The title of this post derives from the feelings I had immediately after diving into the thirty episodes of The Banana Splits I downloaded last week. My initial excitement was quickly dashed when I realized I will never be able to sit through an entire season of that shit. Here are some of the more interesting things I've come across this week that have filled me with similar pangs of excitement followed by sudden boredom.
That Girl with George Carlin - In the recent exploration of counterculture comedian Murray Roman, George Carlin's name was raised several times. Both Roman and Carlin attempted to break through as run-of-the-mill mainstream comedians before finding their niche in the underground. Today, viewing Carlin's initial, unsuccessful persona is rather fascinating. Carlin's acting debut came in 1966 on an episode of the Marlo Thomas sitcom That Girl. The role was followed by a turn as a drive-in restaurant car hop in the Doris Day film With Six You Get Egg Roll. In That Girl Carlin portrayed the struggling actress's corny, clean shaven, agent. Doris Day and Marlo Thomas are names that fit together well, Doris Day and George Carlin - not so much. Watch that entire episode here.
The Smothers Brothers Show - Prior to their success with The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and all the political controversies that came with it, Tom and Dick were thrown into an awkward situation comedy that has remained unseen since its merciful cancellation forty two years ago. The premise was typical of the era in which fantasy-type sitcoms like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, The Munsters, The Addams Family and My Favorite Martian were wildly successful. The ludicrous premise had Tom Smothers, dead for two years after a boating accident, returning from the grave as a bumbling angel, making life difficult for his living brother, Dickie, an advertising agent. The show was produced by Fred De Cordova, who went on to great fame as the producer of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show (the character Artie on The Larry Sanders Show was based on him). Here it is.
The Dick Cavett Show with guest Evel Knievel and Dizzy Gillespie - I can't exactly say that I like it when notable show business figures or pop culture personalities die, but when it happens in the internet age, incredible footage suddenly floods my computer. Take the passing of Evel Knievel the other evening. Less than twelve hours after the announcement of his death, this wonderful twenty-two minute segment was uploaded.
Gilligan's Planet - I dare you to watch these two episodes from beginning to end. I dare you. This awful Filmation cartoon followed the long Saturday morning tradition of taking a tired concept and attempting to freshen it up by launching it into space. Prior to this celestial take on Gilligan's Island, children were exposed to Josie and The Pussycats in Outer Space, Partridge Family 2200 A.D. and The Three Robonic Stooges to name but a few. I was pretty excited to find these complete episodes of Gilligan's Planet, but the novelty turned to nausea after the first eight minutes. Watch them here and good luck!
G.L.O.W. - Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling - Here's another one that is a serious exercise in patience. Eighties wrestling meets eighties sitcom. How can you not like a show with a character named Matilda the Hun?
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with George Carlin, The Committee and The Doors - All one need do is look at that line-up of guest stars to see how far The Smothers Brothers had come since their hokey 1965 sitcom. However, in this episode we still see George Carlin before he truly came into his own. And in fact, at one point, we even get to see Carlin sing in a gigantic musical production number. Watch it here.
Also new on YouTube in the past few weeks:
Redd Foxx Colt 45 Commercial
Chuck Berry on Johnny Carson
Yippie Jerry Rubin attacks Phil Donahue
8mm Footage of a Corporate Roast featuring Jim Backus