Only in America!
The Motion Picture Association of America announced changes to its movie rating system that will include more specific descriptions of potentially objectionable material in movies shown in theaters in the U.S.
After serving in the army in World War II Jack Klugman played roles in the Summer stock circuit before debuting on Broadway in a revival of “The Golden Boy”. Klugman also quickly established himself in the new medium of television starting with his 1950 appearance in “The Timid Guy” on Actors’ Studio. Numerous television roles followed including 3 episodes of Inner Sanctum in 1954, Appointment With Adventure in 1955 (his first appearance with Tony Randall). In 1957 he appeared in the film “12 Angry Men” with Henry Fonda. Klugman appeared in 4 episodes of The Twilight Zone between 1960 and 1963, starting with the memorable “A Passage For A Trumpet”.
Klugman continued to work regularly in television through the 1960s, with occasional film roles, until he was cast as slob Oscar Madison for The Odd Couple in 1970, where he appeared with lifelong friend Tony Randall for 114 episodes until 1975. Immediately after the end of that series he began Quincy M.E. about a Los Angeles medical examiner based loosely on Dr. Thomas Noguchi. The show ran through 1983.
During the 1980s Klugman suffered from throat cancer and lost his voice, but re-learned to speak in a raspy tone and continued working until shortly before his death.
Fox Entertainment has announced a new reality show that will debut in January. Called “Who Will Be Taylor Swift’s Next Boyfriend?” the show features 25 young male contestants who will engage in a series of non-competitive challenges involving running to limos, running into hotels, running toward private jets, running into awards ceremonies, and running for the exit when Swift tires of them in as little as two weeks.
The unique feature of the program is everyone wins – for about two weeks, anyway. That leaves two weeks a year for Swift to take a vacation.
You know, if I were going to become part of the recent wave of face-eating psychopaths out there, The Partridge Family would not be the first food group that comes to mind.
If you were a child in the 1960s some things were inescapable, no matter how much you wanted to escape from them. In my home one of those things was the television show “Gunsmoke”, which my father watched as if it were a religious ritual. One did not speak or be otherwise noticeable during “Gunsmoke”. The other religious TV experience was “The Andy Williams Show”, at which altar my mother worshiped.
Looking back on it now, “The Andy Williams Show” (along with my mom’s other musical gods Glen Campbell and Tom Jones) probably had more influence on me than I realized. I was always a sort-of musical child: I sang the theme songs to TV shows acapella, and did a fair “Moon River” in the bathtub. And I got exposure to some different kinds of music through shows like Andy Williams’ – the photo above of him performing with Peter, Paul, and Mary brought back a clear memory of seeing them on TV and thinking that was a different kind of music I hadn’t really heard before.
Media influences were sparse where I grew up. We lived in a very rural area in a small valley surrounded by mountains, and when I was very young we didn’t get very clear TV or radio signals. My dad built a telescoping antenna mast that he could crank up about 60 feet in the air if there was no wind, and we could get ghost-like images of the San Francisco CBS, NBC, and ABC affiliates on a good clear night. I do recall the funeral of President Kennedy in grainy, ghosty black-and-white. The images of the horse with the reversed boots in the stirrups is particularly present in my earliest memory.
Then, in the mid-1960s, we got The Translator. The Translator was a big relay antenna up on the highest mountain around that would saturate our little valley with TV and radio waves. Now we got fairly good reception of CBS, NBC, ABC, an independent called KTVU, and on a good clear night some ghost-like PBS that my father disapproved of because they were “liberals”.
But most of all, for me, we got AM radio! And then I literally submerged into music. My dad would give me the car keys and I would sit in the car and run the battery down listening to the radio. Eventually he gave me a transistor radio of my own so he didn’t have to constantly charge the car battery.
Now, of course, we are inundated with media via cable, satellite, the Internet. DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, streaming audio and video, etc. But in a way that earlier time when resources were limited was more interesting, because not only was every scrap of music and video a sort of treasure, but when there wasn’t any content to be had we made our own in imitation of what we saw and heard.
The surviving members of Led Zeppelin are out promoting their concert film “Celebration Day”, which was filmed back in 2007 when they played at London’s O2 Arena. The band members say there is no plan to reform for a tour, citing old age and the nagging feeling most people under the age of 40 have no idea who they are.
Mitt Romney isn’t the only one having a bad week with secretly recorded comments. Paris Hilton was secretly recorded by a taxi driver as she had a conversation with a fellow passenger in which she said gay men are “disgusting” and “most of them probably have AIDS”.
So there goes another 47% of someone’s potential constituency.