Where did Murray L. Slaughter Meet his wife, Marie?
Maybe it was in the Navy.
Gavin MacLeod played Seaman Joseph "Happy" Haines
on "McHale's Navy." Joyce Bulifant, who played Murray's wife, Marie on
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show," also played Nurse Georgianna Comstock on "McHale's
Here's a couple other facts about Joyce you
may not know: She was originally cast as Carol Brady in "The Brady
Bunch," but was dropped. She Married William Asher, Elizabeth Montgomery's
ex-husband in 1976. They adopted a son, John Mallory Asher who played Gary
Wallace on "Weird Science." Joyce Bulifant played Emily Wallace (Gary's mom) on "Weird Science."
Murray L. Slaughter on "The Mary Tyler
Seaman Joseph "Happy" Haines with Joyce as Georginna.
Nurse Georgianna Comstock
on "McHale's Navy."
Joyce Builifant's husband.
I hear those little pieces of Our Television History trivia on Nick at
Nite I start talking back to the TV, they always leave out the really
cool facts. If you're a fan, you've heard how ABC wanted the
Fonz in a cotton jacket instead of leather, and how Garry Marshall
justified the jacket as motorcycle safety gear. But did you know
that Henry Winkler was terrified to ride the motorcycle? When exterior
footage was shot, it was shot, re-shot and re-shot. The problem
was that Henry was so afraid to dropping the bike, that he'd put
his feet down when ever he leaned into a turn, like while entering
Arnold's parking lot. The directors would always be following him
yelling "feet on the pegs, feet on the pegs." In later episodes
when Fonzi would ride fast, or do jumps, they used a double.
When they cast the part of Fonzi, they didn't worry too much about
the skills of the actor playing him, Fonzi only got seventh billing
in the early episodes. It was originally thought that Potsie (Anson
Williams) would be the brains that Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) would
run to for advice. One last thing, creator Garry Marshall
(Penny's brother) was going to name the character Arthur Marsharelli,
can you guess why...
Only His Hair
Dresser Knows For Sure: Dwayne Hickman played Chuck MacDonald on "The Bob
Cummings Show" for five seasons. When he went to CBS to play
Dobie Gillis, the network was afraid the audience would confuse him
with his former character. CBS asked him to bleach his hair,
and he did. After Dobie's character was established, Dwayne
went back to his natural brown locks.
How long does it take to get a show on TV? Would you believe
it took nearly three decades to sell a network on the idea of Mr. Belvedere?
On April 18th, 1956 CBS aired a 60 minute pilot for a new sit-com based
on the popular movie Mr. Belvedere. Reginald Gardiner starred as
the quick-witted, intellectual butler that Clifton Webb had created
in the movie. The show wasn't picked up, but was re-tooled
and pitched again in 1959. This time Hans Conried starred in the
title role, still no sale. The series was pitched several more
times before ABC picked it up in 1985 with Christopher Hewett playing Mr.
Lynn Belvedere. Mr. Belvedere served as butler to the Owens' family
until 1990 when ABC gave up on the series that never made it to the Neilson
All in the Family was inspired by a British sit-com called "Til Death Do Us Part." Norman Lear bought the American rights to the
show in 1968. He wrote and produced two pilots, calling
it "Those Were The Days" and tried to sell it to ABC, but they rejected
it. A year later CBS ask to see them. CBS loved the pilots
and put them on against ABC's Bewitched and All in the Family soared
to number one in the Neilson ratings, and stayed there for five years.
The previously high rated Bewitched was canceled.
What do the following shows have in common: "The Brady
Bunch," "Dark Shadows," "M*A*S*H," "Family Affair," "Space
1999," Happy Days," "Lost in Space," "Family Matters," "Adam-12,"
"Lassie," "The Munsters," "Laugh-In," "Bonanza," "Full House," "Time
Tunnel," "Rocky and Bullwinkle," and about a dozen others? They were
all featured in 3-D View-Master reels! If you happen to have
some of the older titles stashed away in your toybox, you might what
to dust them off. The set of three "Dark Shadows" reels in the original
envelope is worth about $75 in good condition. I went through my
toybox and found I have a lot of odd reels in poor condition. It is still
neat to see "The Addams Family" in color and 3-D. Who would
have guessed that mom was right when she said I should take better
care of my toys?
