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TV Cop Shows

Ahh, police shows. The good, the bad and the ugly. For decades TV viewers have been drawn   to shows that take us inside the life of police officers and crime filled cities. Often the role of a police officer is glamorized while other times it’s shown as a depressing gritty job. 

One show paved the way for all others. In 1951 the radio series Dragnet first made its way to television and aired until 1959. In 1967, the series was revived. The Dragnet franchise was created by Jack Webb who also played the lead role of Los Angeles police Sgt. Joe Friday in the television series.  Many call Dragnet the most influential police procedural drama in media history.  For some they would say the influence was good while others would say the influence was bad. 

In 1954, Time magazine wrote, “Americans have “gained a new appreciation of the underpaid, long-suffering ordinary policeman” and their “first rudimentary understanding of real-life law enforcement.”

In a 2017 article from Timeline.com, author Jacqui Shine writes, “When we see a cop on TV, we’re seeing the legacy of Dragnet. Everything we think we know about crime and law enforcement — and everything we believe about the police — bears the imprint of the show. It did no less than fashion the idea of modern policing in our cultural imagination. And, as viewers were reminded each week, all of it was true. But what most of us don’t know is that Dragnet was also calculated propaganda: the Los Angeles Police Department did far more than provide technical assistance, essentially co-producing the show.”

After Dragnet, Police shows continued to become more and more popular. Just think of all the police shows on television today alone.  This episode of Trivia Rewind is purely entertainment and devoted to just 10 classic police shows from years past.   I’ll give you ten questions about some of television’s classic cop shows. 

In our fun facts segment, find out which two TV cops didn’t get along in real life causing one to leave the show. Find out which TV cop tried to sabotage his job and even set his underwear on fire in an attention getting movie. Plus find out which TV cop thought his cop car looked ridiculous, like a tomato.  Those are just a few of the fun facts that await you on this episode of Trivia Rewind.

Stick around to the end of the episode to find out where you can learn more about what’s been going on over the past year to try and make police shows more accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. 

Here are the links mentioned in the podcast.

  1. Hear both versions of the CHiPs theme song. Version 1 and Version 2
  2. Listen to the Hill Street Blues theme song
  3. Watch Johnny Depp talk about his experience in television
  4. The report from USC’s Norman Lear Center titled, Normalizing Injustice – The Dangerous Misrepresentations that Define Television’s Scripted Crime Genre: A Comprehensive Study of How Television’s Most Popular Genre Excludes Writers of Color, Miseducates People about the Criminal Justice System and Makes Racial Injustice Acceptable.

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Trivia Rewind Episode 44 TV Cops

[00:00:00] Recording: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

[00:00:28] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:28] Ah, police shows. The good, the bad and the ugly. Welcome to this episode of Trivia Rewind. I’m Debi Jenkins, the host of the show. For decades, TV viewers have been drawn to shows that take us inside the life of police officers and crime filled cities. Often the role of a police officer is glamorized while other times it’s shown as a depressing gritty job.

[00:00:55] One show paved the way for all others. In [00:01:00] 1951, the radio series Dragnet first made its way to television and aired until 1959. In 1967, the series was revived. The Dragnet franchise was created by Jack Webb, who also played the lead role of Los Angeles police Sergeant Joe Friday in the television series. Many call Dragnet the most influential police procedural drama in media history. For some, they would say the influence was good while others would say the influence was bad.

[00:01:35] In 1954, Time Magazine wrote, “Americans have gained a new appreciation of the underpaid, long suffering, ordinary policeman and their first rudimentary understanding of real-life law enforcement.” In a 2017 article from Timeline.com, author Jacqui Shine writes, “When we see a cop [00:02:00] on TV, we’re seeing the legacy of Dragnet. Everything we think we know about crime and law enforcement and everything we believe about the police bears the imprint of the show. It did no less than fashion the idea of modern policing in our cultural imagination. And as viewers we’re reminded each week, all of it was true. But what most of us don’t know is that Dragnet was also calculated propaganda: the Los Angeles Police Department did far more than provide technical assistance, essentially co-producing the show.”

[00:02:38] Well after Dragnet, police shows continued to become more and more popular. This episode of Trivia Rewind is purely entertainment and devoted to just 10 classic police shows from years past. Here’s how this episode will work. I will give you 10 questions about some of television’s classic police shows. [00:03:00] After the trivia questions, I’ll go back and give you the answers and some fun facts. In our fun facts segment, find out which two TV cops didn’t get along in real life, causing one to leave the show. Find out which TV cop tried to sabotage his job and hated being a teen idol. Plus find out which TV cop thought his cop car looked ridiculous.

[00:03:25] Those are just a few of the fun facts that await you on this episode of Trivia Rewind. Stick around to the end of the episode to find out where you can learn more about what’s been going on over the past year to try and make police shows more accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

[00:03:45] Now onto the trivia. Here’s question one. In the 1977 series CHiPs, what was the last name of Ponch’s partner John?

[00:03:58] Question [00:04:00] two. In which police procedural drama that first aired in 1982, did two women play New York City police detectives, one of which was a married working mother?

[00:04:14] Question three. On the 1980s police show Hill Street Blues, what was the catch phrase often said by Sergeant Phil Esterhaus?

[00:04:26] Question four. On NYPD Blue, a police series that debuted in 1993, who was the only regular cast member that appeared in every single episode of the show? If you don’t remember the actor’s name, what was the character’s name?

[00:04:45] Question five. On what 1980s police drama did actress Heather Locklear play officer Stacy Sheridan?

[00:04:55] Question six. On what police series that first aired in [00:05:00] 1987 did Johnny Depp play officer Tom Hanson?

[00:05:06] Question seven. What is the name of the police show from the seventies that focused on two detectives that had a bright red Ford Gran Torino with two white vector stripes on the sides?

[00:05:21] Question eight. What is the name of the police series that first aired in 1984 and had a huge influence on men’s fashion, such as making wearing a t-shirt under pastel sports coats fashionable?

[00:05:37] Question nine. What is the name of the short-lived police series that debuted in 1987 and starred actor Pat Morita?

[00:05:48] And question 10.  This crime drama first aired in 1971 and the homicide detective’s catchphrase was “Just one more thing.” What was [00:06:00] the name of the show?

[00:06:02] Those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back and get the answers and fun facts. Question one. In the 1977 series CHiPs, what was the last name of Ponch’s partner John? John’s last name was Baker.

[00:06:19] Actor Erik Estrada had the role of officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello and actor Larry Wilcox had the role of officer John Baker. These two motorcycle officers were part of the California Highway Patrol. According to Internet Movie Database, “The word “Chippie” is slang for California Highway Patrol officers and dates back to the 1950s or earlier, but was rarely used until popularized by this show. The word CHiP was coined by the producers after the network balked at the name “Chippies.” In real life, Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox did not get [00:07:00] along. The grudgefest lasted for years. In 1980, People Magazine did a story on Larry Wilcox’s second marriage, where Wilcox revealed that he didn’t invite Erik Estrada to the wedding.

[00:07:13] He said, “I gave it a lot of thought and decided not to invite him. There’s no point going around telling people Erik is my best chum” he confides “because he’s not, and never will be. After all,” Larry continues, “Erik didn’t invite me to his wedding four months ago, nor to his recent birthday party. I wanted to show more class and invite him anyhow, but it went against my grain.” In the article, it says, “Wilcox admits CHiP’s appeal is due primarily to Estrada’s latin-lover looks.”

[00:07:47] Larry Wilcox was the first of the two to be hired for CHiPs and felt that Estrada was hired just for being photogenic. In the article, he says, “You had two competitive [00:08:00] actors needing to say, Hey, my talent’s bigger than yours. It was an ego problem. That first year we talked our problems over sober and drunk. We’d get things squared away for a week or two then the whole thing would start over.” I’m sure the producers got tired of the feud because for the last season of CHiPs, Larry Wilcox was no longer part of the show. In 2019 Antenna TV interviewed Larry Wilcox and from the sound of it, he and Erik Estrada have gotten past their differences. He said they’re older now and they don’t care.

[00:08:36] If anything memorable lives on from the series, it’s the iconic seventies theme song. The theme was written by John Parker and there were two different versions of the song. Not everyone liked the song though. In an article with AVClub.com, actor Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks said,

[00:08:56] quote, “I cannot get it out of my head. [00:09:00] To be quite honest, this has gone beyond a hatesong. I’ve gone through so many different emotions dealing with it that for better or worse, it’s just part of me now.” Want to get the song stuck in your mind? Visit triviarewind.com for a link where you can hear both versions and decide which version you like better, or if you hate it.

[00:09:24] Question two. In which police procedural drama that first aired in 1982 did two women play New York City police detectives, one of which was a married working mother? That show was Cagney & Lacey. Some have called it a quintessential show for working women. Cagney & Lacey aired for seven seasons.

[00:09:47] We probably all remember actress Tyne Daly as Mary Beth Lacey and Sharon Gless as detective Christine Cagney. Both women won multiple awards for their roles on the series. But did you know [00:10:00] that Sharon Gless didn’t always play detective Cagney? In 1981 when the TV movie pilot aired, the role of detective Christine Cagney was played by actress Loretta Switt.

[00:10:12] At the time she was starring in M*A*S*H and due to contractual obligations, couldn’t continue on with a role in Cagney & Lacey. In season one, actress Meg Foster played detective Cagney and from seasons two through seven, actress Sharon Gless took over the role. If you haven’t watched the show since the eighties, you may have forgotten that Martin Kove of Karate Kid and Cobra Kai fame had a role in Cagney & Lacey where he played the character Victor Isbecki in 113 episodes.

[00:10:46] Cagney & Lacey was almost canceled twice. The first time the series was about to be canceled, viewer protests stopped it from happening. The second time, a letter writing campaign saved the [00:11:00] show. It was finally canceled after its seventh season.

[00:11:05] Question three. On the 1980s police show Hill Street Blues, what was the catch phrase often said by Sergeant Phil Esterhaus? That phrase was “Let’s be careful out there.” Actor Michael Conrad had the role of veteran cop Sergeant Phil Esterhaus. For his role in the series he won two Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Awards. Hill Street Blues received critical acclaim and in its first season won eight Emmy Awards.

[00:11:38] When the show first aired, it wasn’t recorded with the typical studio TV cameras that most television series used. It was shot with handheld cameras, something viewers had to get used to. In an NPR article it says, “Hill Street Blues sounds like almost every excellent drama series that’s on our must-watch list [00:12:00] today. But back then it broke new ground, although it took a year and a batch of Emmy Awards before it caught on. Before that, the show had a much tougher time getting viewers accustomed to its unusual narrative style.”

[00:12:16] Not only was the series popular, the theme song was too. If you were an eighties kid that took piano lessons, I bet that somewhere you once had the sheet music for this very theme song. I know I did. It was definitely the thing back then. In November of 1981, the song made its way onto the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart climbing up to number 10. Mike Post, the composer of the hit theme song has quite a few memorable theme songs on his resume. He has composed the theme songs for Law and Order SVU, The A-Team, NYPD Blue, Renegade, The Rockford Files, LA Law, [00:13:00] Quantum Leap, and Magnum PI to name a few. Post even won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for his Hill Street Blues theme song. Visit triviarewind.com where I will post a link to the theme song.

[00:13:16] In 1993 Hill Street Blues was named the All Time Best Cop Show by TV guide in its issue that celebrated 40 years of television. In 2013 when TV Guide came out with their list of The 60 Greatest Drama Shows of All Time, Hill Street Blues came in at number one.

[00:13:37] Question four. On NYPD Blue, a police series that debuted in 1993, who was the only regular cast member that appeared in every single episode of the show? And if you can’t remember the actor’s name, what was the character’s name? Well, the actor is Dennis Franz and he played [00:14:00] detective Sergeant Andy Sipowicz. When the show creators came to Dennis Franz to see if he’d be interested in their new police drama, he was hesitant at first because he had already played 27 cops.

[00:14:14] Did you know that he was in 44 episodes of Hill Street Blues playing Lieutenant Norman Buntz? A New York Post article interview Dennis Franz in 2015 and asked him if he was comfortable with his legacy as Sipowicz. His reply was, “I’m completely flattered when anyone says hello and remembers me from anything and that’s Sipowicz nine times out of 10. I was always flattered and honored to have the opportunity to explore that character and find whatever success I found. Personally, I’m good with that for the rest of my days. A lot of people don’t even know my name, they only know me as Sipowicz and I’m flattered.” For his role on NYPD Blue, Franz won a Golden Globe [00:15:00] Award, three screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Primetime Emmy Awards.

[00:15:05] The series definitely made headlines and created quite the stir when it first aired. 57 ABC affiliates refused to show the series premiere due to nudity and cursing. Things didn’t get any tamer. A 2003 episode of NYPD Blue got ABC in hot water with the FCC and they were fined $1.2 million for showing a naked rear end. In 2011, a New York appeals court overturned a Federal Communications Commission ruling against ABC.

[00:15:40] Question five. On what 1980s police drama did Heather Locklear play officer Stacy Sheridan? That show was TJ Hooker. Heather Locklear appeared in seasons two through five of the show. She was quite busy at the time because not only was she starring in [00:16:00] TJ Hooker, she also had a role on the hit show Dynasty. Actor William Shatner had the lead role in the series and played Sergeant TJ Hooker. He was the only main character to appear in all seasons of the show.

[00:16:15] The series was created by Rick Husky and initially the intention of the show was to rework the seventies police series The Rookies and call the new version The Protectors. However, after William Shatner’s character TJ Hooker was decided on to be the main focus, they named the series TJ Hooker. TJ Hooker ran for five seasons. Four of those years, the show aired on ABC. Its last season aired on the CBS network.

[00:16:46] According to Metv.com Shatner didn’t set the best example when it came to wearing a seatbelt. They say, “In early seasons, Hooker sets a bad example for drivers and passengers. The [00:17:00] tough cop rarely wears a seatbelt. He buckles up a little towards the end of the third season and by the time the character was cruising on CBS he was far more safety conscious. It’s a curious detail that can help you date an episode.”

[00:17:16] Question six. On what police series that first aired in 1987 did Johnny Depp play officer Tom Hanson? That show was 21 Jump Street. According to the book Johnny Depp, A Biography, the show was originally called Jump Street Chapel. Depp turned down the role to play officer Tom Hanson so the role was given to another actor. After a few weeks of shooting, the show’s creator knew it was not going to work out and what they really needed was Johnny Depp. The show was renamed 21 Jump Street and Johnny Depp’s agents were able to get him to read for the part and Depp [00:18:00] decided to take the role.

[00:18:01] There were a couple of reasons why he had a change of heart. One was that his agents told him the series probably wouldn’t even last one season. The second and probably most luring part was the money. He would earn $45,000 per episode. One thing he probably regretted later was that he was required to sign a five-year contract. The series made him a teen idol and he was recognized everywhere. During the series run, he graced the cover of several magazines. His biography says that in the show’s second season, Depp was receiving over 10,000 pieces of fan mail a month. One source claims that it was 10,000 per week.

[00:18:44] Johnny Depp did not like being labeled as a teen idol. During the series, Depp made his way into tabloids. In one instance, he got into an altercation with a security guard, spit in his face and was arrested. [00:19:00] As the series went on, his bad attitude towards the show started showing. His biography says that it was rumored that one day on set when in a bad mood, he set his underwear on fire. He even trashed his trailer. Watch Johnny Depp talk for a few minutes about how he felt working in a television series and how he tried to get fired from the show. I’ll post the link on triviarewind.com.

[00:19:27] After four seasons, Depp was released from his contract. When it was all said and done, Depp had 57 episodes in the books and a negative reply about what it was like to work on a television series. He called it quote, “Assembly-line stuff that to me was borderline fascist.” After Johnny Depp left the series, 21 Jump Street aired for a fifth season.

[00:19:53] Question seven. What is the name of the police show from the seventies that focused on two [00:20:00] detectives that had a bright red Ford Gran Torino with two white vector stripes on the sides? The name of that series was Starsky & Hutch. Do you remember their call sign? It was Zebra Three. Actor Paul Michael Glaser had the role of Detective Dave Starsky. Actor David Soul played detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson.

[00:20:25] While the show may be known for that car, one of the actors admitted to hating the car. In an article on Telegram.com, Paul Michael Glaser said, “It was a particularly ugly car. It had terrible suspension, terrible acceleration. Excuse me for saying so, it was a Ford, and the idea of a detective driving around in a red car with a white stripe is kind of ridiculous.” In the article Glazer went on to say, “When Aaron Spelling walked us out onto the parking lot and showed us this car, [00:21:00] I said, “What is this?”

[00:21:02] He said, “That’s your car.” And I said, “It looks like a striped tomato and I turned to David and said, I’m going to destroy that thing,” Glazer recalled. “It was good to have something on the set that you could take your frustrations out on.” Well, do you want to know what happened to that car? In a GQ Magazine article, it says the Gran Torino continued rolling out of Ford’s factory gates until 1976 though its chassis was used on other Fords, including the Thunderbird, until the end of the decade. In its final year, Ford produced  1000 Starsky & Hutch replica cars. All of them were two door coupes, but could be had with any of the available (at this point all V8) engines. The red used on the TV car had been discontinued but was brought back for the special edition, though Ford painted each car white [00:22:00] first before masking the iconic stripe off and spraying the rest in its distinctive crimson. It was a color scheme as iconic as any in TV history.” In 2014, a 1976 Ford Gran Torino that was claimed to have been one of the original cars used in the filming of the show, sold at an auction for $40,000. In Street Muscle Magazine’s list of The Top 50 TV Cars of All Time, the car from Starsky & Hutch came in fourth place.

[00:22:34] Question eight. What is the name of the police series that first aired in 1984 and had a huge influence on men’s fashion, such as making wearing a t-shirt under a pastel sports coat fashionable? Well, that show was Miami Vice. Miami Vice centered around the Miami Dade Police Department’s main characters, Sonny Crockett played by actor Don Johnson and [00:23:00] Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs played by actor Philip Michael Thomas. This was one of the most expensive shows to produce at the time. Before getting the Miami Vice title, the show was once going to be called Gold Coast.

[00:23:15] We all know that fashion was a huge part of this show. An article in Time says, “On a typical episode, Crockett and Tubbs wear from five to eight different outfits, always in shades of pink, blue, green, peach, fuchsia and the shows other approved colors from such chic designers as Vittorio Ricci, Gianni Versace, and Hugo Boss. The concept of the show is to be on top of all the latest fashion trends in Europe says costume designer, Bambi Breakstone who had just left for a trip to Milan, Paris and London to pick outfits for the coming season.”

[00:23:56] Thanks to the show, the sales of Ray-Ban shades skyrocketed [00:24:00] when fans saw Don Johnson wearing them. The company After Six Formal Wear even created a line of what they named Miami Vice dinner jackets. And all of the sudden it was fashionable for men not to wear socks with their shoes. Some didn’t think the show went that deep and focused more on the flashy. In the Time article it says, “Not everyone is so enthusiastic about the direction Miami Vice is taking TV. Miami Vice is a cop show. Very well done and stylish, but still a cop show, says Bruce Paltrow, the executive producer of St. Elsewhere. It’s hip and glib but not very deep.” For a minute I forgot we were even talking about cop shows.

