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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What happened to my piece of the cake?

What's On? Wednesday: Gimme A Break!

Let me start off by saying, I love Nell Carter. I think she was funny and talented and could deliver a line that would have me laughing. The show Gimme A Break! was a cute vehicle for her and it lasted six seasons with many cast changes along the way. Now I realize that the show was centered around her helping out the Chief and his three daughters after her friend (the Chief’s wife) passed away, but my favorite episodes put them in the background.

The episodes with Alvernette Jimenez (Kamelle) were the funniest and most enjoyable for me. Alvernette played her friend Angie and guest starred in a very limited number of episodes. In fact, the first season had her on the show only twice and each season after that she would appear only once, maybe twice if we were lucky. In total, of the first five seasons before Nell’s character moved to New York, Angie appeared approximately six times. That’s it!
In season three, the show introduced a new character called Addy Wilson played by Telma Hopkins (who I loved on Bosom Buddies). Why? I like Telma and enjoyed her on the show, but Nell already had a friend to play off and do the “Lucy and Ethel” or “Laverne and Shirley” type situations that they invariably got involved in. It pushed Angie even further into the background of characters that populated the show. They also introduced Officer Simpson played by Howard Morton into the cast as a somewhat dimwitted character. Why? They had Angie. Basically, they already had a character that was Addy and Officer Simpson all rolled into one. Not to take anything away from Telma Hopkins and Howard Morton, because I liked their characters, but I feel that Alvernette was underused.

Angie and Nell fit the contrasting body styles of the great comedy duos like Abbott and Costello or Laurel and Hardy. They also had the great straight man vs. scatterbrain combo that is also a popular comedy bit like Burns and Allen or Martin and Lewis.


Alvernette was a tall, lanky, beautiful young woman who would play Angie with just the right amount of cluelessness and cuteness that it didn’t grate on your nerves. Angie’s voice had a high pitched singsong delivery and the giggle that came out would make me roar. Angie would drive Nell a little crazy with her own sense of logic and yet there were times she was shown to be smarter than others (or even herself) thought.




Some examples of lines Angie would say:

Personal meditation mantra:
Angie: “Today is the first day of the rest of day.”


When asked if she thinks two guys have stood her and Nell up:
Angie: “My Frank, well, he’s only stood me up once and even then he had a good excuse.”
Nell: “Yeah? What was that?
Angie: “He was kidnapped by men from Mars.”
Katie: “You bought that?”
Angie: “It’s true, he even brought back one of their candy bars.”


Nell is mad at the Chief:
Nell: “That man’s brain is so small , you could suck it through a straw and never touch the side.”
Angie: “I used to have trouble with drinking with straws, then I started taking the paper off them.”
Nell: “Angie, baby, how can such a small head hold so much air?”
Angie: “I sleep with the windows open.”


Sitting on a barstool next to Nell:
Angie: “Oh Nell, look, there’s another room just like this one”
Nell: “Angie, that’s the mirror over the bar.”


Or earlier that episode:
Angie: “Excuse me, I’ll be right back, I think I have to go to the ladies' room, can I bring you anything?”
Nell: “No, you just go. Oh, go for me while you’re there.”

When she returns:
Angie: “Hi, Nell, I’m back. Guess what, you didn’t have to go.”


Guy offering to buy her a drink:
Guy: “Have you ever had a Black Russian?”
Angie: “No, but I once spent the weekend with a one-legged Mexican.”


Nell Carter’s reactions to these situations and lines were some of the funniest faces that Nell delivered. She was always good at reaction shots, but the exasperation she showed with Angie were the best.





