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speedracer5

Off Topic: Speedracer5's Nick at Nite Thread

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It's no little secret on these boards that I'm a big I Love Lucy fan.  I've been a huge fan ever since I discovered the show in late elementary school/early middle school on Nick at Nite.  Nite at Nite was such a huge part of my childhood.  Every night, I would make sure to have all homework done by 8pm when Nick at Nite started.  Saturday nights, I would have to find things to do until 10pm when Nick at Nite started with its "Whole Lotta Lucy" marathon-- 2 episodes of I Love Lucy and an episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour every Saturday.  A month or so before summer vacation, I always anticipated the day when Nick at Nite would release their annual "Block Party Summer" schedule.  I looked forward to which shows I could expect to watch all summer: Mary Mondays, Lucy Tuesdays, Bewitched Be-Wednesdays?! So much fun.  

 

Aside from the shows, Nick at Nite always had such great corny retro-inspired jingles and graphics.  I was sad when Nick at Nite went modern.  The current incarnation is beyond lame. 

 

Nick_at_Night.pnghqdefault.jpg

 

What were your favorite shows to watch when you were younger? (They don't necessarily have to have been on Nick at Nite).  

 

Like I said, I got 99% of my exposure to my favorite TV shows, via Nick at Nite.  I may have been one of the few middle schoolers who religiously watched Nick at Nite, but I don't care if I was "different." I just figured I was more sophisticated.  Lol.  

 

My favorite show was:

 

I LOVE LUCY.  Of course.  My absolute favorite show then and my favorite show now.  It's such a great show, so entertaining.  No matter how many times I've seen every episode, there's no way it can ever be overplayed.  It never gets old.  While I consider myself to have many favorite episodes of the show, one of my favorites is "The Black Wig."

 

In "The Black Wig," Lucy, after having seen the latest Italian film, wants to get the new in-vogue short haircut.  Ricky of course, says no.  He doesn't want his wife to have short hair.  The next day, Lucy visits the beauty parlor and asks her regular hair lady for "the usual" (i.e. red hair dye and I imagine a short trim).  Lucy vents her frustration about Ricky to Roberta, her hair lady.  Roberta suggests that Lucy try on an Italian hairstyle wig.  Lucy tries it on, loves it and decides to show it to Ricky to see if he'd like it.  Doug, the owner of the shop walks in, and doesn't recognize Lucy.  Lucy, inspired by Doug's inability to recognize her, decides to play a trick on Ricky and pretend to be an exotic woman who flirts with him.  She leaves the shop.  Ricky shows up to meet her.  Doug, being part of some sort of secret husband alliance, tells Ricky about Lucy's scheme.  Ricky leaves the shop to meet Lucy outside.  Lucy shows up in the wig and a different dress.  She flirts with Ricky.  He flirts back.  Leading to one of my favorite lines in the episode:

 

LUCY: What's your wife like? I'm sure she's very beautiful.

RICKY: Well her figure's like... (makes big exaggerated lumpy hourglass shape) and her hair's like... (mimics big crazy hair) She's a good housekeeper!

 

Defeated and fuming, Lucy returns home.  Ethel promptly shows up and doesn't recognize Lucy.  Lucy explains what happened.

 

LUCY: I'll leave him! No that's probably what he wants! 

ETHEL: Yeah, stay married to him, that'll teach him!

 

Ethel tries the same gag on Fred but it doesn't work.  He recognizes her instantly.  Lucy asks Ethel if she wants to try out the same gag on Fred but with a different costume.  Ethel says yes.  Lucy arranges a date with Ricky and asks him to bring a friend, an older man for her friend (Ethel).  Lucy and Ethel go to work on finding Ethel an outfit but are only able to come up with pieces of three different outfits to complete Ethel's ensemble: An American Indian Dress, a Japanese Geisha Girl Wig, and a big fur Eskimo coat.  "You look like an ad for a trip around the world," Lucy says.  Lucy and Ethel wait and eventually ask the waiter if he's seen them.  The waiter says they were there, but left with a beautiful blonde and red head.  Ricky and Fred then emerge and the couples embrace.  All is well again. 

 

---

 

My second favorite show was and still is: The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I love this show.  I loved Mary's clothes, her fantastic studio, her job, her co-workers, her friends.  Everything.  This show had one of the best all time casts in the history of TV.  There was no character I disliked.  Aside from Mary, my favorite characters were probably Rhoda and Lou, but all the characters were hilarious and likeable.

 

My favorite episode is "Put on a Happy Face."  Everything that can go wrong for Mary, does.  She spills coffee on her new sweater.  She sprains her ankle at work after slipping on the freshly waxed floor.  Her date to the annual Teddy Awards bails on her.  She gets a cold from the water that she has to soak her foot in.  She can't get a date to the award show and ends up being tricked into going with Ted.  The drycleaner gets huge stain on her awards banquet dress and she's forced to wear some decidedly un-Mary dress that she borrows from Rhoda (Frankly, I think Rhoda's dress looked better than Mary's ugly matronly white gown).  She gets a run in her stocking.  Her hair dryer breaks halfway through trying to dry her hair.  She ends up having to wear a slipper on her sprained ankle and a shoe on her good foot.  It starts raining and she ends up having to wear a yellow raincoat to the banquet because Ted won't share his umbrella.  She steps in a puddle with her slipper foot while entering the banquet hall.  Her fake eyelash falls off.  She of course, wins the award she's nominated for and has to go up on stage, miserable and give a speech.  "I normally look so much better than this, I'm sorry" is all she can manage to say.  Back at her seat, her co-workers take a gander at her award-- her name has been misspelled.  Of course it has.

