Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Follow the Leader: Hometowns and Reruns...

 


Redartz:  Okay gang, it's about time to give you all another shot at picking a topic for discussion. For anyone new or needing a refresher, the first commenter to name a subject question gets the honor of , well, naming the subject question! So if there's anything about comics, books, films, cartoons, tv, music, culture, life on Neptune, or whatever, that you've been itching to talk about, now's your chance. The podium awaits!

26 comments:

Charlie Horse 47 said...

The venerable Redartz "took us home" a few weeks back with a walk down Memory Lane. It was great! Is it possible to build on that?

1) Tell us what town you generally grew up in and can you recommend a book, youtube, etc. that really resonates with your experiences growing up or describes your area really well that you could share with us?

2) If that doesn't grab you, list your three favorite reruns, assuming you indulge or perhaps three favorite shows you wish were in rerun (or at least would like to see one more time).

Mike Wilson said...

I'm from a very small (c. 600 people) town in Saskatchewan, so any book that describes the mundanity of life in the middle of nowhere would probably fit. (Sinclair Lewis's Main Street and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg Ohio come to mind.)

I wish they'd put WKRP back into syndication, but apparently there's some beef over the original music used in the episodes. My favourite show is Xena, so I wouldn't mind seeing that come back to the Space Channel here in Canada; (Even though I have all the episodes and can watch them anytime I want, there's just something about seeing them every day in syndication.)

FlameKeeper said...

Sure Charlie, let's do this

I grew up in a quaint little suburban town (probably around 8 or 9,000 residents, maybe less at the time) in New Jersey. Think maybe Mayberry-like, not as rural, the development we lived in was built after the war (WW2), for veterans, all cape cod houses on 50'x100' lots. The Main street had a butcher shop, barber, fire house, nothing exciting. It was well integrated though, so that's where it kind of departs from the Mayberry thing. There is a book "Images of America: Middlesex Borough" that has some nice historical pictures in it.

Most of the stuff I watch repeatedly I have on DVD, so I'm going to go for the shows I don't like enough to own, but watch whenever I see them on:
Frasier- Watched it when it was first run, but the reruns are just as funny
Black Sheep Squadron- Didn't watch on first run, but really enjoying the ensemble cast, from the A-Team creator
The Munsters- Just off the wall stuff that was on tv in the 60's, of course today's audience is too "sophisticated" for that kind of nonsense.

Steve Does Comics said...

I grew up in Sheffield, England.

I would say the film that most captures my experience of growing up there is Kes which was set in Barnsley but that's close enough for it to feel local. Plus, its writer Barry Hines was from Sheffield. He also wrote Threads but that didn't capture my experiences of growing up there.

The song that captures the city, for me, is Sheffield Streets by Amy Allison who's from New York but that didn't stop her writing a song about the place. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEVNlzqVhgg&ab_channel=monstersoftheidmonstersoftheid

When it comes to videos on YouTube, there's Tony Christie's Walk Like a Panther, filmed in the city's now-demolished Castle Market. A strange, labyrinthine building where I got my first Lego set. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyR4ut8Vjdo&ab_channel=LondonRecordingsLondonRecordings

And,erm, there's the power and majesty of Sheffield Iron Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBbe7rQ0a-8

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie grew up in a relatively picturesque area of Gary, Indiana, along the lake front among sand dunes and woods. It is rather surprising given Gary's steel mills made it the defacto arsenal of democracy and then, when manufacturing went to hell starting in the 1970s, it became America's murder capital for at least a few years.

A city in transition which rode the wave of industrialization and immigration... to the grave.

A book which really captures that for me is Booth Tarkington's "The Magnificent Ambersons." It was written around 1920 and captures the feel of a town in Indiana changing from a old-money agrarian city to one of a neuveau-riche, bourgeois manufacturing city and the impact on the Amberson family.

Orson Welles made The Magnificent Ambersons into a movie in the early 1940sw and, though I've never seen it, it is supposedly considered one of the greatest films of all time.


