Monday, July 27, 2015

Stump the Hardcore Lucy Fan? It Can't Be Done!

I've mentioned before that I do a daily trivia challenge on Facebook's Classic TV Lovers' Haven page. Although I try to cover a variety of shows and stars in my questions, about once a week or so I find myself asking about I Love Lucy. More than any other show included, this is the one that classic TV fans know backwards and forwards.

With 10,000 members in the group, it usually takes no more than five minutes -- often less -- for someone to correctly answer a Lucy query. These are a few I've tried recently:

1.  What's the name of the movie for which Lucy and Ethel perform a publicity stunt (seen above) atop the Empire State Building?

2.  According to Lucy Ricardo, whose personal habits include "scratching himself, and peeling bananas with his feet"?

3.  After Ricky Ricardo refuses to appear in his wife's play A Tree Grows in Havana, what does Lucy retitle her drama?

4.  What did Ricky Ricardo do after reading - and misunderstanding - Lucy's note that read "BUY CAN ALL PET"?

If you're interested enough to read this blog, I'm guessing that you won't have much trouble answering these either. But if you're stumped, drop me a note. It's always nice to hear from a fellow Lucy fanatic.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Birthday Carroll

Hard to believe it's time to wish this lovely and talented lady a happy 80th birthday! Born Carol Diahann Johnson in the Bronx on July 17, 1935, she went on to build an impressive career as an actress and singer. Classic TV fans know her as the elegant Dominique Deveraux on Dynasty, Whitley Gilbert's mom on A Different World, and always as the pioneering star of the 1968-71 sitcom Julia. You can pay her an online visit at her official website, where she regularly posts news of a still-burgeoning career.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Matchlessly Funny

Like several game shows of its era, Match Game flourished largely on the strength of its celebrity panel. When that group was carefully chosen, and working at full steam, the show was lively, spontaneous fun. Although the game was billed by announcer Johnny Olson as "star-studded," fame outside the daytime TV arena wasn't necessarily the key to success as a panelist.

One of Match Game's biggest draws was an actress and singer who was, before the show caught on, a pretty minor celebrity at best. Brett Somers (1924-2007), born 91 years ago today, was initially booked at the suggestion of her longtime husband, television star Jack Klugman. After cracking wise about his wife on early Match Game episodes, he suggested to producers that they bring her on for a week, so that she could have a chance to reply. That week-long booking turned into a nine-year gig, amusing audiences with the playful bickering between her and Charles Nelson Reilly.

Somers exhibited a great sense of humor about herself and her work, as shown in one of my all-time favorite exchanges on that show. The question, as read by host Gene Rayburn, began: "Sally had the most useless job in the world..." Before he could get any farther, Brett cut in with her weary reply, "No, she didn't."

You're missed, Miss Somers.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Blast from the TV Past

One of the most commented-on posts lately in Classic TV Lovers' Haven began with this impromptu photo I took of a page from a 1975 TV Guide. 

Evidently it sparked memories in quite a few people, who had fond recollections of the days when the long-running TV magazine came in a digest size. Back then, for you young folks, it included detailed listings for what would be playing over the coming week, customized for dozens of different cities. This one shows the channels in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding cities (including Macon and Chattanooga, Tennessee), and a typical weekday afternoon filled with soap operas, game shows, and syndicated reruns of some favorite Baby Boomer shows.

Many who commented on my post remembered being excited by every year's Fall Preview issue of TV Guide, back when there was no Internet to track every detail of new and upcoming shows.

What would you have watched if you were in front of the TV set on this day in 1975? And if the answer to that is, "I wasn't born yet," please just keep it to yourself, OK?