Want to play another? What do the following shows have in
common: "Dragnet," "Happy Days," "Hawaii Five-O,"
"Makin' It," "Hill Street Blues," "Welcome Back Kotter," "Miami
Vice," "Zorro," "Batman," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Route
66," "Moonlighting," and about a dozen others? The themes to
these shows all make it to Billboard Magazine's top 40 pop singles.
Most shows made the charts during their original prime time run.
The "I Love Lucy" theme made it to the charts in 1977 when The Wilton Street
Band recorded it as "Disco Lucy." Unlike my View-Master reels,
my copy of "Disco Lucy" is in top condition, and worthless.
One last time... What do the following have in common: "The
Lone Ranger," "Star Trek," "Welcome Back Kotter," "Dark Shadows,"
"The Wild Wild West," "All My Children," "Car 54 Where Are You?",
"The Love Boat," "Route 66," "Lost in Space," "The Beverly Hillbillies,"
"Family Affair," "Gomer Pyle," Hopalong Cassidy," "Dr.Who," "Captain
Video," and scores of others? They are all board games, based
on TV shows. If you took good care of your board games, they
can be worth hundreds of dollars. One avid collector of TV
board games is director Quentin Tarrentino. Quentin actually sat on the
floor and played the "Welcome Back Kotter" game with John Travolta
when they made "Pulp Fiction." Anyone up for a rousing
game of "Green Acres?"
Jerry Mathers was discovered at age 2 by a department store manager
who used Jerry's
photo on the store's Christmas calendar. In 1954, at age 2.5
Jerry made his
TV debut on The Ed Wynn Show. In 1955 his made his movie debut in
Alfred Hitchcock's "The Trouble With Harry."
Tony Dow is the son of an Our Gang Star. He got his first
job by accident when he accompanied a friend to an audition to lend moral
support. But Tony got the job instead.
Everyone keeps asking why I never write anything about Star Trek.
My answer is: Why? So much has been written about Trek,
more than any other show. And the fans; try to find something
they DON"T know about the show... OK Trek fans, Don't get mad
but, believe it or not, the highest Star Trek ever ranked in
the year-end Neilson ratings was #52! Star Trek lost in it's time-slot
to such unremarkable shows as: Mr. Terrific, Iron Horse, Hondo,
Judd For the Defense and Lancer. It took three years to get a network to
air Star Trek. Why did NBC finally give the Enterprise a test-drive?
They wanted to cash in on the space craze generated by the race to the
moon and CBS's popular Lost in Space. Star Trek was the first regular
acting job Leonard Nimoy was able to land in 17 years.
Gene Roddenberry wrote lyrics to the Alexander Courage theme, however
they were never used, here they are:
Beyond the rim of the star-light
My love is wandering in star flight
I know he'll find
In star-clustered reaches,
Love, strange love
A Star-woman teaches.
I know his journey ends never.
His star trek will go on for ever.
But tell him while
He wanders his starry sea,
On the "Dick Van Dyke Show," Rob & Laura's phone
number was 914-636-9970, and the Petrie's address, 124 Bonnie Meadow. This
was creator Carl Reiner's real phone number and real address in New Rochelle,
NY only with a digit added to the address and a number switched in the
phone number. The exterior of the the Petrie estate was never shown. Sally
Rogers' phone number was 212-PLaza 3-0398 I don't know who's number
that could have been, maybe it belonged to Selma Diamond, she
was the inspiration for the Sally Rogers character.
ONCE A CLOWN... In 1954 Buffalo Bob Smith suffered
a heart attack. Gabby Hayes hosted "Howdy Doody" while Buffalo Bob was
recovering. Another name not usually associated with Doodyville was Bob
Keeshan. Bob played Clarabell the clown for $100 a week until he became
Captain Kangaroo in 1951. Bobby Nicholson took the role for three years
until Lew Anderson took over, Lew was still appearing with Buffalo Bob
as Clarabell in 1994.