[00:24:49] Question nine. What is the name of the short-lived police series that debuted in 1987 and starred actor Pat Morita? [00:25:00] That show was Ohara. Pat Morita had the role of Lieutenant Ohara. Ohara was one of the first television series to have a Japanese-American actor in the leading role. Pat Morita was actually one of the creators of this series that only ran for two seasons. Just three years prior to this, fans everywhere grew to love Pat Morita in his Mr. Miyagi role in the Karate Kid movie. He won an Oscar for that role. According to Internet Movie Database, in Brazil, the series was titled Karate Kid Ohara, taking advantage of the success of Pat Morita in the 1984 movie. Due to declining ratings, Ohara was canceled after its second season.

[00:25:46] And question 10. This crime drama first aired in 1971 and the homicide detective’s catchphrase was “Just one more thing.” What was the name of the show? [00:26:00] That show was Columbo. Actor Peter Falk had the role of Lieutenant Columbo a role for which he won four Emmy Awards. His character was known for his khaki colored raincoat and his cigar smoking. Remember he never had a match and was always asking for a light for his cigar? A New York Times article comments on his look saying, “In his portrayal, Mr. Falk has created a true everyman character in the sense that every man is a bit of a schlump — an antihero who is also anti chic, even if he went to a lot of trouble to look as if he didn’t care about his appearance.” The Times article even did some digging to find out whose idea it was for that coat. They say, “According to a spokeswoman for the show, the famous raincoat was purchased in Manhattan by Mr. Falk himself who misread the [00:27:00] original script which called for an overcoat. Mr. Falk also wore his own suits, ties and shoes in the early episodes, proving himself a highly cost-effective actor.”

[00:27:14] You may have noticed that actor Peter Falk looks like he’s squinting with one of his eyes. It’s one of his trademark looks. Well when he was three years old, his right eye was surgically removed due to Retinoblastoma. In a Cigar Aficionado Magazine interview, Falk shares one funny memory about his glass eye. He says, “I remember once in high school, the umpire called me out at third base when I was sure I was safe. I got so mad I took out my glass eye, handed it to him and said, try this. I got such a laugh you wouldn’t believe.” Prior to the first season, there were two pilot episodes of Columbo. On September 15th, 1971 [00:28:00] the first episode of season one debuted and it was directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. This episode titled Murder by the Book was ranked number 16 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes Of All Time. The series ran for 10 seasons. In 2006, Peter Falk released his autobiography aptly titled Just One More Thing: Stories From My Life. Faulk died on June 23rd, 2011 at the age of 83.

[00:28:33] Today was a fun look back at 10 classic TV cop shows. There were so many other great cop shows over the years I’m sorry we couldn’t include them all today. Lately police brutality has been on the front page of major newspapers everywhere. Many feel that what is depicted in police shows do not reflect reality. According to a 2020 article in Variety, [00:29:00] “CBS Television Studios has signed an exclusive agreement with law enforcement and public safety advisory group 21CP Solutions to consult with the writing staffs of CBS crime procedurals and legal dramas, Variety has learned exclusively.

[00:29:17] The move comes in the wake of national protests against police brutality, and in Hollywood, discussions about entertainment’s role in how law enforcement is perceived by the public.” The article goes on to say “R. Scott Gemmill, showrunner and executive producer of NCIS: Los Angeles says he is very excited about the CBS 21CP Alliance. Having an audience of millions of viewers each week comes with a great deal of responsibility, he said. This new partnership will help us ensure that our storytelling continues to produce accurate portrayals of law enforcement and will hopefully allow us to play a small part in the ongoing reform [00:30:00] moving forward.”

[00:30:01] Well, do you feel that the cop shows of this day and age reflect reality? If you’d like to dig deeper into this matter, in 2020, the Norman Lear Center at USC released a report titled, The Dangerous Misrepresentations that Define Television’s Scripted Crime Genre: A Comprehensive Study of How Television’s Most Popular Genre Excludes Writers of Color, Miseducates People About the Criminal Justice System and makes Racial Injustice Acceptable. I will post a link to this report on triviarewind.com.

[00:30:37] Well, that’s it for this week’s episode. Thanks for taking the time to listen and support this podcast. Visit Trivia Rewind on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. All the links mentioned in this episode can be found at triviarewind.com. Have a great day and as Sergeant Phil Esterhaus would say, “Let’s be careful out there.” [00:31:00] And as Columbo would say, “Just one more thing,” come back for more Trivia Rewind. . .

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I Need a Doctor, STAT!

Over the years there have been numerous television shows about doctors, hospitals and the medical community as a whole.  When looking into the history of medically themed TV shows, it looks like 1961 was the year that medical dramas really took off. In 1961 both Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey debuted.  Dr. Kildare ran for 5 seasons and actor Richard Chamberlain had the role of Dr. Kildare.  Ben Casey also ran for 5 seasons and actor Vince Edwards had the role of Dr. Ben Casey. 

In 1969, Marcus Welby M.D. started airing on television and introduced us to the friendly family practitioner played by actor Robert Young. This series ran for 7 seasons. During the 1970-1971 season, this show became the first ABC show to make it to the number one spot in TV’s Nielsen ratings.

Those shows paved the way for the medical series that would fill the networks in the years to come. Some of those medical shows set records.

When the M*A*S*H finale aired in 1983, it became the most-watched and highest-rated single television episode in US television history, at the time. Grey’s Anatomy is TV’s longest-running primetime scripted medical drama series. Ever. In 2008, House became the world’s most watched fiction show on television at the time. When St. Elsewhere series ended, the finale caused quite the stir and opened the biggest can of worms ever. The list goes on.

So why are we so intrigued by medically themed television shows? A BBC article from 2012 offers some insight. Philippa Roxby, a health reporter for BBC News writes, “Without doubt, medical science is a rich source of stories and intrigue. The popularity of all forms of medical-based drama suggests that we love to watch and read about people dealing with pain and discomfort, facing problems we fear we might face too at some point in our lives. Prof George Ikkos, president of the Royal Society of Medicine’s psychiatry section, says it is more to do with learning about ourselves from other people.”

Whatever the case, people worldwide love medical shows and the popularity doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon.

In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I give you ten trivia questions about various medically themed television shows. After I ask you the questions, I’ll give you the answers and some fun facts. In our fun facts segment, find out which actress from a medical drama was in the bathroom when her name was announced for an Emmy Award.  And speaking of bathrooms, find out which television writer and producer came up with the idea for his medical drama while sitting on the toilet.  Those are just two of the fun facts from this week’s episode.  

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Trivia Rewind – Episode 43 – TV Doctors

[00:00:00] Hi, this is Debi Jenkins, the host of Trivia Rewind. Over the years, there have been numerous television shows about hospitals and doctors. When looking into the history of medical TV shows, it looks like 1961 was the year that medical dramas really became popular. In 1961, both Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey debuted.

[00:00:36] Dr. Kildare ran for five seasons with a total of 191 episodes. Actor Richard Chamberlain had the role of Dr. Kildare. Ben Casey also ran for five seasons and actor Vince Edwards had the role of Dr. Ben Casey. In 1969, Marcus Welby MD started airing on television [00:01:00] and introduced us to the friendly family practitioner played by actor Robert Young. This series ran for seven seasons. During the 1970/71 season, this show became the first ABC series to make it to the number one spot in TV’s Nielsen ratings.

[00:01:21] Those shows paved the way for the medical series that would fill the networks in the years to come. In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I will give you 10 questions about medically themed television shows. After the questions, I’ll give you the answers and some fun facts. In our fun facts segment, find out which actress from a medical drama was in the bathroom when her name was announced for an Emmy Award. And speaking of bathrooms, find out which television writer and producer came up with the idea for his medical [00:02:00] show while sitting on the toilet. Those are just two of the fun facts from this week’s episode. Let’s get started with this week’s trivia.

[00:02:11] Question one. This show first aired in 1994 and followed a group of doctors, one of which was head surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Geiger. What was the name of the show?

[00:02:28] Question two. This show first aired in 1990 and followed a doctor sent to a small Alaska town where he became their general practitioner. What was the name of the series?

[00:02:44] Question three. What is the name of the medical drama that features Dr. Doug Ross, a pediatrician?

[00:02:53] Question four. This physician grew up in her mother’s shadow and at one [00:03:00] point in her career committed insurance fraud in order to help a young girl’s father pay for his daughter’s surgery. What is the name of the doctor and what show is she on?

[00:03:14] Question five. What is the name of the medical series that features an autistic surgical resident named Dr. Shawn Murphy?

[00:03:24] Question six. What is the name of the medical drama that features a physician dependent on pain medication and is the head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine?

[00:03:37] Question seven. What is the name of the medical television series that’s set during the Korean War?

[00:03:46] Question eight. What is the name of the medical series that takes part at Sacred Heart Hospital and focuses mainly on the hospital’s interns?

[00:03:58] Question [00:04:00] nine. What is the name of the medical series set at St. Eligius hospital located in Boston?

[00:04:10] And question 10. Which medical show features a doctor that graduated from Princeton University at the age of 10 and was a physician at age 14?

[00:04:23] Those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back and get the answers and fun facts.

[00:04:28] Question one. This show first aired in 1994 and followed a group of doctors, one of which was head surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Geiger. What was the name of the show? That show was Chicago Hope. This medical drama aired for six seasons. Actor Mandy Patinkin had the role of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger, a hot shot surgeon. In 1995 Patinkin won an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Primetime Emmy Award [00:05:00] for his role as Dr. Geiger. Actor Christine Lahti played cardiac surgeon, Kate Austin. For this role, she won both a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award. Her 1998 Emmy Award win included a bit of potty humor. Literally. When her name was announced as the winner, she wasn’t there.

[00:05:24] She happened to be in the bathroom. A 2017 People Magazine article reminisces this moment with her and says,  “The moment became one of the most memorable in pop culture history as the crowd waited for Lahti; Robin Williams even came up on stage to entertain for a few minutes. Lahti finally came on stage and jokingly finished wiping her hands with a towel before saying ‘I was in the bathroom, mom.’ The actress now explains that it was the first thing she could think of.” Do you want to see this humorous Emmy [00:06:00] moment? Visit triviarewind.com for a link.

[00:06:04] Question two. This show first aired in 1990 and followed a doctor sent to a small Alaska town where he became their general practitioner. What was the name of the series? That show was Northern Exposure. Northern Exposure ran for six seasons and starred Rob Morrow as Dr. Joel Fleishman. For his role on the show, he was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and two Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series. This series was created by the same duo that created another popular medical series, St. Elsewhere.

[00:06:45] In the fall of 2020, Deadline discuss the Vulture Festival where the cast of Northern Exposure appeared in a panel where they reminisced about their time on the show. Actor Barry Corbin said, “The casting fit, the [00:07:00] location fit, the music fit. Everything fit.” Well, a revival of the show has been in the works for several years and it’s still unknown if that will actually happen.

[00:07:12] Question three. What is the name of the medical drama that features Dr. Doug Ross, a pediatrician? Well, that show was ER and the actor that played Dr. Doug Ross was George Clooney. Before his role on ER, George Clooney had an extensive background in television. However, his big break came with ER .This role launched him into stardom.

[00:07:39] In the book titled Top of the Rock, Inside the Rise and Fall of Must-See TV, one of the producers, John Wells said, “George Clooney begged me for a part. George was the first person to audition.” He went on to say, “Our second day in the office, George showed up and wouldn’t leave until I let him [00:08:00] audition.”

[00:08:01] Well talk about persistence. I would say that his persistence paid off. Here’s a fun fact about George Clooney from Elle.com. The article says, “Ever noticed that Doug Ross spends a lot of time looking down at patients in their hospital beds, at clipboards or hanging his head? That’s because Clooney developed a technique for remembering all of his complex medical dialogue which involved writing his lines on props so that he could consult them during scenes. According to PBS’s Pioneers of Television, he started doing this while shooting ER and movies at the same time in order to deal with the workload.”

[00:08:42] ER first aired in September of 1994 and went on for 15 seasons. It’s the second longest running prime time medical drama in American television history. According to Nbc.com, “The highly acclaimed drama [00:09:00] series holds the distinction of being recognized as the most Emmy nominated series in the history of television with 124 nominations.” George Clooney left the series in 1999 but returned in 2009 for one last goodbye to the ER.

[00:09:19] The screenplay for ER was written in 1974 by author Michael Crichton. He based it on his personal experiences as a medical student. Before ER became a TV series, Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton considered making ER into a two hour movie. However, nobody picked it up so the script was shelved for 20 years. Eventually they decided to make a two hour pilot for television. And the rest is history. They pretty much used that 1974 script word for word, but they did make a few changes to characters by adding a black doctor and a [00:10:00] female doctor, instead of all white male doctors.

[00:10:05] Question four. This physician grew up in her mother’s shadow and at one point in her career committed insurance fraud in order to help a young girl’s father pay for his daughter’s surgery. What is the name of the doctor and what show is she on? Well, the character is Dr. Meredith Grey and the show is Grey’s Anatomy. Talk about a successful series. Currently Grey’s Anatomy holds the record for the longest running American primetime medical drama series. The show has been going strong for 18 seasons and even today, new episodes are airing.

[00:10:48] The series was created by Shonda Rhimes. In 2007 Rhimes was named on the list of Time Magazine’s 100 People Who Helped Shape the World. [00:11:00] Shonda Rhimes is also the creator and producer of Private Practice, a spinoff from Grey’s Anatomy.

[00:11:07] According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, “In its 17th season, Grey’s Anatomy remains a massive asset for ABC and Disney. The series ranks as ABC’s number one drama series among total viewers and the all-important advertiser-coveted adults 18 to 49 demographic. The series is a global phenomenon and broadcast all over the world. It’s also become a cash cow with a rich streaming deal at Netflix where it ranks as one of the company’s most watched acquired shows.”

[00:11:44] Question five. What is the name of the medical series that features an autistic surgical resident named Dr. Shawn Murphy? That series is The Good Doctor and actor Freddie Highmore plays Dr. [00:12:00] Sean Murphy. This series first aired in September of 2017 and is currently in its fourth season. The show is actually based on a South Korean series by the same name.

[00:12:13] Actor Freddie Highmore was born in London and has roles in numerous films and television shows. Before The Good Doctor he had a riveting role as serial killer Norman Bates in the psychological horror drama television series, Bates Motel. In a USA Today article from 2017, he is asked about his new role on The Good Doctor and he’s quoted as saying, “It’s nice to save people after years of killing them.”

[00:12:42] Freddie Highmore does such a good job playing a character with autism that some have asked if he really is autistic in real life. Well, he isn’t. The show has an autism consultant that helps them make sure they get his character just right. [00:13:00] In a 2019 article with Digital Spy, Freddie Highmore says, “Aside from continual research or working with the consultant that we have, I’m also talking to people who feel that they have a personal connection to the show through autism and are pleased or thankful that the show is seeking to raise awareness in that way.” Highmore was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role on The Good Doctor. The series is currently airing on ABC where you can watch new episodes.

[00:13:32] Question six. What is the name of the medical drama that features a physician dependent on pain medication and is the head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine? That show is House and the doctor’s name is Dr. Gregory House. English actor Hugh Laurie plays Dr. House. The series ran for eight seasons and premiered in November of 2004. According [00:14:00] to an AFT article in 2008, House was the world’s most watched fictional program on TV. By the time the series was done airing, it had been nominated for over 160 awards. Hugh Laurie won two Best Actor Golden Globe Awards for his role.

[00:14:18] In a USA today article from 2004, Hugh Laurie discussed one reservation about playing his doctor character. He says, “One of the things that makes me feel guilty about playing this role is that my dad was a doctor. He was a very gentle soul and I think a very good doctor. And I’m probably being paid more to become a fake version of my own father.” In 2011, Hugh Laurie made it into the record books. The Guinness World’s Records listed him as The Most Watched Leading Man on Television as well as one of the highest paid actors in a television drama.

[00:14:59] Question [00:15:00] seven. What is the name of the medical television series that’s set during the Korean War? That show was M*A*S*H and in case you didn’t know, M*A*S*H is an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. M*A*S*H first aired in 1972 and ran for 11 seasons. When the series ended, its finale was the most watched television program in history. It took a Superbowl to take that record away from the series.

[00:15:32] During the show, they had to come up with a lot of names for the patients that would come through their unit. For the seventh season, they used a names from the 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers roster. And talk about stretching the war out. In real life the Korean War lasted just over three years. However, the series stretched out that war for 11 years. Thank goodness the real thing [00:16:00] wasn’t 11 years long.

[00:16:02] Question eight. What is the name of the medical series that takes part at Sacred Heart Hospital and focuses mainly on the hospital’s interns? That show is Scrubs. Scrubs first aired in 2001 and ran for nine seasons. The first eight seasons of the series were narrated by the character, Dr. John Michael “JD” Dorian portrayed by actor Zach Braff. The show had 17 Emmy nominations. Since you’re listening to this episode of Trivia Rewind, I know you’re a fan of podcasts in general. So in case you didn’t know, Scrubs co-stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison started their own podcast in 2020 called Fake Doctors, Real Friends, where each week they take one episode from Scrubs and discuss it.

[00:16:56] Braff tells Entertainment Weekly, “It’s almost like DVD [00:17:00] commentary. We’ll sit around and talk about funny stories and things we remember behind the scenes.” You can find that podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:17:11] Question nine. What is the name of the medical series set at St. Eligius hospital located in Boston? That is St. Elsewhere. Do you know why the hospital was nicknamed St. Elsewhere? It got that nickname for housing the rejects of the more prestigious hospitals in town. St. Elsewhere first aired in October of 1982 and ran for six seasons. St. Elsewhere was ranked number 20 on TV Guides 2002 list of The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

[00:17:47] In a 1983 issue of TV Guide, they ranked it the best drama series of the 1980s. Many people thought that the series finale was mind boggling, weird, [00:18:00] strange, you name it. A BBC News article titled TV’s Strangest Endings says, “The show was over except for a spooky last scene in which the entire six years of the drama were revealed to have been imagined by Dr. Westphall’s autistic son.” Watch the last minute of the finale and decide for yourself. I’ll post the link to it on triviarewind.com. The series was nominated for 62 Emmy Awards and won 13. It was also nominated for and won multiple other awards.

[00:18:35] And question 10. Which medical show features a doctor that graduated from Princeton University at the age of 10 and was a physician at age 14? That show was Doogie Howser, MD. Doogie Howser MD first aired in September of 1989 and aired for four seasons. Actor Neil Patrick Harris [00:19:00] had the role of Doogie Howser. Steven Bochco created the series. In an interview with the Archive of American Television, he tells how he came up with the idea for the show.

[00:19:11] He said he was sitting on the toilet reading an issue of New York Magazine and the article was about gifted kids and that gave him an idea. He said by the time he was finished with his shower, he had the whole idea for Doogie Howser thought out. He said it only took 30 minutes for him to have it all laid out in his head.

[00:19:34] He wrote the first script with David E. Kelley. Bochco said the network was very reluctant after they saw the pilot. However, after it went on the air it was an instant hit and he said the network was stunned. Thanks to the show, the name Doogie Howser went on to be used many times in the news whenever someone young excelled at something.

[00:19:57] In an Orlando Sentinel article, [00:20:00] a reader wrote in and asked, “The kid on Doogie Howser MD seems to have grown a lot over the season. Has he gotten taller in real life?” The newspaper’s answer was, “Indeed he has. Neil Patrick Harris, the 17 year old star of the show grew so much that his shoe size changed five times and they went through several wardrobes during the eight month course of filming the ABC show.”

