Sunday, October 10, 2021

Rainy Days and Matches

Began a quick morning with breakfast and the cast album for the 1946 revival of Show Boat. This was the last show Jerome Kern worked on before his death in 1945. "Nobody Else But Me," a charmingly self-depreciating ballad originally written for Magnolia's daughter Kim, would be his last song. I think the song is lovely, but other aspects of the show don't wear as well, including some shortened and revised lyrics to be more racially sensitive. 

Headed off to work before the album even ended. Once again, no trouble with Uber. Both drivers came within 11 minutes or less, and I got to work right on time. 

Work wasn't bad when I got in, but it picked up around 10 and wouldn't let up until past 3:30. Between the rainy weather, the holiday weekend, and the big Eagles game against the Carolina Panthers, almost everyone had huge orders. I'm dead tired and didn't always handle them as well as I could have, especially later in the day when I was really run down.

(At least the Eagles did better than me. I found out later that they did beat the Panthers 21-18.)

When I got home, I discovered someone made my bed, or tried to. It looks all lumpy and thrown-together, but not like I slept in it. I didn't think anyone was going to look at the house until tomorrow, so I have no idea what was going on there.

Changed, had a snack, and went into writing, or tried to. Brett's son Adam angrily defends his mother. Ira hotly denies being near the tarts, but Adam points out everyone ate them throughout the croquet game, including him.

Didn't break for dinner until almost 7:30. Had the leftover chicken leg and rice with steamed green beans and made Minted Honey Banana Bread while listening to the soundtrack from Popeye. I've always loved this long and peculiar 1980 live-action version of the comic strip, with Robin Williams as the sailor title character and Shelly Duval as his fickle sweetheart Olive Oyl. Makes me wish Williams and Duvall did more musicals. Duval has two adorably odd ballads, "He Needs Me" after she meets Popeye and her assessment of Bluto, "He's Large." Popeye's best numbers are his introductory "I Yam What I Yam" and the lovely "Sweet Pea's Lullaby." I'm also fond of the touching ballad that was cut from the film, "Din' We." 

Finished the night at YouTube with Match Game '73. As Linda Young mentioned last week, the first few weeks of the show started out as a more staid affair, not unlike the early weeks of the 60's show...and like the 60's show, it didn't work until it started to be played for comedy. The laughs turned up as early as the fifth episode, the first time someone answered a question with "boobs." (For the record, it was Vicki Lawrence.) 

Charles, Brett, and Betty White made their debuts in the eleventh episode...and they proved to be a breath of fresh air. Brett was originally suggested by her then-husband Jack Klugman, who said she was dying to get out of the house. It worked. She was so funny and sarcastic and worked so well with Gene and Richard, she became a regular almost immediately. Busy Charles wouldn't become a permanent part of the show until the end of the year. 

Along with showcasing more familiar semi-regulars like White, Elaine Joyce, and MASH alumni McLean Stevenson and Loretta Swit, we get to see some folks who wouldn't pop up again after those first weeks. Michael Landon often appeared on the 60's version, but he was so disenchanted with the rules for the 1973 show, he refused to return after the first week. Others who would only turn up at this early stage include The Waltons stars Michael Lerned and Richard Thomas, Robert Culp, comedienne and voice actress Pat Carroll, Broadway star Nanette Fabray, comedian Stu Gilliam, and Gail Fisher of Mannix

Take a peek at the early years of this hilarious favorite, from the first naughty answer to how Gene got his beloved long microphone! (Watch out for a bad tape on the Batman and Robin episode - some now-offensive sexual language there have kept this off TV since 1998.) 

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