see the vid.

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Today’s Match Game Contestant is… Maggie Dewitt!

Says Maggie: “I’m originally from Phoenix, Arizona and now I live in beautiful Santa Barbara!  I’m a cashier clerk.  And I’ve just recently celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary to a great guy who’s sitting out there in the audience! And my hobbies are bowling, tennis, golf, and riding my motorcycle… they call me Motorcycle Mama!”

Gene: “That’s an inexpensive way to get around.”

Maggie: “You’re darn right with gas prices what they are these days!”

Click through to see Maggie’s total Match Game winnings.

Theme Song Graveyard #2: “Different Worlds” from Angie – Maureen McGovern, Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel (ABC 1979)

Fresh off her success in Saturday Night Fever and long before her turn as Evie’s mom on the syndicated Out of this World, Donna Pescow took on the title role opposite a pre-Airplane! Robert Hays in the ABC sitcom Angie.


Pescow was a working-class coffee shop waitress from an Italian family who falls in love with Hays, a blue-blooded pediatrician from the other side of the Philly tracks. Rounding out the cast of culture-clashers were Sharon Spelman as Brad’s uppity sister Joyce, Debralee Scott as Angie’s daffy, accident-prone sister Marie, and a pre-Everybody Loves Raymond Doris Roberts playing pretty much the exact same mother character she went on to win three Emmys for, but with red hair instead of gray, and no Peter Boyle sitting in a chair taking pot shots at her.

The theme song for Angie, Entitled “Different Worlds” is probably better remembered than the series itself.  It was written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel who, individually and together, were responsbile for the themes to Wide World of Sports, Monday Night Football, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, The Paper Chase, and Wonder Woman as well as Roberta Flack’s 1973 Grammy-winning song “Killing Me Softly with His Song.”  Sung by Maureen McGovern, the radio release of “Different Worlds” cracked the Top 40 on the Pop chart and spent two weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, whatever the hell that is.

After a very successful first season, Angie was shifted from following Mork & Mindy on Thursday nights to following Happy Days on Tuesday nights, and failed to live up to network expectations, despite sophisticated gags like this:

After two seasons and thirty-something episodes, poor little Angie got the ax.  I would guess that viewers mourned the loss of the theme song more than the show itself.  I know I did.  I really miss television that spells everything out for you in the opening credits.

Example:

1.) Brad and Angie are perfect for each other!
2.) Brad and Angie have eccentric relatives!
3.) If birds fly near you in an open area, your outfit and all the birthday presents you just bought are ruined!
4.) It’s always sunny in Philadelphia!
5.) Balloons are pretty when they’re different colors and in a great big bunch!
6.) Women should NOT be trusted with food (Salt, apples, pretzels, roast turkey and… Ahh!!  Watch out for that wacky whipped cream cannister!)

Click below the hear “Different Worlds” and see more Angie-related shenanigans.

Click here to listen to “Different Worlds” the theme from TV’s “Angie”

“General Hospi-Tale”: Sung by The Afternoon Delights (1981)

For those of you who weren’t around in the early 1980s when daytime soaps were at their indisputable peak, The Afternoon Delights are ready to catch you up with their 1981 novelty song re-capping the happenings on the King of All Soaps, General Hospital.

My introduction to this show involved a pre-Robin Mattson Heather Webber dropping LSD into Diana Taylor’s iced tea as part of her plan to drive Diana to the mental ward and  claim for her own Diana’s baby, who was actually Heather’s biological child sold months earlier on the black market.  What Heather didn’t know was that the lazy susan the identical iced teas were sitting on was accidentally turned on when she wasn’t looking, and poor Heather ended up dosing herself.  My mind exploded at the idea that this is what grown-ups got to do with their time.  It explains a lot about my own personal life choices as an adult, but that’s a topic for another post.

The song chronicles the story lines happening in Port Charles post “Luke Rapes Laura at the Campus Disco” and pre “Remote Island Housing Evil Machine That Will Freeze the World” (as indicated by the line,“How it ends up nobody knows!”)

My favorite lyric in the song has to be “Alan was the father… of course.  And he won’t give Monica… a divorce!”  That’s followed closely by, “Amy Vining likes to blab… Richard Simmons helps fight flab!”

The bad rap and the slutty horn section just add to the fun.

Click through to hear the song for yourself

Listen to The Afternoon Delights Sing “General Hospi-tale”

Julie from My Office Didn’t Know Who Shot J.R. (R.I.P. Larry Hagman)

Julie is a bright, capable young woman. I think she’s 24 or so. She has a big future in television production, but she doesn’t know who Larry Hagman is, she has never watched an episode of Dallas in her life, and when you mention the phrase “Who Shot JR?” to her, she tilts her head like a baffled golden retriever.

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My Game with Discover Card


The lady at Discover Card said, “Okay, in order for me to send you a replacement card I need to ask you a series of multiple choice questions. I got very excited and said, “Oh! I’m great at this. Let me go get comfortable!”

I plopped down on the couch and said, “Okay, go!”

She said, “Here is your question. Which of these streets in Beverly Hills did you once live on? Is it… A…”

Before she could read the possible answers, I yelled out, “Rexford! Rexford Drive!”

After a momentary pause, she went, “Ding ding ding ding ding!”

So now Discover Card will now get all my business. It’s that simple with me.

What’s My Line? Mystery Guest: Alfred Hitchcock (VIDEO)

In anticipation of HBO’s The Girl, premiering Saturday, October 20th with Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren and Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock, Tv Food and Drink is celebrating its favorite film director for the entire month of October.

Hitchcock made some of his most ambitious and acclaimed films between the years 1950 and 1960 including Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and finally Psycho in 1960. Not a bad ten years. Add to that the premiere of his highly-successful television anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1955, and you’ve got what is undoubtedly the biggest decade of his career.

This episode of What’s My Line? originally aired on September 12, 1954, right around the premiere of Rear Window. Hitch’s total lack of vocal disguise (and why should he bother…. he’s Alfred Hitchcock!) leads me to believe that the panel played along as long as they did for the fun of it… and because they knew how to make good television.  You can watch for yourself below.

Watch Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 Appearance on What’s My Line? here

Phyllis Diller in Stop-Motion, Singing “You’re Different!” From Mad Monster Party

When I pre-interviewed Phyllis Diller over the phone for her appearance later in the week on GSN Live, I told her that I knew all the lyrics to her song, “You’re Different,” from the 1967 stop-motion animated film Mad Monster Party. She laughed and said, “Well, you’ll have to sing it for me.” Though that may have just been a polite remark on her end, I took it far more seriously. When Phyllis Diller asks you to sing for her, you do it.

So in between segments, I ran over to where she was seated on the set, leaned down, cupped my hand against her ear and sang her the first two verses as quietly and as quickly as I could. I was met with a giant trademark Phyllis cackle, and when I finished she placed my hands between hers and said, “Thanks for the memory.” One of my favorite television producer moments, and one I intend to share with everyone willing to lesson until my dying day.

Check out the song below. Then be sure to go sing it to someone you love and admire.

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Phyllis Diller’s First Television Appearance: You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx

Take a look below at some of Phyllis Diller’s very first television appearance…way back in 1957 on the Groucho Marx talk-game hybrid You Bet Your Life.  Hard to believe she was ever nervous about stand-up.  A welcome reminder that looking effortless at something you love requires lots and lots of commitment and fearlessness.

RIP Phyllis, and thank you for working so hard!

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