Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Television Trivia Flashback

It's trivia time, folks!

A good friend sent me this insert, courtesy of Sara Lee cakes, that had appeared in a 1989 issue of People magazine, and I couldn't resist posting it.

All-in-all, it's a nice capsule history of the best of 1950's TV... although I can't imagine anyone selecting Father Knows Best over Leave it to Beaver as the "perfect TV family." Certainly Billy Gray, who played Bud Anderson, has made it known through the years that the lessons taught on Father Knows Best "were 180 degrees wrong." Ironically, in the plot described herein, the apparent moral is that deceit can be a good thing if it's used to reinforce the family.

I also have some quibbles with the fact-finding. A few urban legends, such as Vivian Vance's contractual obligation to remain 20 lbs heavier than Lucille Ball, and Jack Webb's non-utterance "Just the facts, ma'am," are reinforced. There's also this strange piece of Dragnet trivia: "From 1953 to 1955, Dragnet was syndicated as Badge 714 while Webb put the series on on hold to act in and direct films." Badge 714 did begin in syndication in 1953, and Webb did produce Dragnet episodes ahead of schedule in order to further his theatrical feature ambitions, but one thing had nothing to do with the other.

On the plus side, the information about The Adventures of Superman is spot on. The plot described is from "The Big Forget" (1957), my favorite episode as a child. It's wishful thinking on my part, but I'd sure love to be the "expert" who provides commentary for that episode on the final Superman box set. (Well, I did write an article about the 1957 season for Jim Nolt's The Adventures Continue fanzine. Does that help, Warner Brothers?)

Anyway, enjoy a piece of Sara Lee cheesecake as you read these pages. Oh, and the trivia questions (for which the answers are provided upside-down on the last 3 pages) are as follows:

1) What was "Beaver" Cleaver's true first name?

2) What is this marionette's first name? (Hint: in Texas, it means "Hello!")

3) Grandpa and the rest of the Munsters lived at what unlucky address?


Anonymous said...

Actually you can count me in as someone who much preferred Father Knows Best. Couldn't tell you why other than Billy Gray who struck me as the only convincing "teen-ager" on television. All the others just stood around waiting for their next line. He never stood still.

As for Beaver I have no recollection of it at all. I know I watched it a few times, but that was it.


Reyra said...

i thinking about Television Trivia Flashback again
so good