Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kung Fu Requiem

Ashley Holt not only crafted the wonderful tribute artwork above, but writes about the death of David Carradine in a note perfect mix of childhood nostalgia, social commentary, and wry observation.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Who Knew Conan O'Brien Was In Such Great Shape?

Perhaps I'm easily amused, but I think this cross-country opening of Conan's taking over the command chair at NBC's The Tonight Show is nothing short of brilliant. The monologue that followed ... er, not so much, but I've never thought of him as a "joke teller" so much as a humorous conceptualist anyway. I've read reviews that griped about the numerous sketches during this first week of shows, but the critics seem to be missing the point. Of course the show is going to have a different feel with a new host, and like or loathe Leno, his filmed pieces usually fell flat (or celebrated the woeful ignorance of the American public). Even if Conan stumbles from time to time, credit his writing and production staff with being as experimental as possible in a new time slot with a potentially new (and larger) audience.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

TV GUIDE: July 2, 1977

Borrowing (stealing) a page from Al Bigley's recent TV GUIDE-oriented blog posts, I dug out a vintage issue I had in the stack o' reading material for review. Nothing particularly special about this issue, at least on the surface - and what a ghastly surface to behold! Enjoy the awkward, yet strangely fascinating cover shown above featuring the stars of Alice! I picked it up at the flea market along with a handful of other issues for twenty-five cents a pop (not a bad price for instant nostalgia).

Here's three quick tidbits from inside this issue:

"Gaining nary a gray hair in the process, Wonder Woman will leap forward from World War II to 1977 merely by entering a disco time machine and ... sorry ... merely by switching the series from ABC to CBS next season. LYNDA CARTER as Wonder Woman will still assist an intelligence agent played by LYLE WAGGONER, but how does he stay young? Simple. He's now the son of the man Wonder Woman worked for 30 years ago."

First thought: Ewww. Second thought: This is the season where a so-called "cute" robot named Ira (?) was added to the cast. Final though: Shades of the Captain America/Peggy Carter/Sharon Carter love triangle, and if you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, you're probably reading the wrong blog ....

"New Version of Star Trek is On Launching Pad. Paramount Pictures is planning to produce 22 episodes of an all-new Star Trek to begin appearing in April 1978. It is part of an effort to create one night a week of prime-time programs on a proposed "fourth network' of independent and network-affiliated stations. Paramount has signed Gene Roddenberry, the original producer, to put together the new show at a cost of $400,000 an episode. Will Trekkie heroes from the original series be back? That hasn't been decided yet."

In other words, Shatner's in - he's tired of doing dinner theatre, but Nimoy's trying to get a piece of the action from the Trek-licensing machine at this particular junction of his career.

And lastly ...

"Paul Michael Glaser has returned to his role as Starsky in ABC's Starsky and Hutch. A lawsuit was in progress and two days of testimony had been taken when an agreement was reached between Glaser and the producers. In the settlement, the actor, who made $10,000 an episode last year and was to earn $12,500 for 1977-78, will get a raise and some directing assignments. His new salary is said to be $25,000 per show."

Shh! Settle down Glaser - do you want to give Nimoy ideas?

Seriously, do you?

Jaw-droppingly awful cover artwork copied from the good folks at ... lots of great magazine artwork (not including this example) to be found here!