GARAGE BAND: The "Gilligan's
Island" theme was recorded in a garage! Sherwood Schwartz was working hard
to get the new pilot ready to show CBS executives. He wrote the theme on
Saturday with composer George Wyle. It had to be ready Monday and there
were no recording studios open on Sunday. Three folk singers known as the
Wellingtons: George Patterson, Kirby Johnson, and Ed Wade,
recorded the ballad in one afternoon in the garage of Sherwood's friend
Mel Shavelson. The Wellingtons' recording was replaced in second season
by the Eligibles. The Wellingtons did return to the isle when they guested
with actor Les Brown Jr (Bingo) as the "Mosquitoes" in the
episode "Don't Bug Our Mosquitoes."
SOME FANCY CYPHERIN' : Jerry
Seinfeld is paid one million dollars perepisode, and his co-stars
earn $750,000. Max Baer Jr. was only paid $500 per episode
for playing both Jethro and Jethrine on "The Beverly Hillbillies."
AND HE SINGS TOO: Carroll
O'Connor wrote words to the closing theme of "All in the Family" and got
paid a royalty for every episode it was played, even though the words to
"Remembering You" were never sung.
TONY SAYS: IT'S GRRREAT!
The "think music" on Jeopardy was written by the show's creator Merv Griffin.
Contrary to the common belief that the music is called "Think Music" or
"Jeopardy", the tune is called "Time, For Tony." He wrote it to represent
the sound of a ticking clock and dedicated it to his son Tony.
ALICE, AN AQUARIAN: Ralph Kramden's
mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Warton. Alice Kramden's maiden name
was Gibson. Alice and Audrey Meadows share the same birthday, February
8th. Although Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph are the most popular actresses
to play Alice and Trixie (respectively) in "The Honeymooners," they
weren't the only ones. Among others who have played the role of Alice are
Pert Kelton, Sue Ane Langdon, and Sheila MacRae. Others who have played
the role of Trixie include Elaine Stritch, Patricia Wilson, and Jane Kean.
The Simpsons' hometown of Springfield was named after series creator
Matt Gronig's hometown of Springfield Oregon.
HEY ROCKY, WATCH ME ...
June Foray, the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel and Natasha Fatale, provided
the barking for little Ricky's dog on "I Love Lucy."
AND HIS NAME IS MR. HARVESTER:
Mr. Ed's real name was "Bamboo Harvester". Many people wonder
how they got Mr. Ed to talk. Some say peanut butter,
others claim electric shock, but Alan Young says his
trainer would just tap him on his leg, and Ed would start moving
his mouth. Ed's voice was provided by veteran cowboy actor Allan
"Rocky" Lane. Mr. Ed was so used to "talking" to Wilbur that he would
begin moving his lips as soon as Wilbur stopped talking, before his
trainer would signal him to begin.
Speaking of actors that were tapped on their
leg to deliver their lines... Hank Patterson, the 80 year old actor,
who played Fred Ziffel on "Green Acres" was deaf. The dialogue coach ,
Phil Gordon, would lay on the floor and tap him on his leg with a yardstick
when it was time for him to deliver his line.
Lucille Ball was very unhappy that her hubby
Desi Arnaz hired Walter Winchell as the narrator on Desilu's "The Untouchables."
It was Walter Winchell who reported that Lucy was a communist.
Many TV books report that "Julia" (starring
Diahann Carroll) in 1968 was the first TV show to feature an African-American
in a starring role. Carl Reiner claims that he and Sheldon Leonard were
the inovators when they cast Bill Cosby as Alexander Scott in "I Spy" (1965).
The truth is there were three men who broke the color barrier with their
own show in 1951, Alvin Childress, Spencer Williams Jr., and Tim Moore.
TV's beloved "Amos 'n' Andy" and George "Kingfish" Stevens. The "Amos 'n'
Andy" Show on radio was a big hit in the 1940's, but the actors that played
the famous duo on radio (and produced the TV show) were not cast to play
them on TV. This was certainally a case of racial bias since the two actors
on radio were white.
THAT THING YOU DO:
Ever wonder whose hand was in that box on "The Addams Family?"
The credits say: " Thing. . . . . . . . . .Itself ,"
but the truth is Ted Cassidy (Lurch) was on the other end of " Thing ".
