My dear friend Laurie Kendrick is an unending database of TV factoids–she’s also one witty writer. She wrote an entry in her blog today about the first time she watched color TV that I just had to share. Read today’s entry below, and if you want to be really entertained, read the other posts in her blog, too:
BEING ENTERTAINED, CON Y SIN COLORES
I was a kid in the 60’s; a teen in the 70’s. TV was my world.
What I find so vastly different between then and now is all the color we see on the tube. And I mean that it in more ways than one.
I remember the first time I say down in front of a color TV…..wow. The first program I ever wactched in color was “Bewitched”.
I had no idea that Endora has red hair, that the Stevens’ living room carpet was brown. I had no idea that Uncle Arthur was gay. What did his sexual orientation have to do with color TV, you ask?
I guess the first black person I saw on TV was in a crowd scene on an old black and white version of “The Andy Griffith Show”.
Then, the second time was on “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. Laura had just given birth and she and Rob thought the hospital had mistakenly given them the wrong baby–NOT Richie “Rosebud” Petri. Rob was convinved the baby actually belonged to the Peters family, an easy mistake since Rob and Laura’s last name was similar. So, Rob tracked down the Peters and explained the situation and invited them to their home, you know, the one in New Rochelle on Bonnie Meadow Road.
There’s a knock on the door; Rob answers it and the fun ensues when Greg Morris and his wife step in side. See, Greg Morris is a black man, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The hospital COULDN’T have switched the babies for the obvious reasons. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cutting edge comedy in the tense days of the Civil Rights movement.
Innocuous by today’s standards but rather cutting edge for its day.
What’s strange to realize is that there were probably people watching at the time who were repulsed–for lack of a better word–that Rob so kindly invited a young, black couple into their home. Stranger still is this sentiment was felt all over, not just in the South.
After that, came “Julia”, Dianne Carrol’s groundbreaking role about a young African American mother and nurse, trying to raise her son, played by Marc Copage. Lloyd Nolan played the old crumudgeonly doctor for whom she worked. Whenever he’d arrive at the office, he’d throw his cap from across the room and it would always hit the peg in the hat wrack. Her son’s best friend was a little red-headed white kid named Earl J. Waggedorn.
I don’t know how or why I remember this worthless, trivial crap??
But I’m not the only one. Other people my age remember these things too. Could this be because kids in my generation actually watched TV because that’s all we had to do back then?
Maybe so, but when we watched, we watched thoroughly. We got into it and watched everything–the intro, the show itself, the commercials…even the credits.
“Calvada” was the name of the production company which produced “The Dick Van Dyke Show”.
Wilbur Hatch actually conducted the Ricky Ricardo Orchestra.
The facade of the Stevens’ house, supposedly in suburban New York (the one on Morning Glory Circle), can still be seen in some shows today. It was last used in an ad this past Chistmas for Fruit of the Loom underwear.
Don Fedderson directed, “My Three Sons”.
“Welch’s” brought us “The Flintstone’s” when the shows was on prime time. Anyone remember Pebbles grabbing her stone-honed, grape juice-filled sippy cup and saying in her best Jurassic baby talk dialect, ”Goo-goo, gape goo”??
Max Factor–the brilliant Hollywood make-up artist and founder of his own make-up line of the same name–did make-up for most of TV’s elite in the 50’s and 60′.s
Archie and Edith Bunker lived at 704 Houser Street.
“Botany 500″ dressed Gene Rayburn on “Match Game” featuring the drunken actics of Charles Nelson Riley and raspy voiced, Brett Sommers (Mrs. Jack Klugman)
Color was by “Deluxe”; lenses were all Panaflex, thank you very much.
“Sky King” was sponsored by Nabisco and when he banked his plane to the left, the wingspan formed the exact same shape as Nabisco triangle and the logo came spinning out at the viewer.
And the big production companies owned by Lucy and Desi and Bing Crosby duked it out for producing credit back in the day.
I don’t think kids today watch TV as we did. They have more distractions, more stuff to do, but less space in which to do it.
Dangers lurk everywhere these days and parents rarely let kids play in a fenced in backyard without proper supervision.
When I was a kid on a Saturday morning in the summer, my friends and I got on our bikes at 9am and came back home in time for supper. Our mothers didn’t know where we were and more often not, didn’t worry. It was a different time and I think it’s because we were a different people. More trusting, less worried maybe
If I ever got into trouble, my grandmother always found out and tried to scare me with cautionary tales of the Linbergh baby kidnapping, Bonnie and Clyde’s deadly bank robbing spree through Texas, and the Black Dahlia murder case.
My grandmother stopped reading the newspaper after 1948.