Classic TV Episodes: Are You Being Served? – Camping In

I watched this show on PBS when I was young but I started to watch it again during the 2000s and I haven’t stopped. I always loved this British sitcom. It wasn’t as clever as Fawlty Towers but not much is equal to that show. This show featured a very snobby class system with some silly gags but with no apologies. You could count on Mrs Slocombe’s “cat” being mentioned and would always hear…”Don’t worry…They’ll ride up with wear.” and Mr. Humphries declaring “I’m Free.” This show is the closest thing you will get to a time machine straight to the seventies.

Captain Stephen Peacock: Oh, yes, it brought back memories of the army. The lads, the heat, the sunset and the endless shifting sands.

Mr. Lucas: How long were you at Bognor Regis, Captain Peacock?

Captain Stephen Peacock: Mr. Lucas, when you were at school, I was with some of the toughest soldiers in the world, chasing Rommel through the desert.

Mr. Humphries: Some people have all the luck.

 

Are You Being Served: Camping In

The Characters: Mr. Lucas, Mrs. Slocombe, Captain Peacock, Mr. Humphries, Miss Brahms, Mr. Grainger, Mr. Rumbold, Mr. Mash, The Scottish Customer, The 38C Cup, The Large Brim with Fruit, The Secretary, The Man with the Large Bra, and The Leatherette Gloves

Due to a transport strike, the staff is forced to stay in the store overnight. Mr. Rumbold makes them sleep in tents—much to their displeasure. What at first seems to be a nightmare soon proves to be a chance for everyone to share in each other’s companionship.

Classic TV Episodes: M*A*S*H – Abyssinia, Henry

This episode was different from any comedies at the time and would influence others. Mclean Stevenson left the show (which he would later regret) after three seasons and the show killed his character off. When Radar walked in the operating room and told everyone what happened to Henry it was a memorable tv moment.

Sitcoms just didn’t kill characters off and Mash would start mixing comedy and drama more after this.

If it’s about my discharge, give it to me straight! I can take it!

You behave yourself, or I’m gonna come back here and kick your butt!

M*A*S*H: Abyssinia, Henry

The Characters: Capt. Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce, Capt. ‘Trapper John’ McIntyre, Lt. Col. Henry Blake, Maj. Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan, Maj. Frank Burns, Cpl. Walter ‘Radar’ O’Reilly, Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger and Father Francis Mulcahy

 

Radar has an announcement for Henry in O.R. Henry Blake has received his discharge: he is finally going home to Bloomington, Illinois, to his wife, Lorraine, and their children, the country club and his medical practice. The entire 4077 gang is thrilled for Henry and they wish him well; gifts are gotten, parties are thrown and all sorts of final memories are made. But, the entire gang is sad to be losing such an integral part of the 4077 gang. Radar, in particular, is losing the man who was a father to him. The final farewell formation is memorable; even Hawkeye and Trapper show up to tell their friend and leader a fond farewell. Some farewells are fonder than others. Klinger dresses to kill. As Henry starts to leave, Radar steadfastly holds his salute to his departing C.O. until Henry finally acknowledges him.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0763200/

 

Classic TV Episodes – SNL – Steve Martin/Blues Brothers

This Emmy-nominated episode has acquired a reputation as the best of all Martin’s hosting gigs. Its not my favorite episode…I do like it though… but it’s probably one of the most important in the show’s history.  It was a turning point for SNL. It went from a cult hit to a major player in the ratings during this period. Many people have picked it as the best episode.

Saturday Night Live has always been hit or miss in any era. The difference in the 70s is they would take more chances and Lorne made sure everyone had a chance in the cast.

The show introduced a lot of comedians and some unknown musical artists like Redbone and others that would not have gotten coverage on a network show.

Related image

 

 

Saturday Night Live: Steve Martin/Blues Brothers

The Cast: Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, The Blues Brothers, and Don Pardo

The host for the episode is Steve Martin (his fifth appearance), and the musical guest is The Blues Brothers (their second appearance). The skits for this episode are as follows: Concert promoter Don Kirschner presents footage of an old club performance by The Blues Brothers. For his opening monologue, Steve Martin talks about the inspiration for his comedy ideas, then does a magic act that ends with him tackling and beating a member of the audience.

The Festrunk brothers prepare their apartment for the two girls they believe are on the way, but their neighbor Cliff tells them they’ve been stood up. Medieval doctor Theodoric of York treats a series of patients by draining their blood. A man and woman catch each other’s notice in a crowded club, and dance together romantically as the rest of the club freezes in place around them. During the Weekend Update, Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd debate abortion, Jane reports on Carter’s energy policy and a new nasal contraceptive, and Dan berates Garrett Morris for short-changing him on the weed he bought. Steve performs a song about King Tut. The Nerds Todd and Lisa prepare their science fair projects. The Blues Brothers perform “I Don’t Know”.

 

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

This is my go-to Thanksgiving movie. Steve Martin and John Candy are a great team in this comedy. Personally, I think this is John Candy’s greatest movie. I watch it every year and always looked forward to it.

The movie is full of great scenes and some good lines from Candy and Martin.

John Hughes is the Director and writer. He shot over 3 hours and had to edit it down. Below is a short plot. For those who haven’t seen it…you are missing a funny movie. It was rated R because of a one minute scene with the F-Bomb used 18 times by mostly Martin. The movie was released in 1987.

Short Plot

In New York, a marketing executive Neal Page wants to travel home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. He has difficulties getting a taxi and his flight is canceled. He meets in the airport the clumsy and talkative shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith who has taken his cab and they travel side-by-side to Chicago. However the bad weather shuts down O’Hare Airport and they land at Wichita, Kansas. They both want to go to Chicago and they decide to travel together.  Neal is cursed/blessed with the presence of Del Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman and all-around blabbermouth who is never short of advice, conversation, bad jokes, or company.