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MTM was truly a great show. It may have been the first sitcom to have an extensive ensemble cast. Thinking about this after reading your post, most of the characters were not outstandingly funny on their own (I will get an argument for this), but nevertheless came across well because of the great writing, execution, and the wonderful way they could put their characters across. I guess i mean that they were not comedians, per se. Ted Baxter was the most intrinsically funny than all, it was nearly impossible to just look at him and not laugh, and then all the rest he did was even funnier. Great chemistry between Ted (fear) and Lou Grant (exasperation). Betty White made periodical appearances and was always a treat, often speaking with a certain tone of voice and gleam in her eye that might at times suggest an erotic undercurrent although she may be merely talking about a chocolate cake at that time. I read somewhere long ago that Mary was a perfect "reacter" that she had an arsenal of little tics that worked well in the little every day encounters and that she was the centerpiece, the one who held it all together, as it were. I haven't seen an episode in years and years and maybe it shows here, maybe I'm a little off. I can't even think of anything to say about Rhoda, except that I liked her a lot, the perfect neighbor. And there was Phyliss (last name?) who appeared infrequently but whom I seem to remember was hilarious. Have I missed anyone? I know I have.

 

In the 60's, it was Dick Van Dyke, Danny Thomas, Joey Bishop ... what else? I know there's more.

 

In the 70s, it was MTM, Bob Newhart, ... ???

 

(I'm losing my mind, i can't remember anything)

 

My last real fave was Cheers ...

 

Did not like Frazier. I couldn't get over how he changes from one show to the next. In Cheers he was a secondary character but was extremely funny but very real. His appeal is heightened by his sometimes sparse appearances, so that when he showed up he was sharp and clean. No over exposure. When he got his own show, he was completely different to me. His persona was different, the tone of the show was too rambunctious. There was the canned laughter, or if it was a live audience, it dominated too much, it was distracting. Every joke tended to be over punched. Couldn't get into it.

 

Could not get in to Seinfeld at all. Just not funny. Could't get it.

 

I am a staunch fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm, one of the greatest show ever. Not for everyone,you have to like that persnickety persona. The shows were well written. Three or for subplots in each episode although only 30 minutes. Sparsely treated but they worked it all in. Fast moving and crisp, Larry David is great.

 

Sorry, I went beyond Nick at Night mode, but related a little I hope.

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Since we're not restricted to Nick At Nite, here's my list. 

 

My very favorite classic TV show is The Twilight Zone.  I was 14 one summer when I saw "The Passersby" for the first time.  Set in the Civil War, a Southern woman tries to make sense of life in the aftermath of war when she is visited by a wounded soldier who leaves a slow, steady parade of fighters to visit with her a while...  The "deep themes" and twist ending blew my mind at 14 and I was hooked ever since.  I have all the DVDs and know all the eps by heart, some books, etc. 

 

The others on this list aren't in any order; I watched them all from a young age and could recite dialogue from most of them:

 

The Honeymooners

Burns and Allen

I Love Lucy

Dragnet

 

These favorites I saw during its original run:

 

All in the Family

Sanford and Son

 

These shows I liked but they aren't in "the pantheon":

 

The Bob Newhart Show (I appreciated this more as an adult)

Rhoda

The Odd Couple

The Andy Griffith Show

Wild Kingdom

Jacques Cousteau documentaries

All Creatures Great and Small

Bowling for Dollars (no kidding, LOL!)

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I LOVE LUCY is iconic.

 

It came out the year I was born, and I watched it a LOT over the years.

 

I "discovered it LONG before elementary and JR. high(what we called "middle school" back then) and since it started it's been on TV SOMEwhere ever since!

 

I grew up watching it, as did MY kids, and now even YOUNGER kids are watching it.  I have a grandnephew who's nine and HE just loves it!

 

Yeah, you had to know eventualy Nick At Night was gonna start showing "newer" syndicated programming.  "King of Queens", "Raymond" and like that.  But after seeing THOSE reruns a few times, it gets weary. 

 

The only "newer" comedies on TV I like now are MODERN FAMILY and THE MIDDLE.  Brick's my main man! 

 

Never could get into BIG BANG THEORY,  BLACKISH is sorta OK, but THE GOLDBERGS seems too contrived for my taste.

 

I'm also grateful for MeTV showing CAROL BURNETT AND FRIENDS.  It's her old variety show chopped into half hour presentations, but they hold up well and still crack me up.

 

But I still remember when there WAS no "Nick At Night", just Nicklodeon, and they showed some "classic" TV shows.  like at 11:30 weeknights, they showed BURNS AND ALLEN and I'd go into work all bleary-eyed.  My younger daughter would wake up during this time(she was only six or seven then) and fell in love with Gracie Allen.  She'd giggle furiously while watching it.  To this day she maintains and faithfully watches her DVD collection of the show!  "I never get tired of Gracie" she'd say.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I LOVE LUCY is iconic.

 

It came out the year I was born, and I watched it a LOT over the years.

 

I "discovered it LONG before elementary and JR. high(what we called "middle school" back then) and since it started it's been on TV SOMEwhere ever since!

 

I grew up watching it, as did MY kids, and now even YOUNGER kids are watching it.  I have a grandnephew who's nine and HE just loves it!

 

Yeah, you had to know eventualy Nick At Night was gonna start showing "newer" syndicated programming.  "King of Queens", "Raymond" and like that.  But after seeing THOSE reruns a few times, it gets weary. 

 

The only "newer" comedies on TV I like now are MODERN FAMILY and THE MIDDLE.  Brick's my main man! 

 

Never could get into BIG BANG THEORY,  BLACKISH is sorta OK, but THE GOLDBERGS seems too contrived for my taste.

 

I'm also grateful for MeTV showing CAROL BURNETT AND FRIENDS.  It's her old variety show chopped into half hour presentations, but they hold up well and still crack me up.

 

But I still remember when there WAS no "Nick At Night", just Nicklodeon, and they showed some "classic" TV shows.  like at 11:30 weeknights, they showed BURNS AND ALLEN and I'd go into work all bleary-eyed.  My younger daughter would wake up during this time(she was only six or seven then) and fell in love with Gracie Allen.  She'd giggle furiously while watching it.  To this day she maintains and faithfully watches her DVD collection of the show!  "I never get tired of Gracie" she'd say.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Nick at Nite was on Nickelodeon.  It was Nickelodeon's programming from 8pm-6am.  Then the kids shows would start again.  I believe Nickelodeon might be a few years older than Nick at Nite.  If they showed classic shows prior to the inception of Nick at Nite in the mid-1980s, then that is very interesting.  I did not know that.  My Nick at Nite heyday was the mid-90s through the early 00s. 

