I was thinking about what to write about today… maybe The Big Bang Theory and it’s OMG reveal at the end of the last episode…or The Muppets and how I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would…or how I can’t wait to binge watch the entire season of Blind Spot.
But it's Throwback Thursday, so I'm bringing it to you by way of classic radio, television, and film.
I’ll let you in on a secret – I LOVE this stuff. Turner Classic movies – yes, please. Radio Classics – It’s pretty cool to listen to something like an episode of George Burns & Gracie Allen’s radio show, and know that my grandmom and great-grandmother listened to the same show decades ago.
Here are three highlights from the three mediums that are at the top of my list.
Burns & Allen, a hysterically funny comedy team. (And they actually fit under radio, tv, and film). They met in Vaudeville and were married soon after they paired up. George is the straight man to Gracie’s silly and flighty role. Their timing is perfect. I also love how the product sponsors are worked into the skits. Their show ran for several years on radio, and then switched to TV for another long run. It’s pretty cool that they were able to switch to the “new” format and thrive. I downloaded a ton of the radio shows to my mp3 player and listen to them on long drives.
The Honeymooners. The characters of this show were originally a sketch as part of The Jackie Gleason Show (originally DuMont’s Cavalcade of Stars). Gleason himself was a stand-up comedian who had his start in movies before making it big on tv. In The Honeymooners, we have Ralph Kramden (Gleason), a loud-mouthed, hot-headed bus driver, his wife Alice (Audrey Meadows) a strong, sensible woman who holds her own, Ed Norton (Art Carney), Ralph’s best friend and perfect sidekick, and Trixie (Joyce Randolph), Ed’s wife. Ralph gets in all sorts of situations, usually with the best of intentions. Best lines: “To the moon, Alice.” And, as they end every episode, “Baby, you’re the greatest.”
Have you ever watched a silent film? I discovered Buster Keaton movies one night on TCM. Over the course of his career, he was an actor, producer, director, writer and stunt performer. Another one to also make his start in Vaudeville, he did all his own stunts, and that’s pretty incredible (you’ll see what I mean when you check out the link below). Physical comedy was his trademark, and it did it all with this great, stoic, deadpan expression. It’s so interesting to look at the history of the movie houses and how films were made back then.
For one of his movies, check out The General. Here’s a peek at the best of his stunts (better ones start at the 35 second mark):
I hope you’ve enjoyed my blast from the past.
Anyone else a fan?