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 “People Are Funny: The Unlikely Job || a classic TV encore with Art Linkletter” 

​People Are Funny is an American radio and television game show, created by John Guedel that ran from 1942 to 1960 in which contestants were asked to carry out stunts.


Radio
The series began in 1938 when Guedel made an audition recording, and the following year, his concept of a comedy stunt show aired in Los Angeles as Pull Over, Neighbor, later reworked into All Aboard. Watching a bored, unreceptive audience listening to an after-dinner speaker, Guedel scribbled, “People are funny, aren’t they?” on a napkin, and he had his title.

In 1942, learning of a show that was canceled, he pitched People Are Funny to NBC, and it went on the air April 10, 1942 with Art Baker as host. In a popular first-season stunt, a man was assigned to register a trained seal at the Knickerbocker Hotel while explaining that the seal was his girlfriend.[1]


On October 1, 1943, Baker was replaced by Art Linkletter, who continued for the rest of the series. For a memorable stunt of 1945, Linkletter announced that $1,000 would go to the first person to find one of 12 plastic balls floating off California. Two years later, an Ennylageban Island[2] native claimed the prize.[1][3]

As the popularity of the program escalated, a movie musical titled People Are Funny was released in 1946, offering a fictional version of the show’s origin in a tale of rival radio producers. Phillip Reed appeared as Guedel, with Linkletter and Frances Langford portraying themselves. Also in the cast were Jack Haley, Helen Walker, Ozzie Nelson and Rudy Vallée. One outstanding moment in the film is a Spanish dance number performed by Lupe Mayorga (aka Lillian Molieri) to the song “I Love My Marimba.” The radio series moved to CBS from 1951 to 1954, returning to NBC from 1954 to 1960.[1]

Television 

Linkletter continued as host of the show during its run on television from September 19, 1954 to April 1, 1960. In one stunt, a contestant would win a prize if he could sustain a phone conversation with a puzzled stranger (picked at random from the phone directory) for several minutes without the other party hanging up. The series received Emmy nominations in 1955 and 1956. It finished #27 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1955-1956 season, then finished #21 for 1956-1957 and #29 for 1957-1958.[4]
Although the series ended on April 1, 1960, the network aired encores until April 13, 1961, making People Are Funny the first game show to air repeats. On March 24, 1984, a “reconstituted” version of People Are Funny with Flip Wilson as host returned to NBC where it was telecast until July 21.

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“Shirley Bassey “Goldfinger” – Live at Royal Albert Hall, 1974.”

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“Goldfinger” was the title song from the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Composed by John Barry and with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, the song was performed by Shirley Bassey for the film’s opening and closing title sequences, as well as the soundtrack album release. The single release of the song gave Bassey her only Billboard Hot 100 top forty hit, peaking in the Top 10 at number eight and at number two for four weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart,[1] and in the United Kingdom the single reached number 21.[2]

The song finished at #53 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. In 2008, the single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[3]

Background

Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley were asked to create the lyrics for the song. But when its composer John Barry played them the first three notes, Bricusse and Newley looked at each other and sang out: “. . . wider than a mile,” to the melody of “Moon River,” the popular theme song from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Barry was not amused.

One source of inspiration was the song “Mack the Knife”, which director Guy Hamilton showed Barry, thinking it was a “gritty and rough” song that could be a good model for what the film required. Bricusse and Newley were not shown any film footage or script excerpts, but were advised of the fatal gilding suffered by the Jill Masterson character, played by Shirley Eaton. Bricusse would later recall that once he and Newley hit upon utilizing “the Midas touch” in the lyric, the pattern of the song became evident and the lyrics were completed within at most a couple of days.

The first recording of “Goldfinger” was made by Newley in a May 14, 1964 recording session, with Barry as conductor, which produced two completed takes. Barry would recall that Newley gave a “very creepy” performance which he, Barry considered “terrific”. Newley’s recording, however, was made purely as a demo for the film’s makers. According to Barry, Newley “didn’t want to sing it in the movie as they [Newley and Bricusse] thought the song was a bit weird”.

Shirley Bassey was Barry’s choice to record the song; he had been conductor on Bassey’s national tour in December 1963 and the two had also been romantically involved. Barry had played Bassey an instrumental track of the song before its lyrics were written; the singer would recall that hearing the track had given her “goose bumps”. She agreed to sing the song whatever the lyrics might eventually be. Bassey recorded the track on August 20, 1964 at London’s CTS Studios in Wembley: the track’s producer credit named Bassey’s regular producer George Martin, but the session was in fact overseen by Barry. Vic Flick, Jimmy Page and Big Jim Sullivan are all said to have been guitarists on the session, and at least Page has supported his involvement, recalling that Bassey had nearly collapsed after the final note.

