Saturday, December 6, 2008

What do we do, Baby...without THE KEATONS

On September 22, 1982 one america's favorite families was born. Thanks to the mind of Gary David Goldberg The Keaton's showed us how a former hippie couple dealt with the new "money generation" of the 1980's. With their son Alex P. Keaton leading the charge into capitolism and their dim-witted but down-to-earth daughter Mallory Steven and Elise Keaton had their hands full.
It was absolutely one of my all time favorite shows. I did a little digging to find out some interesting trivia about the show. Did you know that the series was originally set in Cleveland but after a few seasons they were magically located in Columbus, OH with no explanation given.
And what would have happened if the producers had gone with their first choice for Alex Keaton, Matthew Broderick. Producer Gary David Goldberg thought Michael J. Fox's audition was horrible. He thought Fox came across too smart alleck but casting director Judith Wiener begged him to see Fox a second time and this time he took a different approach and won him over.
By the way, the P in Alex's name was an ad-lib by Michael J. Fox and the producers loved it and decided to keep it.
IMDB did a great job in looking up obscure trivia (which of course I live for) and here's some of what they had.
· Stars Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter share the same birthday: 21 June 1947. Gross was born in Chicago and Baxter was born in L.A.

· The producers originally wanted Matthew Broderick to play Alex P. Keaton, but the actor had to decline the role when his father became terminally ill.

· Alex's hero is Richard Nixon. Skippy (the perpetual Alex wanna-be) admired 'Gerald Ford'.

· Ed O'Neill was considered for the role of Steven Keaton.
· The black Labrador that appeared after the closing credits with the voice over 'Sit Ubu, sit' was producer Gary David Goldberg's dog, Ubu.

· The show was modeled after producer Gary David Goldberg and wife Diane's real-life experiences as former 'hippies' transforming into suburban family life

· According to Michael J. Fox's last "Spin City" (1996) episode, Alex P. Keaton became a Junior Congressman from Ohio.
· One year before playing Michael J. Fox's father in Back to the Future (1985), Crispin Glover played Alex P. Keaton's friend in the episode Birthday Boy.
· When Meredith Baxter became pregnant during the hiatus between the second and third seasons, her pregnancy was written into the show. However, she still was written out of several episodes after giving birth to twins in real life.

· Elyse's maiden name was Donelly.
· Tom Hanks played Elise Keaton's brother Ned.

· Alex was born in Africa when Elyse and Steven were serving in the Peace Corps.
· Skippy was adopted as a baby by his parents.

· Jennifer was born on Election Day 1972.
· The name of the public television station that Stephen Worked for was WKS.

· Alex attended Leland University.
· Alex, Mallory and Skippy attended Harding High School, Jennifer went to Rudolph elementary school.

· The character 'Steven Keaton' was ranked #12 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).

· Throughout the series' run, exterior establishment shots of the Keaton home were never used in any of the episodes, which is very unusual for a family sitcom. The vast majority of all scenes were played out in the kitchen.

· US President Ronald Reagan declared "Family Ties" (1982) his favorite TV show during the 1980s.

· In March 2008, creator Gary David Goldberg wrote an essay for The New York Times speculating about what Alex Keaton's political beliefs would be now. Goldberg said that Keaton, as a "true Conservative Republican," would probably no longer feel comfortable in the Republican Party of the late 2000s, "a party whose legacy will include Terri Schiavo and Hurricane Katrina, [and]...waging war against science." Goldberg said that Keaton would have supported McCain in 2000 but no obvious candidate in the 2008 race. He also said that he and Michael J. Fox have different ideas about Keaton's current career; Goldberg thinks Keaton is a pro bono lawyer for the Children's Defense Fund, while Fox believes Keaton is finishing a prison sentence.
And finally one piece of trivia that shocked me. The cast wanted to end the show with the entire family being killed in a plane crash because they didn't want to EVER do a reunion show...thank goodness it didnt end that way. I would've been crushed. Anyway here's a great You Tube video of the last show. It still brings tears to my eyes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wait, I DIDN'T Know This...about All In The Family

On January 12th 1971 television audiences were introduced to the man we called the "lovable bigot"...if there is such a thing. Carroll O'Conner came into our avocado, orange and creme living rooms as Archie Bunker with his dizzy wife Edith, semi-dizzy daughter Gloria and her hippie liberal protesting boyfriend Mike Stivic.

But did you know that legendary producer Norman Lear, known for his edgy writing and brash delivery of controversial topics almost made one of the biggest mistakes of his life. He almost cast Mickey Rooney as Archie Bunker. Rooney went on record saying that the show might not be accepted for the racy topics of rape, homosexuality, racial issues...etc. Obviously he was wrong and although Carroll O'Conner agreed, he thought the role was fascinating and accepted the role. Thank goodness.

O'Conner reportedly argued the most with Normal Lear. In fact during a stalemate over his contract negotiation O'Conner went on a strike. The writers had to write three episodes where Archie disappeared on his way to a convention. He finally showed up in time to appear in the last few minutes of the third episode. Rumor had it that if he hadn't comeback the writers were ready to kill off the character of Archie Bunker....again thank goodness.

