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What you were watching on Saturday nights 30 years ago.

The making of HBO's classic "Starship" feature presentation introduction clip. Also, what "Starship" may have looked like if done by Best Brains.
posted by mediocre on Dec 14, 2013 - 35 comments

Silence Kit

Ernie Kovacs' groundbreaking television special, aired ten days after he died.
posted by timsteil on May 19, 2012 - 20 comments

A half-century ago, in New Rochelle...

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the debut of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (chosen "All Time Favorite Sitcom" by the readers of a blogger who used to Write and Produce M*A*S*H and Cheers, fergunisakes), there was a salute/reunion staged by American Cinematheque at which series creator Carl Reiner (aka Mel Brooks' straightman) told of the genesis of the show (if you have problems with the video, here's someone else's written account of the same thing) and Dick Van Dyke sang (with backup) the never-broadcast words to the show's iconic theme song. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Oct 10, 2011 - 40 comments

at 18:43: "...which kind of explains why there's never been a funny show about lawyers"

In 1979, the producers of "Taxi" were hot, and got carte blanche to make another sitcom for ABC. So they adapted John Jay Osborn's novel "The Associates"*, his follow-up to "The Paper Chase" (which, as a TV series, had just been cancelled by CBS) about young lawyers at a prestigious New York firm. It starred a very young Martin Short as a very young (and surprisingly normal) Junior Associate, Wilfred Hyde-White as a very old Senior Partner and some other folks you may or may not recognize. It bombed. But the next-to-last episode to be aired before the plug was pulled was something you would never expect any broadcast network in 1980 (or maybe even now) to show, in which young lawyer Short represented a network against a rebellious producer, titled "The Censors". And yes, that is John Ritter as a Hollywood actor in character.
Bonus content: "The Associates" pilot episode in two parts. via the world-class blog by Ken Levine of M*A*S*H, Cheers and the Seattle Mariners
* TOTALLY not related to John Grisham's "The Associate"

posted by oneswellfoop on Aug 3, 2011 - 15 comments

This Man is The One!

A comedy about an English adventurer, very much a product of his time, frozen for decades only to be defrosted in modern-day London, where his challenges range from fighting petty thugs to understanding a world with totally different behaviors and sexual mores*, to the inevitable face-off with a villain from his own time.

And all this with a great swinging 60's vibe! [more inside]
posted by John Kenneth Fisher on Jan 15, 2011 - 29 comments

Be Seeing Him

As we anxiously/eagerly/fearfully await the premiere of the long-in-coming (previously) remake (previously) of that TV Cult Classic (previously) "The Prisoner" (previously), I am delighted that AMC has put all 17 full episodes of the original Patrick McGoohan series online for you to see, unedited, uninterrupted, also not pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed or debriefed but, yes, numbered.
posted by wendell on Jan 8, 2009 - 34 comments

Presented in the belief that divorce is America’s greatest danger to the home and the community...

Divorce Hearing was a television program where couples aired their grievances to Dr. Paul Popenoe, who would attempt to help them figure out how to make things work. Popenoe is notable for few things: he wasn't a real doctor - his highest academic achievement was receving an honorary degree from Occidental College; he founded the first "marriage clinic" in the US in Los Angeles in 1930 and created and authored the long-running "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" column for Ladies Home Journal. Oh yeah, he was a eugenics proponent, too. (Discovered via.)
posted by beaucoupkevin on Jan 28, 2008 - 8 comments

Don't Say Auntie

Although such records weren’t kept prior to 1968, it is widely accepted that had they been, Uncle Tonoose would be the hands down leader in the category of "most spit takes caused."
It's The Top 10 Uncles in TV Comedy History, guaranteed to bring back TV memories (including many justifiably repressed ones). Regrettably, with one glaring omission that any MeFite should notice. But hey, what about an equivalent list of notable TV Aunts? Or are there any beyond Aunt Bee (or as most Mayberry residents pronounced it, Aint Bee)?
posted by wendell on Sep 5, 2003 - 8 comments

And that's Uncle Joe, he's a-movin' kinda slow at the Junction, Petticoat Junction!

And that's Uncle Joe, he's a-movin' kinda slow at the Junction, Petticoat Junction! Folks, I'm going to leave you something today that will haunt you for the rest of your days. Sure, there are different strokes for different folks: from transvestism to babification, right up to the ultimate step of medical gender switching. But for me, this is a brand new switch on a really strange theme..
posted by Perigee on Feb 23, 2001 - 14 comments

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