28 short TV Intros from 1960-64. An elder memory....
Young 'uns, there was a time when all of television was a black and white world, but mostly white if you know what I mean. America had no Negros, Puerto Ricans, or those slanty-eyed people. Yup, we were 100% lily white Caucasian as these short 28 TV intro clips will testify to. And every day was a holiday, because we were Americans....
I'm 58 years old, and I don't remember any of those shows.
Of course I know some of the names, but not the shows.
There were only three networks in those days but still I was a pretty heavy television watcher in my youth.
Thanks for posting. It was interesting.
Agree with R1, except I remember "The Joey Bishop Show."
Struck by how many names I don't recall. The Wiere Brothers? Dick Kallman? These people must have felt that their careers were made when they got a TV series...
TV wasn't all white - especially when it came to music. Back in the 50s, a quartet called The Mariners were regulars on "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends", a weekly show, and "Arthur Godfrey Time" - 5 days a week. Two of the Mariners were Black. Mahalia Jackson was also a guest on his show.
In 1952, Pearl Bailey was all over TV with her hit song "Two to Tango." The same for Harry Belefonte with his calypso music in the mid-50s. Louis Armstrong was a regular guest on variety shows from the early days of TV. Ed Sullivan had Black entertainers on all the time. DL fave Leslie Uggams became a regular on Mitch Miller's show around 1960.
I've never heard of a single one, 0/28, but I was born in 1966. I guess none went into syndication.
Of the actors, I've only heard of/seen Dick Sargent (Bewitched), Elaine Stritch (Datalounge), Joey Bishop (Datalounge), Glynis Johns (Datalounge), Juliet Prowse (Muppet Show), Ann B. Davis (Brady Bunch), John Forsythe (Dynasty), and Elsa Lanchester (Bride of Frankenstein).
Wow! What a staggering collection of stuff NO ONE has ever heard of. Several of the stars are familiar names (and went on to hit series and more lucrative careers) but, good lord, who ARE most of those people? Oh, I have heard of Guestward Ho, but I don't know why!
I googled "Dick Kallman" and discovered that DL discussed his life years ago.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
They were all hoping that those television shows would be their big break. Those shows lasted one season or less and 95% of those names, and those hopes, never saw the light of day again. And guess what, they are all dead right now, kinda scary.
Sally Field was lamented that when she was making the hit TV show Gidget, she worked 6 days a week and got paid $150/week, and at least her show was in color.
I wonder if these actors broke $100/week.
I was around then, but fairly young, and I do remember a few of these.
A couple of fun facts: "Guestward Ho" started as a vehicle for Vivian Vance, who played the female lead in the pilot, but they replaced her because she was so associated with the role of Ethel Mertz that people didn't accept her in a new show, sans Lucy.
Also, the woman who eventually played that part in the series, Joanne Dru, is Peter Marshall's (a/k/a Pierre LaCock!) sister.
A lot of these stars had been in earlier long-running series (John Forsythe, Bob Cummings) but couldn't make the magic happen again.
"Happy" starred Ronnie Burns, son of George and Gracie.
Any episodes of My Sister Eileen with Stritchey online?
R10 Bitch, please!
Roz Russell, Betty Garrett and Donna Murphy
OP is your drunk racist old uncle who tries to kiss you on your lips at the family reunion.
[quote]They were all hoping that those television shows would be their big break. Those shows lasted one season or less and 95% of those names, and those hopes, never saw the light of day again.
Even without hit TV series the majority of these people had long and respectable careers. Some of them had hit shows later on. Others were big stars in other media like nightclubs and showrooms or the Broadway stage. Enid Markey had been a silent film star and was the first actress to play "Jane" in a Tarzan movie.
R12, if you are the future of our nation, there is every hope for every ape in Africa.
Obviously OP was being sarcastic. Do you know what that is?
R4, Glynnis Johns has been in a lot of films (The Sundowners, Mary Poppins, etc.)
I also recognized Tom Ewell (Seven Year Itch), Ruth Warrick (All My Children) and Peggy McKay (Days of our Lives).
Doro Merande and Enid Markey's show must've been a camp.
One of the shows from that period that is still seen is Bewitched. I had always assumed Bewitched had a cartoon opening because it was a fantasy show, I assumed the cartoon opening was fairly unusual. It turns out cartoon openings were as common as dirt at the time.
I'm 64 so I remember most of these series pretty well. I don't think any of them were hits, lasting more than a season, if that, but back in those days networks often gave new shows a fighting chance and aired 20 or more episodes in the hope they would eventually catch on.
