Tag Archives: TV Shows

TV Show: The Cosby Show

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uploaded by dvdmedia.ign.com

It’s Father’s Day, and it’s not easy for dads to find a good role model on television these days. However there is one show that, although not on the air anymore, still gives us a picture of a loving father who raised his children with discipline and responsibility. That’s the Cosby Show.

There were solid lessons taught on this show, but they were brought with great humor and humanity. Cliff and Clair were professionals who raised the Huxtable kids to appreciate their heritage, respect their elders, and understand the value of money. (“No boy should have a $95 shirt unless he’s on stage with his four brothers.”)

And the show offered a refreshing blend of reality (“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it”) mixed with a healthy dose of humor.

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I especially appreciated the interaction between Cliff and son Theo. Here was a father who had high aspirations for his son, but who never expected more of the boy than his best. I was raising sons during that time, and appreciated seeing someone on TV with whom I could identify.

Yes, the Cosby show did great things for pride in the black community, despite initial carping that non-middle-class blacks wouldn’t identify with a professional couple. As William Raspberry wrote at the show’s conclusion, “It taught us as television has rarely managed – and as too few of our leaders even attempt – how much alike we really are. And how little money, class, and race have to do with it. Thanks, Coz.”

The Cosby folks have asked YouTube not to allow embedding of videos from the show. However, you can see the great family lip synch to Ray Charles’s (Night Time Is) The Right Time here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSvGdfOfLFw Continue reading

Actor: Carol Burnett

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by feastoffools.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by feastoffools.

How’s this for a Saturday night TV lineup? On CBS in 1973 you’d see: All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, and Carol Burnett. That roster deserves its own wing at the Museum of Broadcasting. The first two were controversial, the next two were heartwarming, and Carol Burnett was just flat-out funny.

Her show ran for 11 seasons, from 1967-1978. It was a variety show with musical guests, but that element of the show is virtually forgotten. What we remember is the comedy from Carol’s wonderfully talented ensemble cast: Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner. Carol and Tim were hilarious in the continuing “Mrs. Wiggins” sketches, Carol and Vicki shone in “The Family” skits (later spun off as Mama’s Family).

Tim Conway would improvise, and because the show was taped before a live audience, the cast would have to adapt. The result was often chaos, with Korman and Conway breaking up on the air. The most memorable sketch, indeed one of the most remarkable in television history, was the send-up of Gone With the Wind called “Went With the Wind.”

Part 2 is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nt0yi4wbro

Carol had done TV before getting her own show, of course, and she did more TV and films after. But we’ll always remember her for the amazing talent she assembled (on both sides of the camera), and for being wise enough to give them the freedom that ended up making her look good.

The show won 22 Emmy Awards during its run. Best I can tell, it’s not on anywhere now in syndication. When you look at the morass of television today, isn’t there anyplace on 150 channels to replay one of the funniest shows of all time?

TV Show: The Andy Griffith Show

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Start with Barney Fife, only the best sitcom character ever. Add the sweetness of Aunt Bea, the innocence of Opie, the absentmindedness of Floyd, the foolishness of Gomer and Goober, and you get — well, you get the most grounded, most heartwarming sitcom in TV history.

Of course, the show would have gone nowhere without the down-home wisdom and  ever-genial personality of Andy Griffith. A native of nearby Mt. Airy, NC (which styles itself as the model for Mayberry), Andy is the father/friend we all wish we had. I know he later played Matlock, but I don’t think of them as the same person. I think Andy’s dad came along to play that role.

Everyone has a favorite episode of the show. Mine is My Fair Ernest T. Bass, in which Andy tries to change the wild Ernest T. into a presentable gentleman. The mountain man courts the lovely “Romeena” and says to the hostess, “How dew you dew Miss-us Wi-lee?” Hard to believe, but Ernest T. only appeared in five episodes of the series.

Wait — I think I hear the theme song being whistled. Time to catch another episode. Maybe I’ll hear Ernest T. wail, “She called me a creachter!”

Person: Walt Disney

Photo courtesy of Flickr. Posted by Andy Latham82.

Photo courtesy of Flickr. Posted by Andy Latham82.

Lots of people have changed American culture. Some for better, some for worse. But few have had the positive influence that Walter Elias Disney brought to the world of entertainment.

From Steamboat Willie to The Wonderful World of Color to Epcot Center, Walt Disney’s imagination has inspired and delighted generations of Americans. His movies managed to achieve the near impossible task of simultaneously enthralling both children and adults.

In the Disney movie Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket said it best: “Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through. When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.”

TV Show: Saturday Night Live

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uploaded by rapidcityjournal.com

The casts members come and go. “No one can do Weekend Update like Dennis Miller,” we said. Then Tina Fey came along. “What will the show be without Phil Hartman,” we moaned. Then Will Ferrell blew us away.

Think of all the catchphrases Saturday Night Live has added to our lives. (Sometimes, till they drive us crazy.) “Two wild and crazy guys.” “Well, isn’t that special?” “More cowbell.” “You look mahvelous.” “Making copies.” “We want to pump…you up.”

Last year, SNL proved its mettle by providing some of the funniest moments in a very long and dreary presidential election. Tina Fey’s uncanny resemblance to Gov. Sarah Palin led to several spoofs, and the great line, “I can see Russia from my house!”

SNL’s obituary has been written many times, and still it survives. It seems as if it’s been on all my life, and for many people, it has. Will it go on forever? Don’t bet against it.