The recording of “Goldfinger” lasted all night as Barry demanded repeated takes due to musicians’ or technical glitches, not any shortcomings in Bassey’s vocal. Bassey did initially have issues with the climactic final note which necessitated her slipping behind a studio partition between takes to remove her bra. Bassey would recall of the final note: “I was holding it and holding it – I was looking at John Barry and I was going blue in the face and he’s going – hold it just one more second. When it finished, I nearly passed out.”

The iconic two-note phrase which is the basis for the song’s introduction was not in the original orchestration, but occurred to Barry during a tea-break, following an hour and a half of rehearsal. By the time the musicians returned, twenty minutes later, he had written the figure into the orchestration.

The hit single was released in mono, with the album stereo issues (on the film soundtrack, Golden Hits Of Shirley Bassey and subsequent releases) using an alternate mix in which the instrumental take is the same, but Bassey’s vocal is different; a shade less intense and with a shorter final note. Newley’s version was later released in 1992 to mark the 30th Anniversary of James Bond on film, in a compilation collector’s edition: The Best of Bond…James Bond.

Bassey’s title theme was almost taken out of the film because producer Harry Saltzman hated it, saying, “That’s the worst *** song I’ve ever heard in my *** life”. Saltzman would also dislike Bassey’s subsequent Bond theme, that for Diamonds Are Forever. However time constraints did not allow for the possibility of a replacement Goldfinger theme song being written and recorded.

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I MARRIED JOAN starring Joan Davis with Jim Backus

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I Married Joan is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from 1952 to 1955. It starred veteran vaudeville, film, and radio comedian-comedy actress Joan Davis as the manic, scatterbrained wife of a mild-mannered community judge, the Honorable Bradley Stevens (Jim Backus).

Synopsis

Davis as Joan Stevens
The show, whose syndicated opening makes the claim “America’s favorite comedy show, starring America’s queen of comedy, Joan Davis, as Mrs. Joan Stevens.” focused on a married couple, Joan and Bradley Stevens. I Married Joan’s trademark was broad physical slapstick, with Joan Stevens portrayed as bright but somewhat childlike and given to misunderstanding.  Virtually every episode had a plot which provided star Davis with a setup for at least one scene of over-the-top physical comedy.  Davis’s real-life daughter, Beverly Wills, was a regular cast member for several months of the show’s second season, portraying Joan’s sister, Beverly Grossman. Early installments began with Backus, as Judge Stevens in chambers, recalling how one of his wife’s madcap mishaps paralleled the problems of a couple seeking a divorce; this was followed by the unfolding of the episode, which ended back in chambers with Judge Stevens summing up his tale for the now-reconciled couple.  This wraparound scenario was abandoned after a handful of episodes

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Sponsored by General Electric (original network openings extolled the virtues of the sponsor’s products rather than those of its star), I Married Joan was aimed at the viewers who watched I Love Lucy, which had debuted the previous year and was already television’s top-rated situation comedy.  I Love Lucy and I Married Joan even employed the same director in each show’s first season, namely Marc Daniels.  

NBC scheduled I Married Joan Wednesdays at 8:00 ET against the first half of Arthur Godfrey and his Friends on CBS for the entirety of its three-season run.  The show performed marginally during its first year, but enjoyed a surge in the Nielsen ratings during its second season in the wake of Godfrey’s firing of Julius LaRosa and the resultant negative publicity.  In its third year, I Married Joan withered against the additional competition of ABC’s new top-rated hit Disneyland and was canceled, airing its last first-run episode on March 23, 1955.[1] Although Davis’ personal health problems have also been cited as a reason for the show’s cancellation, she was seen performing robust physical comedy as a guest star on variety series years after her own show ended.

Though I Married Joan was an NBC television series, CBS Paramount Television subsequently became the primary owners of the program’s copyright. The copyrights on some of the episodes eventually lapsed without being renewed; as a result, I Married Joan has several episodes in the public domain.