 

I think Nick at Nite was over for me when they slowly started moving all the Nick at Nite shows to TVLand and replaced them with a more modern show like Full House and Home Improvement.  I remembered watching the new episodes of those shows, I didn't want them mixed into my classic television programming.  TVLand was good in the beginning.  They showed even more old shows than Nick at Nite did.  That's where I saw additional classic shows I had never seen before, like Petticoat Junction, Love American Style, The Lucy Show, Sonny and Cher, Laugh In and Ed Sullivan.  TVLand is also where I discovered one of my other favorite shows-- Green Acres.  I liked TVLand until they too started adding newer shows and even having their own original programming.  Ugh.  I don't want original programming.  I want classic television.  Thank goodness for most of my favorite shows being available on DVD now.  TVLand has been garbage for years, much like Nick at Nite.  The only thing on TVLand I watch are reruns of The Golden Girls.  I love that show. 

 

I just watched six episodes of I Love Lucy in a row-- the first batch of Hollywood episodes after they meet William Holden.  This show, no matter how many times I've seen it, never gets old.  I never tire of Lucy's shenanigans.  I've been collecting the seasons of The Lucy Show--which for the most part (save a handful of episodes), I've never seen.  It's exciting to know there's a bunch of "new" Lucy around the corner.  However, I don't think The Lucy Show will ever take the place of I Love Lucy.  There's just something special about the relationship between The Ricardos and Mertzes that is missing in her later shows.  Maybe it's Desi Arnaz' Latin flair that he adds.  I don't know.   I'm always happy to see younger generations embracing the show (and other classic shows) and not ignoring it because it's not in color or because it isn't new.  

 

I don't watch many new shows.  Many of them don't interest me.  The only new shows I watch are Big Bang Theory (maybe it appeals more to my age group since the characters are roughly the same age and I recognize many of the pop culture references and hang ups that the characters have); Portlandia (I live in the Portland Metro Area, so I pick up on many of the things they reference, I think it's hilarious); and Antiques Roadshow.  

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MTM was truly a great show. It may have been the first sitcom to have an extensive ensemble cast. Thinking about this after reading your post, most of the characters were not outstandingly funny on their own (I will get an argument for this), but nevertheless came across well because of the great writing, execution, and the wonderful way they could put their characters across. I guess i mean that they were not comedians, per se. Ted Baxter was the most intrinsically funny than all, it was nearly impossible to just look at him and not laugh, and then all the rest he did was even funnier. Great chemistry between Ted (fear) and Lou Grant (exasperation). Betty White made periodical appearances and was always a treat, often speaking with a certain tone of voice and gleam in her eye that might at times suggest an erotic undercurrent although she may be merely talking about a chocolate cake at that time. I read somewhere long ago that Mary was a perfect "reacter" that she had an arsenal of little tics that worked well in the little every day encounters and that she was the centerpiece, the one who held it all together, as it were. I haven't seen an episode in years and years and maybe it shows here, maybe I'm a little off. I can't even think of anything to say about Rhoda, except that I liked her a lot, the perfect neighbor. And there was Phyliss (last name?) who appeared infrequently but whom I seem to remember was hilarious. Have I missed anyone? I know I have.

 

In the 60's, it was Dick Van Dyke, Danny Thomas, Joey Bishop ... what else? I know there's more.

 

In the 70s, it was MTM, Bob Newhart, ... ???

 

(I'm losing my mind, i can't remember anything)

 

My last real fave was Cheers ...

 

Did not like Frazier. I couldn't get over how he changes from one show to the next. In Cheers he was a secondary character but was extremely funny but very real. His appeal is heightened by his sometimes sparse appearances, so that when he showed up he was sharp and clean. No over exposure. When he got his own show, he was completely different to me. His persona was different, the tone of the show was too rambunctious. There was the canned laughter, or if it was a live audience, it dominated too much, it was distracting. Every joke tended to be over punched. Couldn't get into it.

 

Could not get in to Seinfeld at all. Just not funny. Could't get it.

 

I am a staunch fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm, one of the greatest show ever. Not for everyone,you have to like that persnickety persona. The shows were well written. Three or for subplots in each episode although only 30 minutes. Sparsely treated but they worked it all in. Fast moving and crisp, Larry David is great.

 

Sorry, I went beyond Nick at Night mode, but related a little I hope.

 

'Mary Tyler Moore'  is a fantastic show.  I agree that none of the characters are outrageously funny.  There isn't someone with a gimmick that they rely on to get laughs.  Each character seems like a genuine person that could actually exist.  The humor comes from the characters' reactions to one another's lines or the situation.  I also liked that MTM had episodes that were just very sweet stories involving one (or more) of the characters with only a funny line here and there (for example, the episode when Lou's ex-wife, Edie remarries and he gives her his blessing).  There are also episodes with serious moments (like the one where Mary is hooked on sleeping pills).  I also like that all the characters are fleshed out.  There isn't a one-note character.  Even the more comic relief characters like Ted and Sue Ann have their moments where we find out more about their backgrounds or find out vulnerabilities that they may have.  

 

Rhoda is a great friend for Mary.  She's more assertive than Mary, who seems to be too nervous or shy to stand up for herself when she should.  Rhoda's very street savvy and doesn't beat around the bush when telling Mary about a mistake she's making.  However, she's also sensitive, such as the episode when she finally reaches her goal weight and cannot accept she looks great.  Mary and Rhoda, next to Lucy and Ethel, are probably the best "best friends" on TV.

 

Phyllis (whose last name is Lindstrom, btw) is hilarious.  She's so outrageous and can be so mean to Mary and Rhoda.  At the same time, she is sweet and does have a sensitive side, like when husband Lars cheats on her with Sue Ann.  This episode also features a hilarious scene between Phyllis and Sue Ann when Phyllis confronts Sue Ann on the set of her Happy Homemaker show. 

 

You missed Murray, Mary's co-worker and Georgette a friend of Mary and Rhoda's and eventually Ted's wife. 

