Better writers than I will doubtless be weighing in shortly on the passing of legendary film critic Roger Ebert. It would probably be a waste of your (and my) time to try and add my own paltry two cents. So instead I want to remember Roger and his old partner Gene Siskel in happier days, on the set of their timeless syndicated review program At the Movies. These outtakes represent the unique bond and vicious senses of humor the two shared. Warning: This is definitely not for the easily offended.
I don't even like soap operas, especially the daytime variety, but this 1981 promotional image from Procter & Gamble Productions was too cool not to share. It features six P&G soap opera title cards from the 1981-82 television season, which aired on the three major broadcast networks. They are Search for Tomorrow, Another World, Texas, The Edge of Night, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light. A few of these I had never heard of, and now I know why. Texas only aired from 1980 to 1982, while The Edge of Night went off the air in 1984. Only As the World Turns and Guiding Light lasted into the 21st century. Speaking of that last one, my buddy Jeff Giles from Popdose is working on what is sure to be a great book for GL fans, called Llanview in the Afternoon: An Oral History of
Here's a really cool piece of vintage TV technology I came across. It's the control box from the NBC game show Name That Tune, which aired on the network from 1952-1954, 1974-75, and 1977. The auction for this box claims it's from the '50s version of the show, which I suppose is possible, except for one thing that contradicts that. See if you can guess what it is. This certainly looks simple enough to be from the 1950s, but a few things make me think it's from the '70s. The first is the faux wood grain DYMO label tape, which I don't think was around in the '50s. But mostly, that NBC logo on the "Made by NBC Electric Shop" label looks newer. Unless this was used internally for a few decades before the public saw it, it's most definitely from the '70s. In fact, that trapezoid N rol
The RCA TK-40/41 is considered to be the first color television camera. It began production in late 1953 and was produced in greater quantity in 1954. This particular camera (MI-40534) was made in 1954 and bought by WBAP (later KXAS) of Fort Worth, the first television station in Texas (debuted in 1948). Outfitted with three lenses, it is a live pick-up camera used to separate a color image into its primary red, blue, and green component images and convert them into signals required for the RCA color television system. Beginning with The Colgate Comedy Hour on November 22, 1953 these cameras were in wide use at TV networks and affiliate studios, as well as independent TV production facilities through the 1960s. Notice the sweet CBS period logo, which actually hasn't changed that muc
Yesterday I posted an image on my Facebook page of an old CHiPs Emergency Medical Kit toy, and we all had fun with it. I'm not sure why a medical kit is a relevant toy for a show about motorcycle cops, but whatever. But it got me to thinking about an age-old question. Of the two main theme songs CHiPs used over the course of its six-season run, which is the better one? I know what my answer is, but I need to know what you think. For reference, here are the choices. Both were written by John Parker, by the way. Here's the intro used for season 1, which is fairly close to what was used for the pilot episode as well. It was also used on occasion in later seasons. CHiPs season-6 with 1977 theme by deadsnake As you can hear, we've got a bit of a laid back mariachi thing going
(Note 1/4/13: KDOC has compounded their excellent decision-making by getting the original video pulled. As long as people keep posting replacement copies I'll keep sharing.) We all know that live TV is a risky proposition these days, especially on New Year's Eve. The hosts are amped up and the crowd -- usually drunk -- is at best wildly unpredictable. Why, not even a respected cable new outlet like CNN is immune from things getting out of hand a little bit (thanks Kathy Griffin). So how is it that KDOC-TV out of Los Angeles could not predict that their live New Year's Eve broadcast featuring Jamie Kennedy, Stu Stone, Macy Gray, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony would go completely off the rails? It was supposed to be a First Night 2013 event, meaning no alcohol, but I challenge you to fin...
New for 1955, it's the wonderful RCA Victor television... available in fifty shades of grey! Because who needs color? (For more Almost Ads, click here.)
Here's the second half of the commercial break from the 1982 WABC-TV airing of Von Ryan's Express that I started in this post. This classic Quaker Corn Bran spot stars a very young Danny Pintauro, who you know best as Jonathan Bower, Tony Danza's son from Who's the Boss? I really don't remember seeing these Fussy Customer ads, which appeared to basically be for a group of car dealers in the New Jersey area. But I dig the quaint music and animated birds. That's Indiana-born James Manis as Aldo Cella, with his famous "Chill-a-Cella" catchphrase. Oh yeah, vintage A&P with the green smocks and red jackets! It's hard to remember now, but for many years A&P was not just the biggest supermarket chain in America, it was one of the biggest retailers period. From
Over the last several days of the 2012 Summer Olympics, I was struck by the feeling I get when I visit family out of state for long trips. There's the planning, the buildup and anticipation, and then the big day comes. I'm finally reunited for the first time in awhile, and it feels great. But then, as the days march on the newness of the experience gives way to a creeping feeling of anxiousness. By the end, even if the trip has gone well, I can't wait to be back home and back to my daily routine. In much the same way, I couldn't wait for the London Games to be over even though I eagerly anticipated them for several months earlier this year. I dutifully plopped myself in front of the TV for the prime time package most nights, and even checked out several live events on the internet, ...