[00:20:27] And here’s another fun fact, an Entertainment Weekly interview with Neil Patrick Harris tells what they used in the suture scenes. Harris says, “They gave us suture packs and told us to go to Ralph’s and get a chicken breast. And actually, we would use raw chicken on set. They’d cover all the edges of it with gauze and such so it looked essentially like skin.”

[00:20:51] Fans of the show will be glad to hear that supposedly Disney+ is working on a reboot of the show that’s set to be released in [00:21:00] 2021. The reboot will feature a female Doogie that 16 years old and it will be set in Hawaii. The show is called Doogie Kamealoha MD. So be watching for that sometime this year.

[00:21:16] Well, that’s it for this week’s episode all about television’s medical shows. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. You can visit Trivia Rewind on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and all the links mentioned in this episode can be found at triviarewind.com, where I will also post a transcript from the show.

[00:21:39] Thank you so much for listening and I will be back next time for another episode of Trivia Rewind. [00:22:00]

Posted in film, tv

The Sound of Music

In 1965, a classic was born.  That movie was The Sound of Music. This musical drama was an adaptation of the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical of the same name.  In November of 1966, The Sound of Music became the highest grossing movie of all time AND it took home 5 Academy Awards, one of which was for Best Picture. 

Some say The Sound of Music saved Twentieth Century Fox from going under after their movie Cleopatra didn’t earn enough to cover the cost of making it.  To put things into perspective, it cost around $42 million to make Cleopatra and the budget to make The Sound of Music was just over $8 million. The Sound of Music really raked it in and saved Twentieth Century Fox. 

While the movie was a commercial success, some movie critics didn’t have the nicest things to say. One was movie critic Pauline Kael who wrote a review of the movie for McCalls Magazine and said the film was “the sugar-coated lie people seem to want to eat” and that audiences have “turned into emotional and aesthetic imbeciles when we hear ourselves humming the sickly, goody-goody songs.”  Well, that comment didn’t bode well with the female readers of McCalls Magazine and according to a New York Times article from 1966 she was fired as their movie critic. 

She wasn’t the only one that had issue with one. One of the main stars of the film hated it for years and years and even called it horrible names such as “The Sound of Mucus.” In my podcast, find out which actor this was and if they ever changed their tune!

On the movie’s 50th anniversary, critic Leonard Maltin said the film is timeless and he said the opening scene with Julie Andrews is hard to beat. 

Not only was the movie a hit in the United States. It was a hit worldwide.  In the Philippines the crowds trying to get tickets got so unruly that police had to be called in.  

On February 29, 1976, viewers were able to watch The Sound of Music for the first time on television.  ABC had the rights to air the movie one time and the viewership that night was high.  In 1977, NBC acquired the broadcast rights and for twenty years aired it annually.  It still airs yearly on various networks and you can find The Sound of Music on multiple streaming platforms.  For me as well as millions of other fans out there, we’ve seen the film numerous times thanks to television.

This film showed people how beautiful Salzburg, Austria is. Fans from around the world travel there each year (well, before Covid) and take tours of the sights seen in the film. Since most of us can’t hop on a plane tomorrow and go take that tour, I found an online tour for you. And it’s free!

In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’ll ask you ten trivia questions from the movie and give you some amazing fun facts. 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Posted in tv

TV Reruns – 1950s – 1990s

Over the decades, we’ve all watched a lot of memorable television shows.  Some of the shows may have been before our time but thanks to reruns, we are able to watch shows that we weren’t around for. Much of my TV viewing as a kid was in the form of reruns. I can remember loving shows like Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show….the list goes on. I think having such a wide variety of television shows from different years helped give me a love for television. 

Back in the early years of television broadcasting, shows were live and not recorded.  The time zone difference between the east and the west was one reason for studios deciding to record shows.  For example, if a network broadcast a television show in New York at 7pm eastern time, people on the west coast may not get to see it because they’d still be at work at 4:00.  They were out of luck. 

The other day I thought to myself, I wonder who even invented the concept of reruns? Well, I found the answer. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball are who we have to thank for reruns.  According to Entrepreneur.com, “Arnaz and Ball offered a simple solution: produce the show on film and dispense with kinescopes altogether. CBS wasn’t exactly thrilled with this suggestion. Using film would double production costs. To offset the added cost, Arnaz and Ball agreed to cut their joint weekly salary from $5,000 to $4,000 on the condition that Desilu retained all rights to the show. CBS agreed, and in one fell swoop Arnaz and Ball invented reruns, paved the way for syndication, and pulled off what would become one of the most lucrative deals in television history.” 

The article goes on to say “By insisting that “I Love Lucy” be recorded on film, which could be easily stored and broadcast over and over again without any degradation of picture quality, Desi Arnaz initiated the industry practice of airing reruns, which made summer hiatuses possible and opened up a new market for the sale of film rights.” The first television series to be rerun was I Love Lucy. Thanks to Desi and Lucy for paving the way!

Today, thanks to streaming services, we have quite the menu of shows we can watch from every decade of television. Imagine a few decades ago someone telling you that in the future, you could watch TV shows on a telephone that fits in your hand while on the go. We’ve come so far!

In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I have 10 trivia questions for you about television shows that aired between the 1950s and the 1990s.  Maybe you watched them in real time. Maybe you watched them as reruns. Whatever the case, these were some great shows. After I ask you the ten questions, I’ll go back and give you the answers plus some fun facts. The fun facts are always my favorite part!

In our fun facts segment, find out which actor recently made the news touting his “stay-awake-spray” and commenting that it may have helped Tiger Woods avoid his recent accident.  Find out which TV couple couldn’t stand each other in real life and why that was.  I’ll tell you which young actress’ controversial film role and topless photos got her in trouble with her TV dad. Those are just a few of the fun facts I will tell you about in this episode. 

And as promised in the episode, here’s the trailer for the new series Bel-Air. I’m looking forward to this new television show where Will Smith is one of the producers.

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Trivia Rewind – Episode 41 – TV Reruns – Shows from the 50s to the 90s

[00:00:00] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:00] Hey there, I’m Debi Jenkins, the host of Trivia Rewind. Over the decades, we’ve watched a lot of memorable television shows. Some of the shows may have been before our time but thanks to reruns, we are able to watch. In this day and age, the concept of reruns is definitely taken for granted. Back in the early years of television broadcasting, shows were live and not recorded.

[00:00:39] The time zone difference between the East and the West was one reason for studios deciding to record shows. For example, if a network broadcast a television show in New York at 7:00 PM Eastern time, people on the West coast may not get to see it because they’d still be at work at [00:01:00] 4:00 PM and they would be out of luck.

[00:01:04] Well, thanks to Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, they came up with a solution. According to Entrepreneur.com, “Arnaz and Ball offered a simple solution. Produce the show on film and dispense with kinescopes altogether. CBS wasn’t exactly thrilled with this suggestion. Using film would double production costs.

[00:01:29] To offset the added cost, Arnaz and Ball agreed to cut their joint weekly salary from $5,000 to $4,000 on the condition that Desilu retained all rights to the show. CBS agreed and in one fell swoop Arnaz and Ball invented reruns, paved the way for syndication, and pulled off what would become one of the most lucrative deals in television history.”

[00:01:59] The first [00:02:00] television series to be rerun was I love Lucy. The article goes on to say, “By insisting that I love Lucy be recorded on film, which could be easily stored in broadcast over and over again without any degradation of picture quality, Desi Arnaz initiated the industry practice of airing reruns, which made summer hiatuses possible and opened up a new market for the sale of film rights.” So thanks to Desi and Lucy for paving the way.

[00:02:33] In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I have 10 trivia questions for you about television shows that aired between the 1950s and the 1990s. Maybe you watched them in real time. Maybe you watch them as reruns. Whatever the case, these were some great shows. After I ask you the 10 questions, I’ll go back and give you the answers and some fun facts. In our fun facts segment, find out which [00:03:00] actor recently made the news, touting his stay-awake spray and commenting that it may have helped Tiger Woods avoid his recent accident.

[00:03:09] Find out which TV couple couldn’t stand each other in real life. I’ll tell you which young actress’ controversial film role and topless photos got her in trouble with her TV dad. Those are just a few of the fun facts I’ll tell you about in this episode. Well, if you’re ready, let’s get this started with the first question.

[00:03:33] Question one. On the 1960s sit-com The Andy Griffith Show, what town was Andy Taylor the sheriff of?

[00:03:43] Question two. On the 1970s series Happy Days, what was the name of Richie Cunningham’s best friend?

[00:03:54] Question three. On the 1950s series I love Lucy, [00:04:00] what were the names of Lucy and Ricky’s landlords?

[00:04:04] Question four. On the 1970s series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, what was the name of Mary’s boss at the TV station?

[00:04:16] Question five. On the eighties series, Magnum PI, what kind of car did Thomas Magnum drive?

[00:04:26] Question six. On The Love Boat, a series that started in the 1970s, what was the name of the ship’s bartender?

[00:04:38] Question seven. On the 1970s series, Little House on the Prairie, what was the name of the former professional football player that played the character Jonathan Garvey?

[00:04:52] Question eight. On the nineties sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, from what city did Will [00:05:00] Smith’s character move from in order to live with his aunt and uncle?

[00:05:06] Question nine. On the late sixties, early seventies series, The Brady Bunch, what was the name of Alice’s boyfriend?

[00:05:16] And question 10. On the 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show, what was the name of the college that Denise attended?

[00:05:26] Those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back and review, I’ll give you the answers and the fun facts.

[00:05:34] Question one. On the 1960s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, what town was Andy Taylor the sheriff of? Well, everybody knows that he was the sheriff of Mayberry, North Carolina. Andy Griffith had the role of Andy Taylor and from the looks of it, being a sheriff in Mayberry was about as easy as drinking lemonade on the front porch. [00:06:00] According to Andy Griffith, the show’s creator Sheldon Leonard didn’t want the show to be set in North Carolina. He wanted it in the South, but not there. Griffith didn’t like the town names they were tossing around. One of the ideas was to call the town Mt. Pilot. Many say that Mayberry is meant to be Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Things were quite laid back in Mayberry, well for the men at least. When the show started, none of the female characters wore pants, just dresses or skirts.

[00:06:33] The first character on The Andy Griffith Show to wear pants was Andy’s  love interest, nurse, Peggy McMillan. The show ran for eight seasons with a total of 249 episodes. Only seasons six through eight were in color. And the show always ranked very high in the ratings. In 1991, actor Andy Griffith was inducted into The Television [00:07:00] Hall of Fame. In 1997, he won a Grammy Award for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album. He even has a highway named after him. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The list goes on. Sadly in 2012, Andy Griffith died of a heart attack.

[00:07:24] Question two. On the 1970s series Happy Days, what was the name of Richie Cunningham’s best friend? Well, his best friend was Potsie Weber. On the show, Ron Howard had the role of Richie and Anson Williams had the role of Potsie. We all know that Ron Howard today is an award-winning film director, but what is Anson Williams up to? After he left Happy Days, he started a career in directing television shows. Coincidentally, when I was doing the research for this [00:08:00] episode, I saw that he was just in the news for something totally unrelated to entertainment.

[00:08:05] It turns out he is the second cousin to Dr. Henry Heimlich, the man we credit for what’s known as the Heimlich Maneuver. Heimlich is also Anson’s real last name. Well in a Page Six article, it says “Six years ago, his cousin told him to keep awake during long drives, a squeeze of lemon juice acts as a bolt of instant adrenaline. They quote him as saying, “I called Henry and I said, Why don’t we put citric acid in a spray, and he said that would save more lives than the Heimlich Maneuver. I promised him we’d get it done. He passed away four years ago and he made me promise to get it out.” Then the topic of Tiger Woods’ accident came up and they quote him saying With Tiger Woods, the forensic experts feel that he fell asleep.

[00:08:58] I’m so glad he is going to be [00:09:00] okay, but he’s bringing attention to this major problem. He continued. If you take this little spray (Alertdrops), you’re up, you’re alert, it’s safe. It’s natural. It’s really Dr. Heimlich’s legacy. He was a beautiful human being.” The article said that Anson Williams is still close with his Happy Days friends and even recently dined with 92 year old Marion Ross, the actress that played Mrs. Cunningham.

[00:09:30] Question three. On the 1950s series I love Lucy, what were the names of Lucy and Ricky’s landlords? Their landlords were Fred and Ethel Mertz. William Frawley had the role of Fred and Vivian Vance had the role of Ethel. While the two meshed together well on the show, in real life, not so much. Supposedly they hated each other.

[00:09:58] Why? [00:10:00] Well, a MeTV article says “It all started on the first day of rehearsals when Vance found that Frawley, 22 years her senior had been cast as her husband. He’s old enough to be my father, she complained. Unfortunately, Frawley had been within earshot when she made the remark and the battle lines were drawn.”

[00:10:21] Both William Frawley and Vivian Vance were nominated for multiple Primetime Emmy Awards for their roles on the show. Frawley was nominated five times for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy and Vivian Vance was nominated four times and won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

[00:10:43] Question four. On the seventies series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, what was the name of Mary’s boss at the TV station? Her boss was Lou Grant. Actor Ed Asner played Lou Grant on the show. [00:11:00] After The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ed Asner went on to star in a spin-off of the series called Lou Grant. In 1996 he was inducted into The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

[00:11:13] From 1981 to 1985, he was the president of the Screen Actors Guild. Ed Asner holds the record for being the male performer with the most Emmy Award wins. He has a total of seven Emmys. Ed Asner is still going strong. In 2020 he had several roles in television and film. This year Asner will be 92 years old.

[00:11:40] Someone else that auditioned for the role of Lou Grant was Gavin McLeod. It ended up that he was better suited for a different role on the show. He played Murray Slaughter, the head writer of the news.

[00:11:53] Question five. On the eighties series Magnum PI, what kind of car did [00:12:00] Thomas Magnum drive? I’m sure we can all picture it in our minds, but it was a Ferrari 308.

[00:12:08] Actor Tom Selleck starred as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator. According to ScreenRant.com, Tom Selleck was too big for the sports car and some modifications had to be made. They said that the car “had to have padding removed, tops cut into, and seats permanently removed so that he could fit in comfortably.” Ferrari experienced a big boost in sales after the series began gaining popularity. The show was set in Hawaii, but that wasn’t always the plan. In 1980, CBS ended production of their show Hawaii Five-O. They had a great production facility created for the show and didn’t want to shut it down. I’m thinking maybe some executives wanted an excuse to be in Hawaii.

[00:12:54] So it was decided that Magnum PI would be shot in Hawaii and utilize the production [00:13:00] facilities that CBS had there. The series went on for seven seasons and had a series finale where everyone assumed Magnum died. Supposedly fans were so upset, that Tom Selleck agreed to come back for a short eighth season where we find out he really didn’t die. In 2017, Insider did a piece about The 20 Most Watched TV Show Finales of all Time and Magnum PI ranked fifth.

[00:13:29] Tom Selleck was nominated for multiple awards for his role and he took home one Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. And here’s an interesting fact. Tom Selleck could have been Indiana Jones, but he was already contractually committed to the Magnum PI series.

[00:13:51] Question six. On The Love Boat, a series that started in the 1970s, what was the name of the ship’s [00:14:00] bartender? That popular bartender was Isaac Washington. Actor Ted Lange had the role of Isaac. In addition to acting, Ted is also a director and screenwriter. He even directed some of The Love Boat episodes and was a screenwriter for some as well.

[00:14:17] According to Mashable.com, “When Ted Lang’s agent told him he should play the part of a bartender on a new television series set on a cruise ship, he thought it sounded boring. And that part, which was minimal in the beginning, wasn’t worth it. My agent says, have you ever been on a cruise? Well think of it as a vacation, you’ll get a chance to see Mexico, Lang told Mashable. And it was fantastic.”

[00:14:44] The Love Boat had 250 episodes and Ted Lange was only one of three actors to appear in every single episode. Ted Lang’s Isaac Washington character went well beyond the series. His character [00:15:00] appeared in Charlie’s Angels, Martin, Weird Science and Love Boat the Next Wave. I imagine this show did a lot for the cruise industry. I can remember watching the show as a kid and dreaming about what it must be like to go on a cruise.

[00:15:15] Question seven. On the 1970s series, Little House on the Prairie, what was the name of the former professional football player that played the character Jonathan Garvey? That person was Merlin Olsen. Merlin Olsen played in the NFL for 15 seasons. He was a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. He even played in the Pro Bowl for 14 of those years. He’s a member of The Pro Football Hall of Fame. After his football career, he appeared in a few films and TV series when Michael Landon approached him to be on Little House on the Prairie. Olsen had the role of Jonathan Garvey, the father of one of Laura’s friends. Olsen [00:16:00] appeared in over 50 episodes.

[00:16:02] A close friend of Michael Landon, Merlin Olsen gave the eulogy at Landon’s funeral. In 2010, cancer took the life of Merlin Olsen.

[00:16:13] Question eight. On the nineties sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from what city did Will Smith’s character move from an order to live with his aunt and uncle? He moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

[00:16:29] Actor Will Smith had the role of the character named Will Smith on the show. On the show, he played a fictionalized version of himself. The show ran for six seasons and had 148 episodes. In real life, Will Smith was part of a hip hop duo called DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. They too hailed from Philadelphia.

[00:16:53] When Will Smith started his role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was way over his head in [00:17:00] debt and owed the IRS $2.8 million in back taxes. According to the book Will Smith: A Biography, for the first three years he was on the show, the IRS took 70% of his paychecks. The book quotes Will Smith saying, “There’s nothing more sobering than having six cars and a mansion one day and you can’t even buy gas for the cars the next.”

[00:17:27] Things have definitely improved for Smith. According to WealthyGorilla.com, in 2021 his net worth is $350 million. I have a feeling he is much better at budgeting money now. And did you hear that a new Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is on the way? The new series is called Bel-Air and one of the executive producers is will Smith. This version leaves the comedy behind and it will fall into the drama category. I’ll post a [00:18:00] trailer for it on triviarewind.com.

[00:18:03] Question nine. On the late sixties, early seventies series The Brady Bunch, what was the name of Alice’s boyfriend? Well, his name was Sam Franklin. Actor Allan Melvin had the role of Sam the butcher on the show. While it feels like we all know Sam so well, did you know that he actually only appeared in eight episodes? While appearing in hundreds of various television episodes over the years, many remember him for his role as Sam. That innocent butcher even made his way into the lyrics of a Beastie Boys song. You’ll hear him mentioned in the lyrics to their 1989 song Shake your Rump. Allan Melvin also had several roles doing voice work. One of those roles was the voice of Magilla Gorilla on the sixties animated television series, The Magilla Gorilla Show.

[00:19:00] [00:19:00] And question 10. On the 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show, what was the name of the college that Denise attended? Well, she went to Hillman. On the Cosby show, actress Lisa Bonet had the role of Denise Huxtable. When the storyline of the show sends Denise off to Hillman, supposedly there was a reason for sending her off. There came a point when Lisa Bonet got on the bad side of Bill Cosby. She co-starred in the movie Angel Heart, a horror film that almost had an X rating.