 

My shows on Nick at Nite were: I Love Lucy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and The Brady Bunch.  I know that Happy Days was part of the lineup at one point, and while I didn't not like the show, it wasn't one of my absolute favorites. However, I have seen many episodes of it.  I believe it was on in between two shows that I did like.  I also loved The Munsters.  I remember one year on Block Party Summer, they had 'Monkee Mondays' (which I hated, I didn't watch Nick at Nite on Mondays that summer) until halfway through, the ratings must have been horrible, because all of a sudden, it changed to Munster Mondays and I remember being so excited.  I also really disliked Taxi and Welcome Back Kotter.

 

I remember when I was watching TVLand more often, I really enjoyed the aforementioned shows, plus: The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, Mr. Ed, The Lucy Show, That Girl and Laugh In.  I didn't care much for Petticoat Junction (I really only liked the theme song) and HR Puff'n'Stuff.  That show was awful.  I loved TVLand in the beginning though, because they used to show old commercials and had a real vintage aesthetic to the entire channel.  It was a real shame when they went modern with all their original programming and showing newer shows.  Though like I said above, they do show The Golden Girls which I love. 

 

I really enjoy Cheers.  While I was too young to watch the early episodes new, I do remember watching the series finale in elementary school.  Cheers is currently streaming on Netflix and my husband and I have been watching it.  I never had an issue with Frasier.  Although, maybe that's because I hadn't really watched his character much on Cheers.  I thought Frasier was funny.  I really liked Niles and his co-worker Roz.  The show though lost me once Niles got together with Daphne.  Niles secret crush on Daphne was funny throughout the series and getting them together kind of ruined Niles for me.  

 

I'm hoping that Netflix either picks it up or maybe re-runs will start airing somewhere, but I really liked Night Court.  I wish it would come back.  

 

I really like Seinfeld too.  I remember watching the last couple of seasons on TV when it was new. 

 

Aside from all my Nick at Nite and TVLand, other shows I enjoyed watching when I was younger were: Dallas (okay, I was really young when the show went off the air, but for whatever reason, I remember watching it.  I want to start getting the DVDs from Netflix and "catching up" with this show, Dynasty too); Melrose Place; Beverly Hills, 90210 (what can I say, I loved/love those nighttime soaps); Friends; Will & Grace; Frasier; Seinfeld; Veronica Mars; The Gilmore Girls; and ER.  

 

The most recent shows that I liked watching was 30 Rock and Mad Men.  We were just starting to get into Parks and Recreation and then it went off the air.  It's streaming on Netflix too, we'll have to catch up on that one too.

 

Don't worry about straying off the topic of Nick at Nite specifically.  I really just wanted to make a thread where everyone talks about all their favorite shows, episodes of shows, characters in shows, etc.  I also wanted to geek out with people about my favorite shows.  Lol.  

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Since we're not restricted to Nick At Nite, here's my list. 

 

My very favorite classic TV show is The Twilight Zone.  I was 14 one summer when I saw "The Passersby" for the first time.  Set in the Civil War, a Southern woman tries to make sense of life in the aftermath of war when she is visited by a wounded soldier who leaves a slow, steady parade of fighters to visit with her a while...  The "deep themes" and twist ending blew my mind at 14 and I was hooked ever since.  I have all the DVDs and know all the eps by heart, some books, etc. 

 

The others on this list aren't in any order; I watched them all from a young age and could recite dialogue from most of them:

 

The Honeymooners

Burns and Allen

I Love Lucy

Dragnet

 

These favorites I saw during its original run:

 

All in the Family

Sanford and Son

 

These shows I liked but they aren't in "the pantheon":

 

The Bob Newhart Show (I appreciated this more as an adult)

Rhoda

The Odd Couple

The Andy Griffith Show

Wild Kingdom

Jacques Cousteau documentaries

All Creatures Great and Small

Bowling for Dollars (no kidding, LOL!)

 

I've been wanting to watch more Twilight Zones.  I think they're also streaming on Netflix at the moment.  I think I've only seen that awful episode with the kids in the pool.  I have seen quite a few of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, which are also streaming on Netflix.

 

I remember All in the Family and Sanford and Son being added to Nick at Nite (or maybe it was TVLand) at some point and remember not liking either show.  Maybe that's because I was watching as a pre-teen/early teenager.  Maybe if I watched it now as a thirty-something adult, I would get more out of both shows.  I remember watching The Jeffersons though and thinking that was funny. 

 

I haven't seen many episodes of The Bob Newhart Show, I think for some reason, when I was little, I thought the show was boring.  Maybe that's another one I need to give a second chance.  Oh man! I forgot about Rhoda.  I loved that show.  Rhoda's mom is hilarious and so is Carlton the Doorman.  I wanted to buy Rhoda on DVD, but apparently only the edited for syndication versions are on the DVD.  I don't want to buy edited episodes.  I want the full, restored, episode.  Oh! I forgot about The Odd Couple too.  I loved that show.  I can recite the entire spoken part of the theme song.  Tony Randall and Jack Klugman were just as good as their movie counterparts-- Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.  I've never seen Wild Kingdom or the Jacques Cousteau shows, though I'd really like to.  I remember when Jacques Cousteau died.  

 

I'm intrigued by Bowling for Dollars.  Lol.  It seems the 1970s had tons of amazing variety shows and ridiculous celebrity game shows and things like "Circus of the Stars."  I wish some of that stuff would come back.  Not new versions of these shows mind you, but the actual ones from the 1970s.  I want to see more of Mitzi Gaynor's variety specials!

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The late 1960s version of Dragnet has to be one of

the most unintentionally funny TV shows of all time.

Love it. I remember it used to be on USA back in

the 1980s in the early evening. I watched it all the

time. Dum da dum dum.

I didn't realize there were different "Dragnets." Is the 60s one different than the 50s one? (There is a 50s one right? I'm not being crazy am I?)

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Boy, I shoud have remembered that about that Sue Ann. I knew that gleam in her eye entailed more than just chocolate cake.

 

I liked the Lemmon-Matthau duo better. But not a good comparison. The aforementioned had that one really good movie so their merits are circumscribed and remain indelibly fixed in our minds. The long term television show is a different experience, we see so much more of them and that can be a bad thing (for comparison purposes). The movie guys seem to have more depth to them. Good not to compare too much IMO. Both pairs were good.