My favorite of that group was Fair Exchange about 2 working class teenage girls, one NYer and one Londoner (DL fave Judy Carne, pre-Laugh-In), who each live in the other's home for a year as exchange students. Great supporting cast including veteran character actors Eddie Foy and Audrey Christie as the American parents.
Also enjoyed Bringing Up Buddy with handsome Frank Aletter as Buddy and adorable Doro Mirande and Enid Markey as his troublesome maiden aunts, kind of a gentler version of Arsenic and Old Lace.
Glynis with Glynis Johns playing yet another one of those screwball housewives (an English fish in American waters) married to the incredibly sexy Keith Andes as her hot husband. I don't think that one lasted more than a few episodes.
And The Cara Williams Show with Cara as a meddling secretary in the Lucy scatter-brained redhead mold. I had loved Cara from another short-lived series Pete and Gladys with Harry Morgan, which was a highly anticipated spin-off of December Bride. I think this show was the last anyone heard of Cara who had a reputation for being rather difficult IIRC. I wonder if she's still with us? I must look her up on line.
I just love how so many of those sitcoms were introduced with cartoon versions of the characters and those desperately cheery opening credit tunes.
Thanks for the memories OP!
The Cara Williams Fan Club
McKeever and the Colonel
Wackiest Ship in the Army
The Joey Bishop Show
My sister was in love with McKeever. The show came on Sunday afternoon/early evening, which was all kids shows in those days. No sports. My mother used to say about McKeever, "That kid is the worst actor I've ever seen." Years later I saw an old tv show on youtube where Scott Lane guest starred and he really was the worst actor I've ever seen.
The kooky neighbor/friend on the Joey Bishop Show was Guy Marks. He turned out to be much funnier than Joey Bishop, so he was canned and replaced by Corbett Monica. Guy Marks' career died -- you didn't upstage a member of the Rat Pack in those days.
Re: all kids shows on Sunday afternoon/evening -- this was because Sunday was the day for the family to get together with aunts, uncles, cousins and/or the grandparents and have Sunday dinner. So the tv shows were to keep kids occupied while the meal was prepared and right afterwards, so grownups could hang out and talk to each other.
We used to go over my grandparents every Sunday, but they never asked us to stay for dinner and would sometimes eat dinner while we were there. I used to get so hungry, smelling that roast beef and lamb. They were my father's parents and my mother hated going there every Sunday (she was so embarrassed that my father wouldn't leave while his parents ate dinner in the dining room) and got a job where she worked on Sundays as soon as she could.
Boy, after hitting gold with I Love Lucy, Jess Oppenheimer certainly bombed with two completely forgotten series.
Was this version of The Joey Bishop Show the one that featured Abby Dalton as his wife? I seem to remember Joey going through at least a couple of different sitcoms in the early 1960s. Did he play a night club comic in it?
I think the series with Abby and Corbett Monica lasted for a few seasons, way longer than any of the others in OP's group.
[quote] Any episodes of My Sister Eileen with Stritchey online?
In the early days of Nick at Nite, I remember them airing the episodes.
Yes, I believe there were several incarnations of The Joey Bishop Show, but the one shown on the YouTube video was not the one that I recall.
I do recall the one Abby and Corbett, but I don't think this one was the show used on the video.
So basically, the video is of sitcoms that were "stinkeroos" and that were mercifully canceled PDQ.
For all those dying to know, Cara Williams (who was born in 1925) is still very much alive according to Wiki. So I guess she's 87.
Her second husband was John Drew Barrymore who later (and with another wife) sired Drew Barrymore.
The Cara Williams Fan Club
[quote]Ruth Warrick (All My Children)
I loved Father of the Bride as a TV series. The groom was played by the very hot young Burt Metcalfe, who eventually became a TV producer on MASH and other series.
Leon Ames, the "father" on Father of the Bride, was the MGM actor who played so many father roles, including Judy Garland's (Esther Smith) father, Alonzo Smith, in Meet Me in St. Louis.
Also loved Leon Ames on a mid-1950s TV series version of Life With Father costarring the marvelous and ubiquitous Lurene Tuttle as Mother.
God, I'm old....
I remember "Guestward Ho," I can't recall many of the others (Joey Bishop, Bob Cummings, and John Forsyth's shows were exceptions). Were they just very short-lived, I wonder?
