Gut Rumbles

December 06, 2004

showing my age

I don't watch much television anymore, but I watched a lot when I was younger. Here is a list of my all-time favorite television shows:

1) Best Western-- "Gunsmoke," without a doubt. Good writing, good acting and unforgetable characters. Matt Dillon will ALWAYS be a Tall Dog in my mind.

2) Best Comedy-- "All in the Family." This choice was tough, but that show was a trailblazer and it changed the face of television while being absolutely hilarious at the same time. But even back then I knew that I would rather live next door to Archie and Edith than The Meathead and screechy Gloria.

3) Best Drama-- "The Fugitive." I LOVED that show. I can still quote the opening: "The man... Richard Kimble. Destination... Death Row, State Prison... the irony... Richard Kimble is innocent." Just damn!

4) Best Science Fiction-- "Star Trek." That was the first science fiction show that didn't feature bug-eyed monsters and ridiculous scenarios as a staple for every plot. It was legitimate SCIENCE fiction. Remember communicators, tricorders and that neat medical table that ran a full body-scan? We have every one of those things now.

5) Best Mystery-- "Perry Mason." Perry never lost a case and the trial ALWAYS ended up with the TRUE guilty person spilling their guts in court, but I enjoyed the show and I had the hots for Della Reese.

6) Best Police Show-- "Dragnet." Say what you will, but that rapid-fire dialogue, the EXCELLENT stone-faced acting and the documentary style made that show great. Just the facts, ma'am.

7) Best Kid's Show-- "Captain Kangaroo." Fuck Mr. Rogers, Barney, the Telletubbies or any of that other pap kids get fed via the tube today. The only other show that ever came close to The Captain was "Pee-Wee's Playhouse," and Paul Rubens screwed that up by getting caught with his personal "pee-wee" in his hand in a porno theater. I thought that was a shame.

8) Best Cartoon-- "The Road Runner." Wile E. Coyote still remains my favorite cartoon character of all time. I never understood why he could afford all his expensive bird-catching hardware from the Acme Company, yet never placed an order with some freeze-dried, ready-to-eat, boneless Road Runner outlet. He could have saved a lot of money and gained weight if he only shopped better. (Honorable mention goes to Bugs Bunny, who remains the quintessential American--- smart-mouthed, cocky and always a winner.)

9) Best Variety Show-- "The Smothers Brothers." If you don't know why I picked that one, I would be wasting my time trying to explain. Maybe you had to be a teenager in the late 60s to understand.

10) Best Show Ever-- "The Twilight Zone." I still watch the reruns every chance I get, although I think I've seen every episode ever made at least a dozen times. Many other shows later tried to copy the format, but they never managed to pull off the trick. Best damn writing of any show EVER.

Hmmm... I don't think I picked a single show that's not a golden oldie. I'm not surprised, because that's how I think of myself today.

I am a golden oldie.


I always wondered why none of the guilty people ever hired Perry Mason.

Posted by: shell on December 6, 2004 11:13 AM

Ditto on the Road Runner.

Most important lesson taught by that cartoon is that there are very few problems in life that cannot be solved by dropping an anvil on it from sufficient altitude.

Posted by: Graumagus on December 6, 2004 01:29 PM

Perry Mason DOES lose a case: It was The Case of The Deadly Verdict. Season 7, Episode #185, directed by Jesse Hibbs. It is the ONLY ONE he lost.

Posted by: The Parson on December 6, 2004 04:14 PM

And her name was Della STREET! Della Reese was the singer.

I have to agree with all shows listed, but three other favorites of mine were "The Everglades", "Ripcord", and "The Highway Patrol".

Posted by: Mike on December 6, 2004 05:13 PM

Ever see James Arness as Zeb Macahan in the mini-series How The West Was Won? Characters like that and Marshal Dillon don't exist anymore, rugged, able and honest defenders of what's right.

Posted by: Ron on December 6, 2004 05:32 PM

""The Smothers Brothers." If you don't know why I picked that one, I would be wasting my time trying to explain."

I crewed on Corvette road racing cars in the late 60's, early '70's. Dick Smothers co-drove with "the boss" to GT victory and 7th overall against the factory Porche and Ferrari prototypes in the '71 12 Hours of Sebring. There is no higher compliment for a celebrity driver than "he didn't hurt the car, and his lap times weren't bad either". Dick was "a good one". Tommy was there to observe. His reputation and personna seemed "deserved", at least waaay back then.

Posted by: Dan Pursel on December 6, 2004 07:29 PM

Best Comedy is, indeed a hard one, but I think I'd go with the Honeymooners.

Best Western. I was always partial to "Have Gun Will Travel."

Posted by: Jim - PRS on December 6, 2004 09:11 PM

The only item I'd take issue with you on is Sci-Fi. I think Babylon 5 is the best series ever televised. Ever.
Otherwise, I can't take issue with your other picks.

Posted by: BlogDog on December 6, 2004 11:18 PM

You infants never saw "Uncle Ed's Gang" -- Best kids show, a show of true Diversity, sponsered by Buster Brown Shoes: "I got shoes, you got shoes. Everybody's got to have shoes. But there's only one kind of shoes for me - Good old Buster Brown shoes."

But none of the featured stars wore any shoes: two American Indians, two India Indians [Gunga and Rama], Squeeky The Mouse -who squeeked, Midnight The Cat - who said only "Niiiice" - all live entities - and Froggy The Gremlin - who talked, a rubber frog who stood on two legs bouncing side to side as he harrassed some hapless guy who was trying to address the fake kid audience on some point or other.

Froggy would fill in words and sentences when the guy happened to pause, driving everyone crazy with glee as the guy became more and more irritated.

Only Froggy still lives. He would be summoned to appear by Uncle Ed demanding, "Plunk your magic planger, Froggy." Froggy would appear out of a cloud of smoke saying, "Hi ya, kids, Hi ya, Hi ya." The canned kids would respond, "Hi, Froggy", and disorder was restored to the world.

Posted by: Ga-ne-sha on December 6, 2004 11:24 PM
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