 

I remember Murray but did not know what to say about him. He seems the unfunniest of them all. But he was still a good guy and fit in well and I think I do remember getting laughs from him on occasion. He was good foil for Mary. And didn't he have a particularly exasperated attitude toward Ted, a la Lou Grant. Well, they were all sort of exasperated with Ted, but Murray especially so? I can visualize both Mary and Murray holding the backs of their hands to their head in exasperated disbelief sitting at their desk while Ted was actually on the air. Funny.

 

OMG, Georgette, totally forgot. A vague memory of her, child-like and sweet toned, yes? Who played her. And she married Ted, I do remember that now that you mention it. Oh, lucky Ted, she was a sweetie, if I remember rightly.

 

Phyliss was played by a real Phyliss, yes. Not Diller, the other. She was in High Anxiety. I like her, very funny. But I don't remember her in MTM. Please realize, I haven't seen an episode of MTM for 35 years, not one. It's amazing I can remember anything, but that's how great the show is.

 

I watched All in the Family a lot but was not overly enthused, can't remember why. Maybe I found Archie unpleasant. Or the Sally and brother being so preachy, dunno. But Sanford & Son (how could I have forgotten that one) was funny. That was a LOL one for me.

 

My mother's fave Alfred Hitchcock Presents was the Barbara Bel Geddes one. The one that had to do with, uh, food ... if I may so speak it thus.

 

Of course, The Twilight Zone, who cannot like those. There were revivals, post-Serling. I remember one in 80s (70s??), they did the same stories, there seemed to a videotape texture quality to them, do you know which I mean? They did one that i don't think they did in the Serling days. If you do something with this box, you will get a load of cash ... but some will (avoid spoiler) and they did a good job with it.

 

The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie,The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, Mr. Ed, The Lucy Show, That Girl and Laugh In, and The Brady Bunch, I never watched those. I was too busy with life to watch TV in some of these eras, meaning that watching TV was just something I had fallen away from. Re The Brady Bunch, did that star the girl who played in the Lou Grant show. She was a red-head but you couldn't see it because of black and white (on Lou Grant). I had a crush on her. She was thin and not particularly pretty (so I thought) but I liked her a lot. Has anyone mentioned the Lou Grant Show, serious drama about newspaper people. I liked the show a lot.

 

I didn't watch Dallas much but I did get caught up with the who-killed-JR thing, I fell victim to that, had that I-can't-wait feeling there. Knots Landing I liked but don't remember much. I had a mild crush on Joan Van Ark but not that other one, the brunette who had all those close-ups because she acted so well with her face. There may be another lady in that show I'm forgetting (I think a lot about ladies, don't I) ...

 

Oh my, you mentioned Mad Men, can we talk about stuff like that? But not now, oh hell, I have so much to say about those, i.e., these multi-seasoned cable shows. I haven't seen that many but what I have seen i could talk forever on, but don't worry I wont, but a few things to say, yes. But later, if you don't mind.

 

(this was a real rush job, I hope it's readable)

 

---

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I don't watch many new shows.  Many of them don't interest me.  The only new shows I watch are Big Bang Theory (maybe it appeals more to my age group since the characters are roughly the same age and I recognize many of the pop culture references and hang ups that the characters have); Portlandia (I live in the Portland Metro Area, so I pick up on many of the things they reference, I think it's hilarious); and Antiques Roadshow.  

 

I guess the most recent show that I've ever really liked is "Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe".  It was reality programming that actually educated.  Too bad that got cancelled, although Rowe (who I think is beyond handsome) is now doing a similar series called "Somebody's Gotta Do It" on CNN.

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MTM was truly a great show. It may have been the first sitcom to have an extensive ensemble cast. Thinking about this after reading your post, most of the characters were not outstandingly funny on their own (I will get an argument for this), but nevertheless came across well because of the great writing, execution, and the wonderful way they could put their characters across. I guess i mean that they were not comedians, per se. Ted Baxter was the most intrinsically funny than all, it was nearly impossible to just look at him and not laugh, and then all the rest he did was even funnier. Great chemistry between Ted (fear) and Lou Grant (exasperation). Betty White made periodical appearances and was always a treat, often speaking with a certain tone of voice and gleam in her eye that might at times suggest an erotic undercurrent although she may be merely talking about a chocolate cake at that time. I read somewhere long ago that Mary was a perfect "reacter" that she had an arsenal of little tics that worked well in the little every day encounters and that she was the centerpiece, the one who held it all together, as it were. I haven't seen an episode in years and years and maybe it shows here, maybe I'm a little off. I can't even think of anything to say about Rhoda, except that I liked her a lot, the perfect neighbor. And there was Phyliss (last name?) who appeared infrequently but whom I seem to remember was hilarious. Have I missed anyone? I know I have.

 

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" is for me like "The Bob Newhart Show" - during the original run I thought they were boring shows but now that I'm older I appreciate them more.  Mary and Phyllis can get on my nerves but I've always loved Rhoda.  I like the show "Rhoda" much more than "MTM"; I think the humor is better (or maybe just different, I guess).  (But the MTM logo at the end with the cat is brilliant, lol.).  I like Lou and Murray, too.

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But I still remember when there WAS no "Nick At Night", just Nicklodeon, and they showed some "classic" TV shows.  like at 11:30 weeknights, they showed BURNS AND ALLEN and I'd go into work all bleary-eyed.  My younger daughter would wake up during this time(she was only six or seven then) and fell in love with Gracie Allen.  She'd giggle furiously while watching it.  To this day she maintains and faithfully watches her DVD collection of the show!  "I never get tired of Gracie" she'd say.

 

I love Gracie Allen!  I have B&A books and even radio recordings. :)

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I'm intrigued by Bowling for Dollars.  Lol.  It seems the 1970s had tons of amazing variety shows and ridiculous celebrity game shows and things like "Circus of the Stars."  I wish some of that stuff would come back.  Not new versions of these shows mind you, but the actual ones from the 1970s.  I want to see more of Mitzi Gaynor's variety specials!

