The Great Bombo Dump

Here in NYC we were blessed in the 1960s with at least three incredibly talented daytime television hosts. They masqueraded as children’s program hosts, but they produced thousands of hours of hilarious comedy with no budget to speak of, and whose studio audience was usually only an appreciative camera crew. There was Soupy Sales, Sandy Becker, and perhaps the most talented of them, Chuck McCann. Here’s Chuck as the failed escape artist, The Great Bombo. I believe his sidekick here, Sid Slick, is played by Jim MacGeorge.

Thanks to YouTuber sandysoup

Ready To Rumble

Finally! I’ve been looking for this clip for years. Phil Hartman in one of my favorite fake advertisement parodies from Saturday Night Live, the commercial for the new breakfast cereal, Colon Blow.

More at Saturday Night Live

Diana Rigg, 1938-2020

Diana Rigg died this week. A fine actress, the clip above shows her in a few of her famous roles.

But my favorite thing that Diana Rigg ever did as an artist was to write a book called No Turn Unstoned: The Worst Ever Theatrical Reviews. Stung by unkind reviews that she had received over the years, to cheer herself up, Rigg compiled a book of horrendous reviews that other celebrated actors had received over the years. If you can get a hold of a copy, it’s a fun read.

Thank you, Mrs. Peel.

Thanks to YouTuber Guardian News

Monk In Quarantine

This one is strictly for the Monk nerds. If you’re not a fan, I’m afraid it won’t mean much. But if you are familiar with the show–then I think you’ll be delighted and may LOL a few times as I did. My favorite part: the dishwasher.

There aren’t many television shows that I watch, but come Thursdays, you’re likely to find me sitting, watching hour after hour of Monk re-runs that are thoughtfully played from 11am-8pm, non-stop, each Thursday on one of my local TV stations.

The premise of the show, that of a detective with severe OCD doesn’t necessarily sound very appealing, but the writing for the show is really strong, and the way the cast, especially Tony Shalhoub, wrings comedy, mystery and pathos out of each episode is always enjoyable for me to watch.

Thanks to YouTuber Peacock

 

Chomsky vs Buckley

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This one is longish, but fun. William Buckley was a conservative who hosted a PBS show called Firing Line. He was fairly erudite, and on his show he was usually able to intellectually intimidate his debate opponents. But when he had on Noam Chomsky, Buckley was definitely outclassed, and it ‘s fun to watch the two of them parrying, with Buckley clearly in over his head. To Buckley’s credit, he allowed Chomsky onto mainstream television, something that broadcasters then and now were and are loath to do.

Thanks to YouTuber Patrick Steinkuhl

 

“That Was Not A Compliment”: The Smothers Brothers

 

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In 1969, CBS television fired the Smothers Brothers from their high-rated comedy variety show for being too outspoken against the Vietnam War. Among other things, they had on blacklisted guest Pete Seeger who sang “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy,” an anti-war song about a captain who orders his men into a bog despite the obvious senselessness of the command.

You can read more about that incident here:

https://portside.org/2018-03-02/recalling-pete-seegers-controversial-performance-smothers-brothers-show-50-years-ago

and I’ll post video of Pete’s remarkable performance in the comments.

Twenty years later, however, things had changed somewhat and the Brothers were invited to do a 20th anniversary special for CBS. Click on the video above to see how they opened the show.

Thanks to YouTuber Kehlog Albran

Hymn For A Sunday Evening

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Department of Self-Referential Videos Department.

The original Broadway cast of Bye Bye Birdie—including the fabulous Paul Lynde— singing the Ed Sullivan song—on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Thanks to YouTuber lee a

What’s My Line?

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The guest on the October 13, 1953 edition of What’s My Line (exactly 65 years ago) had just celebrated her 69th birthday. Unlike other more recent occupants of her job, she had never been a high-fashion model, served on the boards of exploitative corporations, nor killed her friend by running a stop sign at 50 mph. Nevertheless, she managed.

Thanks to YouTuber What’s My Line?

Knuckleheads

 

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Winchell -Mahoney Time was an after-school television show must back in the day for youngsters. I wanted desperately to be a ventriloquist. I remember this exact episode and how funny I thought it was. The ingenious Paul Winchell was the vent, who among other ventures, went on to create the voice of Tygger in the Disney Pooh animated movies. He also got himself a patent for the invention of one of the first prototypes of an artificial human heart.

Thanks to YouTuber vintage video clips

The Happy Wanderers

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I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone under 60, but I found this SCTV send-up of a small-town Lawrence Welk-type polka music television show hilariously true to form. John Candy and Eugene Levy lead the proceedings.

“There’s Rhythm in My Lederhosen.”

More at SCTV

Calling God: Ellen DeGeneres

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While I’m not much of a fan of Ellen DeGeneres’s present talk show, this clip of her first performance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show is a wonderful example of just how smart and funny she was as a stand-up.

More Tonight Show at Johnny Carson

Waukegan

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The once popular radio and television comedian Jack Benny welcomes some unlikely guests to his TV show, the folk singers Peter, Paul and Mary. They prove that you can make a folk song out of anything—even stingy Jack’s home town of Waukegan.