Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Harold Ramis dead at 69

One of my favorite characters he played on SCTV was Dr. Bradley Omar, based on Truman Bradley, the host of the 50's anthology show, Science Fiction Theater.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ralph Waite Dead at 85

Ralph Waite, Papa Walton on 'The Waltons,' Dead at 85

As many of my loyal readers know, I never liked the TV show The Waltons. However, one of my favorite movies is Five Easy Pieces. Ralph Waite is great as Jack Nicholson's dorky brother Carl (above right).

If you don't like my opinion on this subject, you can take some toast and hold it between your knees.


If you were wondering about the identity of the two performers in the photo from a 60s TV adaptation of the Little Mermaid, I'm going to give the answers.

The lady is Shirley Temple Black, who passed away earlier this week. Here is the New York Times obit, which is one of the few obits I found that featured photos of Miss Temple in her later years.

The leading man is Canadian actor/comedian Donald Harron. I played several small roles on TV in the 60s, such as the sarcastic, bearded Australian agent Kit Kitridge on The Man from UNCLE.

However, he is most famous in both America and his native Canada as Charlie Farquharson (above), a farmer/historian who talked about politics, society and his neighbors, while mangling the English language. He played the character on Hee Haw for 18 years, although in this interview on You Tube, he gives the impression that he wasn't happy with his work on that show. I only recently found out Charlie had a snooty city cousin, Valerie, played by Harron in drag. There is a video of Charlie explaining global warming and why he voted for the Green Party that is funnier than the stuff he did on Hee Haw.

BTW, this was from The Shirley Temple Storybook TV show and it is on DVD. The photo above is a publicity photo from that 50s - 60s TV series.

Sid Caesar, pioneer of American comedy, dead at 91

Sid Caesar, pioneer of American comedy, dead at 91

My two favorite sketchs with Sid Caesar.

The last one is a poke at the 50s singing group the Four Aces.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I found this photo last week while doing some impromptu research on one of the two performers in this photo. I thought I would post it at some point because most people have never seen a photo of these like this.

This is a screen shot from the lady's TV show. Each week she starred in an adaptation of a famous children's story. This is "The Little Mermaid." Most photos of the woman are of her as a small child. Even in death (which occurred yesterday), the news media ran photos of her as a child.

The man was a very busy character actor on TV in the 60s, but most Americans have only seen this fellow with thick stubble and wearing a moth-eaten, dirty sweater as his gossiping rural radio news commentator persona.

I picked this photo of these two performers because their work is mentioned in two of the many annoying memes on Facebook. There are a bunch of nitwits on Facebook who every day post the same two or three stupid memes. One features the lady on the left as a child next to a photo of  Honey Boo Boo with a caption "What has happened to our country?" Personally, I think there is room for both and don't have a problem Honey Boo Boo. At least it's not The Five or Duck Dynasty, which the people who post this crap think are the greatest TV shows ever.

Another meme says "I was raised unlike today's kids." Then it mentions how they grew up watching the American TV show featuring the man in the photo. They seem to believe it makes them superior to the younger generation. I always thought that watching that TV show was uncool. According to an interview on You Tube, this guy wasn't crazy about that TV show either. 

I think the people that post those memes need to read this post from Gilligan on Retrospace and lighten up.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014


This week marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show. It is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles launching the British invasion, dominating the record charts and becoming one of the most influential acts in pop music history. Of course, this also means that, while the mainstream media celebrates this great anniversary, the local media (especially the Springfield News Leader) will inform us that "Ozarks-don't-like-them-thar-Beatles." This has happened many times over the past few years. Instead of talking to the ultimate Beatle-fan or a music professor to explain how the Beatles changed music, the News Leader will find a crabby, old white man (around 90 years old), who will say they "just made noise" or some bat-guano-crazy woman in her 60's, who organized an anti-Beatle group in high school in 1964 or later. When "Free As a Bird" was released, the News Leader had an article about how none of the Springfield radio stations were going to play it. I'm sure some of the local talk radio nitwits will bash the Beatles. 

Thankfully, you have me, Desdinova the Super Villain of the Ozarks, to save the day.  I have compiled a list of my 64 favorite songs by the Beatles songs.  I picked 64 because 1964 was the year the Beatles came to America and we are better off because they did.

1. I Feel Fine
2. I Am the Walrus
3. Can't Buy Me Love
4. I Want to Hold You Hand
5. Rain
6. Strawberry Fields Forever
7. Tomorrow Never Knows
8. Ticket to Ride
9. A Hard Days Night
10. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
11. And Your Bird Can Sing
12. Magical Mystery Tour
13. Hey Bulldog
14. We Can Work It Out
15. I'll Be Back
16. She Loves You
17. Drive My Car
18. I Saw Her Standing There
19. Helter Skelter
20. Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
21. Day Tripper
22. Paperback Writer
23. Revolution
24. Eight Days a Week
25. Got To Get You Into My Life
26. Help!
27. Taxman
28. Don't Bother Me
29. No Reply
30. You Won't See Me
31. All My Loving
32. Things We Said To Day
33. I'm Looking Through You
34. Blue Jay Way
35. Come Together
36. Something
37. I Need You
38. Glass Onion
39. I'm Down
40. Doctor Robert
41. Nowhere Man
42. Tell Me Why
43. All You Need is Love
44. I'll Cry Instead
45. Another Girl
46. While My Guitar Gently Weep
47. Baby You're a Rich Man
48. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
49. You Can't Do That
50. Old Brown Shoe
51. It Won't Be Long
52. It's All Too Much
53. Love Me Do
54. I'm Only Sleeping
55. Get Back
56. Getting Better
57. Eleanor Rigby
58. Hey Jude
59.Your Mother Should Know
60. Hello Goodbye
61. Yellow Submarine
62. Penny Lane
63. A Day In The Life
64. Free as a Bird

BTW: After I wrote this intro, KY 3 news posted some great stories by journalist Ed Filmer from 2000 about the Beatles secret trip to the Ozarks. One features syndicated radio personality Jim Bohannon.
This one is about the ranch they stayed at in Alton, Missouri.  

Monday, February 3, 2014


February 3rd is probably the worst day for rock and roll history.Why?

  • Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valence and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959.

  • British record producer Joe Meek commits suicide (after killing his landlady) on Feb. 3, 1967. Meek was obsessed with Buddy Holly to the point that he tried to contact Holly with the help of a medium. Meek also believed in his later days that American record producer Phil Spector (pictured below) was spying on him.

  • And speaking of Spector, on Feb. 3rd, 2003, actress Lana Clarkson dies from a gunshot at Phil Spector's mansion. A jury found Spector guilty of murdering Lana Clarkson on April 13, 2009. Here is a look at what I said about the case on the old blog.
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