Friday, November 30, 2018

Encore podcast: "The Hopalong Cassidy Magical Marketing Machine"


In 1948, William Boyd made a large bet on television, and on demographics. He had an idea that the first wave of the baby boomers — kids born to newly affluent parents — would be a large and untapped audience for the 66 “Hopalong Cassidy” movie westerns he’d starred in, so he bought the rights and sold them to TV stations that were starved for programming. He also made deals with dozens of consumer goods companies to market authorized Hopalong Cassidy merchandise, from wallpaper to cookies to roller skates with spurs on them. America’s kids snapped them up, and Boyd made millions.
Sources:
“Hopalong Hits the Jackpot,” Oliver Jensen, Life, June 12, 1950
“Wild-West Fever: Will It Sell for You?,” Sponsor, September 11, 1950
“Maxwell House Coffee Time with George Burns and Gracie Allen: George the Cowboy,” May 5, 1949

Friday, November 23, 2018

Seven and a Half Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About "The Dick Van Dyke Show"



It's been over 50 years since "The Dick Van Dyke Show" ended its run, but the show has really never left the airwaves -- its blend of sophisticated and slapstick humor set a sitcom standard that has rarely been matched. What else is there to say? We attempt a few things, including which cast member almost left the show, which actress was almost cast as Laura Petrie and what episode caused the most controversy for creator Carl Reiner.

Sources:

The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book, by Vince Waldron

My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Buisness: A Memoir, by Dick Van Dyke

"Dick Van Dyke: 'Supernormal' Comedian," Richard Gehman, TV Guide, December 8, 1962

" 'The Dick Van Dyke Show': They've Got No Kick Coming," TV Guide, March 27, 1965

"Rehearsing a 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' " Leslie Raddatz, TV Guide, February 26, 1966

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Marlon Brando-Wally Cox Connection

 
One man was one of the most iconoclastic and controversial actors of the 20th century -- the other was the voice of Underdog on a Saturday morning cartoon show. But once they met on an Illinois schoolyard, nine-year-olds Marlon Brando and Wally Cox became lifelong friends -- and even lovers, according to some accounts. We look at each man's career and their private, intense connection -- one that endured even after Cox's death in 1973.

Sources:

Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me, by Marlon Brando and Robert Lindsey

Brando Unzipped, by Darwin Porter

My Life as a Small Boy, by Wally Cox

Brando's Smile: His Life, Thought and Work, by Susan L. Mizruchi

"When the Wild One Met the Mild One," Robert W. Welkos, The Los Angeles Times, October 17, 2004

"Wally Cox, TV's Mister Peepers, Dies at 48," The New York Times, February 16, 1973