FWIW I think you can ebay a copy of this book from the 1920s for a relative pittance.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie's fav reruns...

The Honeymooners which is still seen on one of the re-run channels in Chicago but like 10 PM. Perhaps considered to crude by today's standards to show earlier?

Lately I've been turning on reruns of the Dick Cavett show which ran 5 decades, starting in the 60s which are shown from 8-9 pm here. I mean an interview is an interview and really does not become dated? One day I'm watching John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the next the dude who found Dracula's castle in Transylvania, the next day Chuck Norris talking about Bruce Lee. I mean it's a trip!

I'd love to see a few reruns of The Banana Splits Club show, LOL. It was my fav during the 60s and I was a member of the club!

Redartz said...

A fine double dose of discussion fodder, Charlie! Well done...

I grew up in a medium sized Indiana town called Anderson. Smack in the middle of the rural central part of the state. It was a pretty good place to spend your youth, just big enough to actually have a comic shop in the mid 70's. Sadly, like Charlie's Gary, Anderson was devastated by recession and the loss of manufacturing. But in the 60's and 70's, it was nice. Almost Spielbergian. And the film that closest comes to my youthful memories is "The Sandlot". Just like our summers of whiffle ball, July 4 cookouts and fireworks, and friends just hanging out.

As for reruns: we recently finished watching reruns of the entire run of "M*A*S*H". It took awhile. Like Flamekeeper, we frequently watch episodes of "Frasier". And I wish someone would rerun the 1967 "Fantastic Four " cartoon...

Edo Bosnar said...

I grew up in St. Louis, Oregon, which is an unincorporated community - there used to be a small village with a general store, post office and - a very long time ago - a blacksmith shop - but when I was growing up there, the only part of the former village left standing was the wooden Catholic church (which is a historical landmark, because it's the second oldest church in the state and, I think, the oldest one made of wood). So basically, I grew up out in the country. The place was never important enough to have anybody write books about it or, say, shoot a documentary. I have to say, all through my preteen years I loved growing up there, because there was all kinds of stuff for little kids to do (bike riding, traipsing around in the nearby forests, etc.), but when I hit my teens, like pretty much all of my friends, I hated living in the sticks and longed to move to a big city...

Hm, what reruns do I like watching? Lots of stuff, I guess, and it varies from year to year. A perennial favorite is almost any version of Star Trek; most recently I've been watching a lot of TNG. A few years ago, when the episodes were still up, I was watching reruns of What's Happening on YouTube, and found myself enjoying them more than I thought I would. And - although it's a relatively new show - I've occasionally been watching reruns of White Collar (a local channel is running it every evening). That's a surprisingly good show: it has a really strong cast, and I like that most episodes are sort of like caper films, except at the end some high-profile conman, rich corrupt businessman or politician gets taken down and arrested.

Humanbelly said...

Ah, the village of Cassopolis, Michigan (also the county seat!)-- about an hour & change north of Charlie's Gary, IN. I've cited it a couple a' times 'round here, I know. It turns out that the town's "glory days" were in the late 60's through the early 80's-- when its population peaked at nearly 2500 folks. This coincided with HB's own coming-of-age years. The town was historically well-integrated with Black folks and White folks, which was a huge plus about living there--- but beyond that there was absolutely no cultural/ethnic/religious diversity whatsover, which has led to some astonishing and disturbing intolerance amongst my old friends and classmates now when it comes to things like religious freedom and immigration issues. The population was (and probably still is) a very unique mix of rural farm folks; "Town" folks; and the generally wealthier lake folks-- but EVERYBODY went to the same school, and there just weren't enough of us to get too snobby about who exactly was hanging out with whom. The majority of us would take on multiple extra-curriculars just to keep the ranks filled.

