Classic TV Episodes: Fawlty Towers – The Germans

One of my favorite shows and episodes. There were only 12 episodes made…two seasons with six episodes each. Instead of milking it dry they stopped at 12 because John Cleese and wife Connie Booth didn’t think they could write anymore up to the standards they set. This is the episode most mentioned when the show comes up.

I have watched this episode countless times and it never gets old.

Listen, don’t mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right.

I was just doing it, you stupid woman. I just put it down, to come here and be reminded by you to do what I’m already doin’. I mean, what is the point in reminding me to do what I’m already doing? I mean, what is the bloody point? I’m doing it, aren’t I?

Ah, wonderful! WUNDERBAR! Ahh! Please allow me to introduce myself, I am the owner of Fawlty Towers. And may I welcome your war… your war… you wall… you all… you all, and hope that your stay will be a happy one. Now, would you like to eat first, or would you like a drink before the war… AHH! Er… trespassers will be tied up with piano wire… SORRY, SORRY!

Fawlty Towers: The Germans

The Characters: Basil Fawlty, Sybil Fawlty, Manuel, Polly Sherman, Major Gowen, Mrs. Wilson, Miss Agatha Tibbs, Miss Ursula Gatsby, Doctor, and Mr. and Mrs. Sharp

With Sybil in hospital for a few days to have an operation for an ingrown toenail, Basil is left on his own at the hotel to cope with a group of German tourists and the need for the regular semi-annual fire drill. He’s not having much success with either. The guests confuse the burglar alarm with the fire alarm and when Manuel does start a fire in the kitchen, no one pays attention. Basil suffers a rather severe blow to the head leading him to insult his German guests by making constant references to the war.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0578590/

 

Classic TV Episodes: Seinfeld – The Soup Nazi

This show had great writing and cast. For my money, it was the sitcom of the 90s. It wasn’t like all the main characters were likable like other sitcoms…far from it…but it worked perfectly.

The Soup Nazi was based on Al Yeganeh, the real-life owner of Soup Kitchen International in Manhattan, New York City. After the episode aired, Jerry Seinfeld and members of the cast and crew went to the restaurant for lunch. Yeganeh yelled at them and stated that the publicity had ruined his reputation. After Seinfeld offered an apology, Yeganeh yelled, “No soup for you!” and ejected them from his restaurant. Any references to “Seinfeld” are forbidden in any Soup Kitchen International.

Yeganeh ran his soup kitchen as a very tight ship. All of his customers would line up and be forced to obey his strict and formal rules of standing, talking, paying, waiting and requesting the soup the desired. Anyone who deviated in the slightest and offended Yeganeh was immediately told to get out and refunded their money.

Yeganeh’s pat line, to any customer who offended him, was “No soup for you!”

Um… you know what? Has anyone ever told you you look exactly like Al Pacino? You know, “Scent Of A Woman.” Who-ah! Who-ah!

NO SOUP FOR YOU!

COME BACK ONE YEAR! NEXT!

Seinfeld: The Soup Nazi

The characters: Jerry Seinfield, Elaine Benes, Cosmo Kramer, George Costanza, Newman, Susan Ross, Sheila, Soup Nazi, Bania, Cedric, Bob, Super, and Furniture Guy.

Everyone goes to this new soup stand because the soup is so great. Unfortunately, the owner is obsessed about his customer’s ordering procedure. Jerry and his new girlfriend annoy everybody by using baby talk. George tries to do the same thing with Susan to show how annoying they are to everybody. Jerry and his girlfriend get rejected from the Soup Nazi’s kitchen when they’re caught kissing in line. Elaine buys an Armoire and asks Kramer to watch it. While watching it, Kramer is robbed by some gay, trash-talking street toughs who want nothing more than the Armoire. She then gets rejected from the soup kitchen when she offends the “Soup Nazi”. Kramer, who befriends the Soup Nazi, gets a new Armoire exactly like the one that was stolen from him. He then gives it to Elaine, who discovers the Soup Nazi’s recipes inside. Jerry pleads with her not to do anything, but Elaine threatens to put the Soup Nazi out of business.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0697782/quotes/?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

 

Classic TV Episodes: Newhart – The Last Newhart

My favorite final episode of any TV series. I liked the 1980’s Newhart show but I preferred the seventies series “The Bob Newhart Show” where Bob played psychologist Bob Hartley. This was the most creative ending I have ever seen in a sitcom. I remember watching it and was caught completely off guard. Seeing Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) again in that role was great.

The story didn’t matter as much as the end. No one had a clue this was going to happen in the finale. Bob Newhart had planted a story in the press where the ending was going to be Bob talking to God…played by George Burns or George C. Scott…just to throw people off.