[00:19:36] Then Bonet appeared in topless photos, leaked to the media. According to MentalFloss.com, “Cosby had her much younger TV siblings to consider. Denise was the most popular Huxtable according to the fan mail so Cosby solved the problem by spinning her off into A Different World, a series set at Hillman College. Bonet [00:20:00] only appeared for the first season of A Different World.

[00:20:03] In 1987, the year A Different World started, Lisa Bonet married musician Lenny Kravitz and in 1988 announced she was pregnant. The producers of A Different World didn’t want a pregnant college freshmen so she was let go. She later appeared back on The Cosby Show during season five, where her character left the country to go on a photography assignment. In 1993, Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz divorced. In 2017, she married Aqua Man star Jason Mamoa.

[00:20:41] That’s it for this week’s episode. The next time you watch a rerun, think of Lucy and Desi. We owe it all to them. For more visit Triviarewind.com on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and at triviarewind.com. Thank you [00:21:00] for listening and be back next week for another episode.

Posted in tv

The Brady Bunch

If I say the words Groovy and 1970s, what television show comes to mind?  The Brady Bunch of course. I was born in the early 70s and this was one of my favorite shows growing up.

The Brady Bunch was created by Sherwood Schwartz, known for creating shows like Gilligan’s Island.  So how’d he come up with the idea for The Brady Bunch?  A New York Post article lets us in on the story.  They say, “In 1966, he happened across a newspaper article stating that 29 percent of families now included a child from a previous marriage. The stat got Schwartz, who had created 1964’s ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ thinking. He began crafting a show about a blended family that would serve as a parable for his personal belief that different people could always learn to live together.”  When he shopped the idea around, networks weren’t really crazy about it and it was shelved. Then, in 1968 along came a Lucille Ball film called Yours, Mine and Ours, a film about a blended family.  The ABC network called Sherwood Schwartz and gave him the go ahead for The Brady Bunch and the rest is history.  

The Brady Bunch premiered on the ABC network on September 26, 1969. The show could be seen on Fridays during its five season run.  It may be hard to believe but when the show was in its first run, it didn’t get the greatest reviews and it wasn’t even nominated for any awards.  The series ended on March 4, 1974 after 117 episodes.  In September of 1975, the series went into syndication and that propelled it into a new found popularity. Between 2003 and 2007, the show was both nominated for and won several TV Land Awards in various categories. 

One thing that makes The Brady Bunch so iconic is that opening theme song.  Who could forget all the character’s faces in a checkerboard grid looking around at each other.  That was called a Multi-Dynamic Image Technique, a technique created by Canadian filmmaker Christopher Chapman. Some have referred to this as the “Brady Bunch Effect”.  This opening was so popular that in a 2010 issue of TV Guide, the show’s opening title sequence ranked number eight on a list of TV’s Top-10 Credits Sequences, as selected by readers.  The theme song lyrics were written by show creator Sherwood Schwartz.  The opening musical sequence for the pilot was performed by The Peppermint Trolley Company. Then, a trio of session singers sang the theme for the rest of the first season. When the second season rolled around, the Brady kids took on the theme for the rest of the show’s run. 

Another recognized part of the show was the house seen in exterior shots. The house was built in 1959 and is located in Studio City, California.  One reason show creator Sherwood Schartz chose this house was he thought it looked like the kind of home an architect would live in. (Remember, Mike Brady was an architect)

In 2018, the Brady house hit the market and HGTV purchased the home for what would become their original series A Very Brady Renovation. The HGTV show aired in September of 2019 coinciding with The Brady Bunch’s 50th anniversary.   

When The Brady Bunch was made, the interior shots were not filmed in that house we see in the exterior photos. (As a kid, I never liked hearing that. I wanted to believe that house really was where they were filming the show.) Interior shots were filmed on a soundstage.  When HGTV bought the home, they did a complete renovation on it to make the interior look like what we all pictured it to look like based on what we saw on the show. All six of the Brady kids were part of this HGTV series and it was really quite cool to watch.  It really made for a special reunion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show.

So were you a fan of the Brady Bunch?  In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I have 15 trivia questions for you that span the five seasons of the series.  After I ask you the questions, I’ll go back and give you the answers plus some fun facts about the stars of the show.

Find out which actor was about to be written out of the show because he couldn’t get along with the producers. Find out which child star’s parents hated The Brady Bunch. Plus, find out about some hair drama that took place with more than one of the stars!

During the episode, I mention some things that I send you here to find. Those items are:

  1. Maureen McCormick in one of the commercials she did
  2. Christopher Knight’s Furniture Products
  3. The Brady Kids singing “Sunshine Day”

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 


Listen on Apple Podcasts

Trivia Rewind Episode 40 – The Brady Bunch

[00:00:00] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:00] Hello Trivia Rewind listeners. I’m Debi Jenkins, your host. If I say the words groovy and 1970s, what television show comes to mind? The Brady Bunch of course. That’s the topic of this episode of Trivia Rewind. The Brady Bunch was created by Sherwood Schwartz known for creating shows like Gilligan’s Island.

[00:00:40] So how’d he come up with the idea for the Brady Bunch? A New York Post article lets us in on the story. They say, “In 1966, he happened across a newspaper article stating that 29% of families now included a child from a previous marriage. That stat [00:01:00] got Schwartz who had created 1964’s Gilligan’s Island thinking. He began crafting a show about a blended family that would serve as a parable for his personal belief that different people would always learn to live together.”

[00:01:15] When he shopped the idea around, networks weren’t really crazy about it and it was shelved. Then in 1968 along came a Lucille Ball film called Yours, Mine and Ours, a film about a blended family. The ABC network called Sherwood Schwartz and gave him the go-ahead for the Brady Bunch and the rest is history. The Brady Bunch premiered on the ABC network on September 26th, 1969. The show could be seen on Fridays during its five season run. It may be hard to believe, but when the show was in its first run, it didn’t get the greatest reviews and it wasn’t even nominated for [00:02:00] any awards.

[00:02:01] The series ended on March 4th, 1974 after 117 episodes. In September of 1975, the series went into syndication and that propelled it into a new found popularity. Between 2003 in 2007, the show was both nominated for and won several TV Land Awards in various categories. One thing that makes the Brady Bunch so iconic is that opening theme song. Who could forget all the characters faces in a checkerboard grid, looking around at each other?

[00:02:38] That was called a Multi Dynamic Image Technique, a technique created by Canadian filmmaker, Christopher Chapman. Some have referred to this as The Brady Bunch Effect. This opening was so popular that in a 2010 issue of TV Guide the show’s opening title sequence ranked number eight on a list of [00:03:00] TV’s Top 10 Credit Sequences as Selected by Readers.

[00:03:04] The theme song lyrics were written by show creator Sherwood Schwartz. The version for the pilot was performed by The Peppermint Trolley Company. A trio of session singers sang the theme song for the rest of the first season. When the second season rolled around the Brady kids took on the theme for the rest of the show’s run.

[00:03:26] Another recognized part of the show was the house seen in exterior shots. The house was built in 1959 and is located in Studio City, California. One reason show creator Sherwood Schwartz chose this house was he thought it looked like the kind of home an architect would live in. Remember, Mike Brady was an architect.

[00:03:48] In 2018, The Brady Bunch house hit the market and HGTV purchased the home for what would become their original series, A Very Brady Renovation. The [00:04:00] show aired in September of 2019 coinciding with The Brady Bunch’s 50th anniversary. When The Brady Bunch was made, the interior shots were not filmed in that house we see in the exterior photos, they were filmed on a soundstage. When HDTV bought the home, they did a complete renovation on it to make the interior look like what we all pictured it to look like based on what we saw on the show. All six of the Brady kids were part of this HDTV series and it was really quite cool to watch.

[00:04:33] It really made a special reunion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show. So were you a fan of The Brady Bunch? In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I have 15 trivia questions for you that span the five seasons of the series. After I ask you the questions, I’ll go back and review and give you the answers plus some fun facts. Are you ready to get started?

[00:04:59] Here’s [00:05:00] question one. In season one, which Brady kid nominated their father for the Father of the Year Award?

[00:05:10] Question two. In season one, Cindy’s doll Kitty Karry-All goes missing. Who does she discover the culprit is that took her doll?

[00:05:22] Question three. In season two, what does Alice win after entering a contest?

[00:05:31] Question four. In season two, which Brady breaks Carol’s vase?

[00:05:40] Question five. In season two, which Brady sister wore a wig to a party only to be laughed at?

[00:05:51] Question six. In season two, which Brady is upset because they are the only person in the family to have [00:06:00] never won a first place trophy?

[00:06:04] Question seven. In season three, Marsha is the president of her school’s fan club for what musician?

[00:06:14] Question eight. In season three, what character said the line “pork chops and apple sauce?”

[00:06:24] Question nine. In season four, what happens that causes Marsha’s nose to get bruised and swollen?

[00:06:34] Question 10. In season five, Bobby tells his friends that he knows which football star?

[00:06:43] Question 11. In season five what does Bobby save Peter from in their backyard?

[00:06:52] Question 12. In season four, the Brady kids enter a talent contest. [00:07:00] What do they call their group?

[00:07:03] Question 13. In season five after thinking she has no talents, what does Jan find that she’s actually good at?

[00:07:14] Question 14. In season five, what is the high school mascot that Greg helps steal and then hide in his bedroom?

[00:07:26] Question 15. In the series finale, Bobby sells Neat and Natural Hair Tonic to Greg and it turns Greg’s hair what color?

[00:07:38] Well, those were our 15 questions. Let’s go back. I’ll review them, give you the answers and a whole lot of fun facts. Question one. In season one, which Brady kid nominated their father for the Father of the Year Award?

[00:07:55] Well, that was Marsha. Actress Maureen McCormick played Marcia on the [00:08:00] show and actor Robert Reed played her step-father, Mike Brady. Maureen McCormick got her television start in TV commercials in the 1960s where she appeared in Barbie commercials and Chatty Cathy commercials, just to name a few. I’ll post one of the commercials on triviarewind.com if you want to take a look.

[00:08:20] Before being cast as Marcia, Sherwood Schwartz considered casting her in the role of Jan Brady. However, he ended up changing his mind and giving her the Marsha role on The Brady Bunch. The Father of the Year episode was one of Maureen McCormick’s favorite episodes. In a New York Post article, she said, “I always looked up to Bob as a father figure and my father was just such an important part of my life. So that meant a lot to me.”

[00:08:48] Actor Robert Reed was not happy in his Mike Brady role. In the book, Brady Brady Brady, the Complete Story of The Brady Bunch as Told by the Father Son Team Who Really Know, written [00:09:00] by Sherwood Schwartz and his son Lloyd Schwartz,

[00:09:02] it was mentioned that Robert Reed was reluctant to even be in the series. In the book, Sherwood Schwartz said, “He objected to just about everything. Bob saved his anger and resentment for me and my son Lloyd, who was the Producer of the series. We both shared the brunt of Bob’s constant anger and resentment for as long as we worked with him.” While Robert Reed didn’t get along so great with Sherwood and Lloyd Schwartz, he did love the kids and they loved him, according to Sherwood Schwartz.

[00:09:34] When I hear stories like this, I often wonder why actors take roles like this in the first place. Surely he had read the script before agreeing to be Mike Brady. Well, I’ve read that he only expected the show to last half a season and I’m sure in his mind, he thought he could stick it out for a small amount of time.

[00:09:52] However, it went well past half a season. Things got so bad that he was written out of the script for the [00:10:00] season five finale. If the show had been renewed for a sixth season, Lloyd Schwartz said that they would have written Robert Reed out of the show. The kids have nothing but good things to say about their TV dad though.

[00:10:14] Robert Reed died in 1992 after being diagnosed with colon cancer. Robert Reed’s biographer, Ted Nicholson said that in 1991, Robert Reed was diagnosed with colon cancer and being HIV positive, attributed to his early death.

[00:10:32] Question Two. In season one, Cindy’s doll, Kitty Karry-All goes missing. Who does she discover the culprit is that took her doll? Their dog Tiger took the doll. Actress Susan Olsen played the role of Cindy on the show. Who could forget that cute little curly haired blonde girl. She was one of the very first actors to be cast for the show. A New York Post article says “Susan Olsen was [00:11:00] chosen out of 454 hopefuls Schwartz personally interviewed to play youngest daughter, Cindy.

[00:11:07] She won the part because of her charming lisp that had her pronouncing “horse” as “horth” in her audition.” In a different New York Post article, Susan Olsen talks about how the show influenced her career. She said, “The whole attitude was, Oh, you were on that show? Like, as if I had written it. It just wasn’t taken seriously. It was totally disrespected and as a result, we were disrespected.” In an interview for “Oprah: Where are They Now” Susan credits her good parents and her strong family foundation for getting her through the child star phase. Like many child stars, she had her ups and downs with drug addiction, but she came out on top.

[00:11:51] After her time in acting, Susan Olsen went on to become a graphic designer. She’s also an artist and at one point around [00:12:00] 2011, had a curated collection of art designed with Marshmallow Fluff. That sounds like a pretty cool thing to see. In 2005, VH1 released their list of the 100 Greatest Kid Stars of Television and Film and Susan Olsen ranked number 34.

[00:12:20] If you’re interested in hearing the backstory on the Brady’s dog Tiger, check out my recent Trivia Rewind episode, titled Famous TV Pets. You’ll find out about Tiger’s tragic death on the studio back lot.

[00:12:36] Question three. In season two, what does Alice win after entering a contest? Well, Alice wins a stereo system.

[00:12:47] The character Alice is portrayed by actress Ann B. Davis. Ann grew up in the Northeast and had a twin sister. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann first majored in pre-med [00:13:00] with aspirations of being a doctor. But after seeing her brother perform in the musical Oklahoma! She switched her major to drama.

[00:13:09] She had rolls and film, television, and on stage. She even had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame years before The Brady Bunch. While we may know her most for her role as Alice, Ann B. Davis had previously won two Emmy Awards for her role on The Bob Cummings Show. Did you know that Ann B. Davis was only one of three to appear on every single episode of The Brady Bunch?

[00:13:35] After The Brady Bunch was over, Ann moved from Los Angeles to Denver. Once in Denver, she joined an Episcopal community and devoted much of her time to her religion. Ann B. Davis died on June 1st, 2014 and received a standing ovation at her own funeral. A Morning Call article talks about her Memorial service, where Lloyd Schwartz says, [00:14:00] “Dad didn’t create Alice. She was Ann B’s own creation,” he said. “He just wanted a funny housekeeper, but he got a whole lot more. America got a whole lot more. I got a lot more. I got a lifetime friend.” In the article, William Frey, retired Episcopal Bishop and friend of Ann B. Davis talked about Ann’s faith and how her pastor in Hollywood expanded her faith and she started paying more attention to the Bible.

[00:14:29] The article said “She accompanied Frey for a few years on his visitations to do ministry in hospitals and other settings, including churches, where members stopped her for autographs. Her rule was she’d only sign her name on church bulletins. If people wanted to show the autograph off, they had to admit they’d been to church.”

[00:14:52] Davis was never married because she never found a man who was more interesting than her career. She told the Chicago Sun [00:15:00] Times, “By the time I started to get interested in finding someone, all the good ones were taken.”

[00:15:07] Question four. In season two, which Brady breaks Carol’s vase? Well, that person was Peter. Actor Christopher Knight played Peter Brady. In an interview for Oprah: Where Are They Now? Knight revealed that his family hated The Brady Bunch. He said his parents believed that real actors didn’t do television and that television was just a place you had to go to earn money because real actors worked on stage.

[00:15:37] He said his family was financially unstable and when he took on the role of Peter Brady at the age of 10, he became the breadwinner for the family.

[00:15:47] Florence Henderson played Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch. Florence Henderson was the youngest of 10 children so being mom to six on The Brady Bunch probably looked like a piece of cake.

[00:15:59] Florence [00:16:00] Henderson’s father was a tobacco sharecropper and by the age of eight, she was helping her father in the fields. At two years old, she could sing. The Brady Bunch came along and soon Florence Henderson would be known as everyone’s favorite TV mom. According to deardoctor.com “When Henderson took the role in 1969, she wanted to make Carol a bit more realistic, begging the studio to let the character have a job. But her request was refused.” Yes, that was probably very unrealistic in the seventies to expect normal moms to have a live-in maid. Moms everywhere probably wondered what they had to do to get a live-in maid like Carol Brady had. Florence Henderson was only one of three people to appear on every single episode of The Brady Bunch.

[00:16:50] In an article with Fox, Susan Olsen discusses Florence Henderson and says, “She not only got along well with the cast members, but everyone on the [00:17:00] set- electricians, makeup, everyone was a respected team member and one of her goals was to get everyone home to their families as soon as possible.” Over her career, Florence Henderson not only shined on television, she had a successful Broadway career and had some film roles as well.

[00:17:19] She was also widely recognized as the spokeswoman for Wesson Cooking Oil between the years of 1974 to 1996. The article in deardoctor.com says “Florence attributes much of her success to hard work and lessons from her childhood. From her mother, she learned how to be a survivor and from her father, well, the faith he instilled in her, plus his words of wisdom that still guide her today. Joseph Henderson taught all of his children that a person’s character and reputation can never be taken away but rather you give that away.”

[00:17:55] On Thanksgiving day in 2016, Florence Henderson died of a heart [00:18:00] attack. The death was completely unexpected and a shock to everyone as she had not been sick. Just a few days prior, she was at a Dancing With the Stars taping, where she cheered on her TV daughter Maureen McCormick, a contestant on the show.

[00:18:16] Question five. In season two, which Brady sister wore a wig to a party only to be laughed at? That person was Jan. The role of Jan was played by actress Eve Plumb. Actress Eve Plumb started her career at age six, acting in commercials and on television. In The Brady Bunch, she played the character that will be forever known as the sister that said Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

[00:18:44] Sound Clip: [00:18:44] All I hear all day long at school is how great Marsha is at this or how wonderful Marsha did that. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

[00:18:52] Debi Jenkins: [00:18:52] In an interview with The New York Post, Eve Plumb credit’s a Saturday Night Live skit for making that line become a viral [00:19:00] catchphrase for the show. While that line from The Brady Bunch is so iconic, did you know that it was only said one time during the series run? That line was said in season three, episode 10 in the episode titled My Sister’s Shadow.

[00:19:17] And here’s something you don’t hear every day. At the age of 11 Eve Plumb, with the help of her parents, bought her first home, an ocean front property in Malibu, California. And talk about a good investment. When she purchased the house in 1969, it was just over $55,000. In 2016, she sold it for $3.9 million.

[00:19:44] Question six. In season two, which Brady is upset because they are the only person in the family to have never won a first place trophy? That person was Bobby. Actor Mike Lookinland had [00:20:00] the role of Bobby Brady on the series. Before landing his role on The Brady Bunch, Mike appeared in various television commercials. Lookinland as a huge fan of The Grateful Dead and has been to over 100 of their concerts. In an interview with Convention Junkies, Lookinland said that the very Brady renovation on HGTV was by far his favorite reunion show that he’s ever done. He commented that way back in the day, they were worked hard and not paid well, but with HGTV, it was the opposite. He said they were treated like royalty.

[00:20:38] So what’s he up to now? Well, Mike Lookinland runs a company that makes decorative concrete. Thanks to all the publicity from his appearance on HGTV, he said business is booming.

