Brady Kids

The Lone Ranger Meets The Brady Kids


I have been a fan of the Lone Ranger for as long as I can remember. I used to watch re-runs of the TV show as a kid. I enjoyed watching Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. I’ve seen some of the Lone Ranger movies, and listened to many of the old radio shows.

Thrill to the audio adventures of The Lone Ranger in The Town With No Guns

One of the coolest things about the radio show is that occasionally the Lone Ranger and Tonto would team-up with famous figures from the days of the wild west. These team-ups featured everyone from Annie Oakley to Teddy Roosevelt.

Recently, I saw an ad on Twitter that had the Lone Ranger team-up with the characters from another TV show that I used to watch as a kid – The Brady Bunch.
Lone Ranger

This has to be one of the most unique Lone Ranger team-ups where the Lone Ranger and Tonto meet the Brady Bunch kids in this episode of The Brady Kids entitled Long Gone Silver.

[Via] Brady the Kids

Please take a look at Between the Pages to see amazing pop culture cakes and a neat Johnny Depp version of a Tonto Cake.

Moonbase 3

Lunar lunacy on Moonbase 3

How excited would you be to find out that the minds behind Doctor Who were being given a second show to run, an original science fiction epic of their own design, with money coming not just from the BBC, but a major American studio, to be shown on a U.S. broadcast network?
Moonbase 3

If you were asked this in 2017, you’d probably be pretty excited. If, on the other hand, you were asked in 1973, you might also be excited, unaware that the result would be a short-lived show called Moonbase 3.

[Via] Collin Dubberley

Devised by Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks, who were, respectively, the producer and script editor of Jon Pertwee-era early ’70s Doctor Who, Moonbase 3 chronicles the dramatic goings-on at a British-run moon base, where research, politics, and the middle ground between the two – funding – are always points of contention. The pent-up confines of the base make it a pressure cooker between conflicting personalities; in this environment, personality quirks can become more pronounced, or even dangerous to others.
Moonbase 3

The BBC got 20th Century Fox to pitch in on the making of Moonbase 3, so its model work is fairly impressive – not just 1973 impressive, but nicely done and detailed. (Compare to a contemporary episode of Doctor Who, Frontier In Space, which featured a spacecraft whose spherical nose was literally a painted light bulb. Please don’t drop the model.) There was no obligation from the BBC to connect Moonbase 3 to Doctor Who, so it isn’t a spinoff; it actually aired in a late night slot on ABC in the States.

In fact, it’s that little known American broadcast that explains why we have the show at all now; as is often sadly the case, British-made shows shot on videotape tended to be shown once or twice, and then the tapes would be wiped and reused, as videotape was an expensive luxury in the 1970s. As far as anyone knew, until PAL-to-NTSC converted broadcast videotapes turned up in the vaults in America, Moonbase 3 was lost for good. (In fact, the show’s co-creator, Terrance Dicks, has offered the opinion that this might’ve been just as well, but when one considers the sadly incomplete state of such series as Doomwatch, Doctor Who, Ace Of Wands and Out Of The Unknown, the recovery of the entirety of Moonbase 3 has to count as a good thing.) Converted back to PAL, Moonbase 3 has since been released on DVD in the UK. (It’s so completely unknown in America that no Region 1 release has ever been scheduled; for whatever it’s worth, the show also exists in YouTubed form.)

[Via] Whovian69uk’s channel

What does Moonbase 3 have going for it? An always-interesting cast, ever-shifting alliances and agitations between characters, and some decent sets and special effects for an early ’70s BBC series. The acting style is, to be charitable, early ’70s UK TV – stagey and a bit shouty – but Moonbase 3 boasts some familiar guest stars if you’re a fan of British TV. The highlight of the six episodes is Castor & Pollux, an episode chronicling a mishap during an international space mission involving one of Moonbase 3’s crew – it’s a gripping and plausible story (from a show that predated the American/Soviet Apollo Soyuz Test Project mission by two years) with some dizzying effects work.