Eileen Stritch had a TV series? I know the film version of "My Sister Eileen" but had no idea there was a TV show of it.
Gertrude Berg, of "The Goldbergs" fame, with Mary Wicke (whose name didn't appear in the credits) and Cecil Hardwicke? Count me in!
I too was surprised at how many of these had cartoon intros.
Cara Williams co-starred with Harry Morgan of "Pete and Gladys," a spinoff of "December Bride."
She was supposed to replace that other red-headed comedienne, but alas, failed spectacularly.
Great post OP. I don't know any of those shows, but it reminded me of the Casper opening/closing theme and immediately put me in a better mood.
(R5) Guestward Ho! Was based on a best selling book, I don't recall the title, by Patrick (Auntie Mame) Dennis who's real name was Everette Tanner." Tanner" as he was known was a butler who worked for Ray Kroc.
Wasn't the premise of Guestward Ho! sort of like the second Bob Newhart show....city slickers who take over the running of a country inn and weekly confront the trials and tribulations of all the local yokels?
Turn in your Gay Card!!!!
Cara Williams was an Oscar nominee for "The Defiant Ones."
R1 I'm with you. The only shows I remember are THE CARA WILLIAMS SHOW and GERTRUDE BERG. I was interested in seeing the name Imelda de Martin as a co -star in the Dick Kallman comedy HANK. I remember seeing her play Liesl in the first national tour of THE SOUND OF MUSIC with Florence Henderson.
It's quibbling, but the OP's stressing of the lily-white does plead for slight rebuttal. With AMOS & ANDY and BEULAH, and the strong and equal presence of Rochester with Jack Benny (albeit in the traditional servant role, whatever his sass), African Americans were a part of American television in a focal role in rare circumstances. Of course it was not in roles or presentations in which African American life was given equitable consideration.
Desi Arnaz certainly offers an example of Hispanic characterization, albeit one that does indicate the glaring lack of routine hiring of Hispanics. Tony Martinez also was on THE REAL MCCOYS as Pepito, but, again, he was subsidiary.
Hop Sing on BONANZA may have split the difference by presenting a Chinese character in a typically subservient role, but Anna May Wong did manage to star in 10 episodes of THE GALLERY OF MADAME LIU-TSONG, playing a Chinese woman detective. It is very sad no copies exist.
Also, serious dramatic shows such as NAKED CITY were careful and committed to represent the diversity of urban life, including episodes dealing with Asians and African Americans. Not that that kept NAKED CITY from using William Shatner to play a Chinese character in one of the worst performances of all time. And, again, it's not like any of the leads were non-white or Hispanic. But I think the presence of non-white characters on the margins of mainstream television, apart from their established and growing involvement in music and theater, did help sustain a friction - viewers could not always pretend the world was as white as their neighborhoods, or feel completely invisible if they were non-white - that helped stimulate greater equity to come.
Wow, I'm 60 and I never heard of most of these shows or the actors in them. I have a vague memory of the show Happy, about the talking baby. I think way back when there was also one about a talking dog named Cleo. Thanks for the video OP. I love things like that! Were any of these shows big hits?
P.S. Was Bob Cummings gay?
I don't know if it was Martin Luther King's assassination that triggered the change, but suddenly around 1968 on national TV, black people were appearing in far greater numbers, and frequently in commercials and the choruses of variety shows.
Until that time they were pretty much only seen as servants or, of course, when they were big stars as themselves (Nat King Cole, Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte, etc.).
Bill Cosby must have been the first black actor to star in a dramatic series, I Spy, as Robert Culp's co-star.
Cleo was the name of the "talking" bassett hound who appeared with Jackie Cooper in his mid-1950s sitcom in which he played a lovelorn columnist. I think the name of the show was Dear Phoebe (which was Jackie's pseudonym).
Or was that a different sitcom with Jackie Cooper? Now I'm confusing myself!
We've had that discussion about Bob Cummings = gay before here. I would never have thought so as he had a long marriage to the same woman which produced numerous children....though I know that doesn't necessarily prove anything these days.
Bob's successful first series Love That Bob, in which he played a very heterosexual Hollywood cheesecake photgrapher, was one of my favorite shows as a kid, watching it for years in afterschool reruns. I have some DVDs of the show and have to say, it still holds up very well. It was produced by Paul Henning who also produced Burns and Allen (and The Beverly Hillbillies), another rare series that holds up well.
I've always been mystified by Bob Cummings' career.
To me, Bob Cummings was the epitome of '50s-'60s suaveness and debonairity (to coin a word!).