But-- while we shared so many of the fantastic, idyllic childhood activities that others have cited above (looooong summers of swimming in Diamond Lake can be added to the list--), the town itself has long reminded me of nothing so much as a Stephen King setting. Mixed with Peyton Place. There was always a disturbing layer of darkness and ugliness and cruelty simmering below the surface-- and truly tragic and horrific events would explode out of it much more frequently than you would expect in such a small, rural setting. Murders, rapes, domestic abuse, embezzlement-- and no end of sordid behavior on the part of the "adults" around us at the time. Even then there were several middle-aged "eighteen year olds" who spent their lives thinking Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" was a tribute, not a cautionary example (I mean, he hadn't written it at that point-- but you understand my meaning---). I know for a fact that several of my now-60-year-old classmates took on that mantle and are still parading it with pride. . .

Hmmmm-- I'm sorry, I do seem to have gotten unnecessarily dark, haven't I? I don't go back there anymore at all, tbh. Happy to have escaped.

Probably back later w/ some re-run TV love--!

HB

v mark said...

I grew up and still live in and around Vancouver, Canada.

It's interesting that this area has been extensively used as "Hollywood North" since the 80s, yet almost all movies and TV shows filmed here pretend that it's NYC or Seattle or some other American location. I'm stuck trying to think of one well-known Vancouver-based movie that's actually set in Vancouver.

My favorite use of Vancouver would likely be the "It" Stephen King TV adaptation from the late 80s, with Richard Thomas and John Ritter. I saw it again recently and it's strange to recognize all the familiar locations and note how drastically so many of them have changed, with giant condo towers replacing every second building or even entire blocks.
I could also note the first few seasons of the original X-Files, filmed all over Vancouver's Lower Mainland area.

As for old re-runs, I would love just once to see a full slate of the Saturday morning cartoons I remember from the late 60s, shows like Mightor, Herculoids and the Superman/Aquaman Power Hour.

Humanbelly said...

On the old re-run front, let me lead off with two that fall into the APPARENTLY UNAVAILABLE category, which makes them all the more desirable, I daresay.

First is a Saturday Morning show- THE KIDS FROM C.A.P.E.R.- from the mid/later 70's that only made it through the first-runs of its episodes. . . and then was pulled forever. Vanished mid-season with nothing even being aired a second time. I caught, like, the last three episodes of it, as I'd grown disenchanted with whatever else was in that near-lunchtime slot (including a re-vamped "throwback" show that relied heavily on what was clearly the pilot)-- and thought that it was SO disarmingly goofy, and loose, and honestly funny/campy, with terrific pacing and chemistry amongst the cast-- and then it was gone. There are clues and hints that it may have existed on DVD at some point somewhere. . . but I'm not convinced that's legit. There's also a vinyl lp (of course).

The other is HEC RAMSEY which had 10 episodes over 2 seasons as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie rotational stable. That show can be seen on Youtube-- but it's just about unwatchable in both video and audio quality, as it seems to be videotapes of someone's television screen during a local station's afternoon movie programming. I got through the pilot-- and there are some definite weaknesses readily apparent-- but I remember liking it a LOT when I was a kid, so I'd love to see the whole thing in a watchable condition.

Hunh-- which has me thinking how cool it would be to have all of those ABC Movie of the Week (Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday--) made-for-TV films available as a big ol' boxed set. Boy, THERE'D be a trip down Bronze-Age Memory Lane! DUEL, TRILOGY OF TERROR, both of the NIGHT STALKER films-- a number of things that were surprisingly lurid, others that were amazingly forward-thinking (LOVING). TONS o' pot-boilers! Yeah-- let me put that one on the ol' wish-list---

HB

Charlie Horse 47 said...

V-Mark - I'm with you buddy! I'd love to see a full slate of Saturday morning toons by network, by year!!!

HB - Dual is on Youtube. QUality decent. I turned my son and his buddy on to it around 3 years ago. They were spell bound though already20 years old!

HB - I was 13 and my brother 11. He could do Heck Ramsey's signature "Awww... Heck..." perfectly! One day I set him up. Our mother was tired and impatient and trying to relax in the living room. I said in a low voice, "Bro... gimme an 'aww heck.'" Well he bellows it out like a coon dog on a full moon! Mom comes in at full speed and whacks him across the head with full speed. Inside I was laughing so hard I thought I'd bust!


