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The TV That Time Forgot: Supercar (1962)

Before the Thunderbirds were GO… before David Hasselhoff got behind the wheel of KITT… there was Supercar, the first of the Supermarionation series produced by Gerry Anderson!

Supercar was a bit of a misnomer because the vehicle had no wheels and spent more time flying like a plane or diving underwater like a submarine than it ever did cruising down the highways like a car.

The main character on the show was Supercar’s pilot, Mike Mercury, but the car itself was supposedly the creation of Professor Popkiss and Dr. Beaker who helped guide the vehicle from their headquarters in Nevada. Actually, the car was a way that Anderson could avoid having to have his puppets walk – which never looked very convincing.

In the first episode, Supercar rescues a young boy named Jimmy Gibson. Jimmy has a pet monkey named Mitch (because why not?). They are then invited to live at Supercar headquarters and take part in the adventures. A young boy living alone in the dessert with 3 grown men apparently raised few eyebrows at Child & Family Services back in the day.

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: Supercar (1962)

The TV That Time Forgot: Ozzie and Harriet

Anyone who knows TV history knows that Seinfeld pulled one of the biggest con jobs in American broadcasting history with their claim that they were “A show about nothing.” Every single episode had a main plot and secondary plot (A and B plots in TV jargon) – just like every episode of every sit-com on the air at the time.

The REAL “show about nothing?” Well, that was unquestionably The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Never has the word “adventure” been so misused!

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: Ozzie and Harriet

The TV That Time Forgot: The Nat "King" Cole Show

In November, 1956, NBC became the first network to build a variety show around a black headliner when they debuted The Nat “King” Cole Show.

Nat "King" Cole was already an extremely popular singer, with 17 Top 10 hits. His show was well-received an attracted big name talent like Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald as guests. Yet, by December of 1957 the show was gone!

Why?

It wasn’t lack of ratings. Nat “King” Cole competed well. The problem was advertising. The New York agencies were afraid to place their sponsors on a show headlined by an African-American. They feared negative reaction to their clients’ products in the South. The show was only able to attract sponsors at the local level, like Reingold Beer in the New York area.

For a short time, Cole and his guests all agreed to work for AFTRA scale, the equivalent of minimum wage for TV performers. But after a year, Cole became disillusioned and quit, telling reporters, “Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.”

NBC kept trying, bringing Bill Cosby in to co-star in the hit spy series Ispy beginning in 1965. Three years later they would launch Julia, a sit-com that starred Diahann Carroll.

But it wasn’t until 1970 that the network was finally able to create a variety show starring a black entertainer that could attract national sponsors. That was The Flip Wilson Show.

The TV That Time Forgot: Maverick

When you mention the TV series Maverick to any Baby Boomer, the first name they are likely to mention is James Garner. Yet, here’s a fun fact. Garner starred in less than half of the Maverick episodes filmed!

The Maverick TV series was very popular, running from the fall of 1957 through the summer of 1962 or 5 full seasons. But Garner left the show after Season 3 and even then, he shared the first 3 seasons with actor Jack Kelly, who played brother, Bart Maverick to Garner’s Brett.

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Where the Boys Are (1960)

The granddaddy (or is that grandmommy) of all Spring Break films is Where the Boys Are! Released in December of 1960, this was an “A” picture for MGM, shot in Technicolor and CinemaScope.

The movie’s advertising billed it as “The HILARIOUS Inside Story of Those Rip-Roaring Spring Vacations!” Let’s look at the plot. We have a date rape (laughing yet?), a girl wandering out into traffic and getting hit by a car (a chuckle maybe?) and the film’s two leads going their separate ways at the end of the picture (side-splitting, right?).

Actually, this baby is pretty damn melodramatic. What few laughs there are belong to Frank Gorshin as a very nearsighted musician committed to “dialectic jazz.”

The film’s title allegedly came from a remark a college girl made when a reporter asked her why she came to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break. The plot was based on a novel by Glendon Swarthout.

Read more: Where the Boys Are (1960)

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