Some shows have let me down with their final episode…this one pays off. In 2013 it was ranked number 1 in Entertainment Weekly’s 20 Best TV Series Finales Ever

“You won’t believe the dream I just had.”

You should really wear more sweaters.

What do you mean, beautiful blonde?

Your- your brothers can speak? Why didn’t they say anything up ’till now?  I guess they’ve never been this P.O.’ed before.

Newhart: The Last Newhart

The characters: Dick Loudon / Robert Hartley, Joanna Loudon, Michael Harris, Stephanie Vanderkellen, George Utley, Larry, Darryl #1, Darryl #2, Emily Hartley

A Japanese firm buys up all the land in the town where Newhart is set to build a golf course. Everyone sells out and moves away wealthy… except Dick. Dick will not sell and they build the course around his Inn. Years pass and the old town residents return for a reunion at the Inn. They all regret moving and decide they are all moving back and will live at the Inn. Things are getting very bizarre and Dick, furiously yelling at everyone at how nuts they are steps out onto the Inn’s porch where he is knocked out by a stray golf ball.

We cut to a darkened bedroom. Bob Newhart wakes up and turns on a light. Its Bob Hartley’s bedroom from The Bob Newhart Show. Bob reaches over and shakes the person sleeping next to him awake. It’s Emily, Bob’s wife from The Bob Newhart Show. Newhart, now clearly Dr. Bob Hartley, starts to tell Emily about the strange dream he has just had – where he was an Inn Keeper in Vermont. The entire run of Newhart was nothing but Bob Hartley’s dream

 

Super Friends

This was a must on Saturday morning. I wouldn’t find out till later but…Ted Knight did some of the dialogue such as “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…” I think the first year (16 episodes) was the best. Altogether the show was on and off during its 13-year run and they ended up with 109 episodes.

Super Friends was produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1973. The show brought all the DC superheroes together and it told their stories. The first season was comprised of only 16 episodes, which were re-run through August 1974. The show was then canceled. Presumably from less than anticipated ratings.

The success of the Wonder Woman TV show in 1975, and probably the early development interest in the Superman movie led ABC to reconsider Super Friends. The original 16 episodes were re-run beginning in early 1976, while production began on a new series. To help promote the new series, DC also began publishing a Super Friends comic. While the stories there were independent of the show, they followed much the same style of the original series.

Beginning in mid-1977, E. Nelson Bridwell, writer of the Super Friends comic, learned of some of the cast changes (notably, the replacement of Wendy and Marvin with Zan and Jayna) after working on the book for several months and wrote the change into his stories, so by the time the new season of the show began in September 1977, the comic had already made the transition to the new characters.

The comic only survived until mid-1981, while the show continued into 1982. However, the show was only re-runs for the 1982-83 season and was canceled outright in the fall of ’83. The show was brought back again in 1984 and ran until September 1986.

The below link will give much more history to the show.

http://www.kleefeldoncomics.com/2016/12/on-history-super-friends.html

 

 

 

Classic TV Episodes: Twilight Zone – Walking Distance

The Twilight Zone is a show that I can watch at any time. Different people have tried to remake the show but it never works like the original. Picking one classic show is impossible but this is one of my favorites. Gig Young plays Martin Sloan who does a great job in this episode. Many people try to go back home but it’s never the same because of progress and change…Martin Sloan DOES go home and everything is the same…he even sees himself as a boy…and meets his parents…again.

I guess because we only get one chance. Maybe there’s only one summer to every customer. That little boy, the one I know – the one who belongs here – this is *his* summer, just as it was yours once. Don’t make him share it.

Martin, is it so bad where you’re from?

You have to leave here. There’s no room, there’s no place. Do you understand that?

The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance

The characters: Martin Sloan, Robert Sloan, Mrs. Sloan, Young Marty, Wilcox Boy, Charlie, Gas Station Attendant, Soda Jerk, Teenager, Woman in Park, and Mr. Wilson

Martin Sloan, a successful 36-year-old advertising executive, stops at a gas station. He’s very stressed out and behaves like a stereotypical rude New Yorker. In the distance, he sees the town he grew up in, Homewood. Curious about his childhood, Martin leaves his sports car for an oil change and walks about a mile and a half to get a closer look. His first stop is an old ice cream shop. Martin is surprised to see that the attendant and the prices are the same as he remembered.