[00:20:51] Question seven. In season three, Marsha is the president of her school’s fan club for what musician? [00:21:00] That was Davy Jones. In 1997, this episode titled Getting Davy Jones was ranked number 37 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. Over the years, Maureen McCormick had roles on many television shows. She even made her Broadway debut in Grease in 1994. In 2008, she released an autobiography titled Here’s The Story, Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. The book made it to the number four spot on the New York Times Bestseller List.

[00:21:39] In the book, she revealed her addiction to drugs and how she turned her life around. In a Us Weekly article, she credits her parents and her now husband Michael Cummings for helping her get clean. In the article, she also gives advice to those suffering with addiction and says, “I recommend anyone who’s struggling is to throw [00:22:00] that phone book out and do not, do not hang out with anyone who’s using”, she said. “I had to literally say goodbye to so many people that I was hanging out with.” Her addiction even interfered with one audition that could have resulted in a role in one of Steven Spielberg’s films.

[00:22:18] A Fox article mentions how she reportedly turned up to an audition for Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, completely messed up after being awake for several days on drugs. “If there was coke, I had to stay up and do every last flake even if it meant going without sleep for days,” she wrote. “Nothing else mattered.” It is so great to see the Maureen McCormick has turned her life around and can offer a message of hope to people suffering with addictions.

[00:22:47] In March of 2021, McCormick will have been married to her husband Michael Cummings for 36 years.

[00:22:55] Question eight. In season three, what character said “Pork chops and apple sauce?” . Well, [00:23:00] that was Peter Brady. Actor Christopher Knight had the role of Peter Brady. In addition to Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, this is one of the most remembered lines said by the one of the kids in The Brady Bunch. In an article with Forbes Magazine, Christopher Knight says, “I’m asked to say it once a month or twice a month,”

[00:23:19] he admits. “As I’ve gotten older, I think it’s become a little less comfortable for individuals to ask a 60 year old man to say pork chops and apple sauce. But when I was younger, it would be requested of me quite frequently.”

[00:23:33] Question nine. In season four, what happens that causes Marcia’s nose to get bruised swollen? Well, Peter’s football accidentally gets thrown at Marsha’s nose. That sounds pretty painful. According to MeTV, “When Christopher Knight couldn’t throw the football at the target, producer Lloyd Schwartz said he stepped in and threw a perfect spiral, right at Maureen McCormick’s [00:24:00] nose.” So, what has Maureen McCormick been up to in recent years?

[00:24:04] In 2016, it was announced that she would be one of the celebrity dancers on the 23rd season of Dancing With the Stars. She and her dance partner came in eighth place. Just this year, McCormick has a new show on Discovery+. Designer Dan Vickery and Maureen McCormick overhaul homes stuck in a time warp.

[00:24:24] According to HGTV, “Dan brings the structure up to date while Maureen decorates with decade specific pieces to give the homes a refreshed, look with a nod to their original era.”

[00:24:38] Question 10. In season five, Bobby tells his friends that he knows which football star? Well, that football star was Joe Namath.

[00:24:50] If you can remember that episode, it was titled Mail Order Hero. In one scene, we see Bobby in bed dreaming of playing football in his backyard with Joe [00:25:00] Namath. Joe Namath throws him a strong pass, one that he catches for a touchdown. Well, back in the seventies, Joe Namath was quite famous and episode director Bruce Billson knew he couldn’t pull one over on football fans.

[00:25:15] So he had to make the throw look realistic. But how was he going to do that on a stage that was way too small for a Joe Namath pass? In an interview with The Archive of American Television, Bruce Billson said “There was not enough room. So I sent the prop man way up in the rafters and I said, throw it to him. Namath did as directed, chucking the football with full force skyward.” In an article with Fox, Susan Olsen shared a funny story that took place when filming this particular episode. She said, “When Joe Namath was our guest star, we were filming the scene where he says goodbye to the Brady family. In one take, Florence threw her arms around him [00:26:00] and shouted, Joe, please take me away. I’m so sick of these kids. Joe didn’t miss a beat. He picked her up and carried her off screen.”

[00:26:10] Question 11. In season five, what does Bobby saved Peter from in their back yard? Well, he saved him from a falling ladder. So what is Christopher Knight, the actor that played Peter up to nowadays? Well, he is the successful business owner of Christopher Knight Home.

[00:26:31] According to his business website, “Christopher stays closely connected to his brands by converging his interests in business with his life as an actor and celebrity. In November of 2012, this purposeful effort took shape as Christopher Knight Home, Christopher’s introduction to the world of his online furniture brand. Over the past eight years, Christopher Knight Home has grown into a leader in online sales of indoor and [00:27:00] outdoor home furnishings.” You can find his products at places like Target and Amazon. Visit triviarewind.com for a link to his website, where you can find out more about his products.

[00:27:12] Question 12. In season four, the Brady kids enter a talent contest. What name do they call their group? They call their group the Silver Platters. How’d they come up with that name? Well, for several months, the kids had saved up to buy their parents, a silver platter for their parents as an anniversary gift. Jan, without telling her siblings takes the silver platter to get it engraved and misreads the price. In order to pay for it, she enters them into a talent contest, hoping they can win the $100 prize. So the Silver Platters turns out to be the perfect name for this little scenario they’re dealing with.

[00:27:56] When they auditioned for the talent show the kids sang [00:28:00] Sunshine Day. I mean, who didn’t love that song? If you want to hear it over again, I’ll post a link to it on triviarewind.com. And yes, those Brady kids did sing.

[00:28:11] Over the years, a few different albums were made by the Brady kids. Their debut album came out in 1970 and was called Merry Christmas from The Brady Bunch. Their second album was released in the spring of 1972 and titled Meet the Brady Bunch. Album number three was called Kids From The Brady Bunch and it came out in the winter of 1972.

[00:28:35] A compilation album came out in 1993 and was called It’s a Sunshine Day, The Best of The Brady Bunch. Their fourth and final album came out in 1973 and was titled The Brady Bunch Phonographic Album. Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams all dabbled in music without the group.

[00:28:59] Currently [00:29:00] Barry Williams, AKA Greg Brady lives in Branson, Missouri, and has his own musical group, Barry Williams and the Traveliers. Previously, he produced and wrote a live variety musical show called Seventies Music celebration, starring Barry Williams, which ran for six years in Branson, Missouri.

[00:29:21] Question 13. In season five, after thinking she has no talents, what does Jan find that she’s actually good at? Well, she found out she was good at painting. And how ironic, because in real life, Eve Plumb is an accomplished artist. Her work can be found at various galleries across the United States.

[00:29:44] According to her website, eveplumb.tv, she works out of her home and studio in New York City. For the HGTV special, A Very Brady Renovation, Eve Plumb painted a replica of one of the pieces of art found on the wall in the [00:30:00] girl’s bedroom on The Brady Bunch. When finished, she signed the painting Jan B.

[00:30:06] And Eve Plumb should also be flattered that Eve’s Plumb, a New York grunge band named their band after her. According to bandnamesexplained.com, “The actual source of inspiration is from tame television series The Brady Bunch. In this series, the role of Jan is played by Eve Plumb. One of the band members is said to have been in Eve’s circle of friends.”

[00:30:33] Question 14. In season five, what is the high school mascot that Greg helped steal and then hide in his bedroom? Well, that was a goat named Raquel. Actor Barry Williams had the role of Greg Brady. In a New York Post article, he discusses what his favorite episode is. He said, “When we went to Hawaii for the trilogy episode, Hawaii bound. [00:31:00] The only thing I’ve been longer than a Brady is a surfer. I had to talk them into letting me do my own surfing. That was an extraordinary teenage experience, which has become a lifetime memory.”

[00:31:13] It’s also probably well-known that Barry Williams was romantically interested in co-star Maureen McCormick. TV brother Christopher Knight addressed this topic in a Forbes Magazine article. The article says, “The middle brother also found himself caught in the middle of a budding romance between Williams and McCormick. Knight would spend another hour or two a day with McCormick in the car since his mom drove them both to the set. Most of those conversations were about what Barry had said that he wanted Maureen to hear or she was telling me that I needed to tell Barry, Knight reminisces. Barry was doing whatever he could to get Maureen’s attention.”

[00:31:53] In his memoir Growing Up Brady, Barry Williams admits to also having a crush on his TV [00:32:00] mom, Florence Henderson. They even went on a little date with Barry’s brother driving the two. However, the rumors that they were romantically involved were completely fabricated. An Outsider article says, “The whole thing with Barry got blown way out of proportion. Henderson wrote on her website, I guess, in a sense it was a date because Barry thought it was, but of course I had no idea that his intentions were to date me. It has made for a good story though.”

[00:32:31] In 1989, Barry Williams was honored with The former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th Youth in Film Awards.

[00:32:41] And question 15. In the series finale, Bobby sells Neat and Natural Hair Tonic to Greg and it turns Greg’s hair what color? Well, it turned Greg’s hair bright orange. How ironic that in this episode they have Bobby [00:33:00] be the one to sell the hair tonic. Mike Lookinland, the actor that played Bobby had a hair color that didn’t match the hair of his TV brothers. So the production team died and straightened his hair for the show. It wasn’t until the last two seasons of the show that they allowed his natural hair color to show.

[00:33:19] Interestingly enough, Susan Olsen also had her hair colored. According to mentalfloss.com, “they ordered eight year old Olsen’s hair to be bleached regularly to give her that adorable toe head look. When her hair began falling out in clumps during the second season, a tearful Susan complained to Sherwood Schwartz who immediately ordered the staff to leave Cindy’s hair alone.” And more hair drama. According to mentalfloss.com Florence Henderson “was forced to wear a wig during the first season because her own hair had been cropped short when she co-starred in an off-Broadway revival of South Pacific.”

[00:34:00] [00:33:59] Well, that’s it for this week’s episode. That was a lot of Brady. I hope you enjoyed it. If you’re interested in keeping up with the actors that played the kids on the show, most have a strong social media presence. Just yesterday, I saw a Maureen McCormick post an Instagram photo where she was having dinner with a few of her Brady’s siblings.

[00:34:23] Well, thanks for listening to this episode. You can find Trivia Rewind on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Visit triviarewind.com to find links mentioned in the series as well as transcripts for each episode. I’ll be back next time with another episode of Trivia Rewind. [00:35:00]

Posted in film

March Movie/TV Quotes Madness

Have you seen any good movies this week? There are a lot of movies and TV series over the years that leave us with one good quote that makes it forever memorable. That’s the topic of this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind. It’s all about movie or TV quotes.  I’m bringing back some of our Midweek Movie/TV Quotes segments. In previous episodes, I would read the quote. This time I’ll play a clip from a movie or TV series and you’ll have to guess which movie or series the quote comes from.  After I give you the quote and answer, I’ll give you some fun facts.

Speaking of good movies, I do have a lot of movies I consider favorites but last week, I had to pick just one. I was a guest on the podcast called Your Next Favorite Movie. I discussed one of my favorite movies with Josh, the host of the show. If you have a chance, go listen! There is a special reason why the movie I discuss is one of my favorites and I share that personal reason why with Josh.

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

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Trivia Rewind Episode 39 March Movie/TV Quotes Madness

[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Movie Clip: [00:00:00] Todo, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

[00:00:18] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:18] Hey, welcome to Trivia Rewind. I’m Debi Jenkins. Have you seen any good movies this week? There are a lot of movies over the years that leave us with one good quote that makes the movie forever memorable. And that’s the topic of this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind. It’s all about movie quotes.

[00:00:40] This time with a twist. I’m bringing back some of our Midweek Movie Quote segments, where you’ll listen to the quote from the movie and you’ll have to guess which movie the quote comes from. On our past Midweek Movie Quote episodes, I would read you the quote. This time you get to hear it from [00:01:00] the movie.

[00:01:01] I’ll give you some fun facts about the movie after I give you the answers. Stick around to the very end and I’ll tell you about a podcast that I recently appeared on as a guest, where I shared about one of my favorite movies. I’ll tell you where to tune in and listen to that episode. If you’re ready, let’s get started.

[00:01:23] Movie Clip: [00:01:23] Uh, this is Houston. Uh, say again please. Houston. We have a problem. We have a main bus B undervolt.

[00:01:33] Debi Jenkins: [00:01:33] That is from the movie Apollo 13. In the film, you will hear actor Tom Hanks say the line. This popular quote is actually not quite the correct quote from the actual Apollo 13 mission. Astronaut Jack Sweigert first says, okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.

[00:01:54] And then when NASA asks them to repeat, astronaut Jim Lovell says, [00:02:00] uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem. Well, the screenwriter made the change because the original verb tense wasn’t as dramatic. And I say, I’d have to agree because I recently went to YouTube and watched this part from the movie and I watched the NASA recording.

[00:02:17] The movie definitely was more dramatic, but that would probably have to do with the acting and the dramatic score that went along with it.

[00:02:28] Movie Clip: [00:02:28] I will go up to the sixth finger man and say, hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die.

[00:02:42] Debi Jenkins: [00:02:42] Well, this well known movie line is from the movie The Princess Bride. This line was said by actor Mandy Patinkin as character Inigo Montoya, a Spanish fencer. Mandy Patinkin has told people [00:03:00] this was his favorite movie role. Patinkin attended Julliard and actor Kelsey Grammar was a classmate of his.

[00:03:15] Movie Clip: [00:03:15] Hey doc, you better back up. We don’t have enough road to get up to 88. Roads, where we’re going we don’t need roads.

[00:03:24] Debi Jenkins: [00:03:24] This memorable line came from the 1985 movie Back to the Future. In the movie, Dr. Emmett Brown, the inventor of the time machine says this to Marty McFly. This line occurs at the very end of the film when Doc says he’s going to take Marty to the year 2015. Well, unfortunately in 2015, we still needed roads. Flying cars were not the thing.

[00:03:54] Movie Clip: [00:03:54] I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend [00:04:00] for dinner. Bye.

[00:04:03] Debi Jenkins: [00:04:03] Well, I sure wouldn’t want to be the guest of that dinner party because that movie quote comes from the thriller, The Silence of the Lambs. The character Hannibal Lecter played by Anthony Hopkins says this line to Clarice Starling played by actress Jodie foster. This movie really cleaned it up at the Academy Awards. It took home five Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. In the year, 2003, the American Film Institute gave the character Hannibal Lecter, the honor of being named The Greatest Villain in American Cinema.

[00:04:49] Movie Clip: [00:04:49] Surely you can’t be serious. I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

[00:04:53] Debi Jenkins: [00:04:53] This line comes from the movie Airplane and it said by Dr. Rumack portrayed by actor [00:05:00] Leslie Nielsen. Leslie Nielsen saw a boost in his career after this movie. Actor Leslie Nielsen was born in Canada and even enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

[00:05:12] After the movie Airplane, his roles took a turn toward slapstick comedy. Even in death, Leslie Nielsen left a bit of humor. On his tombstone are the words Let ‘er Rip, a reference to his favorite practical joke, a portable hand controlled fart machine.

[00:05:32] Movie Clip: [00:05:32] That’ll do pig. That’ll do.

[00:05:41] Debi Jenkins: [00:05:41] That is from the movie Babe. Farmer Hogget says  this line to Babe the pig in the 1990 film, Babe. Farmer Hogget is played by actor James Cromwell. James Cromwell received an Oscar nomination for his role as Farmer Hogget. [00:06:00] Because of the movie, he even became a vegetarian. In an article from The Vegetarian Times he’s quoted as saying, “I decided that to be able to talk about this movie with conviction, I needed to become a vegetarian.” This film was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

[00:06:24] Movie Clip: [00:06:24] You’re going to need a bigger boat.

[00:06:26] Debi Jenkins: [00:06:26] That line came from Steven Spielberg’s hit Jaws. In the movie, Sheriff Brody says this line to the character Quint. Roy Scheider played the role of Sheriff Brody. According to Scheider’s obituary, he ad-libbed the line. Supposedly the line was kind of an inside joke among the cast and crew. A large barge was used to house all of the equipment for the movie and only a small boat was used to support it.

[00:06:55] People would tell the producers “you’re going to need a bigger boat” and [00:07:00] whenever any problems would arise on set, that line would be used as a joke. So when Roy Scheider ad-libbed that line for the movie, imagine the laughs that must have produced among the rest of the cast and crew.

[00:07:13] Movie Clip: [00:07:13] I know this is hard for you, but winter is coming.

[00:07:23] Debi Jenkins: [00:07:23] This quote comes from the series Game of Thrones. Winter is coming as the motto of House Stark. The first time this line was used was by Ned Stark, the head of House Stark. This role was played by English actor, Sean Bean. Before game of Thrones, Sean Bean was widely recognized for his role as Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

[00:07:48] Bean has been married five times, has three kids, and is even a grandfather. Sean Bean should not be confused with the quirky character Mr. Bean [00:08:00] played by Rowan Atkinson. If you think that’s a ridiculous thing to say, it has actually happened multiple times when he’s received fan mail meant for the other Bean. And who would have guessed that this tough guy is afraid of flying.

[00:08:15] Supposedly during the filming of The Fellowship of the Ring, he would hike to their shooting location instead of going by helicopter with the rest of the actors. And he was in full costume when he made the hike.

[00:08:29] At the beginning of the show, I mentioned a podcast I recently appeared on as a guest. That podcast is called Your Next Favorite Movie. While I have a lot of favorite movies in different genres, the favorite I discuss in this episode comes from the following movie. See if you can guess the movie by hearing a small portion of it.

[00:09:07] [00:09:00] Movie Clip: [00:09:07] I have to find my way back home.

[00:09:10] Debi Jenkins: [00:09:10] That movie gets me every time. Hear my interview by listening to the podcast, Your Next Favorite Movie, which can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for tuning in to Trivia Rewind, and I’ll be back next week with another episode. [00:10:00] .

Posted in film

Best Picture Oscar Winners 1990s-2010s

The Oscars. The longest award show there is. When you just want to go to bed but you have to wait up to find out what film won Best Picture. Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds an awards ceremony where they recognize excellence in cinema achievement.  A man named George Stanley originally sculpted the award that is officially known as the “Academy Award of Merit.” We simply call it the Oscar. 

The very first Academy Awards was held on May 16, 1929 at a private dinner that took place in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  For that first ceremony, winners were announced in advance.  That event was not broadcast.  However, the event had so much public interest that the next year, the Academy allowed it to be broadcast over radio. During the second year of the awards, winners did not know ahead of time that they were receiving an award.   In 1941, the sealed envelope system was first used for announcing the winners.  In 1953 at the 25th Academy Awards, the event was first broadcast on television.  In 1966, the ceremony was broadcast in color for the first time.  History has been made in more recent times as well, Just last year in 2020 actually, history was made when the film Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win best picture. 

While movie fans everywhere dream about what it would be like to win an Oscar, there are several instances where actors have declined their awards.   At the 1971 awards ceremony, actor George C. Scott became the first actor to refuse his Academy Award when winning Best Actor for his role in the film Patton. He said that the politics surrounding such awards was “demeaning” and described the Oscar ceremony as “a two-hour meat parade”.  

In 1973, Marlon Brando won Best Actor for his role in The Godfather but he declined the award.  According to History.com “The Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather attended the ceremony in Brando’s place, stating that the actor “very regretfully” could not accept the award, as he was protesting Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.”

Katharine Hepburn won four Oscars in her career but never showed up to accept any of them. She has been quoted as saying “As for me, prizes are nothing. My prize is my work.”  Those are just a few people that turned down their award. 