Along their journey, Neal changes his viewpoint about Del Griffith and his own behavior.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093748/

 

 

Avery Schreiber

I saw this man in the seventies on commercials and game shows but never knew his name. He was always funny and caught my attention. Avery was an actor and comedian. He is best remembered as part of the comedy team of Burns and Schreiber, which he formed with Jack Burns. He was a crowd standout with his huge trademark walrus mustache and thick curly black hair.

Jack Burns, Avery’s partner, played Deputy Warren Ferguson on the Andy Griffith Show. Burns was filling a void left by Don Knotts but it didn’t really work.

At their peak, Schreiber and Burns appeared as regulars on the summer replacement musical variety series “Our Place” (1967), then earned the right to front their own summer series with “The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour” (1973).

Schreiber is also remembered for his various Doritos corn chip commercial advertisements in various disguises (chef, sultan, pilot), all of them perturbed by people loudly crunching on the popular chip.

Avery appeared in a number of TV series and movies, including “My Mother the Car” and “Days of Our Lives” on television, and the Mel Brooks’ film “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”He was a regular guest star on the television comedy “Chico and the Man” and was also a frequent guest on the game show “Match Game” and in a first-season episode of “The Muppet Show.” He continued to work in film, television and the Theater until the time of his death in 2002.

 

Burns and Schreiber

 

Classic TV Episodes: All In The Family – Edith’s Problem

This particular episode was about women going through menopause which today would not receive a second notice…but then, comedy shows just didn’t feature subjects like this. All In The Family had so many great episodes that it is hard picking out one. In this one, the tables are turned and Edith rounds on Archie with a vengeance because of her mood swings caused by menopause.

All in the Family changed the game in sitcoms and television. In the early seventies, many country type sitcoms were canceled when this show debuted in 1971. As Pat Butram of Green Acres said: “CBS canceled everything with a tree including Lassie.

The show tackled controversial subjects such as racism, rape, gun control, feminism, and homophobia. It was under fire from the first episode for its controversial subject matter. Critics and viewers were divided on what they were seeing…some saw it as comic genius and some as tasteless bigotry. The backlash did not come only from the public and the reviewers. Several actors including Harrison Ford turned down roles in the show because they were offended by the script’s humor.

Lucille Ball lambasted CBS for running such an “Un-American” show on the same network her own series was airing on. I seriously doubt if the show could be made today on network television. The show was a huge success in the seventies.

Mike Stivic: [Edith is going through menopause] What did the doctor say?
Archie Bunker: He just said that menopause is a pretty tough time to be going through; especially for nervous types.
Mike Stivic: So?
Archie Bunker: So he prescribed these here pills.
[takes bottle of pills out of paper bag]
Mike Stivic: Oh, good.
Archie Bunker: I gotta take three of ’em a day.

Edith Bunker: STIFLE STIFLE STIFLE

“If you’re gonna change, Edith, change! Right now! CHANGE!”

 

All In The Family: Edith’s Problem

Characters: Edith Bunker, Archie Bunker, Mike Stivic, Gloria Stivic, and The Waitress

The Bunker family is thrown into an uproar when the normally docile Edith undergoes several sudden and unexpected mood swings, yelling at her family and displaying a foul temper that makes Archie look like a pussycat! Though the men in the family don’t quite know what is happening, Gloria does: Edith is going through menopause. Perhaps the best and funniest line of the episode is when an upset Archie, who’s frustrated at his wife’s sudden and constantly unpredictable mood changes, yells at Edith: “If you’re gonna change, Edith, change! Right now! CHANGE!”

The short scene starts at 15 seconds.

The complete episode

Boy, the way Glen Miller played…”

Those Were The Days

Boy, the way Glen Miller played.
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us, we had it made.
Those were the days
Didn’t need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days
And you knew where you were then
Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content.
Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent.
Those were the days
Take a little Sunday spin,
Go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day
That cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long.
Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don’t know just what went wrong
Those Were the Days

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0509864/

Classic TV Sitcoms: Barney Miller – Hash

Barney Miller was a brilliant, complex, highly literate, superbly written show with depth and high social commentary. The show was never in the top 10 in ratings but the show has held up well over the years. A few of the reasons the show was not in the top 10 was because of the intelligent writing and the humor wasn’t obvious…also the show was on ABC which at the time was the least popular major network.

The writers also made sure that for the most part, the show followed it’s own history very well. The show is about the Detectives at the 12th Precinct.

One very interesting part of Barney Miller is they had a bunch of good character actors pass through the show. They had a very good excuse because usually the guests were either witnesses or they committed some sort of small crime so it was a natural parade of people passing through.

The show was not all about humor. They had stories dealing with domestic abuse, social, and racial tensions and interaction close to real life.

Det. Phil Fish: First time in 20 years I felt this good and it has to be illegal!

Capt. Barney Miller: Stay home until you feel better.
Det. Ron Harris: Okay Barn, I’ll stay, but I ain’t never gonna feel no better.

Det. Sgt. Nick Yemana: [feeling the effects of the brownies] Barney, Barney, Barney… was your mother from Killarney?

Det. Sgt. Nick Yemana: [feeling the effects of the brownies] Hey Barney… let’s go down to the beach and shoot some clams!

Barney Miller: Hash

The Characters: Barney Miller, Stan ‘Wojo’ Wojciehowicz, Dietrich, Phil Fish, Ron Harris, Sgt. Nick Yemana, Carl Levitt, Zbigniew Psczola, Janusz Makowski, and Frank Slater.

Wojo innocently brings hashish-laced brownies his new girlfriend made to the 12th Precinct, getting the detective squad stoned, while an actor and a critic square off with dueling swords.

The Complete Episode

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0519043/