Anonymous said...

Humanbelly:
Right there with ya on the desirability of those “Apparently Unavailable” tv shows! T.H.E. CAT — with Robert Loggia as a do-gooder cat burglar — is probably at the top of my list. RAT PATROL, ALIAS SMITH AND JONES, GHOST STORY, SEARCH, THE BEARCATS, THE BARBARY COAST, etc. There are so many that I have fond memories of watching as a kid, that never get a legit home video release or re-run on MeTV — they seem to have just vanished.

Also, local tv shows that were never meant to be preserved in the first place, that were in fact erased as the video tapes they were recorded on would just be repeatedly taped over and re-used until they wore out (and would only be of interest to a tiny portion of the home-video audience anyway) — the rare clips that do show up online give just a taste of ‘em. KHJ-TV (Channel 9) was the “hip” local station in the mid-1960s here in Los Angeles, catering much of their programming to the burgeoning counter-culture / youth market. BOSS CITY was an “American Bandstand” type show that aired on the weekends, hosted by disc jockeys from their radio sister-station KHJ AM. THE GROOVY SHOW was an altogether different animal — it was on Monday thru Friday in the afternoon, hosted by actor Michael Blodgett (BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, THE VELVET VAMPIRE), taped on the beach in Santa Monica. Popular bands of the day would lip-sync their hits while teens in baggies and bikinis cavorted in the California sun. It then morphed into a more conventional studio-bound “dance party” type show and later became a strange talk / variety / free-form thing. SHRIMPENSTEIN! was an early- afternoon kids’ show featuring a mad scientist and a “Weird-Ohs” styled miniature Frankenstein puppet. They ran the Marvel Super-heroes cartoons and bantered and cracked jokes. It was just about my favorite thing in the world when I was 6. There are a few surviving clips of it online, and they’re wonderful.

I’d buy that ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK box set in a heartbeat! The ones with suspense / horror themes that you’ve cited (DUEL, TRILOGY OF TERROR, the NIGHT STALKER movies) actually ARE available on DVD and BluRay, though not in a box set. But there are tons more that I would love to see again — CROWHAVEN FARM, BLACK NOON, SCREAM OF THE WOLF, A COLD NIGHT’S DEATH, THE HORROR AT 37,000 FEET, etc. Some of these occasionally show up on YouTube, but like your HEC RAMSEY experience, they often look and sound terrible.

Of course, the sad reality is that if all these movies and series DID become available, it’s entirely possible that i’d buy the DVDs, watch one or two episodes and then put the set on the shelf and almost never get back to watching the rest of them. I’ve already got every STAR TREK (TOS), every OUTER LIMITS, every MAN FROM UNCLE, every NIGHT GALLERY, every MONTY PYTHON, every Emma Peel-era AVENGERS, every BUCK ROGERS and LOGAN’S RUN etc etc — and I rarely watch them.

But I still want ‘em!

b.t.

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

If anybody is interested;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vyOvDpBvk&t=4204s

to be followed by;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyE3AgnHNYA

Go on. Give them a shot. No, I'm not going to tell you what they are. Don't you trust me? When have I ever led you astray?

Recently.

pfgavigan

Humanbelly said...

PFG-- Bless ya, pal! I have indeed watched BOTH of these on Youtube, in lieu of purchasing them on Amazon-- in fact, when it came up just now, the first one loaded at that last spot I'd paused before I'd finished watching-- ha! (And that was more than a couple of years ago, to boot---!).

The quality of the recordings is definitely a cut above many of the other hard-to-find programs out there.

And geeze-- what a flippin' time capsule, eh?

Much appreciated-!
HB

Anonymous said...

I actually sprang for the Blu-rays of that pair a few years ago. The transfers were so good, they literally looked like they were shot yesterday — and the prices were reasonable (no idea what they’re going for now). But yes, the YouTube iterations that pfgavigan linked to above look really damn good too. Probably better than when they first aired on the Tee Vee all those years ago.