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 “The Untouchables – 1959 – TV Series – ABC” 

Genre Crime drama

Starring Robert Stack

Abel Fernandez

Nicholas Georgiade

Paul Picerni

Steve London

Bruce Gordon

Neville Brand

Narrated by Walter Winchell

Theme music composer Nelson Riddle

Composer(s) Bill Loose

Jack Cookerly

Nelson Riddle

Country of origin United States

Original language(s) English

No. of seasons 4

No. of episodes 118 & two-part pilot (list of episodes)

Production

Executive producer(s) Alan A. Armer

Desi Arnaz

Leonard Freeman

Quinn Martin

Jerry Thorpe

Producer(s) Alan A. Armer

Alvin Cooperman

Walter Grauman

Bert Granet

Paul Harrison

Herman Hoffman

Sidney Marshall

Vincent McEveety

Del Reisman

Norman Retchin

Lloyd Richards

Stuart Rosenberg

Charles Russell

Josef Shaftel

Cinematography Robert B. Hauser

Glen MacWilliams

Charles Straumer

Camera setup Single-camera

Running time 50 minutes

Production company(s) Desilu Productions

Langford Productions

Distributor Desilu Sales (until 1967)

Paramount Domestic Television (1967–2006)

CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)

CBS Television Distribution (2007– )

Release

Original network ABC

Picture format Black-and-white

Audio format Monaural

Original release October 15, 1959 – May 21, 1963


The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on the ABC Television Network, produced by Desilu Productions. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized Ness’ experiences as a Prohibition agent, fighting crime in Chicago in the 1930s with the help of a special team of agents handpicked for their courage, moral character, and incorruptibility, nicknamed the Untouchables. The book was later made into a film in 1987 (also called The Untouchables) by Brian De Palma, with a script by David Mamet, and a second, less-successful TV series in 1993.

A powerful, dynamic, hard-hitting action drama, and a landmark crime series,[1] The Untouchables won series star Robert Stack an Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1960.[2]
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WHIRLYBIRDS TV SERIES (1957 THRU 1960)

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Whirlybirds (sometimes called The Whirlybirds or Copter Patrol) is a syndicated American drama/adventure television series, which aired for 111 episodes — broadcast from February 4, 1957, through January 18, 1960.[1] It was produced by Desilu Studios.

Synopsis

The program features the exploits of Chuck Martin and Pete “P. T.” Moore (Kenneth Tobey and Craig Hill, respectively), owners of a fictitious helicopter chartering company, Whirlybirds, Inc., in the American West. Martin and Moore sell their services to various clients at the fictional airport, Longwood Field.

The Whirlybirds series was, like I Love Lucy, a product of Desilu Studios. One particular episode of I Love Lucy, Number 140, became pivotal to the Bell 47’s public image as the definitive light helicopter of the 1950s. In No. 140, entitled “Bon Voyage” and first aired on CBS on January 16, 1956, Lucy Ricardo misses the sailing of her trans-Atlantic oceanliner and commandeers a friendly Bell 47G to fly her to the ship; Jack Albertson guest stars in this episode. Down she goes on the hoist, in a studio sequence carefully staged using a 47G cabin mockup. Desilu Studios, intrigued by the Bell 47 and its manufacturer, began discussions with Bell Aircraft about how the entertainment potential of the Bell 47 might be further developed for a TV audience. The result of this collaboration became The Whirlybirds.

Tobey and Hill did not fly the helicopters on the show. That task was handled by expert copter pilots Ed Fuderich, Bob Gilbreath, and Harry Hauss of National Helicopter Service, Inc.

After production of the series ended, Kenneth Tobey reprised his role as Chuck Martin in episode #223 of the long-running TV series, Lassie. Entitled “The Rescue”, the Lassie episode was broadcast on October 2, 1960. Chuck Martin uses a Bell 47G to rescue a trapped Timmy Martin (Jon Provost).

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Posted by on July 31, 2017 in 1950s, 1960s, vintage tv shows

 

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“Sunset Boulevard (1950) trailer”

“Sunset Boulevard (1950) trailer”

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Sunset Boulevard (stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.) is a 1950 American black comedy/drama film noir[3] directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California.

The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen, with Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling, her devoted servant. Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough and Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson.

Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. It is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the greatest films of American cinema. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number twelve on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.

Plot
At a Sunset Boulevard mansion, the body of Joe Gillis floats in the swimming pool. In a flashback, Joe relates the events leading to his death.

Six months earlier, down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe tries selling Paramount Pictures producer Sheldrake on a story he submitted. Script reader Betty Schaefer harshly critiques it in Joe’s presence, unaware that he is the author. Later, while fleeing from repossession men seeking his car, Joe turns into the driveway of a seemingly deserted mansion. After concealing the car, he hears a woman calling him, apparently mistaking him for someone else. Ushered in by Max, her butler, Joe recognizes the woman as long-forgotten silent film star Norma Desmond. Learning he is a writer, she asks his opinion of a script she has written for a film about Salome. She plans to play the role herself in a comeback. Joe finds her script abysmal, but flatters her into hiring him as a script doctor.

Moved into Norma’s mansion at her insistence, Joe resents but gradually accepts his dependent situation. He sees that Norma refuses to face the fact that her fame has evaporated and learns the fan letters she still receives are secretly written by Max, who tells him Norma is subject to depression and has made suicide attempts.

