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The Untold Secrets of Tom Terrific

If you were a kid growing up in the late 1950s and early 60s, odds are good to certain you started your weekday with Captain Kangaroo on CBS. Beginning in 1957, the Captain added a special carton feature that quickly became as Bunny Rabbit and Grandfather Clock – the cartoon adventures of Tom Terrific.

Tom Terrific came about because CBS had purchased the Terrytoons cartoon studio a few years earlier. They used the studio’s huge library of theatrical cartoons (featuring Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle among others) as the backbone of their original Saturday morning line-up. To get even more out of their investment, they put the studio to work creating one of the very first made-for-tv cartoons – and the first to air on a major network.

Read more: The Untold Secrets of Tom Terrific

The TV That Time Forgot: Mr. & Mrs. North

Pam and Jerry North were a very happily married couple who kept tripping over dead bodies. Jerry was a publisher of mystery novels (natch) and his slightly off-kilter wife was usually the one who solved the cases they kept stumbling across.

Mr. & Mrs. North had a long, successful career in books, stage and the radio. Unfortunately, the TV version wasn’t all that successful, running only two seasons. But thanks to reruns, it is remembered by many Baby Boomers.

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: Mr. & Mrs. North

Return to Doodyville

A Guide to Howdy Doody Books and Video

For a show that ran for 13 years and was one of the mainstays of Baby Boomer culture throughout the entire 1950’s, there are surprisingly few ways we can relive those memories today.

There have been books and DVDs about The Howdy Doody Show released over the years, but few remain in print as of this writing. Nevertheless, here’s a rundown on what’s been produced.

Read more: Return to Doodyville

Love That Bob!

Imagine a TV series where Miss Hathaway from Beverly Hillbillies, Alice from The Brady Bunch and Dobie Gillis all hung out together. There was such a series in the 1950’s, originally called The Bob Cummings Show, but better remembered due to the name it adopted for its far longer tenure in syndication, Love That Bob!

Bob Cummings starred as Bob Collins (continuing the long-standing but frankly puzzling sit-com tradition where the lead actor uses their real first name but a fictitious last name).

Cummings played a glamour photographer who was always surrounded by stunningly gorgeous models, many of whom he loved and left. Back then, he was a rakish playboy. Today, we’d call him commitment-phobic. Bob’s character was also interested in aviation.

In real life, photography and flying private planes were two of Cummings’ major interests. We suspect dating beautiful women was also an interest as he was married five times.

Read more: Love That Bob!

Ski Party (1965)

Beach Party movies, why limit them to summer? That must have been the thinking among the brain trust at American International Pictures. Apparently, nobody in the room said, “Because most of the drive-ins in America are closed during the winter!”

That’s how we wound up with this unalloyed gem of a movie, a combination of Some Like It Hot  and Beach Blanket Bingo – only in parkas – called Ski Party.

The 6th entry in the Beach Party series has everything – except Annette. Or at least Annette is only around for two quick scenes in the beginning. She is there in the beginning of the movie as a college sex ed professor (!) who gets into some inappropriate behavior with one of her students.

Her replacement on this ski trip is Deborah Walley, who clearly lacks two of Ms. Funicello’s major attractions. I mean Annette’s singing voice and big helmet of black hair (really, get your mind out of the gutter).

Read more: Ski Party (1965)

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