Earlier today, I searched for some stuff at the YouTube and found a pair of spooky TV Movies from 1973. First, a REALLY good transfer of HORROR AT 37,000 FEET — William Shatner, Paul Winfield and Chuck Connors Vs. An Ancient Evil aboard a 747 (looks like it was possibly ripped from a dvd or the Shudder Channel or some such). Also, a decent print of THE CAT CREATURE (which I’ve never seen but always wanted to), written by Robert Bloch, directed by Curtis Harrington, starring Meredith Baxter and David Hedison and Guest Stars John Carradine, Kent Smith and Gale Sondergaard. Come on, how could that possibly NOT be worth 90 minutes of my time?

b.t.

Edo Bosnar said...

Yeah, PFG, I watched both of those on YouTube several years ago, and then the entire series which some good soul posted - the video quality is more or less the same as those two you linked. Fun stuff, although - as with many of those series from the '60s through the '80s - it's probably best not to binge watch, but rather spread them out to one a day at the most.

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

Found another example of another show from long, long ago that I wouldn't mind seeing more of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TbXAtQAGO4&t=356s

Now I was past the age for this show, but I always thought that it was the first show that really captured what it felt like to be a teenager, namely that the adults were out to make your life miserable.

pfg

Humanbelly said...

I am LOVING how naturally conscientious we've been about not actually revealing what PFG's links took us to-- even though we still managed some discussion afterward. . . what great group o' folks, eh?

But lordy-- PFG, I don't think I've ever come across the program on your last link, there-- was that a network offering? Independent? Public Television?? Ya got me stumped!

HB

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

Worse, from a group utterly opposed to decency, morality, and fair play.

Yup. You guessed it. It's from Canada.

((( Sorry, Mike. I just couldn't resist. )))

pfg

Humanbelly said...

Ha-- it did seem to have a sorta squeaky-cleanness to its insurgency. . .

HB

v mark said...

Regarding the still-unnamed PFG-linked tv movies, I remember seeing the second one when it was broadcast and then happening to visit Seattle a few months later.
I was thrilled to learn that there really was an "underground city" beneath Pioneer Square and was very excited to tour it.
It was interesting enough, but rather a disappointment after how dramatically it had been depicted in the movie.

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

As this thread draws to its end, I just wanted to thank everyone who put up some of their fond memories. I too, had watched the Hec Ramsey as I had loved the idea of a detective in the Old West. That also probably had contributed to my appreciation of the James Garner single season show "Nichols", which had also starred Margot Kidder.

Hey b.t., check out the Wikipedia page for THE CAT CREATURE. Somebody in Production told screenwriter Robert Bloch that the script was twenty pages too long so he had to trim it down. After production finished he was then informed that it was about twelve pages too short so he had to scramble to fill in the gaps, no small task with the sets being struck and the cast and crew scattered.

Now before we go our separate ways, just wanted to add one more little bit. This show is available for viewing, but in the truncated version that made it to my local PBS station in the Seventies ((( and no, Humanbelly, that's the NINETEEN SEVENTIES, thank you very much.))) This little skit is probably the best ever example of two people separated by a common language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_6SaqVQSw

Have fun, seeya.

pfgavigan

Humanbelly said...

This was an absolute treat of a share, PFG--!
I'm not familiar with these fellas at all-- but the sketch itself plays like such a comfortable old sweatshirt that you feel like you've been watching 'em for years. I'm sure the rest of the household wondered why I was roaring with laughter. . .

HB

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

They were great, weren't they? And the wonderful thing is so much of their material is available, where they were working together or on separate projects. The sad thing is some of their earlier material was wiped away in the early Seventies by the BBC in an effort to save money on videotape.

Luckily, the following piece survived. You just might recognize the tall Twit of the Year candidate sharing the screen with them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4HflC2L7M4

Seeya

pfg

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