 

Haha, I think "Bowling for Dollars" has been understandably buried, not to be resurrected.  For me I think of it with a smile for nostalgia's sake only, when I used to sit in front of the boob tube on Saturday evenings in the summer, and eat pizza.  It would be hilarious to see again in this day and age, though...  By the way, there are DVDs out there called "Celebrity Bowling", which has stars from the 1970s bowling against one another for prizes for people in the audience.  People like Bob Newhart, Jimmie Walker, Leslie Nielsen... Roy Rogers is on it, too.  Between all the polyester and outdated hairdos and the laughable prizes that they would give away (like fashionable plaid pants), it's a real treat to watch.  Michael Douglas was also on this show!

 

Mitzi Gaynor!  Hah, I don't remember seeing any of those, although I know her well as a recording artist.  I also remember "Circus of the Stars". :)

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Laffitte, Betty White made more than occasional appearances on MTM.  Hers was as a character named SUE ANN NIVENS, who was a character from '73 to '77.  She was described as superficially pleasant and often traded barbs with Gavin McLeod's MURRAY and double entendre's with Ed Asner's LOU GRANT who she had the "hots" for.  Her character was supposedly the hostess of a cooking show called "The Happy Homemaker".  AND, as usual for a Betty White TV character, she WAS a hoot!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Everybody in the MTM newsroom knew Ted was an idiot, but it

especially seemed to rankle Murray. Maybe because he was

a bit of an aspiring news anchor himself and maybe the way

Ted mangled his news writing got to him. There was definitely

no love lost between them.

 

That episode of AHP is one of the most notorious. It was titled

Lamb to the Slaughter for obvious reasons. Of course when

Hitch came back for the finale, we were informed that she

tried the same thing again, but was caught this time. Using such

a clever murder method, one almost felt sorry for her.

 

Actually, I erred. I referenced Lambs to the Slaughter but allowed myself to get confused. I made a cryptic remark about food and the correct episode was the one where an exclusive dinner house (or men's club) had a, uh, specialty, a new dish that everyone was mad about. I need not say more. Probably one of most well known episodes.

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A question for the panel:

 

I have a friend, 94 years old, who likes Fawlty Towers and wonders if there is anything in that vein that might recommend itself. My knowledge is limited. She likes what she refers to as "slapsticky humor" that she sees there. Either another series or even a movie would be appreciated, if either come to mind. She and I both thank you in advance.

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Everybody in the MTM newsroom knew Ted was an idiot, but it

especially seemed to rankle Murray. Maybe because he was

a bit of an aspiring news anchor himself and maybe the way

Ted mangled his news writing got to him. There was definitely

no love lost between them.

 

 

What was the best about Murray and Ted was that even though Murray made fun of Ted a lot and didn't miss any opportunity to get a jab in, he did still like Ted.  There's an episode, I can't remember which one, it's either the one where Ted gets a job hosting a game show and quits the station or it's the one where Ted is sick and they have a replacement (who's WAY better than Ted at newscasting) and they have all the opportunity to can Ted and improve the news, but Lou can't do it, because he likes Ted.  Murray, I believe admits that he also likes Ted.  Even though Ted's a bit arrogant and a bit of a doofus, he's still a good person and Lou and Murray see that.  Ted is somewhat one-dimensional in the first two seasons.  I like that they brought in Georgette and came up with some more serious storylines for Ted to flesh his character out a bit.  Murray I believe really wanted to be more than a news writer, but he was lacking some aesthetic appeal.  In the few episodes where Murray fills in for Ted, he always puts on a toupee. 

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Laffitte, Betty White made more than occasional appearances on MTM.  Hers was as a character named SUE ANN NIVENS, who was a character from '73 to '77.  She was described as superficially pleasant and often traded barbs with Gavin McLeod's MURRAY and double entendre's with Ed Asner's LOU GRANT who she had the "hots" for.  Her character was supposedly the hostess of a cooking show called "The Happy Homemaker".  AND, as usual for a Betty White TV character, she WAS a hoot!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

I loved Sue Ann.  Usually when shows lose a major character and try to replace them, it never works out.  The Mary Tyler Moore Show lost Rhoda after the 4th season and lost Phyllis after the 5th.  Sue Ann first appeared at the beginning of the 4th season and worked perfectly as a replacement for Rhoda and Phyllis.  After Mary's friends move out of the house, the show switched to focusing on Mary's professional life as opposed to her home life.  They even had Mary move into the new apartment in the city.  I believe it was because Mary's studio was now a little lonely without Rhoda upstairs and Phyllis downstairs.  Sue Ann was a fun character to join Mary's work life.

 

I loved the jabs she and Murray got in at each other and her constantly throwing herself at Lou was hilarious.  I love the episode (I think it's in the 6th season? Or maybe the 7th?) where Sue Ann is depressed about her sister (Pat Priest, aka Marilyn Munster) getting a job in Minneapolis.  Apparently her sister has a history of stealing everything Sue Ann gets first.  Sue Ann takes to her bed and won't show up to the studio to shoot an episode of her show.  The WJM gang shows up to try and coax Sue Ann out of bed and get her to return to her show.  They enter Sue Ann's room and there she is in a round bed full of pillows.  Ted looks up and adjusts his tie, indicating Sue Ann has a mirrored ceiling.  He also accidentally hits a button on a remote which causes her bed to start vibrating.  Amused, he starts hitting other buttons. Another button changes the lighting and the last plays Tchaikovsky's "Love Theme" from "Romeo and Juliet."  Lol.  

 

I also love the one where Sue Ann is depressed that this boyfriend that she thought she was really in love with turned out to not be the one.  The WJM gang is at the Teddy Awards and Sue Ann breaks down in tears while moping about her broken relationship.  Her name is called as the winner.  She goes up on stage, still depressed.  Her back is to the camera while she accepts the award.  She turns around and she's all smiles, dimples out and all.  Hilarious.

 

I also love the one where she cooks for Mary's dinner party for a Congresswoman and Sue Ann keeps freaking out about her Veal Prince Orloff. 

 

Betty White deserves every Emmy she won for that show. 

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No, you're just as sane as I am. I think the 1950s version might be on YT,

just as the 1960s version is or was. I've never seen much of the earlier one.

I think it was more of a straight police procedural. And of course it didn't have

all the druggies and hippies that Friday and Gannon encountered in the 1960s.