In more recent years, some actors have boycotted the ceremony. In 2016 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith refused to attend. Jada Pinkett Smith called for a boycott of the Academy Awards when she learned that the nominations, for the second year in a row featured no actors of color. Her husband “Will Smith vowed not to attend the Oscars in protest of a lack of diversity. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees were white.  Spike Lee joined them in their boycott. 

One of the most cringe worthy moments at the Oscars happened at the 2017 ceremony when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway made a huge blunder accidentally announcing the wrong winner’s name for Best Picture.  They announced that the film La La Land won Best Picture when really it was supposed to be the film Moonlight.  I cringe when I re-watch a clip of the incident. How awful that the team from La La Land actually came on stage and started thanking people then had to go sit down.

In recent years, a lot of people have stopped watching the Oscars.  At the 2020 ceremony, viewership hit an all time low.  To give you an example, in 2004 when Billy Crystal hosted the event, viewership that night was 43.5 million.  In 2020 there was no host and viewership was 23.6 million. It will be interesting to see if people even tune in to this year’s event. 

In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I will give you ten trivia questions about movies that have won Best Picture Oscars from the 1990s to the 2010s.  After I ask you the ten questions, I’ll go back and review the questions and give you the answers plus some fun facts about each movie.  Stick around to the end because I’ll tell you about this year’s Oscar ceremony and how things may be a little different. 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Trivia Rewind Episode 38 –  Best Picture Oscar Winners

[00:00:00] Audio Clip: [00:00:00] And the Oscar goes to…

[00:00:19] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:19] This episode of Trivia Rewind is all about the Oscars, the longest award show there is. When you just want to go to bed, but you have to wait up to find out what the Best Picture winner is. I’m Debi Jenkins the host of Trivia Rewind. Let me first give you a little recap about this award.

[00:00:43] Each year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds an award ceremony where they recognize excellence in cinema achievement. A man named George Stanley originally sculpted the award that is officially known as the [00:01:00] Academy Award of Merit. We simply call it the Oscar. The very first Academy Awards was held on May 16th, 1929 at a private dinner that took place in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

[00:01:17] For that first ceremony, winners were notified in advance and that event was not broadcast. However, the event had so much public interest that the next year, the Academy allowed it to be broadcast over radio. During the second year of the awards, winners did not know ahead of time that they were receiving an award.

[00:01:41] In 1941, the sealed envelope system was first used for announcing the winners. In 1953 at the 25th Academy Awards the event was first broadcast on television. In 1966, the ceremony was [00:02:00] broadcast in color for the first time. History has been made in more recent times as well. Just last year in 2020 actually, history was made when the film Parasite became the first foreign language film to win Best Picture.

[00:02:16] While movie fans everywhere dream what it would be like to win an Oscar, there are several instances where actors have declined their awards. At the 1971 award ceremony, actor George C. Scott became the first actor to refuse his Academy Award when winning Best Actor for his role in the film Patton. He said that the politics surrounding such awards was demeaning and described the Oscar ceremony as a two hour meat parade. In 1973, Marlon Brando won Best Actor for his role in The Godfather, but he declined the award. According to History.com, the Native American actress,  [00:03:00] Sacheen Littlefeather attended the ceremony in Brando’s place stating that the actor “very regretfully could not accept the award as he was protesting Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.” Katherine Hepburn won four Oscars in her career but never showed up to accept any of them.

[00:03:22] She has been quoted as saying, “As for me, prizes are nothing. My prize is my work.” Those are just a few people that turned down their award. In more recent years, some actors have boycotted the ceremony. In 2016 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith refused to attend. Jada Pinkett Smith called for a boycott of the Academy Awards when she learned that the nominations for the second year in a row featured no actors of color. Her husband Will Smith vowed not to attend the Oscars in protest of a [00:04:00] lack of diversity. For the second year in a row all 20 acting nominees were white. Spike Lee joined them in their boycott.

[00:04:09] One of the most cringe-worthy moments at the Oscars happened at the 1989 ceremony when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway made a huge blunder accidentally announcing the wrong winner’s name for Best Picture. They announced that the film La La Land won Best Picture when really it was supposed to be the film Moonlight. I cringe when I rewatch a clip of the incident. How awful that the team from La La Land actually came on stage and started thanking people then had to go sit down.

[00:04:42] If you want to relive that uncomfortable moment, I’ll post a link to it on TriviaRewind.com. In recent years, a lot of people have stopped watching the Oscars. At the 2020 ceremony viewership hit an all time low. To give you an example, in [00:05:00] 2004, when Billy Crystal hosted the event, viewership that night was 43.5 million. In 2020, there was no host and viewership was 23.6 million. It will be interesting to see if people even tune in to this year’s event.

[00:05:18] So now that I’ve given you a little bit of history on the Oscars, let’s get to the 10 trivia questions about movies that have won Best Picture Oscars from the 1990s to the 2010s. After I ask you the 10 questions, I’ll go back and review the questions and give you the answers plus some fun facts about each movie. Stick around to the end, because I’ll tell you about this year’s Oscar ceremony and how things may be a little different. Are you ready?

[00:05:48] Here’s question one. In what 1992 movie does Clint Eastwood play the character Will Munny, a once notorious outlaw?

[00:06:00] [00:06:00] Question two. What 2013 movie is about Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery?

[00:06:13] Question three. In what 2008 film does Jeremy Renner play Sergeant First Class William James, the new team leader for a US Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit in the Iraq War?

[00:06:31] Question four. What 2003 film starts out with two friends fishing and one of the friends discovers a piece of jewelry in the river which causes the other friend to kill him in order to get it?

[00:06:48] Question five. In what movie from 2000 does Russell Crowe play a man that is forced into fighting and was called Maximus the Merciful at one point in the [00:07:00] film?

[00:07:01] Question six. In what 2001 American biographical drama does Russell Crowe’s character develop paranoid schizophrenia?

[00:07:14] Question seven. In what 1995 movie does Mel Gibson play a Scottish warrior set on helping the Scots win their freedom from England?

[00:07:26] Question eight. In the 1994 film Forrest Gump, in what state is the film set?

[00:07:37] Question nine. In the 1993 film Schindler’s List what actor plays Oskar Schindler?

[00:07:47] And question 10. In the 1991 movie Silence of the Lambs, Clarice Starling interviews Hannibal Lecter in hopes of catching a serial killer [00:08:00] by what name?

[00:08:02] Those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back review, get the answers and fun facts.

[00:08:08] Question one. In what 1992 movie does Clint Eastwood play the character Will Munny a once notorious outlaw? That movie was Unforgiven. The film not only starred Clint Eastwood, he was also the director and producer. Unforgiven was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won four. It won for Best Picture, Best Director for Clint Eastwood, Best Supporting Actor for Gene Hackman and Best Film Editing. At the time this was only the third time a western film had won the Best Picture Oscar. The two that came before it were the 1931 film Cimarron and the 1990 film Dances With Wolves. And amazingly enough, after starring in dozens of movies, [00:09:00] this was only the first time that Clint Eastwood had been nominated for an Oscar.

[00:09:05] Currently he is the oldest person to have ever won a Best Director Academy Award. Clint Eastwood is a man of many talents. Did you know that he is a pianist and a composer? The main theme song of Unforgiven, a song titled Claudia’s Theme, was composed by Clint Eastwood. In 2004, the Library of Congress added Unforgiven to their National Film Registry. According to their website, “Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant motion pictures to the registry.”

[00:09:50] In 2008, the film was ranked the Fourth Best American Western Film in The American Film Institute’s [00:10:00] AFI’s 10 top 10 list.

[00:10:03] Question two. What 2013 movie is about Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery? That movie was 12 Years A Slave. British Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor had the role of Solomon Northup in this film. In a BBC interview he said, “When I read the script, I thought it was an extraordinary story but I did feel the weight and the responsibility of it. I didn’t want to be the guy that messed it up.” He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. His first film role was in 1997 in Steven Spielberg’s film Amistad.  A lot of this movie was filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana at four historical plantations. To prepare for his [00:11:00] role Chiwetel Ejiofor learned to play the violin and immersed himself in Louisiana plantation culture.

[00:11:08] The film received nine Academy Award nominations and went home winning three, one of which was Best Picture.

[00:11:16] Question three. In what 2008 film does Jeremy Renner play Sergeant First Class William James, the new team leader for a US Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit in The Iraq War? That film was The Hurt Locker.

[00:11:35] Have you ever wondered what the term hurt locker means? Well, according to dictionary.com “Hurt locker is a slang term for a place of deep pain and discomfort. To be put in the hurt locker signifies that something profoundly troubling or painful has happened to you. Hurt locker comes from US military slang. It first emerged during the [00:12:00] Vietnam War. The screenplay was written by Mark Boal, who was actually embedded as a journalist in 2004 with a US Army EOD team in Iraq. He won an Academy Award for Best Writing Original Screenplay. His screenplay was fictional but based on events he saw while in Iraq. The Hurt Locker was nominated for nine Academy Awards.

[00:12:23] It won six and one was for Best Director. The Hurt Locker was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and she made history with her Oscar win. It remains the only Best Picture winner to have been directed by a woman. Before winning the Best Director Oscar, prior to this only three other women had ever been nominated for a Best Director Academy Award.

[00:12:48] Question four. What 2003 film starts out with two friends fishing and one of the friends discovers a piece of jewelry in the river which causes the other friend to [00:13:00] kill him in order to get it? That film was Lord of the Rings Return of the King. This film was directed by Peter Jackson. In a BBC interview, he says “The Return of the King is definitely the most emotional of the three films. It’s my favorite one of the three.” Peter Jackson also revealed his favorite character in the interview. He says, “I love the Hobbit. I love Bilbo Baggins. I really relate well to Bilbo.” This film set some major records at the 76th Academy Awards. Lord of the Rings Return of the King was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won all the categories for which it was nominated. This film and two others hold the record for highest Academy Award totals.

[00:13:53] The other two films are Titanic and Ben Hur. Return of the King also holds the record [00:14:00] for the highest clean sweep at the Oscars.

[00:14:04] Question five. In what movie from 2000 does Russell Crowe play a man that is forced into fighting and was called Maximus the Merciful at one point in the film? That film was Gladiator. Gladiator was directed by Ridley Scott, known for films like Alien, Blade Runner and Black Hawk Down. However, Gladiator was probably his biggest commercial success at the time. It ended up being the second highest grossing film of 2000. Mission Impossible 2 took the number one spot that year. Money aside, Gladiator took home Hollywood’s big award by winning the Best Picture Oscar. In 2011, the ABC network aired a special called Best in Film, the Greatest Movies of Our Time. In the Best Action Film category Gladiator took the number five spot. At the [00:15:00] 73rd Academy Awards, Gladiator was nominated for 12 Oscars. It won five, one of which was for Best Picture.

[00:15:09] Question six. In what 2001 American biographical drama does Russell Crowe’s character develop paranoid schizophrenia? That film was A Beautiful Mind. The movie was based on the real life of American mathematician John Nash and his struggle with schizophrenia. Whenever a movie is made based on a book or a real person, there are people that aren’t happy with the results. Some said that A Beautiful Mind didn’t tell the whole truth about the John Nash story. A quote from an article in The Guardian titled A Beautiful Mind Hides Ugly Truths,

[00:15:50] it says “Nash’s mind and his life have been beautified according to Hollywood standards. The result is an effective piece of cinema but one [00:16:00] that has little faith in its audience’s intelligence.” With that being said, Ron Howard, the director has pointed out that they never set out to make a bio pic. The film was however, highly acclaimed and won many awards. This film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four. Russell Crowe was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film however Denzel Washington took home the Oscar instead for his role that year in Training Day. Not only did A Beautiful Mind win the Best Picture Oscar, Ron Howard won the Best Director Oscar. The film also won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar and actress Jennifer Connelly took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

[00:16:46] About.com Movies interviewed director Ron Howard who offered a few interesting insights into the making of the movie. One was that his father Rance Howard had a role playing a schizophrenic who Nash [00:17:00] observes. Unfortunately for his father, Ron cut the scene out. However, in the DVD release you can find scenes that were cut from the theater release.

[00:17:11] Question seven. In what 1995 movie does Mel Gibson play a Scottish warrior set on helping the Scots win their freedom from England? That Epic film was Braveheart. Not only did Mel Gibson star in the film, he directed it as well. In the beginning, Gibson did not intend on acting in the movie, he wanted Brad Pitt to have the lead role. As we all know that didn’t happen. Supposedly budget discussions surrounding this film where no walk in the park. According to The Hollywood Reporter Paramount’s original offer for their share of the budget wouldn’t even cover the battle scenes.

[00:17:52] Plus Paramount was asking for a distribution fee of 25% of the movies theatrical revenue. Upon [00:18:00] hearing this, the article says, “Gibson was furious. He grabbed a large glass ash tray and threw it through the wall.” He was upset that he had turned down three movies and admitted that his reaction was a little over the top.

[00:18:15] In the end, everything worked out. Negotiations are just part of the movie business. Braveheart was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and ended up bringing home five. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Best Sound Effects Editing.

[00:18:34] Question eight. In the 1994 film Forrest Gump, in what state is the film set? The film is set in the state of Alabama. Forrest hailed from Greenbow Alabama, a city that doesn’t even exist. We all love Tom Hanks as the lead in Forrest Gump but did you know that he wasn’t the first choice for the role? [00:19:00] Supposedly John Travolta was one person to have turned down the role. Instead, Travolta starred in Pulp Fiction.

[00:19:08] Tom Hanks’ daughter Emily and director Robert Zemeckis’ son Alexander both had small roles in this film. They were the mean kids on the bus that wouldn’t let Forrest sit by them. Tom Hanks’ brother Jim was a double for him in some of the running scenes.

[00:19:25] Forrest Gump was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six. Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing. At the time, Forrest Gump was the fourth highest grossing film of all time. It was also director Robert Zemeckis’ highest grossing film to date.

[00:19:54] Question nine. In the 1993 film Schindler’s List, what [00:20:00] actor plays Oskar Schindler? That actor is Liam Neeson. Schindler’s List was directed by Steven Spielberg. Many actors came to Spielberg wanting to play Oskar Schindler but Spielberg’s first choice was always Liam Neeson. At one point Warren Beatty auditioned for the role. When asked about this in a Inside Film article, Steven Spielberg says, “I don’t think Warren would have ever really worked on the accent. I think Warren would have played it like Oskar Schindler through Warren Beatty but I don’t think Warren would have taken on the accent perhaps. Liam as you know is Irish but he took on the accent completely.”

[00:20:44] Much of the movie was filmed at the actual sites mentioned in the movie. In an article from Inside Film, Steven Spielberg says, “We had the interior and exterior of Schindler’s apartment and the interior and exterior of his offices at the factory. [00:21:00] We had the interior of SS headquarters and the interior and exterior of the prison. Most every place was authentic.” They were unable to shoot inside Auschwitz-Birkenau so they shot just outside the gate house.

[00:21:15] A lot of the crew was Polish, Croatian and Austrian. Inside Film asked Steven Spielberg what he thought were some of the more difficult scenes. Spielberg said, “The most difficult part was putting the women into the showers, turning off the lights on them. That was tough.” It was so difficult for some of the actresses that they had complete breakdowns while filming the scene.

[00:21:38] When the topic of actors dressing up as Nazis came up, Spielberg said, “Many of them would come up to me before a take and tell me how disgusting it felt to have the uniform on. They would confess to me that their parents were involved in the war, in the military, and often they would just say to me, thank you for letting me resolve my secrets by playing [00:22:00] in your movie.”

[00:22:01] Schindler’s List was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, one of which was Best Picture. Steven Spielberg won an Oscar for Best Director. Liam Neeson was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, but Tom Hanks won for his role in Philadelphia. On AFI’S 2007, 100 years, 100 movies, 10th anniversary edition, Schindler’s List ranked number eight.

[00:22:29] Question 10. In the 1991 movie Silence of the Lambs, Clarice Starling interviews Hannibal Lecter in hopes of catching a serial killer by what nickname? The name of that serial killer was Buffalo Bill. Silence of the Lambs was based on a novel by Thomas Harris. Did you know that this wasn’t the first movie to feature Hannibal Lecter?

[00:22:54] The 1986 film Manhunter was based on the novel Red Dragon by [00:23:00] Thomas Harris and it included Hannibal Lecter as well. Actress Jodie foster played Clarice Starling. The director of the film. Jonathan Demme was extremely hesitant to cast her at first. At the 2014 Austin Film Festival, Demme said that he wanted to cast Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan and Laura Dern as the young FBI agent. Eventually the role was offered to Jodie Foster. The director ended up liking Foster so much that they named their production company Strong Heart Productions after Jodie’s sense of character. Anthony Hopkins wasn’t the first person to be offered the Hannibal Lecter role. Sean Connery turned down the role before Anthony Hopkins was offered the part.

[00:23:46] In 1991, Silence of the Lambs was the fifth highest grossing film worldwide. At the 64th Academy Awards, Silence of the Lambs was nominated for seven awards and came home with [00:24:00] five, one of which was for Best Picture. The film won what is known as the Big Five Academy Awards meaning it won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. At the time, this was only the third film in history to accomplish this. The other two films to hold this title are It Happened One Night and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

[00:24:28] Well, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown things off in the movie business. This year the 93rd Academy Awards will be held on April 25th, later than in years past. There’s still a lot of talk about how this will happen because when the Academy chose that date, they had hoped that the pandemic would be past us and theaters would be back open and thriving. That just isn’t the case yet. So the question is, what movies will be eligible? There haven’t been that [00:25:00] many movies released to theaters over the past year. In any normal year, with a few exceptions, movies must open in theaters where they need to run for at least a week in both New York and Los Angeles in order to be eligible for the Oscars.

[00:25:16] The theaters in New York have been closed for the past year. Well, due to the closure of theaters during the pandemic, the Academy changed its rules this year. According to an article on Vox.com, “The Academy shifted its rules to allow films that premiered only on streaming services to qualify for Oscar nominations provided they had planned to open in theaters before the pandemic prevented them from doing so.”

[00:25:45] While it doesn’t feel like there were that many new movies in 2020, the Vox article says “At least eight to 10 new films were released in the US every week in 2020.” The last I heard, the Oscars will be [00:26:00] held in person and broadcast from a few different locations. It will be interesting to see how many people actually tune into the show this year. My guess is that the viewership numbers will plummet compared to years past.

[00:26:15] Well, that’s it for this week’s episode. You can find Trivia Rewind on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. All the links mentioned in this show can be found at triviarewind.com. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks for listening and I’ll be back next time for more Trivia Rewind [00:27:00] .

Posted in film, tv

Betty White

Author Michael McWilliams said “If Lucille Ball is the Queen of Television, then its Princess is Betty White.” 

Betty White, everyone’s favorite leading lady, recently turned 99 years old. Just a few weeks ago, I watched a documentary on Netflix titled Betty White, First Lady of Television. It was a nice overview of Betty’s career and I did learn a few new things about her.  

Betty Marion White was born on January 17, 1922  in Oak Park, Illinois. She was an only child and admits that she was quite spoiled rotton.  In 1923 her family moved from Illinois to California.  She graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1939.  In the documentary she discussed how every summer she and her parents would hike into the Sierra Nevada’s for 3 weeks. They were a family that loved animals and wildlife. 

