Tuesday, August 29, 2006

he's a furious booster for wayne and shuster

Vintage Ad #52 - He's A Furious Booster
The oldest CBC ad I've found in my mound of mags, touting the network's comedy/variety lineup for 65-66. The jovial man pictured is Larry Mann, a mainstay of CBC television programming of the era (including the show he's a booster for, Wayne and Shuster). Among Mann's credits: the voice of Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Speaking of Rudolph, was anyone else spooked as a kid by the Rankin Bass logo that appeared at the end? If you're confused, this clip will jostle your memory.

It's a simple ad, but it's not hard to see why he's laughing at the lineup. Read the fine print and you'll encounter many fondly remember series, including the debut seasons of Get Smart! and I Dream of Jeannie and the end of the line for The Dick Van Dyke Show.

As for those shows that might not be familiar:

Flashback (1962-68): CBC copies itself with a variant on Front Page Challenge. The panel had to guess the person or event, followed by an interview. Host Bill Walker departed after the 65-66 season, due to a sponsor change; Walker was also a Ford spokesman, while the show switched to Chrysler (Walker went on to host Party Game in the 70s). Among the regular panelists was future Saturday Night at the Movies host Elwy Yost. According to the book TV North, writers were so desperate to come up with publicity material for panelist Larry Solway that "it was padded with descriptions of his home (central air, panelled rec room)." (54) The show was apparently cursed, as actors Adolphe Menjou and ZaSu Pitts and bandleader Glen Gray all died shortly after their turns as the mystery guest.

Hank (1965-66, import from NBC): a sitcom starring Dick Kallman as a college concession stand operator who disguises himself and sneaks into classes. Hijinks ensue from his deceptions. Cancellation notice was given far enough in advance to wrap up the loose ends when the final episode rolled around.

O.K. Crackerby (1965-66, import from ABC): TV Guide critic and note cat lover Cleveland Amory developed this satirical sitcom about a millionaire (Burl Ives) with the common touch who is looked down upon by the upper crust. Several websites feel the title was a play on the term "cracker".

Source: Maclean's, September 18, 1965 

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