“Let me get this straight…You…Angie McDaniel…a girl who has to take off her blouse to count to two…”


Alvernette didn’t appear in anything after her last appearance on Gimme A Break!. People around the internet have little bits of information out there about her after she left acting, but it’s really a shame that she didn’t appear more on the show. The chemistry between her and Nell Carter made the few episodes she did appear stand out and shine. Mom Smackley and I have often stated that we wish the show had just been about the two of them with the other characters being part of the ensemble. It could have been that Nell still lived with the Chief and his three daughters, but we wish it was she and Angie that got into most of the predicaments each episode.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Angie Baby

YouTube Tuesday presents: Helen Reddy singing Angie Baby



It's so nice to be insane, no one asks you to explain.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Olan Mills

If Olan Mills or another photo studio had a set-up like this one, I might would have a portrait of Mom Smackley and I to share.

This publicity shot of Miss Barbara Stanwyck from The Big Valley reminds me of a site that if you haven't visited, you must do so now.

It's called Awkward Family Photos.com

It celebrates the funny, weird, and awkward family photos that everyone at one time or another has been in. (If you haven't been in a photo like this, then you were one of the lucky few.) So in order to "Spread the Awkwardness", take a look at their site.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Theatre of Rigg

Norma Desmond got the last Blues Clues right. The wonderful and the beautiful Diana Rigg was the English bobby with a mustache. This look comes from a scene in the film Theatre of Blood.

It's not the only disguise Diana had in the film.


Theatre of Blood is a great film that starred Vincent Price as Edward Lionheart who decides to take revenge on the critics who ruined his acting career. Diana Rigg played his daughter Edwina who helps him in his plans of revenge in a multitude of disguises.




Since Edward Lionheart was a Shakespearean actor, all of the murders are inspired by the plays of William Shakespeare. If you haven't seen the film, don't look at these last two photos. Go see it first. I'll review the film another time, plus there will definitely be a post on Diana Rigg and The Avengers in the near future.

Friday, September 24, 2010

To be honest, I didn't think I'd make it.

Funny Face Friday: Leslie Nielsen is here to deliver my 200th post.

Okay, it's really a scene from Airplane!, but hey, it's Friday, it's my 200th post, and as hard as it can be sometimes, I'm still trying to post at least once a day. Do I make it? Not always, but I always have good intentions.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Angel Anniversary

What's On? Wednesday: Charlie's Angels

Thirty four years ago on a Wednesday night just like this at 10:00pm, the very first episode of a new series began with an episode called "Hellride". Months earlier, my parents and I watched a pilot movie called Charlie's Angels and I fell in love with the show. So one night a week for the first year of the series my parents allowed their eight-year-old son to stay up past his bedtime. They were so glad when the show changed it's timeslot for season two. They didn't want to tell my teacher the real reason I kept falling asleep in class.

September 22, 1976 was the date in which a television landmark hit the small screen and the six women who played the title characters became household names and will forever be linked to the show. They each went on to other successes, but to be remembered as an Angel is definitely not a bad thing.













Happy Anniversary Angels!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We want Season Five!!!

YouTube Tuesday presents: Charlie's Angels Season Five

Charlie's Angels ran for five seasons. Four have been released on DVD. The first season was released way back in 2003 with the three original Angels--Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and Jaclyn Smith. A year later, season two was released. This season Farrah had left and Cheryl Ladd joined the team. It would be another three years before season three would be released. The Angels didn't change, but it did have the return of Farrah.

It looked like season four or five weren't going to be released. The saving grace for season four was the fact that it contained three more episodes with Farrah returning. I like Farrah, but she (believe it or not) wasn't my favorite Angel. However, if anyone mentioned Charlie's Angels, the first person that came to most minds was Farrah Fawcett. It's great that season four was released, because I think most people were surprised that they liked Shelley Hack. For some reason, Shelley Hack got a lot of bad rap, but I always liked her and people can now see that season four was actually not a bad season because three years after season three was released, season four was finally released.

That was last year. Season five is the only one left to be released. The pros of this season: Tanya Roberts joined the team; five episodes were filmed in Hawaii allowing for the first time--three Angels in bikinis in the same scene; guest stars Christopher Lee, Jane Wyman, and Dack Rambo; and Julie attacking her fellow Angels. The cons of this season: shortened season with only 16 episodes due to the writer's strike that year; three of the worst episodes of the series happened in season five; guest stars Lyle Waggoner, Sonny Bono, and Dan Haggerty; and no appearances of Farrah Fawcett.