Some other interesting facts: Penny Marshall was considered for the role of Gloira Stivic. Ironic that she married Rob Reiner later.

Speaking of Rob Reiner...Richard Dryfuss was reported to be extremely interested in that role at the time but Lear chose Reiner.

You may remember Betty GArrett who played neighbor Irene Lorenzo. She was on the show from 1973-1975 but resurfaced later in Laverne and Shirley.

All In The Family was the first show to use the sound of a flushing toilet on air.

The Bunkers last name was originally The Justices in the pilot but later changed.

OK...there's more than you ever wanted to know about the show that broke more ground than any other before its time....and if you don't believe that remember, it was ranked #4 on TV Guide's 50 Best Television Shows of all time and was number one yearly from 1971 to 1976. No other sitcom except the Cosby Show has achieved that level of success.

It was and is a classic.

Stay tuned to as we effort a chat with ANY of these stars. It is truly one of our favorite all time shows.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Days: A Look Back

I remember those weeknights back in the mid 70's when I couldn't wait to see my hero, The Fonz, walk into Arnold's and utter the sound that sent uproarious laughter up from homes all over the country. Looking back, I'm not sure why every sitcom character in the 70's and 80's had to have a catch phrase but they did. And no one did it better than Henry Winkler when he professed his approval with a resounding "Ayyyyyyyyyyyy".
By the way, you better be tough acting if your name is Henry Winkler. LOL.
Anyway, shows like Happy Days, All In The Family and Dallas were so popular that they were the birthplace of MANY a spin-off. All In The Family spun off Maude and The Jeffersons as well as the sequel Archie Bunker's Place. Happy Days spun off Mork and Mindy and Laverne and Shirley...not to mention Joanie Loves Cha Chi.
But it was also a birthing room for the future's stars and nothing cracks me up more than to see today's superstars in bit parts from the past.
Check out this You Tube video that I love where we see a young Tom Hanks give his best to de-throne The Fonz as the coolest guy around.
OR maybe you'd like to see a youthful David Letterman being even more aloof than his usual self in this rare glimpse of Letterman in his acting days with a small role on Mork And Mindy.

I am forever trying to catch these moments when I watch old shows. I'm the guy who refuses to leave the movie theatre until ALL the credits are over in case I see someone in a bit part that I find int resting.

So I hope you enjoy these videos...thank God someone has the time and resources to put these nuggets on You Tube. If you find more of these please forward them to me by commenting here or sending me a message at

Happy surfing!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Andy Griffith Show

Well, its time to talk about one of my favorite shows of all time...The Andy Griffith Show. There is good reason for my love of this see my hometown is Mount Airy, NC the actual hometown of Andy himself. In fact, I graduated from Mount Airy Senior High in 1984 and Andy graduated in 1944! The stories that fly through Mount Airy about Andy have survived decades and nowhere else is he more loved and appreciated. The show which sprung from a skit about a small-town sherrif without a gun on The Danny Thomas Show took on a life of its own. Here's a good trivia nugget. Did you know that The Andy Griffith Show has run continuously SOMEWHERE on television since its original run in the 1960's. I am currently the chief meteorologist/Host for the CBS affiliate in Greensboro, NC and we have run the show since it went into syndication. As a matter of fact we run it at 5:30 pm and it BEATS other newscasts! Needless to say I am a huge fan of Andy's and will always hold this show close to my heart. Let me reccomend catching it on TV Land whenever possible. Especially, "Opie The Bird Man" Episode number ....but bring a few tissues. Ron Howard hasn't made you cry like this since you were Opie's age.
This week on "Wait, I Know This" we will be chatting with a very special actress from "Mayberry" who actually MOVED to Mount Airy becasue of its small town charm and resemblence to the fictional town we love.
So be sure to tune in with all your questions. We hope to see you on Sunday night at 7pm eastern time. Until then keep whistling the theme. LOL

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Beautiful and Talented LANA WOOD

We were very excited to get the always beautiful Lana Wood as our first guest. Lana's career goes back to when she was 8-years-old and she is, to this day, one of the most remembered Bond girls. Her toss-from-the-window scene in "Diamonds Are Forever" is classic.

Lana was a regular on the steamy 1960's prime-time soap "Peyton Place" where she co-starred with a young Ryan O'Neal. Who, by the way, tried to date Lana but as she says in our interview, "He wasn't the one for me."

Posing for Playboy in the April 1971 issue sent this star to the A-list and believe it or not went on to star in a Disney movie not long afterwards. How does one go from being a character called "Plenty O'Toole" to a Disney movie! Ha Ha. Lana has remained a true "classic". She has appeared in more than 20 movies and countless TV shows from Wild, Wild West to Fantasy Island.Please take the time to listen to our interview with her. Our time with her made us BIG FANS!! She is a truckload of fun and brutally honest at times! We love that, by the way. And here's the trivia question about Lana that you can only find the answer to in our interview. What actress did Lana and a few others on "Peyton Place" aggravate just to get a rise out of her? Very funny.

Anyway, give a listen to our show and interview by clicking on the widget on the right side of the page and maybe you'll say "Wait, I know this" before the show is done. Later.