Growing up, Betty idolized singer and actress Jeanette Macdonald who was famous during the 1930s and 1940s.  Just a few months after graduating from high school, Betty White did her first test for television where she sang a Jeanette Macdonald song. 

In the 1940s, Betty had some work in radio.  It all started when she played a young orphan in the 1930s radio drama Empire Builders.   She also had roles in other radio shows during that decade. In 1949, Al Jarvis, a radio DJ started a television talk show called Hollywood on Television.  He asked Betty to join him as part of the show, a show that was live and aired six days a week.  It’s hard to believe but the show was around five hours long each day and and a lot of improvisation took place. Betty would also sing on the show. It was a great opportunity for her to showcase her array of skills.  She started out making $50 a week for her work. In 1951 Al Jarvis left the show and film star Eddie Albert became Betty’s co-host.  Eddie Albert only stayed for six months and then Betty took on the hosting role alone in 1952. This makes Betty White the first female daytime television talk show host. 

That same year, Betty co-founded Bandy Productions along with writer George Tibbles and producer Don Fedderson.  They created the television comedy Life With Elizabeth where Betty had the lead role and won a Los Angeles Emmy Award for her role.  Up against Betty White for that Emmy was Zsa Zsa Gabor.  In a People magazine article, Betty White says, “Zsa Zsa Gabor was also nominated and was at my table. When they came around to our award, Zsa Zsa got her purse out and powdered her nose and put her lipstick on. I didn’t think there was a prayer. I was just interested in seeing how it came out, but they announced my name instead of Zsa Zsa’s. I was just in shock. I could not believe it. And I don’t think Zsa Zsa could either.”

In 1954, Betty hosted the Betty White show, a variety show with a live band and live commercials. In the documentary, she said this was before there was tape. Everything was live.  Imagine that coordination it must have taken to have a live show and no saying “we’ll edit that out later.” In the documentary they interviewed singer and tap dancer Arthur Duncan.  He was the first African-American regular on variety television programs.  Unfortunately, there was some controversy surrounding his appearances.  Viewers in the south did not like having a black man on their television sets and people wanted the show cancelled. Thankfully, Betty White said “I’m sorry. Live with it.” Arthur Duncan credits Betty White for getting him into television.

In the 1970s, Betty had a much loved role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show where she played Sue Ann Nivens, the Happy Homemaker. The Mary Tyler Moore show had already been on the air for a few years before Betty White joined the cast. Her first appearance was on episode one of season four.  For her role, Betty White won two Emmy Awards in the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category. The women that made up the show were Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, and Georgia Engel. Their final time all together on a television program was when Katie Couric interviewed them on her talk show Katie in 2013.  While on the show, the ladies all sang the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song together. It was great to see them all together one last time.

Betty White always seems to be coming up with something new to keep her name in the spotlight. In 2010 she starred in a Super Bowl commercial that had everyone talking. That same year she made history when she became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live. And she’s not done yet. Next week, Betty White’s Pet Set, a series created 50 years ago will make its debut on digital platforms and DVD on February 23, 2021.

Betty White definitely is the “Princess of Television.” I hope you will listen to this week’s Trivia Rewind episode about Betty White. How many people can say at 99 years old, they still have work in Hollywood!

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

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Trivia Rewind Episode 37 – Betty White

[00:00:00] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:00] Hello Trivia Rewind  listeners, I’m Debi Jenkins, your host. In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’ll be talking about everyone’s favorite leading lady, Betty White. She just turned 99 years old.  Author Michael McWilliams said, “If Lucille Ball is the queen of television, then its princess is Betty White.”

[00:00:36] Recently I watched a documentary on Netflix titled Betty White, First Lady of Television. It was a nice overview of Betty’s career and I did learn a few new things about her. Betty Marion White was born on January 17th, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois. She was an only child and admits that she was quite spoiled rotten. In [00:01:00] 1923 her family moved to California. She graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1939. In the documentary she discussed how every summer she and her parents would hike into the Sierra Nevada’s for three weeks. They were a family that loved animals and wildlife.

[00:01:20] Growing up Betty idolized singer and actress Jeanette MacDonald, who was famous during the 1930s and 1940s. Just a few months after graduating from high school, Betty White did her first test for television where she sang a Janette McDonald song. In the 1940s, Betty had some work in radio.  It all started when she played a young orphan in the 1930s radio drama, Empire Builders.  [RADIO DRAMA CLIP: Oh, how are you today hon? I’m a lot better, thank you.”] She also had roles in other radio shows during that decade.

[00:01:56] In 1949, Al Jarvis, a radio [00:02:00] DJ started a television talk show called Hollywood On Television. He asked Betty White to join him as part of the show. The show was live and aired six days a week. It’s hard to believe, but the show was around five hours long each day and a lot of improvisation took place. Betty would also sing on the show. It was a great opportunity for her to showcase her huge array of skills. She started out making $50 a week for her work. In 1951, Al Jarvis left the show and film star Eddie Albert became Betty’s co-host. He only stayed for six months and then Betty White took on the hosting role alone in 1952. This makes her the first female daytime television talk show host.

[00:02:51] That same year, Betty White co-founded Bandy Productions along with writer George Tibbles and producer Don Fetterson.  [00:03:00] They created the television comedy Life With Elizabeth where Betty had the lead role and won a Los Angeles Emmy Award for her role.

[00:03:09] [TV SHOW CLIP: “Betty White in Life With  Elizabeth, featuring Del Moore”]

[00:03:25] Up against Betty White for that Emmy was Zsa Zsa Gabor. In a People Magazine article, Betty White says, “Zsa Zsa Gabor was also nominated and was at my table. When they came around to our award, Zsa Zsa got her purse out and powdered her nose and put her lipstick on. I didn’t think there was a prayer. I was just interested in seeing how it came out, but they announced my name instead of Zsa Zsa’s. I was just in shock. I could not believe it. And I don’t think Zsa Zsa could either.”

[00:03:59] In [00:04:00] 1954, Betty hosted the Betty White Show, a variety show with a live band and live commercials. In the documentary she said this was before there was tape. Everything was live. In the documentary they interviewed singer and tap dancer Arthur Duncan. He was the first African-American regular on variety television programs. Unfortunately, there were some controversy. Viewers in the South did not like having a black man on their television sets and people wanted the show canceled. Well, Betty White said, “I’m sorry. Live with it.” He credits Betty White for getting him into television. It was now the end of the 1950s and Betty White’s career was off to a great start.

[00:04:47] In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I will give you 10 trivia questions about Betty White. After I ask you the questions, I’ll go back and give you the answers and some [00:05:00] more fun facts about the princess of television. Stick around to the very end because I’ll tell you what Betty White’s newest projects are. Just because she’s 99 doesn’t mean she’s done with the entertainment business yet.

[00:05:15] So are you ready for question one? Here it is. On which game show did Betty White appear numerous times where she fell in love with her future husband, the host of the show?

[00:05:31] Question two. On The Mary Tyler Moore show, what was the name of Betty White’s character?

[00:05:40] Question three. From what 1980s game show did Betty White become the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Game Show Host?

[00:05:56] Question four. On the TV series The [00:06:00] Golden Girls, what is the name of the character portrayed by Betty White?

[00:06:06] Question five. What is the name of the TV Land original sitcom where Betty White played the character Elka?

[00:06:17] Question six. During the 2010 Super Bowl, Betty White starred in a popular commercial whose slogan was “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” What product was the commercial advertising?

[00:06:34] Question seven. On May 8th, 2010, what popular show did Betty White host and at the same time become the oldest person to host that show?

[00:06:48] Question eight. In what 2019 animated movie did Betty White provide the voice for the character Bitey White?

[00:07:00] [00:06:59] Question nine. In what 2009 film starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds did Betty White appear in?

[00:07:11] And question 10. What is the name of the 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie that Betty White appeared in with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt?

[00:07:24] Well, those were our 10 questions. Let’s go back and get the answers and fun facts.

[00:07:31] Question one. On which game show did Betty White appear numerous times where she fell in love with her future husband, the host of the show? That show was Password and the host was Allen Ludden. Betty White first appeared on Password in 1961 as a celebrity guest. In 2013 Password ranked number eight on TV Guide’s list of The 60 Greatest [00:08:00] Game Shows Ever.

[00:08:02] One thing I learned in the documentary about Betty White is that Betty loves word games. She’s a huge fan of playing the board game Scrabble. She also loves doing crossword puzzles. During her career she has appeared on a lot of game shows and is known to love games in general. Some have called her the first lady of game shows. In her book titled, “Here We Go Again. My Life in Television,” she wrote, “Mom and dad and I had always played games since as far back as I can remember. Some we made up as we went along – at the table, in the car, wherever – so playing on TV was a bonus. Where else can you spend a couple of hours playing games with nice people and get paid for it?”

[00:08:54] Question two. On The Mary Tyler Moore Show, what was the name of [00:09:00] Betty White’s character? Her character was Sue Ann Nivens, the Happy Homemaker. The Mary Tyler Moore Show had already been on the air for a few years before Betty joined the cast. Her first appearance was on episode one of season four. For her role, Betty won two Emmy Awards in the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.

[00:09:25] The women that made up the show were Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White and Georgia Engel. Their final time all together on a television program was when Katie Couric interviewed them on her talk show Katie in 2013. While on the show, the ladies all sang The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song together. To find out more about that last appearance together, I’ll post a link to the story on triviarewind.com. In 2007, Time [00:10:00] Magazine put The Mary Tyler Moore Show on its list of The 17 Shows That Changed TV.

[00:10:07] Question three. From what 1980s game show did Betty White become the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Game Show Host? Well, the name of that game show was Just Men. Just Men aired on NBC. The basic object of the game was for the contestants, two women, to correctly predict answers to questions asked previously to a panel of seven celebrity men. Each correct answer would earn the lady a key. In the bonus round, the winner could see if one of the keys started a car that they could win. The announcer of the show Steve Day said “It’s the most unusual show in daytime and talk.” [00:11:00] Unfortunately, the show didn’t make it long. After 13 weeks of being on the air, it was canceled. Betty White did however make history with her Daytime Emmy win.

[00:11:13] Question four. On the TV series The Golden Girls, what is the name of the character portrayed by Betty White? Well, she played the role of Rose. Betty almost didn’t play the role of Rose. She was supposedly cast to play the character Blanche who was a similar character to her Sue Ann Nivens role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

[00:11:40] Actress Rue McClanahan was offered the role of Rose, a character similar to her role in Maude. In order not to be typecast, she and Rue McClanahan switched roles at the last minute. This hit show was nominated for 68 Emmy Awards and [00:12:00] won 11. On their 2013 list of The 60 Best Series of All Time, TV Guide ranked The Golden Girls number 54.

[00:12:12] Question five. What is the name of the TV Land original sitcom where Betty White played the character Elka? That show was Hot in Cleveland. Some people called the show a modern twist on The Golden Girls. Hot in Cleveland was TV Land’s first original series and it ran for six seasons.

[00:12:38] Originally Betty White agreed to do just one episode but ended up liking it so much that when they offered her a permanent role, she took it. She went on to appear in 128 episodes of the series. Betty White earned an Emmy nomination for her role on the show. In 2012, it won the People’s [00:13:00] Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Comedy.

[00:13:04] Question six. During the 2010 Super Bowl, Betty White starred in a popular commercial whose slogan was “your not you when you’re hungry.” What product was the commercial advertising? Well, that highly popular commercial was for Snickers candy bars. I’m sure you remember this commercial. Betty White is playing football and gets tackled hard to the ground by one of the players.

[00:13:34] One of the players says, “Mike, you’re playing like Betty White out there.” After eating a bit of a Snickers bar, Betty White disappears and turns into the character Mike. This commercial was a huge hit during the Super Bowl. If you haven’t seen it, check out triviarewind.com where I will post a link so you can watch this commercial.  Way back in the 1940s Betty had her [00:14:00] debut in a radio commercial where she said the single word “Parkay” as in butter. This was on the radio show called The Great Gildersleeve.

[00:14:12] Question seven. On May 8th, 2010, what popular show did Betty White host and at the same time become the oldest person to host the show? She hosted Saturday Night Live and she was 88 years old when she hosted it. How this all came about was actually pretty amazing. A fan in Texas named David Matthews started a grassroots Facebook petition wanting Betty White to host SNL. Within a few months, several hundred thousand people signed the petition and this got the attention of the people at Saturday Night Live. Not long after that she was signed on to host the Mother’s Day weekend episode of Saturday Night Live.

[00:15:00] [00:14:59] In part of her opening monologue she said she didn’t know what Facebook was and she said, now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time. She got a lot of laughs for that. This was such a loved episode that it even won her her seventh Emmy Award, where at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards, she took home an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

[00:15:29] Question eight. In what 2019 animated movie did Betty White provide the voice for the character Bitey White? That movie was Toy Story 4.  In the film, Bitey White is a toy tiger teething ring and belonged to the character Bonnie when she was a baby. In an Entertainment Weekly article, it quotes Betty White saying, “I’m just lucky they asked me to be a part of it.” She was able to work with some [00:16:00] lifelong friends in this movie. Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner participated as one of Bonnie’s old baby toys as well. In the article Betty went on to say, “It’s a lovely group and they’re all friends of mine. It doesn’t get any better.” Playing a tiger was right up Betty White’s alley. Known to be an animal advocate, she said this about her Toy Story tiger role. “I’ve had the privilege of cuddling with lots of different animals and I’ll play with any animal” she says. “A current friend is a grizzly bear named Bam-Bam. So I’m delighted to be able to give a voice to a toy tiger.” Betty loves being an animal advocate.

[00:16:47] Question nine. In what 2009 film starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds did Betty White appear in? That movie was The [00:17:00] Proposal. In this romantic comedy, Betty White played the character Grandma Annie. The cast had a great working relationship. So much so that when asked who she’s starstruck by, other than Robert Redford, Betty White says Sandra Bullock. She’s quoted as saying, “Very close to the top of that one is Sandra Bullock. She’s the epitome of what a movie star should be. She’s not only gorgeous and talented, but she’s the most down to earth human being. I just can’t say enough about her.” At the 36th People’s Choice Awards, the film won the Favorite Comedy Movie Award.

[00:17:44] And question 10. What is the name of the 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie that Betty White appeared in with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt? That movie was called The Lost Valentine. For her performance [00:18:00] in this movie, Betty received a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.

[00:18:12] Speaking of Valentines, Betty White has been married three times. Betty’s first husband was Dick Barker, a United States Army Air Forces aircraft pilot who she met while volunteering with the American Women’s Voluntary Services. They were married in 1945 and moved to her new husband’s chicken farm in Ohio. A People Magazine article quotes her as saying, “It was a nightmare.” That marriage didn’t last long. Before the year was over they were divorced.

[00:18:45] Betty’s second husband was Hollywood talent agent Lane Allen. They were married in 1947. Lane Allen wanted her to become a housewife and give up her career. So as you can imagine, that marriage [00:19:00] didn’t last long either. They were divorced in 1949.

[00:19:04] Her final marriage was to Allen Ludden, the love of her life. They met in 1961 when she was a celebrity player on the game show Password. Sadly, Ludden’s first wife had recently died of cancer. Ludden had three children with his first wife. In the Betty White documentary she talks about how Allen proposed multiple times and she kept turning him down over and over again.

[00:19:31] When she turned down the diamond wedding ring he proposed with, Allen wore it around his neck on a chain. He would not give up. She said that on Easter of 1963, he sent her a bunny stuffed animal that had gold leaves with a ruby, diamond and sapphire earrings hanging from its ears. She finally accepted his proposal. She joked about how it wasn’t the jewelry that won her over. It was the stuffed bunny. In the documentary [00:20:00] she said how she felt bad that she wasted so much time saying no to his proposals because that was a year longer that they could have been together.

[00:20:08] The two were married in 1963 and in June of 1981, Allen Ludden died at the age of 63. He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer the year prior. In an interview with Larry King, she was asked if she would ever remarry and her answer was “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest.”

[00:20:32] So what does Betty White have going on right now at the young age of 99? According to PR Newswire, “Betty White’s Pet Set, a long unseen series created by and starring the sitcom legend will make its debut on digital platforms and DVD on February 23rd, 2021. [TV SHOW CLIP: Welcome to The Pet Set, starring Betty White.”] [00:21:00] This celebrates the 50th anniversary of this show. They quote Betty White sayin, “If I haven’t told you already, I will now. The Pet Set is one of my favorite shows. I’m thrilled it’s going to be seen again after all these years.” The show was executive produced by her late husband Allen Ludden. The show features celebrity guests and their pets. Betty is also working on a Christmas movie with the Lifetime Network where she plays the character called Santa Whisperer.

[00:21:34] Well, that is it for this week’s episode about Betty White. If you have Netflix check out the documentary about her. I’d love to hear what your favorite Betty White role is. Visit Trivia Rewind on Instagram and share with me there. Also don’t forget to visit triviarewind.com, where you can find the links mentioned in this episode.

[00:21:58] Thank you so much for [00:22:00] listening and I will be back next week with another new episode of Trivia Rewind.

Posted in tv

Cartoons of the 80s

If you grew up in the 80s, there was one thing and one thing only on your mind when it came to Saturday mornings and that was binge watching Saturday morning cartoons.  Kids today have no idea what life was like in the 80s.  Children’s television was not available on demand at all hours of the day and night like it is today.  Saturday mornings were your prime viewing opportunity for cartoons. 

On one of my typical childhood Saturday mornings, I totally remember sprawling out on our green shag carpet with a bowl of the latest sugary cereal and watching my favorite cartoons.  For a large majority of kids back then, there were no calendars full of sports activities or classes to go to. We could just relax and be kids until our parents said enough TV and sent us outside to play.  Saturday mornings belonged to the kids.  

In the late 80s, the decline of Saturday morning cartoons began.   Along came cable and satellite TV where Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network provided cartoon viewing around the clock.  People started getting VHS players and could rent or buy shows to watch whenever they wanted.  Slowly Saturday morning cartoons faded into the past.

When I was a kid, some of my favorite cartoons were reruns from the decades prior.  Shows like The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Tom and Jerry were up there on my list.  Did you see that later this month, a new live-action/computer-animated Tom & Jerry movie is coming to theaters as well as HBO Max?   It’s set to debut on February 26th.  Thanks to archival voice recordings, William Hanna, Mel Blanc, June Foray and Frank Welker voice everyone’s favorite cat and mouse duo, Tom and Jerry. It’s pretty cool that they can use the archival voice recordings to keep the voices we all grew up hearing on the cartoon.  

In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’m taking you on a trip down memory lane where I’ll give you 20 trivia questions about cartoons that we watched during the 80s. 

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind! 

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Trivia Rewind – Episode 36 – Cartoons of the 80s

[00:00:00] Intro: [00:00:00] Trivia Rewind.

[00:00:07] Debi Jenkins: [00:00:07] Hello Trivia Rewind listeners. I’m Debi Jenkins, your host. Well, if you grew up in the eighties, there was one thing and one thing only on your mind when it came to Saturday mornings and that was binge watching Saturday morning cartoons

[00:00:34] KIds today have no idea what life was like in the eighties. Children’s television was not available on demand at all hours of the day and night like it is today. Saturday mornings were your prime time viewing opportunity for cartoons. On one of my typical childhood Saturday mornings, I totally remember sprawling out on our shag green carpet with a bowl of the latest sugary [00:01:00] cereal and watching my favorite cartoons.