The Charlie's Angels Wiki features three great videos related to season five to whet your appetite.

First is a trailer he made for Season Five:



Next is a tribute to Julie, the final Angel:



And last are some scenes from "Attack Angels" where Julie is brainwashed:



Join the Facebook Petition to Sony requesting Season Five of Charlie's Angels!!!
I'm afraid that it will be 2012 before it will be released at the rate they're going and if all the predictions of the world ending that year, I would at least like to revisit this final season before it does.

A True Angel


Monday's Man (I know it's Tuesday): David Doyle

There is always so much written about the women who played Charlie's Angels, but the unsung hero of the show has to be the character of John Bosley, played with humor and class by David Doyle. Intoducing himself in many episodes like he was 007, "Bosley, John Bosley", the character, more often than not, was called just Bosley. In fact, many episodes, you never hear his first name. It was like he was "Jeeves" the faithful butler, but he was more than that. Bosley was a member of the team, often going undercover, seducing women, and shooting the bad guys. The show may have centered on the three women, but Bosley was there getting computer readouts, monitoring the phones in the office, coordinating the sting, and still maintaining the financial records. In his undercover roles, he was usually assigned the menial jobs like valet, chauffer, bellhop, and occasionally played the "sugar daddy" to the Munroe sisters.


The character also had some romances with mature women during the run of the show. These romances never came to fruition. Like the Angels, the women he dated were either suspects, villains, or just a one episode love never to be heard from again.

Bosley was more than just a member of the team. He was the loving uncle who cared about the Angels and their well-being.

I believe that David Doyle brought that to the character. There have been many stories through the years, where he would take the new Angel under his wing and make her feel welcome. Cheryl Ladd even stated that if it wasn't for David, she wouldn't have made it through that first year.






In the pilot movie for Charlie's Angels, there were two characters who were the middlemen for Charlie. Bosley was the psuedo-investigator/office manager while Woodville, played by David Ogden Stiers, was the lawyer who coordinated with Charlie and was the direct link. When the show was going to series, it was decided they didn't need two men, so Woodville was dropped. In my own opinion, not because I love David Doyle, but looking at the characters as they were portrayed in the pilot, Woodville came across as pompous and snotty (or snooty, you pick) while Bosley came across as friendly and funny.


David Doyle also came across as friendly and funny. I loved seeing him appear on Match Game. He usually gave bizarre answers that rarely matched the contestant (not as bad as Patti Deutsch), but was always smiling and having a good time.


David was a staple on television appearing and guest starring on numerous shows like Lois and Clark where he played a real angel. His character, Mike, was a guardian angel who married Lois and Clark.





He played Uncle Ulysses on an ABC Weekend Specials episode called "Homer and the Wacky Doughnut Machine".


He also appeared in many TV-movies like, Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again where he played Mr. Weatherbee or The Stranger Within with Barbara Eden, George Grizzard, and Joyce Van Patten. His psychiatrist character from The Stranger Within hypnotizes Barbara Eden's character and finds out that the baby inside her is an alien that is possessing her!




Though he may be best known to audiences for his TV appearances, he was also seen on the big screen in films like Capricorn One, Coogan's Bluff, The Comeback, and the bizarre No Way to Treat a Lady.

His distinctive voice was perfect for voice-over work and many animated shows took advantage of his talent. During his later years he played Grandpa Pickles on Rugrats until he passed away from a heart attack.

The character of Bosely was played by Bill Murray in the big screen version of Charlie's Angels, but it is David Doyle that will be most remembered for the role. Along with Jaclyn Smith, he was the only other actor to appear in every episode of the show. He worked with some great talents over the years, but I've never read one word that ever put David in a negative light. I don't think that is a bad legacy to leave behind. Respected, loved, and admired.

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