That's what made it so funny--the ultra straight arrow Friday versus all the

flower children. (Also Harry Morgan wasn't in the 1950s version).

 

Okay good.  I'm not crazy.  I think I might have seen a couple of the 1960s Dragnet way back in the day as I think it used to be on Nick at Nite back in the day, but may have left the schedule soon after I started watching Nick at Nite religiously.  

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Haha, I think "Bowling for Dollars" has been understandably buried, not to be resurrected.  For me I think of it with a smile for nostalgia's sake only, when I used to sit in front of the boob tube on Saturday evenings in the summer, and eat pizza.  It would be hilarious to see again in this day and age, though...  By the way, there are DVDs out there called "Celebrity Bowling", which has stars from the 1970s bowling against one another for prizes for people in the audience.  People like Bob Newhart, Jimmie Walker, Leslie Nielsen... Roy Rogers is on it, too.  Between all the polyester and outdated hairdos and the laughable prizes that they would give away (like fashionable plaid pants), it's a real treat to watch.  Michael Douglas was also on this show!

 

Mitzi Gaynor!  Hah, I don't remember seeing any of those, although I know her well as a recording artist.  I also remember "Circus of the Stars". :)

 

Ooh I would watch Celebrity Bowling.  If the 1970s version were airing on television right now, I would DVR it.  

 

I saw the Mitzi Gaynor Tribute to an American Housewife variety show last year on TCM and loved it.  In fact, I have Mitzi Gaynor's "Razzle Dazzle" documentary on its way to me now (via Netflix).  I believe it has Mitzi's variety specials included as well.

 

I seem to remember "Circus of the Stars" in the 90s.  Maybe it was a revival? Or, this show ran for a really long time?

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I guess the most recent show that I've ever really liked is "Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe".  It was reality programming that actually educated.  Too bad that got cancelled, although Rowe (who I think is beyond handsome) is now doing a similar series called "Somebody's Gotta Do It" on CNN.

 

'Dirty Jobs' was a great show.  Remember the one where Mike Rowe had to clean out the basement where the homeowner's septic tank had exploded?  Eww!! 

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Boy, I shoud have remembered that about that Sue Ann. I knew that gleam in her eye entailed more than just chocolate cake.

 

I liked the Lemmon-Matthau duo better. But not a good comparison. The aforementioned had that one really good movie so their merits are circumscribed and remain indelibly fixed in our minds. The long term television show is a different experience, we see so much more of them and that can be a bad thing (for comparison purposes). The movie guys seem to have more depth to them. Good not to compare too much IMO. Both pairs were good.

 

I remember Murray but did not know what to say about him. He seems the unfunniest of them all. But he was still a good guy and fit in well and I think I do remember getting laughs from him on occasion. He was good foil for Mary. And didn't he have a particularly exasperated attitude toward Ted, a la Lou Grant. Well, they were all sort of exasperated with Ted, but Murray especially so? I can visualize both Mary and Murray holding the backs of their hands to their head in exasperated disbelief sitting at their desk while Ted was actually on the air. Funny.

 

OMG, Georgette, totally forgot. A vague memory of her, child-like and sweet toned, yes? Who played her. And she married Ted, I do remember that now that you mention it. Oh, lucky Ted, she was a sweetie, if I remember rightly.

 

Phyliss was played by a real Phyliss, yes. Not Diller, the other. She was in High Anxiety. I like her, very funny. But I don't remember her in MTM. Please realize, I haven't seen an episode of MTM for 35 years, not one. It's amazing I can remember anything, but that's how great the show is.

 

I watched All in the Family a lot but was not overly enthused, can't remember why. Maybe I found Archie unpleasant. Or the Sally and brother being so preachy, dunno. But Sanford & Son (how could I have forgotten that one) was funny. That was a LOL one for me.

 

My mother's fave Alfred Hitchcock Presents was the Barbara Bel Geddes one. The one that had to do with, uh, food ... if I may so speak it thus.

 

Of course, The Twilight Zone, who cannot like those. There were revivals, post-Serling. I remember one in 80s (70s??), they did the same stories, there seemed to a videotape texture quality to them, do you know which I mean? They did one that i don't think they did in the Serling days. If you do something with this box, you will get a load of cash ... but some will (avoid spoiler) and they did a good job with it.

 

The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie,The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, Mr. Ed, The Lucy Show, That Girl and Laugh In, and The Brady Bunch, I never watched those. I was too busy with life to watch TV in some of these eras, meaning that watching TV was just something I had fallen away from. Re The Brady Bunch, did that star the girl who played in the Lou Grant show. She was a red-head but you couldn't see it because of black and white (on Lou Grant). I had a crush on her. She was thin and not particularly pretty (so I thought) but I liked her a lot. Has anyone mentioned the Lou Grant Show, serious drama about newspaper people. I liked the show a lot.

 

I didn't watch Dallas much but I did get caught up with the who-killed-JR thing, I fell victim to that, had that I-can't-wait feeling there. Knots Landing I liked but don't remember much. I had a mild crush on Joan Van Ark but not that other one, the brunette who had all those close-ups because she acted so well with her face. There may be another lady in that show I'm forgetting (I think a lot about ladies, don't I) ...

 

Oh my, you mentioned Mad Men, can we talk about stuff like that? But not now, oh hell, I have so much to say about those, i.e., these multi-seasoned cable shows. I haven't seen that many but what I have seen i could talk forever on, but don't worry I wont, but a few things to say, yes. But later, if you don't mind.

 

(this was a real rush job, I hope it's readable)

 

---

 

Re: Lemmon and Matthau vs Randall and Klugman: When you put it that way, I agree.  Both pairs are great in their own ways.  

 

Re: Georgette.  Yes.  She was the one with the whispy baby voice.  She was hilarious.

 

Re: Phyllis.  Phyllis was played by Cloris Leachman and she's hilarious.  She is the landlord of the house where Mary and Rhoda live.  She's also a friend of Mary's when Mary moves into the house in the first episode.  Phyllis is married to the never seen Lars, who is a dermatologist.  Phyllis is the typical spoiled housewife.  She's good at putting people down, but she does it in a way that you can't be mad at her, because it seems she's also oblivious as to what it's like to be independent and self supportive.  She and Rhoda have an adversarial relationship but do talk to one another civilly.  Phyllis also has a daughter named Bess who is hilarious and a very sweet girl and much wiser than Phyllis in many ways.  Phyllis also hates Sue Ann, but with good reason, Sue Ann tried to steal her husband from her.