On the downside, Moonbase 3 is thick with human intrigue and interpersonal conflict, and perhaps a bit short on the awe and wonder of space. The heavy, oppressive atmosphere of the show isn’t a bundle of laughs, and depending on your frame of mind may not even be entertaining. A few keen observers of British TV have noted that there’s more than a slight similarity between Moonbase 3 and the moody first season of Space: 1999, which arrived two years later on rival network ITV.

Moonbase 3 is an acquired taste, and it’s easy to see why it ran six episodes and then simply didn’t get picked up. The spacey sets built for the show were easy enough to recycle – they turned up as a faux spaceship in the season of Doctor Who that came after Moonbase 3’s short run – and Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks elected to concentrate their energy on the relatively light-hearted travels of the TARDIS. Moonbase 3 survives as a bit of a TV cul-de-sac, a sci-fi curio that may be more effective as a mood piece than as a story.

Ethel Merman

In 1979 Ethel Merman Performed Disco On Kids Are People Too?

While this post is certainly about Ethel Merman and her foray into the disco craze. It was in fact brought about thanks to finding this ad in a 1979 TV Guide. For the 1972 to 1982 Saturday Morning variety show, Kids Are People Too.

[Via] Howie Zeidman
Ethel Merman

Sadly I’ve not been lucky enough to find any of that Christopher Reeve segment online. Although at the very least we do have the Ethel Merman disco rendition of Alexander’s Ragtime Band! I am afraid however that you will have to follow the link here to see that particular TV broadcast. Having said that I am happy to say that you can see her perform the same number on this segment of Johnny Carson.

[Via] Alan Eichler

Read: Speaking of Christopher Reeve, Check Out This 1978 Behind The Scenes Photo From Superman!

I will admit that we use the term legendary a little too freely these days. However in regards to Ethel Merman there is no other way to describe the woman. Born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman in 1908 – of course she swore it was 1912. Ethel Merman ended up altering her name because of fears it wouldn’t fit on a marquee very easily. Merman found success thanks to her comedic style, bold and strong character, as well as her iconic voice.

[Via] Congobeat

Ethel Merman started making a name for herself after performing as a singer for Jimmy Durante. In fact the two would form a lifelong bond of friendship from this working experience.

Read: You Might Recall The Jimmy Durante Character From Crispy Critters Cereal

Soon she became a Broadway star after appearing in the Gershwin musical Girl Crazy in 1930. A role that audiences and critics took notice of – not to mention running for 272 performances. Although she would appear in numerous movies and TV shows throughout her life, it was most certainly Broadway where she reigned supreme.

Ethel Merman - Disco Album
In 1979, at the ripe old age of seventy-one, Ethel was naturally still going strong. Which is when of course she decided to release The Ethel Merman Disco Album. Featuring seven songs that she was well known for:

  • There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • Everything’s Coming Up Roses
  • I Get a Kick Out of You
  • Something for the Boys
  • Some People
  • Alexander’s Ragtime Band
  • I Got Rhythm

It has been said that Ethel literally recorded all seven songs for the album – in one take each. The disco arraingement was added in afterwards, which might have resulted in the rather negative reviews. I can’t speak to any of that as perhaps I just love Ethel Merman too much to care?

[Via] Thierry Alexandre

Popeye Met The Defenders Of The Earth In 1972?!

Back in 1985 one of my favorite animated series was Defenders of the Earth. Numerous times on The Retroist I’ve mentioned my fondness for pulp characters. Of heroes of the Golden Age – like The Shadow, The Phantom and others.

Thanks in fact to the 1980 Flash Gordon film. I came across an old collection of comic strips from King Features Syndicate at my local library. Which is of course how I was introduced to the likes of Mandrake the Magician and Lothar. Which like The Phantom was a creation of Lee Falk as well. They even had old Popeye collections from the E.C. Segar strip days!
Popeye

So you can easily imagine my joy when the Defenders of the Earth series debuted one morning. Bear in mind that if you didn’t have access to a TV Guide you were generally caught unawares about a new animated weekday show.