It was under Rose Marie, but here is My Sister Eileen
I am 52 and have never seen a single episode of any of those (that I can recall anyway), though some of the actor names were familiar.
Dick Sargent did something before Bewitched it seems!
John Forsythe would be remembered here from his time on Dynasty, no?
Ruth Warrick on a sitcom!
Judy Carne who went on to do Laugh-In.
In my youth, LONG before there was an internet, I read television encyclopedias (anyone who thinks that sounds cool, let's get together!), so the names of the shows, such as "Guestward Ho" were familiar.
I was surprised that Cara Williams was someone with her own show, as by the time I came along a few years later, she was a total unknown.
Oh yeah, the nasty Juliet Prowse opening reminded me a lot of the Britcom with Rula Lenska abusing John Inman.
As for non-whites ... "Somebody bawl for Beulah?"
I remember Bringing Up Buddy, Harrigan and Son, Angel, Fair Exchange, Glynis, The John Forsythe Show, and The Wackiest Ship in the Army.
IIRC, Angel, Fair Exchange, and Glynis were all limited run summer replacement shows.
r31, I LOVED Pete and Gladys.
This was an era when TV Guide would publish a special edition every September introducing all the new season's shows with glorious color photos of the casts that were shot specifically for this issue.
I would eagerly await that edition each year and drool over the photos and descriptions of the shows in hot anticipation of their premieres.
Hey R48, I have every issue of TV Guide except one, which my son's slutty friend ruined.
Hazel Scott was the first African American woman to have her own tv series in 1950. She ws married to Adam Clayton Powell.
Nat King Cole had his own series in the mid-50s.
I remember seeing some of these shows on daytime tv in reruns. I remember Pete and Gladys. I told my mother to turn it off because Pete looked like he picked his nose (Harry Morgan's huge nostrils). I remember the theme song for Harrigan and Son, but nothing else about the show.
R48 and R49 -- I used collect local editions as "souvenirs" when our family would travel when I was kid.
r50, I distinctly said first black to star in a dramatic series. Hazel Scott and Nat King Cole were popular singers who had already established their fame in another media. They appeared as themselves on their own shows.
Bill Cosby was a popular nightclub comic with a younger crowd but it was starring in I Spy that made him a star.
There's a difference.
I'm not sure what it all means....but there's a difference.
Does anyone else fondly remember a short-lived sitcom from this era that starred Tab Hunter as a newspaper cartoonist and playboy? I think it was just called The Tab Hunter Show.
I was glued to the little portable TV set in my bedroom every week.
[quote]Cleo was the name of the "talking" bassett hound who appeared with Jackie Cooper in his mid-1950s sitcom in which he played a lovelorn columnist. I think the name of the show was Dear Phoebe (which was Jackie's pseudonym).
It was "The People's Choice," and Cleo was voiced my Mary Jane Croft, of "Lucy" renown.
Glynis Johns was in the original Broadway cast of "A Little Night Music" and originated the standard, "Send In the Clowns."
[quote] [R50], I distinctly said first black to star in a dramatic series. Hazel Scott and Nat King Cole were popular singers who had already established their fame in another
I wasn't talking to you. I was directing my comments to the OP, who said Americans had no negroes on tv.
Not everything is about you.
Would you boys get a room?
While there are several there I have never heard of, a few I used to watch regularly:
"Bringing Up Buddy" (who could resist Doro Merande and Enid Markey"?)
"Fair Exchange" (another great cast), which had the distinction of being one of the very few 60-minute sitcomes - 30 minutes set in New York, and 30 minutes in London.
and two Sunday pleasures:
"Glynis" and "McKeever and the Colonel" (and as someone else mentioned, "Grindl" also belongs in this slot).
Plus a few I know I saw at least once or twice:
"The Joey Bishop Show"
"The Cara Williams Show"
"Harrigan and Son"
"The New Bob Cummings Show" (he pinged for me even then!)
Actually, Sunday always seemed to have a number of "one-season wonders" that were delightfully odd.
"Colonel Humphrey Flack" (1959) with Alan Mowbray, "Camp Runamuck" (1965) and "It's About Time" with Frank Aletter (boy, he was in a lot of those one-season shows!) as one of two astronauts who go back to caveman times, with "Car 54"'s Joe E. Ross and Imogene Coca (again) as husband and wife cave folk.
Loved "Pee and Gladys" and "Bringing Up Buddy."
They both were very good.