[00:01:03] For a large majority of kids back then there were no calendars full of sports activities or classes to go to. We could just relax and be kids until our parents said enough TV and sent us outside to play. Saturday mornings belonged to the kids. In the late eighties the decline of Saturday morning cartoons began. Along came cable and satellite TV where Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network provided cartoon viewing around the clock.

[00:01:34] And people started getting VHS players and could rent or buy shows to watch whenever they wanted. Slowly Saturday morning cartoons faded into the past. When I was a kid, some of my favorite cartoons were reruns from the previous decades. Shows like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Tom and Jerry were up there on my list.

[00:01:57] Did you see that later this month, [00:02:00] a new live-action/computer animated, Tom and Jerry movie is coming to theaters as well as HBO max. It’s set to debut on February 26th. Thanks to archival voice recordings, William Hanna, Mel Blanc, June Foray and Frank Welker voice everyone’s favorite cat and mouse duo Tom and Jerry. It’s pretty cool that they can use the archival voice recordings to keep the voices we all grew up hearing on the cartoon.

[00:02:32] In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I’m taking you on a trip down memory lane where I’ll give you 20 trivia questions about cartoons that we watched during the eighties. Before we get to the questions, I will review how this particular episode will work. Usually I give you the questions and then some fun facts. This week, it’s a little different. I’m giving you 20 trivia [00:03:00] questions with no fun facts. So after I read you the question, I’ll wait a few seconds, then give you the answer before moving on to the next question.

[00:03:10] So pretend that you’re still in your pajamas and have your bowl of sugar cereal, and let’s see what you remember about cartoons from the eighties. Are you ready?

[00:03:24] Here’s question one. In the eighties animated television series The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, what were the names of the four Ninja turtles?

[00:03:37] They were Donnatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

[00:03:45] Question two. In the cartoon The Smurfs, what was the name of the cat that belonged to the Smurf’s sworn enemy the evil wizard Gargamel?

[00:03:59] His [00:04:00] mangy cat was named Azrael. 

[00:04:04] Question three. In the cartoon, The Transformers what was the name of the leader and warlord of the Decepticons who had a purple face-like insignia?

[00:04:19] His name was Megatron.

[00:04:23] Question four. In the eighties cartoon series GI Joe: A real American Hero, the GI Joe elite strike force is fighting against the terrorist forces of which group?

[00:04:39] The group they are fighting against is called Cobra.

[00:04:44] Question five. On the eighties cartoon Thunder Cats, on what planet do these cat-like humanoid aliens live?

[00:04:57] The name of their planet is Third [00:05:00] Earth.

[00:05:02] Question six. In the eighties cartoon Inspector Gadget, who leads the criminal organization that Inspector Gadget tries to stop?

[00:05:15] Well that bad guy’s name is Dr. Claw.

[00:05:21] Question seven. In the eighties cartoon, Garfield and Friends, what is the name of Garfield’s Teddy bear?

[00:05:31] His bear’s name is Pooky.

[00:05:35] Question eight. In the eighties cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, what does Prince Adam have to say when holding his sword up in order to be turned into He-Man?

[00:05:50] He has to say, “By the power of Grayskull .”

[00:05:56] Question nine. In the eighties [00:06:00] cartoon, Alvin and the Chipmunks, what was the name of the group that consisted of three female chipmunks and the sometimes girlfriends of the Chipmunks?

[00:06:12] They were the Chipettes and consisted of Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor Miller.

[00:06:20] Question 10. In the eighties cartoon The Incredible Hulk, what was the name of Bruce Banner’s sidekick and friend?

[00:06:31] His name was Rick Jones.

[00:06:36] Question 11. In what animated series would you find the Fraggles, Doozers, Gorgs and Silly Creatures?

[00:06:47] That show was Fraggle Rock.

[00:06:51] Question 12. What is the name of the animated series that featured Jerrica Benton, the owner and [00:07:00] manager of Starlight Music where her alter ego was the lead singer of a rock group?

[00:07:08] That show was Jem and the Holograms.

[00:07:13] Question 13. In the animated show Speed Racer, what is the name of the car that Speed Racer drives?

[00:07:25] That car was Mach Five.

[00:07:29] Question 14. In Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, what is the name of Chip and Dale’s main nemesis, a cat?

[00:07:41] His name was Fat Cat.

[00:07:45] Question 15. In the animated series Danger Mouse, what kind of animal is Penfold, Danger Mouse’s sidekick?

[00:07:58] He was a [00:08:00] hamster.

[00:08:01] Question 16. In the Looney Tunes cartoons, who is always after the road runner?

[00:08:12] That would be Wile E. Coyote.

[00:08:16] Question 17. In the Yogi Bear Show, what is the name of Yogi Bear’s sidekick?

[00:08:27] That was Boo-Boo Bear.

[00:08:31] Question 18. In the cartoon The Flinstones, what is the name of Fred’s best friend and next door neighbor?

[00:08:42] That was Barney Rubble.

[00:08:46] Question 19. On the cartoon The Jetsons, what is the name of the Jetson’s maid?

[00:08:56] Her name was Rosie.

[00:09:00] [00:08:59] Question 20. In the animated series Scooby Doo Where Are You, what is the name of the van that the gang travels in?

[00:09:12] That van was called The Mystery Machine.

[00:09:16] So how did you do on all those questions? Did you remember all those cartoons? I’d love to know what your favorite cartoon was back in the eighties. Visit us on Instagram and come tell me about it.

[00:09:29] You can also visit Trivia Rewind on Twitter and at triviarewind.com. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks for listening and I’ll be back next week with another new episode of Trivia Rewind. [00:10:00]

Posted in tv

TV Commercial Slogans

Well, we just checked another Super Bowl off the list and for a lot of people, the game isn’t the only thing they tune in for. It’s the commercials. So what did you think of the commercials during this year’s Super Bowl?

How about that one for Frito-Lay. I loved the whole “Twas the Night Before Super Bowl.” My favorite probably was the Doritos commercial featuring everybody’s favorite nice guy, Matthew McConaughey, as a flat 2-D version of himself. That was genius.

Then there was the Cheetos #ItWasn’tMe commercial featuring Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Shaggy. Good stuff there. It seems like the chip companies were on top of their game this year.

In the week preceding up to the Super Bowl the talk was all about John Travolta and his daughter Ella dancing together in the Scott’s Miracle Grow commercial. Was that one all you hoped it would be?

This is the one time of year I love watching commercials. You may or may not have noticed, but during this year’s 2021 Super Bowl, some of the usual big spenders on Super Bowl ads opted out, instead donating money to COVID-19 relief efforts. One advertiser to do this was Anheuser-Busch. For the first time in 37 years, there was not a Super Bowl commercial about Budweiser. No clydesdales or chirping frogs this year.
According to NASDAQ, even though Budweiser was dropped from the roster Anheuser-Busch did plug several other brands during the game. For those ads, they purchased four minutes of advertising time.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi also chose not to run ads for their flagship products according to NASDAQ. Pepsi did however sponsor the halftime show. Companies like Coca-Cola have been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to US News and World Report, “Coca-Cola has been hit hard since half of its sales come from stadiums, movie theaters and other usually crowded places that have been closed during the pandemic. It announced layoffs in December and said it wouldn’t advertise this year to ensure it’s investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times.”

One company made its Super Bowl debut this year. That was Chipotle Mexican Grill and its ad titled “Can a Burrito Change the World.” This ad focused on the role of farmers. A few other smaller brands made their debut at this year’s big game as well.


Have you ever wondered how much a 30 second ad costs to run during the Super Bowl? Well, this year that price tag was around $5.5 million. Anheuser-Busch donated part of what they would have spent on a 30 second ad instead on Coronavirus vaccination awareness efforts.


So do you know what the very first television commercial was? Well, this year marks the 80 year anniversary of the very first television commercial. It all happened on July 1st, 1941 on NBC’s WNBT TV and the ad only lasted 10 seconds. The ad aired before the beginning of a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The ad was for the watch brand Bulova and the ad only costs $9. $4 of that went to the airtime charges and the remaining $5 went to station charges. Wow have time’s changed in 80 years.

On this week’s episode of the Trivia Rewind podcast, it’s all about television commercials.  I’ll give you ten slogans or taglines and you will have to guess which product it goes with. As I promised in the podcast, I’m going to list the taglines here with links to videos of each of the commercials.

SLOGAN 1. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?Watch the commercial

SLOGAN 2. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ITWatch the commercial

SLOGAN 3: THINK DIFFERENTWatch the commercial

SLOGAN 4:  BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH ITWatch the commercial/History about it

SLOGAN 5: THE BEST PART OF WAKING UPWatch the commercial

SLOGAN 6: I CAN’T BELIEVE I ATE THE WHOLE THINGWatch the commercial

SLOGAN 7: YOU DESERVE A BREAK TODAYWatch the Behind the Scenes story

SLOGAN 8: GREAT TASTE, LESS FILLINGWatch the commercial

SLOGAN 9: 15 MINUTES CAN SAVE YOU 15% OR MOREWatch the commercial

QUESTION 10: THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINEWatch the commercial

Below, you will find the transcript for this episode. You can listen to Trivia Rewind on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Please tell a friend, leave a positive review and 5 star rating if you like Trivia Rewind. Thank you for listening and supporting Trivia Rewind!  You can find Trivia Rewind on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Trivia Rewind – Episode 35 – Super Bowl and TV Commercial Slogans

[00:00:00] Debi Jenkins : [00:00:00] Hey Trivia Rewind listeners. It’s Debi here with another new episode. Well, we just checked another Super Bowl off the list and for a lot of people, the game isn’t the only thing they tune in for. It’s the commercials. So what did you think of the commercials this year?

[00:00:29] How about that one for Frito-Lay. I loved the whole “Twas the Night Before Super Bowl.” Another one I loved was the Doritos commercial featuring everybody’s favorite nice guy, Matthew McConaughey, as a flat 2-D version of himself. That was genius. Then there was the Cheetos #ItWasn’tMe commercial featuring Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Shaggy. Good stuff there. It seems like the chip companies were on [00:01:00] top of their game this year.

[00:01:02] In the week preceeding up to the Super Bowl the talk was all about John Travolta and his daughter Ella dancing together in the Scott’s Miracle Grow commercial. This is the one time of year I love watching commercials. You may or may not have noticed, but during this year’s 2021 Super Bowl, some of the usual big spenders on Super Bowl ads opted out, instead donating money to COVID-19 relief efforts.

[00:01:30] One advertiser to do this was Anheuser-Busch. For the first time in 37 years, there was not a Super Bowl commercial about Budweiser. No clydesdales or chirping frogs this year. According to NASDAQ, even though Budweiser has been dropped from the roster Anheuser-Busch will continue to plug several other brands during the game. For those ads, they purchased four minutes of advertising time.

[00:02:00] [00:01:59] Coca-Cola and Pepsi also chose not to run ads for their flagship products, according to NASDAQ. Pepsi did however sponsor the halftime show. Companies like Coca-Cola have been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to US News and World Report, Coca-Cola has been hit hard since half of it’s sales come from stadiums, movie theaters, and other usually crowded places that have been closed during the pandemic. It announced layoffs in December and said it wouldn’t advertise this year to ensure it’s investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times.

[00:02:40] One company made its Super Bowl debut this year. That was Chipotle Mexican Grill and its ad titled “Can a Burrito Change the World.” This ad focused on the role of farmers. A few other smaller brands made their debut at this year’s big game as well.

[00:03:00] [00:02:59] Have you ever wondered how much a 30 second ad costs to run during the Super Bowl? Well, this year that price tag was around $5.5 million. Anheuser-Busch donated part of what they would have spent on a 30 second ad, instead on Coronavirus vaccination awareness efforts.

[00:03:22] So do you know what the very first television commercial was? Well, this year marks the 80 year anniversary of the very first television commercial. It all happened on July 1st, 1941 on NBC’s WNBT  TV and the ad only lasted 10 seconds. The ad aired before the beginning of a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The ad was for the watch brand Bulova and the ad only costs $9. $4 of that went to the airtime charges and the remaining [00:04:00] $5 went to station charges. Wow have time’s changed in 80 years.

[00:04:06] Well, on this episode of Trivia Rewind, it’s all about television commercials. I’ll give you 10 slogans or taglines and you will have to guess which product it goes with. After each slogan I’ll pause a few seconds and then give you the answer and some fun facts. After you listen to this episode, head over to triviarewind.com, where I will post links to videos for each of the commercials.

[00:04:34] So are you ready? Let’s get started with slogan one. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

[00:04:43] This line comes from a 2001 Verizon advertising campaign. You may remember actor Paul Marcarelli saying the, “can you hear me now” line in the Verizon commercials. In these commercials, he was known as the [00:05:00] “test man.” Due to this commercial, he became an instant pop culture sensation.  He was the face of this advertising campaign for nine years, until Verizon decided to take their advertising in a different direction.

[00:05:15] While this was quite the gig to get, he said it did come with a price. A Hollywood Reporter article says, “He tells The Atlantic how at his grandmother’s funeral, a family friend whispered, ‘can you hear me now’ as her body was being lowered into the ground?” Ouch.

[00:05:35] Supposedly Marcarelli was paid up to $6,000 per commercial when working with Verizon. After his time with Verizon, he then became the spokesman for Verizon competitor Sprint. His debut with Sprint was during the 2011 NBA Finals when Sprint launched its “Paul Switched” ad campaign.

[00:06:00] [00:06:00] Slogan two. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT 

[00:06:05] This was an advertising slogan for American Express. It all started in the mid 1970s. When the commercial first aired the ad starred Karl Malden known from his role in The Streets of San Francisco TV drama that aired in the 70s. In the commercial, he talked about American Express traveler’s checks.

[00:06:29] Some of my listeners will have no idea what a traveler’s check is. Back in the day, if you were going to go on vacation, mainly out of the country, you’d go to the bank and get what were called traveler’s checks instead of taking a stack of cash with you. If you lost traveler’s checks or they were stolen, they could be easily replaced. Obviously you can’t replace cash. The tagline initially was “Don’t Leave Home Without Them,” [00:07:00] meaning the traveler’s checks. Later, the American Express credit card took precedence over traveler’s checks and the tagline changed to “Don’t Leave Home Without It.”

[00:07:13] Slogan three. THINK DIFFERENT

[00:07:18] This slogan goes with Apple computers. At the time the computer company IBM had a slogan that just said, “THINK.”  Many say this Apple computer tagline was used in response to IBM’s. Pretty smart if you ask me. On August 8th, 1997 the “Think Different” slogan was announced by Steve Jobs at the Mac World Expo. In 1998, the “Think Different” commercial won a Prime Time, Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding commercial.

[00:07:55] Slogan four. BECAUSE YOU’RE [00:08:00] WORTH IT

[00:08:01] This tagline goes with L’Oreal Paris. This slogan has evolved over the years. Way back in the early seventies, the slogan started out as “Because I’m Worth It” and it coincided with the women’s rights movement. Then came the, “Because You’re Worth It” tagline sometime in the nineties. Most recently they’ve changed it too, “Because We’re Worth It.” L’Oreal  has a video out about the history of this commercial. I’ll post a link to it on triviarewind.com.

[00:08:36] Slogan five. THE BEST PART OF WAKING UP

[00:08:41] Well, for some people, the best part of waking up is Folgers in their cup. While the coffee itself has been around since the early 1900s, “The Best Part of Waking Up” tagline was in Folgers commercials starting in 1984. Over the [00:09:00] years, there have been a lot of parodies for this jingle as well as memes. I have never been a coffee drinker, but if I hear this slogan, I definitely know what product it goes with.

[00:09:13] Slogan six. I CAN’T BELIEVE I ATE THE WHOLE THING

[00:09:20] If you did eat the whole thing, you would want Alka Seltzer. This antacid product came to the market in 1931. Their advertising campaign containing this tagline is considered a classic when it comes to television commercials. The commercial with the, “I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing” tagline first aired in the 1970s.

[00:09:45] Ad man Howie Cohen explains how this commercial tagline came about in a Los Angeles Times article. “He says the crew was celebrating the wrap of a commercial shoot in London. There were 20 of us around the table [00:10:00] and director Milos Forman ordered for everyone – chicken, steaks, lobster. I’m a nice Jewish kid from the Bronx so I ate everything until I couldn’t fit one more thing in my body. I leaned back in my chair and said, ‘I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.’ And my wife said, ‘there’s your next Alka seltzer commercial.'” And there you have it.

[00:10:25] Slogan seven.  YOU DESERVE A BREAK TODAY

[00:10:30] If you feel you deserve a break today, then maybe you’ll head on over to your nearest McDonald’s. This catchy slogan was first used in 1971. This commercial was so popular that Ad Age Magazine rated at the top advertising jingle of the 20th century.

[00:10:49] The slogan was used in commercials all the way through the 1980s. In the mid nineties, they tweaked it a little and made it “Have You Had Your Break Today?” [00:11:00] Some say that this tagline mentally gave people permission to indulge in McDonald’s fast food. Not everyone was happy with the message in the jingle. An article in ChildhoodObesityNews.com titled “Did McDonald’s Invent the Most Lethal Slogan Ever,”  they say “The underlying message is, the universe recognizes what an exemplary human being you are and wonderful people like you must be rewarded. Food is a reward so go eat some.” Well, whatever you believe about McDonald’s and their food, that slogan worked well for the fast food giant. If you want a great behind the scenes look on the story of this commercial, I’ll post a link on triviarewind.com.

[00:11:45] Slogan eight. GREAT TASTE, LESS FILLING

[00:11:51] This slogan goes with Miller Light beer. The advertising campaign featuring this tagline began in [00:12:00] 1974 and went on to be one of the best campaigns in advertising history according to Advertising Age Magazine. At one time Ad Age ranked this as the eighth best campaign in advertising history. This campaign featured many celebrities and athletes over the years where one person would say “great taste” and the other would chime back with “less filling.”

[00:12:27] Slogan nine.  15 MINUTES CAN SAVE YOU 15% OR MORE

[00:12:35] Well, we all know that this goes with Geico. I’m sure you’ve heard this slogan a million times. Over the years, Geico has made great use of their advertising. The “15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance” tagline is just one of the many they’ve had success with. In 2010 the Direct Marketing Association honored Geico at the annual Marketer of the [00:13:00] Year award ceremony. Geico spends a lot of money on advertising. That’s one reason this tagline is so ingrained in our minds. In 2018, 27.9% of the money spent on television auto industry ads was spent by Geico.

[00:13:20] And slogan 10. THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE

[00:13:26] This slogan is for BMW and first started being used in the early 1970s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, BMW went with a new advertising campaign, titled “Joy” and used a new slogan, “Sheer Driving Pleasure.” Surprisingly, this caused quite the uproar with people thinking they were dropping their tagline, “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Some called that advertising campaign a complete failure.

[00:13:57] So by 2012, the original [00:14:00] loved slogan was back. Well, the COVID-19 pandemic took a strike on BMW sales. BMW said it saw an 8.4% drop in vehicle sales in 2020.

[00:14:15] I hope you enjoyed a look back at some of television’s most memorable television commercial slogans. What’s your favorite commercial slogan?  You can share with me on Instagram at trivia_rewind. Don’t forget to visit triviarewind.com to see video clips of all the commercials I discussed. Thanks for listening and I will be back next week with another new episode of Trivia Rewind. [00:15:00]