Themecstasy

Until last night however I wasn’t aware that the Defenders of the Earth had grouped together before 1985. Back in 1972 in fact for Popeye Meets The Man Who Hated Laughter – which was part of ABC’s Saturday Superstar Movie!

[Via] Muttley 16

When I stumbled on this I felt for a moment like I was reading an issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moreover these early Defenders were joined by another King Features Syndicate hero – Milton Caniff’s Steve Canyon.

That is not even the most interesting part of it. The group that we would come to know as the Defenders of the Earth were brought together for a very special mission.

The Defenders of the Earth circa 1972.

In Popeye Meets The Man Who Hated Laughter, the US government asked the team to locate missing comic strip characters. Such as Blondie and Dagwood.

Beetle Bailey and Sarge.

As well as Popeye and Olive Oyl of course!

To say nothing of characters from Henry, Hi and Lois, Tiger and Prince Valiant. In addition to Bringing Up Father, Little Iodine, Snuffy Smith, and more.

Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter concerns itself with the villainous Professor Morbid Grimsby. A wretch who plans on banishing all laughter in the world – aided by a super computer as well as Popeye’s nemesis, Brutus. Inviting the cast of comic strip superstars aboard a yacht – the S.S. Hilarious. Taking them to the island hideaway of Professor Grimsby, where they will be his prisoners.

It’s up to the proto-Defenders of the Earth to locate the missing characters. Now in view of just how awesome this TV special really is, I should warn you about something. The sound isn’t that good. But in all honesty we are all incredibly lucky that Stupid Dim Bulb was able to upload this rare 1972 movie.

While it would take the Defenders of the Earth 13 years in fact to return to animation. Popeye was back in action in 1978 with The All New Popeye Hour!

[Via] Cartoons Intro

A Christmas Carol

Toon In: Enjoy 1971’s A Christmas Carol!

I mentioned in the last of the Retro Radio Memories Podcasts – I love A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens 1843 novella really gets to me. I’ve as a matter of fact have pretty much loved all adaptations of the classic tale. Just a few of my favorites include 1951’s Scrooge, 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1984’s overlooked made for TV version featuring George C. Scott and of course 1970’s version of Scrooge!

[Via] Plains Video

It most certainly has a bit to do with the supernatural elements…I mean I AM a monster kid. But more than that is the message that a person can be saved from a destructive path, they can better themselves. The act of redemption of course is what keeps me coming back to A Christmas Carol again and again.

Now having said all of that. There appears to be a version of the story that I’ve not seen before. An 1971 animated special that aired on ABC on December 21. But proved so popular that it was later given a theatrical release. Then secured an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1972!

Which by the way the Academy changed the rules right after that win – so a made for TV short film cannot be eligible. A bit of humbug with that, right?

While the stunning animation style was based on the illustrations provided by John Leech and Milo Winter. Who in fact provided the artwork for the 1930’s version of Dickens’ novella. The short film also had legendary Chuck Jones as a producer with direction by Richard Williams.

Another key point to remember about this adaptation of A Christmas Carol is the sometimes frightening images. Whether it be the likes of Jacob Marley – shocking Ebenezer to keep him silent.
A Christmas Carol

Or the Ghost of Christmas Present’s charges Ignorance and Want. Memorable and visually striking to say the least.

Another feature in the short film’s cap is the vocal talent they secured. For example you have Michael Redgrave as the narrator, Michael Hordren as Jacob Marley, Joan Sims as Mrs. Cratchit, and Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Yes, it is true that Sim reprises the role he played in 1951’s film adaption!

So sit back and Toon In for 1971’s A Christmas Carol – and from all of us at The Retroist have a Happy Holiday!

Just Jeff 53