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Norma lavishes attention on Joe and buys him expensive clothes. At her New Year’s Eve party, he discovers he is the only guest and realizes she has fallen in love with him. He tries to let her down gently, but she slaps him and retreats to her room.

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Joe visits his friend Artie Green to ask about staying at his place. At Artie’s party, he again meets Betty, who he learns is Artie’s girl. Betty thinks a scene in one of Joe’s scripts has potential, but Joe is uninterested. When Joe phones Max to have him pack his things, Max tells him Norma cut her wrists with his razor. Joe returns to Norma.

Norma has Max deliver the edited Salome script to her former director, Cecil B. DeMille, at Paramount. She starts getting calls from Paramount executive Gordon Cole, but petulantly refuses to speak to anyone except DeMille. Eventually, she has Max drive her and Joe to Paramount in her 1929 Isotta Fraschini.[4] The older studio employees warmly greet her. DeMille receives her affectionately and treats her with great respect, tactfully evading her questions about Salome. Meanwhile, Max learns that Cole merely wants to rent her unusual car for a film.

Preparing for her imagined comeback, Norma undergoes rigorous beauty treatments. Joe secretly works nights at Betty’s Paramount office, collaborating on an original screenplay. His moonlighting is found out by Max, who reveals that he was once a respected film director. He discovered Norma as a teenage girl, made her a star and was her first husband. After she divorced him, he found life without her unbearable and abandoned his career to become her servant.

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Although Betty is engaged to Artie, she and Joe fall in love. Norma discovers a manuscript with Joe’s and Betty’s names on it. She phones Betty and insinuates what sort of man Joe really is. Joe, overhearing, invites Betty to come see for herself. When she arrives, he pretends he is satisfied being a kept man, but after she tearfully leaves, he packs to return to his old Ohio newspaper job. He disregards Norma’s threat to kill herself and the gun she shows him to back it up. He bluntly tells her the public has forgotten her, there will be no comeback, and the fan letters are from Max. As Joe walks away, Norma shoots him three times. He falls into the pool.

The flashback ends. The house is filled with police and reporters. Norma, having lost touch with reality, believes the newsreel cameras are there to film Salome. Max and the police play along. Max sets up a scene for her and calls “Action!” As the cameras roll, Norma dramatically descends her grand staircase. She pauses and makes an impromptu speech about how happy she is to be making a film again, ending with: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”[5]

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Cast
William Holden as Joseph C. “Joe” Gillis
Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond
Erich von Stroheim as Maximillian “Max” von Mayerling
Nancy Olson as Betty Schaefer
Fred Clark as Sheldrake, Paramount Producer
Lloyd Gough as Morino, Joe’s agent
Jack Webb as Arthur “Artie” Green
Franklyn Farnum as Undertaker
Larry J. Blake as Finance man #1
Charles Dayton as Finance man #2
As Themselves:

Cecil B. DeMille
Hedda Hopper
Buster Keaton (Bridge player)
Anna Q. Nilsson (Bridge player)
H. B. Warner (Bridge Player)
Ray Evans (Pianist at Artie’s party)
Jay Livingston (Pianist at Artie’s party)
Henry Wilcoxon as Actor (uncredited)

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“LOOK UP IN THE SKY!… IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE…IT’S SUPERMAN!”

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Faster than a speeding bullet,
More powerful than a locomotive,
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,

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The Adventures of Superman,

is an American television series based on comic book characters and concepts created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The show was the first television series to feature Superman and began filming in 1951 in California on RKO-Pathé stages and the RKO Forty Acres back lot. It was sponsored by cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s. The syndicated show’s first and last air dates are disputed but generally accepted as September 19, 1952 and April 28, 1958.[1] The show’s first two seasons (episodes 1–52, 26 titles per season) were filmed in black-and-white; seasons three through six (episodes 53–104, 13 titles per season) were filmed in color but originally telecast monochromatically in first-run syndication. Television viewers did not see Superman in color until the series was syndicated to local stations in 1965.[2][3]

George Reeves played Clark Kent/Superman, with Jack Larson as Jimmy Olsen, John Hamilton as Perry White, and Robert Shayne as Inspector Henderson. Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane in the first season, with Noel Neill stepping into the role in the second season (1953). Superman battles crooks, gangsters, and other villains in the fictional city of Metropolis while masquerading “off-duty” as Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, Clark’s colleagues at the office, often find themselves in dangerous situations which can only be resolved with Superman’s timely intervention.

Its opening theme is known as The

Superman

March. In 1987, selected episodes of the show were released to video. In 2006, the series became available in its entirety on DVD. Hollywoodland was released in 2006, a film dramatizing the show’s production and the death of its star George Reeves.

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