Walking down the street, he sees a young child (the four-year-old Ron Howard), who turns out to be his old neighbor. Martin then sees an 11-year-old boy carving the name “Martin Sloan” into a gazebo, and he recognizes himself. The child flees, thinking the adult wants to punish him. Martin then goes to his house, and his parents answer the door. He finally realizes that he’s back in 1934. His parents don’t believe him when he says he’s their grown-up son, and he tries to prove it by showing them his wallet.

Desperately wanting to tell the 11-year-old that he should treasure this time in his life, Martin finds his younger self riding on a merry-go-round. The child, still thinking the adult is angry with him, runs and falls, and the two are injured simultaneously. Later, Martin’s father, who has examined the wallet and now understands the truth, finds Martin sitting alone by the carousel. The two have a sad, beautiful conversation about life, and the father gives his son the advice he really needed when the story began. Martin begrudgingly accepts that he must return to the present. On his way out of town, he stops into the soda shop, which is now “modern”… Seemingly at peace with himself, he gives the gas station mechanic a tip and drives away.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0734689/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl#synopsis

 

 

Classic TV Episodes: Taxi – Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey

One of the funniest scenes in any sitcom is when Reverend Jim is taking his driver’s test. Taxi is smartly written and they use the ensemble much like The Mary Tyler Moore Show did. Reverend Jim played by Christopher Lloyd is my favorite character and one of my favorite characters of all time.

“Have you ever experienced loss of consciousness, hallucinations, dizzy spells, convulsive disorders, fainting, or periods of loss of memory?”         “Hasn’t Everyone?”

“Psst. What does a yellow light mean?”     

“Slow Down”

“OK. Wwwwhhhaaaat dooeesss aaaa yyyeeeellllowwww lllliiiight mmmmeeeannn?” “SLOW DOWN”

TAXI – Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey

This is my favorite Taxi episode of all time. Jim is a  child of the drug culture of the sixties and still feeling the effects. Taking something as simple as a drivers test and turning it into this, Characters: Alex Reiger, Elaine DeNardo, Latka Gravas, Louie De Palmer, Bobby Wheeler, Tony Banta, Reverend Jim Ignatowski, Tommy Jeffries, Jeff Bennett,

The cab drivers are hanging out at Mario’s when Christopher Lloyd as Reverend Jim Ignatowski wanders in. They recognize him but he doesn’t recognize them, even though they remind him he performed a wedding for Latka 8 months earlier. But when Latka started talking to him in his gibberish language, Jim remembered.

The cabbies want to get Jim to have a job, make something of himself, but what can he do with no skills and no education? Drive a cab. At first Louie will not hear of it, until Rev Jim slips a tranquilizer into Louie’s coffee. Louie becomes mellow, starts singing show tunes in the garage, and gladly accepts Jim.

The big hurdle, of course, was to have Jim pass the driver’s test. They go down to the DPS office with him, help him fill out forms, his name, his weight, height, and color of eyes. Finally Bobby says, “OK, Jim, now you are ready to take the test.” “What?”, says Jim, “I thought that was the test.”

He then takes the test and the below is what transpires…You can see Tony Danza and Marilu Henner trying unsuccessfully not to laugh.

The complete driving test scene

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0718525/

 

Classic TV Episodes: Green Acres – Square Is Not Round

One of the most surreal shows ever on television. This one was different from most shows at the time or now. This episode is the one I think of the most. Chickens laying square eggs and toasters operating when you say… “Five” and the newer models operating when you say… “eight”

Probably the most outrageous episode of Green Acres. And that is saying something.

“Well, you know the old saying: you can lead a horse over the water, but you can’t make him think.”

Well, it should’t be too hard to find out, all we gotta do is look for a square chicken

GREEN ACRES – Square Is Not Round

This episode is the one I think of the most. Chickens laying square eggs and toasters operating when you say… “Five” and the newer models operating when you say… “eight” The Characters: Oliver and Lisa Douglas, Mr. Haney, Mr. Kimball, Eb Dawson, Fred Ziffel, Sam Drucker, Newt Kiley, Mr. Moody, and Arnold.

Oliver discovers that one of his chickens is laying square eggs, but he can’t find out which one it is. In addition, he finds out that he has a toaster that only works when you say the word “five”. When he mentions this to the boys at Drucker’s, they sympathize with him for having an old model–they have new models that only work when you say “eight”.

Mr. Kimball tells him about a man that would buy the chickens because square eggs would revolutionize shipping them. Mr. Haney comes by and wants to buy his “defective” chickens back but Oliver won’t budge. Mr. Moody comes and buys the chickens but they don’t lay any square eggs for him so he gives them back after stopping payment on the check he gave Oliver.

There is something else in the end but you need to watch it.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0592667/