Category Archives: The Little Screen (Television)

Kermit the Frog

Farewell, Batman! (Adam West, RIP)

Adam West (September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017)

Adam West, (born William West Anderson) the ardent actor who managed to keep his tongue in cheek while wearing the iconic cowl of the Caped Crusader on the classic 1960s series Batman, has died. He was 88.

West, who was at the pinnacle of pop culture after Batman debuted in January 1966, only to see his career fall victim to typecasting after the ABC show flamed out, died Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia, a family spokesperson said.

West died peacefully surrounded by his family and is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Batman debuted at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, 1966, a Wednesday.  The cliffhanger episode would be resolved the very next night — Same Bat-time! Same Bat-channel!

The series, filmed in eye-popping bright colors in an era of black-and-white and featuring a revolving set of villains like the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), Joker (Cesar Romero), Penguin (Burgess Meredith) and Catwoman (Julie Newmar), was an immediate hit; the Thursday installment was No. 5 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1965-66 season, and the Wednesday edition was No. 10.

The Herculoids

Thundarr the Barbarian

Super Friends

RIP Roger Moore

Roger Moore in 1983’s ‘Octopussy,’ his penultimate film as James Bond.

Sir Roger George Moore KBE (October 14, 1927 – May 23, 2017), the handsome Londoner who portrayed James Bond in seven films (1973 – 1985) with a cartoonish, cheeky charm and probably for a bit too long, has died. He was 89. He is also known for playing Simon Templar in the television series The Saint (1962 – 1969).

Moore took on the guise of the superspy in Live and Let Die (1973) and stayed for The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985), which hit theaters when he was nearly 58. He said it was his choice to leave the franchise.

A message from his children read, “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.”

The Plastic Man Show

Buck Rogers

ARK II

Shazam

Wonderbug

Wait till your father gets home

Speed Buggy

Happy Birthday, George Lucas

George Lucas

George Walton Lucas, Jr. (May 14, 1944 – )

George Lucas is an Academy Award-nominated American film producer, screenwriter, director and chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd. He is best known for being the creator of the epic Sci-Fi franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones.

Wikipedia Link

George of the Jungle

Pink Panther Show

RIP Don Rickles

Don Rickles
(May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017)

Donald Jay “Don” Rickles was an American stand-up comedian and actor. Best known as an insult comic, he also acted in both comedic and dramatic roles on film.
After toiling in relative obscurity for years as a more conventional stand-up comedian, Rickles unwittingly discovered his biggest laughs came when he turned the tables on his hecklers. His career then skyrocketed after he insulted the hot-tempered Sinatra, who normally did not take kindly to such treatment.
When the superstar singer and actor walked into a Miami Beach club in 1957 where Rickles was performing, the comedian greeted the “Chairman of the Board” from the stage: “Make yourself at home Frank. Hit somebody.” Sinatra roared — with laughter.
With Sinatra’s endorsement, Rickles began his comedic assault on people famous and not so famous — Jews, Asians, African Americans, the Irish, Puerto Ricans, red-headed women, short guys, you name it — with tremendous results. He referred to stupid people as “hockey pucks,” and in 1959, he signed for his first Las Vegas appearance, in the lounge of the Hotel Sahara.
In 1985, when Sinatra was asked to perform at Ronald Reagan’s second Inaugural Ball, he insisted that Rickles accompany him for a comedy routine. Rickles, naturally, did not spare the president (“Am I going too fast for you, Ronnie?” he asked) and considered that performance among the highlights of his career.
Rickles honed his reputation in numerous appearances on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts that ran on NBC from the mid-1970s to the mid-80s. The specials provided a perfect venue for Rickles to unleash his caustic brand of humor on such visiting dignitaries as Sinatra, Reagan, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mr. T.
Johnny Carson provided Rickles a late-night stage by making him one of The Tonight Show’s most-frequent guests. On one memorable moment in 1968, Rickles cozied up to a half-naked Carson during a sketch with two Japanese female masseuses and said, “I’m so lonely, Johnny!” Carson threw him in a bathtub. More recently, he was a regular guest on Late Show With David Letterman, in which the CBS host treated Rickles like royalty.
Rickles intermittently played in movies, highlighted by Kelly’s Heroes (1970), where he co-starred with Clint Eastwood as Sgt. Crapgame, an Army black-marketer who had no compunction about cutting favorable deals with the Nazis.
He also played opposite beach bunny Annette Funicello in such movies as Pajama Party (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), appeared as a Vegas casino manager in Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995) and voiced the cranky Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story films.
Rickles and his wife, Barbara, often vacationed with deadpan comic Bob Newhart and his wife, Ginnie.
 
“He was called ‘The Merchant of Venom,’ but in truth, he was one of the kindest, caring and most sensitive human beings we have ever known,” the Newharts said in a statement. “We are devastated, and our world will never be the same. We were totally unprepared for this.”
 
Rickles died on April 6, 2017, of kidney failure, in his home in Los Angeles.

 

Happy Birthday, Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis (March 16, 1926 – )

Jerry Lewis is an American comedian, actor, producer, writer, director and singer. He is best-known for his slapstick humor on stage, screen and television, his singing ability in a string of music album recordings and his charity fund-raising telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Thank you, Jerry, for many laughs throughout the years.

Anniversary of Sound of Music

On this day in 1965, The Sound of Music was released in the United States.

March 2, 1965

March 2, 1965

Anniversary of the final episode of M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H

The series premiered on September 17, 1972, and ended on February 28, 1983, with the finale becoming the most-watched television episode in U.S. television history at the time.

“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was the final episode of M*A*S*H. Special television sets were placed in PX parking lots, auditoriums, and dayrooms of the US Army in Korea so that military personnel could watch that episode; this in spite of 14 hours’ time zone difference with the east coast of the US. The episode aired on February 28, 1983, and was 2½ hours long.

Wikipedia Link