Going Blanc

I have returned from my 5-month long hiatus and to celebrate my return and my 100th blog post, I am posting a video of Mel and Noel Blanc on the CBS summer series That’s My Line from August of 1980. I saw this when it aired and I had a hunch about what this was leading up to….and when Bob Barker didn’t ask Noel what his name was, I knew what was coming. Enjoy!

Remembering a Legend….Jack Benny

jack_benny

Jack Benny February 14, 1894 – December 26, 1974

 

40 years ago today the world lost one of the greatest comedians who ever lived when Jack Benny died at the age of 80….of course, Jack would have insisted that he was 39.

Jack Benny’s career ranged from vaudeville to radio to movies to television to concert stages to personal appearances….and he continued to perform almost until his death from pancreatic cancer. He was even set to co-star with Walter Matthau in the film The Sunshine Boys….that role would played instead by Benny’s best friend of 55 years, George Burns. I’ll bet that Jack would have been pleased that George’s career was revived by his Oscar-winning turn in the movie.

NBC aired a half-hour tribute tribute on December 27th that was hosted by Tom Snyder and CBS aired the following hour-long tribute on December 29th, the day of Benny’s funeral. Hosted by Charles Kuralt, this special includes comments from Benny’s co-stars Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Frank Nelson, Don Wilson, Dennis Day and Mel Blanc, plus Milton Berle, Danny Thomas, Danny Kaye, CBS founder/chairman William S. Paley, Bob Hope’s eulogy at the services and a wonderful clip to end the broadcast….Jack and Gisele MacKenzie with their classic violin duet of “Getting to Know You”.

Today’s Christmas Video

today's christmas video

 

This is an episode of The Red Skelton Show that aired on CBS on December 20, 1955….it is based on the O. Henry story The Cop and the Anthem and features guest star Allen Jenkins.

Today’s Christmas Video

today's christmas video

A nice simple spot from CBS (via R.O. Biechman) in 1966.

Saturday Morning Memories

BugsBunnyShow

This article made me kinda sad….for the first time in over 50 years there are no Saturday morning cartoons airing on any of the broadcast networks.

Saturday morning American broadcast TV was once animation’s home field. Filling a cereal bowl with artificially colored sugar pebbles and staring at the tube was every kid’s weekend plan. Not any more: For the first time in 50-plus years, you won’t find a block of animation on broadcast this morning. It’s the end of an era.

Yes, The CW, the final holdout in Saturday morning animation, ran its last batch of Vortexx cartoons last weekend. This week, where you once saw shows like Cubix, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z and Kai, Digimon Fusion, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’ll instead find “One Magnificent Morning,” a block of live-action educational programming.

It’s the end of an era, but it’s been a long time coming: NBC ditched Saturday morning cartoons in 1992, CBS followed suit not long after, and ABC lost its animated weekend mornings in 2004. The CW, a lower-tier broadcast network, was the last holdout in a game that the Big 3 left long ago.

I know that there are classic cartoons running on cable networks, not to mention the fact that kids and/or their parents can pop in a DVD….but it’s just not the same as parking yourself in front of the tv set with a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning and waiting for some of the following classic cartoon openings.

This was my all-time favorite – The Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Show. This begins with something that kids today know nothing about: the CBS network “tone” that was heard before the beginning of every program.

Here’s a few more Saturday morning favorites….

The Flintstones

The Jetsons

Underdog

Beany and Cecil (the opening)

Beany and Cecil (the closing)

There are so many more that I could have included – maybe I’ll do a follow-up someday – but for now….

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