Watching that TV show again

good-wife-the-second-season-dvd-coverOne of joyous experiences I have had recently is periodically watching episodes of the Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) with The Daughter. I bought the complete five seasons a couple years and we’re down to the last half dozen of 158 episodes. It’s interesting watching what she finds funny, or mystifying. I’m also fascinating by what programs I remember very well (the Christmas show early on, the ventriloquist Paul Winchell near the end), and others not so much. Mark Evanier has been revisiting the classic show too.

In some ways, I’m like this columnist who sometimes would rather re-watch a program she enjoyed, rather than to venture out and try new stuff, even though there is a lot of quality stuff out there (The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad) I’ve never seen. Continue reading

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Half a Bupkis is better than nothing

DVD.DTOne of the very few Facebook “fan” items I follow is The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. As you may, or may not recall:
1) The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the two TV shows of which I own the complete set on DVD; I’ve been slowly watching it with The Daughter, and
2) I really liked this book, as I noted here.

The book’s fan page posted recently:

I thought I’d pose a follow-up question to my recent post about Danny Thomas’s legendary cameo on “It May Look Like a Walnut!” For a super-sized supercilious and super-invisible Bupkis Award, name the one other time Danny appeared on screen in a scene with at least one character from the show?

As always with our trivia challenges on this page, this is “closed book” quiz–so no fair googling!
Continue reading

Stealing from Eydie; and ‘Sally Rogers’ is 90

When I was a teenager, I made some pitiful attempts at songwriting. One was called, “Oh, Juanita,” which had stunning lyrics such as, “Oh, Juanita, Juanita, with eyes so brown, Oh Juanita, Juanita, please do not frown.” There’s more, but you get the idea. It was probably inspired by a line in Donovan’s There Is A Mountain [LISTEN], which came out in 1967. I probably stole some lyrics Continue reading

Dream three-hour night of television

Someone asked Ken Levine, who wrote for the TV sitcoms Cheers, Frasier, MASH and several other shows: “What’s your dream three-hour night of television, including any shows from any decade, including now.” He explained: “I’m going to cheat. I’m just going to concentrate on comedies. Dramas take up two slots. So here are my all-time favorite sitcoms.”
Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 107: The Twizzle

Interesting to hear what others say about whether the Daughter looks more like your mother or me. It seems that if you knew my wife better, like mother, like daughter; if you knew me better, she favors me.

Personality-wise, she is likewise similar to whichever parent is most familiar to the observer.

My wife can explain in her (non-existent) blog how much they do together, besides watching Dancing with the Stars.

Conversely, I am pleased that she has taken to liking Continue reading

V is for The Dick Van Dyke Show


According to Vince Waldron’s book (pictured), which I read this past summer (I recommend it), when asked to play the part of comedy writer Sally Rogers on The Dick van Dyke Show in 1961, longtime actress Rose Marie asked “What’s a Dick van Dyke?” The 35-year-old actor had been a pantomimist, radio DJ, and a local talk show host. He was even the anchor of the CBS Morning Show, but like many before and after him, that program was a failure, even with Walter Cronkite as his news reader.

Whatever real success he had had up to that point was on Broadway in Bye Bye Birdie. Producer Sheldon Leonard caught the show, and signed Van Dyke. Impressively, and fortunately for him, Continue reading

October Rambling

A sure sign of madness: I’m now participating on the Times Union Getting There blog. Here’s my introductory piece, and you’ll find more along the way.

A Graveyard Of Commerce: Albany’s walled-off waterfront offers a boat launch, some casual tourism and raw sewage

W. enters a local schoolboard race – in Colorado

For mixed family, old racial tensions remain a part of life

The REAL Way to Get Wall Street’s Attention:

GO to OccupyWishList.org to provide some necessary supplies to various Occupy groups.

Bad Lip Reading – I enjoy this more in concept than in actuality

U.S. Skater Nailed First ‘Quadruple Lutz’. No, I don’t know what it is either, but my wife does.

25 Words You Might Not Know Are TrademarkedContinue reading

A television meme

SamuraiFrog says the “questions here are taken from the defunct TV Tuesday blog.”

1. What is your favorite “Classic” TV show?

The Dick van Dyke Show, followed by The Twilight Zone; these are only two series I own in their entirety (although I would have bought the M*A*S*H box when it was on sale had the packaging not been reviewed so poorly by several folks on Amazon.)

2. What character from a “Classic” TV show would you like to be?

Alan Brady from the Dick van Dyke Show.

3. On which “Classic” TV Show would you have loved to have a walk-on role?

Probably Star Trek.

4. Can you remember a line you liked from a “Classic” TV show?

Yes. Continue reading

States by TV Show

There was a piece was published on the Huffington Post identifying every state of the U.S. by one movie, which Andrew Shears ultimately responded to with a map of his own for TV series, shown above. I thought I’d comment on what I’D pick in the TV category, with the annoying, self-imposed added limitation that I had to have actually watched one full episode for the shows I selected.

Alabama – His and my pick: Any Day Now, a pretty obscure show (pictured).
Alaska – His and my pick: Northern Exposure, though he doesn’t even seem to consider Men In Trees.
Arizona – His and my pick: Alice.
Arkansas – His pick: 19 Kids and Counting (which I’ve managed never to have heard of). My pick: Evening Shade.
California – His pick: Baywatch, actually a reasonable choice. My just-to-be contrary pick: The Streets of San Francisco. (My wife suggested The Beverly Hillbillies.)
Colorado – His and my pick: Mork and Mindy, though I was tempted to pick Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
Connecticut – His and my pick: Gilmore Girls, though I was tempted by Bewitched.
Delaware – Is there ANOTHER show besides The Pretender?
District of Columbia: He makes no pick. My choice: West Wing, over Murphy Brown.
Florida – His pick: The Golden Girls, a perfectly good choice. My pick: Miami Vice.
Georgia – His pick: Dukes of Hazzard. My choice Continue reading