 

Re: All in the Family.  I watched the show when I was much younger, so maybe it was over my head, I don't know.  I didn't like Archie because he was mean.  I felt sorry for Edith.  Gloria and her husband Meathead were too preachy (like you said).  It just wasn't the show for me.  I don't know if I were to watch this show now, as an adult, if I would have a different opinion.  I haven't seen Sanford and Son, but I do like the theme song.

 

Re: Alfred Hitchcock & Twilight Zone: I've only seen a few of the Alfred Hitchcock's and only like one episode (like I told Eugenia) of Twilight Zone.  I'd love to watch more of both though.  I don't remember a Twilight Zone revival in the 80s-90s, though I understand what you mean by videotape quality.  A show that I liked from that time that was somewhat along the lines of Twilight Zone, (but I think it was supposed to be true) was Unsolved Mysteries hosted by Robert Stack.  I loved the dramatic re-enactments.  

 

Re: Brady Bunch girl in Lou Grant.  I don't believe so.  I've never seen Ed Asner's spinoff show from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I looked up the show on Wikipedia and don't recognize anyone's name that was on The Brady Bunch.  It looks like the lead actress in 'Lou Grant' appeared in an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show though.  

 

Re: Dallas.  I think I'll start watching it someday.  There are so many seasons and so many discs to get through though.  Lol.  

 

Re: Mad Men.  We can talk about any show that any one wants to talk about.  All these shows probably have been or will end up on Nick at Nite someday! Lol. 

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I also grew up watchiing Nick At Nite and loved all the promos that would air between the shows as well as the shows themselves.

Remember Dr. Will Miller? :)

 

My two favorite Nick At Nite shows were BEWTICHED and THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW . . .. so Bewitched Be-Wednesdays and Mary Mondays were my favorite days of Block Party Summer.

I could never get into HAPPY DAYS or DRAGNET.

 

I now own the complete seasons of BEWITCHED and THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW on DVD. It was interesting to see how much was cut from these shows to allow for more commercials during their Nick At Nite syndicated airings. On some of the episodes I could tell things were cut when I saw them on Nick At Nite

So while I'm glad to have the complete episodes on DVD now I do miss all the fun and creative promos from Nick At Nite. 

I especially liked how the titles of the episodes were displayed before the episodes aired on Nick At Nite.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ToZecZlHJs

 

Here's a collection of some the great promos that aired on NIck At Nite.

The person who created and uploaded this video apparently was a BEWITCHED fan  :)

 

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I remember the name Dr. Will Miller, but I can't remember what his function was on Nick at Nite.  

 

I loved the promos and I loved the graphics and when they would post the schedule.  I remember they would occasionally have marathons asking a question, like "who had stronger powers? Jeannie or Samantha?" then they would air episodes of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie every day and then encouraged people to vote by calling a 1-800 number.  I don't think I ever voted, but those promos were fun.  I also remember the "Cachi-nated or DeCachi-nated?" marathon where they would air episodes of Happy Days featuring Chachi or not featuring Chachi.  For the record, I would vote for the non-Chachi episodes.  

 

My favorite Nick at Nite shows were I Love Lucy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.  I own all the DVDs of 'Lucy,' 'Mary,' and 'Jeannie.'  I'm missing the last two seasons of Bewitched.  I also have the first two seasons of Green Acres, but I don't remember whether that show was ever on Nick at Nite.  I'm pretty sure it was.  I know it was at least on TVLand.  I also have the first five seasons of The Lucy Show, I'm just missing season six.  I'm pretty sure that The Lucy Show was on Nick at Nite for awhile too.  I know that it was on the early incarnation of TVLand.  

 

"Lucy Tuesdays" and "Mary Mondays" were my favorite Block Party Summer days.  

 

I really miss all all the silly Nick at Nite jingles and the fun retro graphics.  

 

Remember the Nick at Nite albums? 

 

I'm watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show right now in fact (it's the one where Mary and Rhoda take the journalism class and the teacher gives Mary a C+ on her paper) and they just showed a clip of Ted on the TV saying: "I was just handed a bulletin, you have something on your front tooth." I remember this clip being shown on Nick at Nite between shows.  

 

I totally remember the Block Party Summer promo in the second clip.  I remember the picnic table cloth with the "Block Party Summer" overlay and the people dancing in the yard at the barbecue.  

 

My least favorite Nick at Nite shows were: Taxi, Welcome Back Kotter and The Monkees.  I watched Happy Days only because I think it was on in between two shows I liked.  

 

I see the schedule you posted shows Rhoda.  I forgot about that show.  I loved that show.  I'm disappointed that the Rhoda DVD set contains the edited for syndication episodes.  The schedule also shows The Bob Newhart Show, I remember seeing that show, but I can't remember anything about it.  It must not have been one of my favorites at the time.

 

::Sigh:: I miss Nick at Nite.  I'd even put up with commercials to watch it again with the 90s promos intact. 

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Here's a video that includes a Dr. Will  Miller clip at the end:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8X6lrO-R6g

 

The part from the Nick At Nite album that I remember is "Lucy In Disguise With Diamonds."

 

I never voted in any of the promos with the call-in numbers (I don't think I did anyway), but I would have voted for Samantha. :)

I also remember the "Dueling Darrins" promo.

 

I didn't get into THE MONKEES either but my sister loved that show. She also loved GREEN ACRES. (I also don't remember if it was on Nick At Nite or just on TVLand.)

 

I didn't buy the RHODA DVDs  because of them being cut.

I did, however, finally find a video on YouTube that  included the original opening of the first episode of RHODA (that was cut for syndication) with Mary and Rhoda at the airport in Minneapolis as Rhoda is leaving for New York on vacation. (As we know she ends up staying there.)

I think the video was from an airing of RHODA in the United Kingdom.

Apparently they get can see the airport scene there, but we can't in North America.

(Well we can now via YouTube.)

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