THIS is what the 60s looked like... on NBC
April 18, 2010 3:54 AM   Subscribe

I was 10 in 1965 and TV was great!
posted by rmmcclay at 4:20 AM on April 18, 2010

The only thing I remember about MAD's parody of Get Smart is that the two opposing organizations were CHAOS and KONTROL.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:47 AM on April 18, 2010

Jack Davis is a god. Basically, anyone who even remotely ventured into caricature drawing over the past, oh, 50 years, has learned/stolen from Jack, whether they know it or not. Quite often today, you see artists repeating Davis' style, yet they have no idea who Jack Davis is. His style is like a secret handshake, passed down through the ages.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:02 AM on April 18, 2010 [7 favorites]

I ending up stealing more of my cartooning style from Don Martin, but Jack Davis was the Mad artist I really wanted to draw like.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:40 AM on April 18, 2010

Its great that we have so many choices now with Cable and DVDs, but there is something to be said for the limited channels of pre80's TV; if you lived in America (and watched TV) you have a shared past with everybody else living through that time because there were only 3 or 4 channels to choose from. I can see by that schedule that I wasn't watching a lot of NBC, but I definitely changed dials for the very groovy Man From Uncle., and I would guess (can't see the whole page) that it was NBC all the way on Saturday Nights.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:43 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I never missed "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." I was really jealous of Illya Kuryakin because all of the girls in my class were madly in love with him. My only regret is that no matter how much I practiced my karate chop, I was never able to render someone unconscious with a chop to the shoulder like Napolean Solo did every week on the show.
posted by digsrus at 6:44 AM on April 18, 2010

"My Mother the Car". I had forgotten about that.
posted by acrasis at 7:22 AM on April 18, 2010

Jack Davis is a god.

Yeah, that. Thanks for this post, that's a stunning illustration. The 1965 season is bit before my watching TV era, but I do remember having three main networks and the excitement of the new fall season. I don't even know if they have "seasons" anymore with television.

But yeah, Jack Davis. Here's some links to his album cover art. And some of his Tales From the Crypt EC covers. We really need a whole post just on Davis...
posted by marxchivist at 7:54 AM on April 18, 2010

It's misleading to call him Mad Magazine's Jack Davis, because by the 1960s the guy was all over the place: Movie posters (memorably, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, an ensemble comedy that plays to his ability to dozens of people into a churning mass while allowing each character to be individual and recognizable) Record covers, comics, newspaper caricatures, magazine illustrations, advertising... for all I know he even did courtroom sketching to relax in his free time. He even got to design a postage stamp, uncredited as all U.S.P.S. stamps are, but the style is unmistakable.

I remember reading an interview with Harvey Kurtzman, where he complained that while most of his artists had to be pushed to meet their deadlines for his comics, he had to urge Davis to slow down.
posted by ardgedee at 8:38 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes, calling him "Mad Magazine's Jack Davis" was an inaccurate bit of shorthand (this specific illustration was in TV Guide), but considering how influential he was to MAD's visual style, it's certainly not misleading.

And how weird is it that "My Mother the Car" is available for viewing on Hulu? I guess the show that was named "#2 Worst TV Series of All Time" in 2002 (Jerry Springer was #1) is looking better these days by comparison to current fare.

Still, I was disappointed that the one show I couldn't find a video clip of was "Camp Runamuck" (which I enjoyed immensely as a 10-year-old).
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:47 AM on April 18, 2010

One of my price possessions is a copy of the VW dealer/car show brochure that Jack Davis did for the special Sport Edition of the '73 Super Beetle that I also own.
posted by octothorpe at 9:53 AM on April 18, 2010

That's an enjoyable blast of nostalgia for me; I was 14, and as it happens that fall season is the only extended exposure I had to U.S. TV for many years (I was a Foreign Service brat). I remember thinking My Mother The Car was incredibly stupid and loving Get Smart. The one thing I miss (and of course there's no reason it would be there) is The World of Wooster, a great BBC series that was my introduction to P.G. Wodehouse. Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 10:54 AM on April 18, 2010

Thanks for this. There are so many ‘70s-‘80s celebrities I got to know as a kid through Jack Davis MAD parodies before seeing them on screen, people like Richard Dreyfuss.

One of my favorite things is when the Robert Altman movie The Long Goodbye was having trouble at the box office and the studio brought in Jack Davis to emphasize the funny side.
posted by thelastenglishmajor at 11:20 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

OOps, that was here.
posted by thelastenglishmajor at 11:20 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was 10 years old that year and I also thought My Mother the Car was incredibly stupid. But I'll give it credit for pushing the envelope, as the first prime-time TV series to be pitched at the 5-year-old demographic. Or at least my 10-year-old self figured that if you were 5 maybe you'd think it was clever.

I liked I Dream of Jeannie pretty well, but it would be several years before I'd be old enough to understand exactly what the appeal was to the adult audience. Or at least to one-half of the adult audience. :-)
posted by Creosote at 11:25 AM on April 18, 2010

I'm 24 years old and had never seen or even heard of My Mother the Car. I'm going to very pointedly not watch any clips of it or read anything about it, because My Mother the Car is a title with tremendous potential. I feel like a show based on the premise that some non-car organism somehow wound up with a car as a (presumably adoptive? no, no, don't tell me) parent could go in so many crazy directions, some completely brilliant.

I think it's definitely due for a Battlestar Galactica style remake that takes the name and some of the character names and runs in a completely different direction. I would definitely give a show called My Mother the Car a chance if it came out now.

Of course, it'd probably be a fake reality show which wouldn't be funny at all. Sigh.
posted by little light-giver at 1:57 PM on April 18, 2010

They sure don't make TV like they used to.
posted by Drasher at 2:26 PM on April 18, 2010

In that bottom Camp Runamuck clip. Isn't that lost little girl an even younger Marcia Brady?
posted by jaronson at 5:58 PM on April 18, 2010 even younger Marcia Brady?

IMBD says "Yes", and that Mr Kincaid was also in that episode (and 16 others).
posted by jaronson at 6:03 PM on April 18, 2010

Who's the guy behind Dean Martin, looking for all the world like Peewee Herman?

I was 8. I am truly amazed how I remember most of the shows mentioned, by name. Yet almost none of the drawings are recognizable.

As for the Fall Season: It is my opinion that messing up fall season was one of the ways in which the networks screwed themselves. The season was a Big Deal. One had to study the line up and plan one's viewing time. There were no home VCRs in those days. Choices had to be made!

In latter years, shows didn't start fresh when expected, and repeats happened when not expected. The whole thing just made network TV something less exciting and less important. Like with retail: If I know what I want is at the store, I'll go to the store. If I know the store is unreliable, I won't bother, or I'll find a reliable store.
posted by Goofyy at 6:00 AM on April 21, 2010

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