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“ALL the Music That Matters for the Generation That Created Rock 'n' Roll”

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The TV That Time Forgot: Toni Twin Time (1950)

Think there are some bad reality TV shows on the air now?

Back in the summer of 1950, Toni Home Permanents (remember those?) actually sponsored a 15-minute prime time show that featured twins with the audience having to guess which one had had her hair styled professionally and which had used Toni’s home hair care products. In other words.

The only reason anyone should remember this show is its host – a young guy named Jack Lemmon!

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

What was the first made-for-TV animated holiday special? Oh, alright. The title of this post sort of gives it away.

Yes, before Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, before A Charlie Brown Christmas, there was Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol!

Magoo had made the jump from theatrical cartoons to his own TV series in 1960. The success of that show convinced UPA (owners of the character) to make a 60-minute adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic.

First broadcast on NBC in 1962 with the sponsorship of the Timex watch people, the special took on an unusual “show-within-a-show concept.” Magoo was a great actor, returning to his theatrical roots by appearing on Broadway as Ebenezer Scrooge in a musical version of the famous tale.

Read more: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

Kookie Talk

We loved Kookie on 77 Sunset Strip not just for the way he dressed and his famous hairstyle. We loved the hipster slang he would use in every episode. We didn’t know if the terms were actually in use among the cognoscenti in large urban areas or if the show’s writers were just making them up. And we didn’t care.

Here are a few classic “Kookie-isms.” See how many you remember:

Don’t point your ears – Don’t turn around

Endsville – The best

Ginchiest – Beyond Endsville

Light up the tilt sign – Lie

Slip me a Washington – Give me a dollar bill

Wheeling – Driving

The beam came to me – I got the idea

Mushroom people – Night owls

Blasting off – Leaving

It’s real nervous – It’s real good

Satchels – Bags under the eyes

That cat has hi-fi thoughts – The guy is smart

Fold a fender – Park a car

I’m still sending – I’ve got more to tell you

Bill Murray as the Human Torch?

Yes, it really happened! Bill Murray has portrayed a Marvel super-hero. The year was 1975 and Marvel was trying to expand from Saturday morning TV into the world of radio. So they spent $47,000 on a Fantastic Four radio series.

Murray was a struggling comic who had migrated from Chicago to New York. He was already working on The National Lampoon Radio Show, but picked up extra work when he was cast as Johnny Storm a.k.a. The Human Torch!

The shows were all adaptations of the very early issue of the Fantastic Four comic books of the early 1960’s. They were narrated by none other than Stan Lee himself. They are the cheese fest you would expect with all of Lee’s breathless, over-the-top prose and Murray faithfully shouting the Torch’s catchphrase “Flame on!” in every episode.

Sadly, the series lasted only 13 episodes and earned a paltry $22,000.

Oh, John Belushi was up for the part of the Thing, but was turned down.

A year later, Murray replaced Chevy Chase on the second season of NBC’s Saturday Night (it wouldn’t become Saturday Night Live until near the end of the second season). And the rest is show biz history!

The TV That Time Forgot: The Millionaire

Boy! Could we use a show like this in real life!

From 1955 to 1960, for 5 seasons an eccentric millionaire would give away $1 million to somebody he never even met. We were allowed to eavesdrop on the consequences of this sudden cash windfall on CBS.

The man who gave the million was identified at John Beresford Tipton. We never saw any more of him than the back of his head or his arm as he handed a cashier’s check to his executive secretary.

The man who delivered the million was Michael Anthony, played by veteran actor and announcer Marvin Miller. Each week, Miller would look directly into the camera and say something like this:

Read more: The TV That Time Forgot: The Millionaire

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