When both Thing and Lurch were in the same scene, the assistant director,
Jack Voglin, would, well, lend a hand. Was Thing
right or left handed? In most scenes Thing is right handed,
but, if you watch carefully, you can spot a lefty here and
there. It was a good gig for Cassidy, he even signed a separate
contract to perform his handicraft.
THE SCANDAL AT FORT COURAGE: Did you ever wonder why
Captain Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry) kept rejecting the amorous advances
of the beautiful blonde, Wrangler Jane (Melody Patterson)?
Maybe he knew Jane's secret. If you look at Melody Patterson's
resume you'll see she was born in Los Angeles California in 1947,
but she wasn't. Melody was only 16 when she started playing Wrangler
Jane on "F-Troop," she lied about her age to get the part.
Although she now admits the deception, most bios still give her year of
birth as 1947. I wonder if her husband, James MacAurthur (Detective
Danny Williams on "Hawaii Five-O"), knew the truth. BTW:
While we're visiting Fort Courage, the lyrics to the theme song are:
"When drilling and fighting get them down down" not "killing and
fighting" as the captions read during its run on Nick at Nite.
No killing, because "nobody takes a lickin', where red skin
and paleface both turn chicken..."
Separate Beds, Please...The question of which TV sitcom was the first to feature a husband
and wife sleeping in the same bed (rather than twin beds) has been asked
many times. For years Florence Henderson claimed that Mike (Robert
Reed) & Carol (Florence Henderson) Brady were the first. Then
she announced that she was incorrect; it was Herman & Lily
Munster. The correct answer: The first time a sitcom husband
and wife got in the same bed was on January 17, 1955 when Fred (William
Frawley) & Ethel (Vivian Vance) Mertz demonstrated their unique way
to cope with a sagging mattress in the "I Love Lucy" episode entitled "First
Stop." Many people reject this account as Fred was pretty much
a prisoner of the bed and it was a one-time occurrence. The first time
a couple shared a bed on a regular basis came nearly a decade later on
September 17 1964 when Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) and Darrin Stephens
(Dick York) went on their honeymoon (beating Herman & Lily to the sheets).
Samantha & Darrin (both Darrins) continued to share a common bed throughout
the eight years "Bewitched" ran on ABC. Correction: "Mary Kay and Johnny" were the first in 1947,
Mary Kay also was shown pregnant on this early sit-com. And since "Mary Kay
and Johnny" was TV's the first sit-com, I don't think I'll ever have to correct
my answer again!
viewers would turn in to watch Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman) chase the
love of his life, Thalia Menninger (Tuesday Weld). While
Dobie was chasing Thalia, Zelda Gilroy (Sheila James) was chasing
Dobie and stealing scenes. Eager to cash in on Zelda's popularity,
the network decided to spin her off in her own series, "Zelda."
You say you never saw her show? Only four episodes were shot,
and they were never aired. Rumors began to circulate that Sheila
was a lesbian. The rumors were true and she did very little additional
acting work after. After leaving show business, she was
passed over for a promotion in favor of a man with less experience.
Sheila began to see major obstacles for women in the job market.
She went back to school, got a degree in law and became an attorney
specializing in Feminist causes. Sheila James, now Sheila Kuehl,
lives in Sacramento and in 1992 was elected to California State Assembly
to represent the 41st district. In 1995 she became California
State Assembly Democratic Whip. From time to time you can see Sheila
on "Politically Incorrect."
What do you do after you create what's considered the worst show
in TV history? Allan Burns is that person. He created
and wrote "My Mother The Car" in 1965. MMTC star Jerry Van
Dyke says the series was so bad he didn't work for years after it.
Allan Burns, on the other hand, went on to produce "The Mary
Tyler Moore Show" for Grant Tinker. Allan's work on the show
contributed to the show's numerous Emmy awards. His success didn't
stop there. He went on to write "Butch and Sundance:
The Early Days" in 1979 and got an Oscar nomination for his screenplay
"A Little Romance" also in 1979. Not all of his work is Oscar
worthy, for example: "The Garbage Pail Kids Movie" (Allan teamed
up with Rod Amateau, the director of MMTC for this masterpiece) and "Swimsuit"
are also among Allan's credits. It just goes to show you;
no matter how horrendous your mistakes are, everyone deserves a second