Friday, July 11, 2014

Meta McDuck and Meta Maverick!


 

Or, “I never Meta Maverick I didn’t like!” 
Be it James Garner as "Bret Maverick", Jack Kelly as "Bart Maverick", Roger Moore as "Beau Maverick", and, even Robert Colbert (of The Time Tunnel) in his very brief shot as "Brent Maverick".
 
"I wasn't a Maverick long enough to get my own DVD box cover!"
"I wasn't on Bonanza very long either, but I DID get into the opening credits!" 

"...Then we BOTH ended up working for Irwin Allen!"
Wow!  That was a long enough digression to be a "cutaway" on FAMILY GUY! 

But, now... back to "Meta-matters"!   
 
I happen to find "Meta" humor and references, forth-wall breaking, etc. to be quite funny.  (Quick, one-sentence digression - as opposed to the loooong one you've just experienced - I also find "deadpan" to be just as funny, most likely because an enthusiastic guy like me is so incapable of doing it that I regard it as "humorously alien".)
 
 
And so, when preparing my script for the Uncle Scrooge story that I called "A Game of One-Cupmanship" (I enjoy puns, too!  Can't cha tell?) I included the Meta-gag of Scrooge whiling away the time by sleepily singing the theme to Disney TV's DUCKTALES
 
 
I thought it was a nice Meta reference, in keeping with the generally fast-paced, zany nature of the story.
 
 
Imagine my surprise, while watching "Family Pride", an episode of the classic TV western MAVERICK (Original Air Date: January 08, 1961), to find Roger Moore, as Beau Maverick, WHISTLING THE MAVERICK THEME SONG to open the episode's teaser! 
 
 
Meta?!  Snack-dab in the middle of the 1960-1961 television season?! 
 
Gotta love that! 
 
Oh, since the 4 th season of MAVERICK was released on DVD by Warner Archives (as were the final three seasons of the series), and their discs don't play on computers - thus no episode-specific screen captures for "Family Pride" - I'll just scan the package cover and the disc to represent Roger Moore's completely unexpected "Maverick Meta-moment"!   
It's the FIRST EPISODE on this set!
 
...It's not as if you could hear him whistle in a Blog post anyway! 
 
 


31 comments:

Chris Barat said...

Joe,

Characters on MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC have occasionally indulged in this sort of meta-referencing as well, whistling the theme song at odd times.

Chris

Joe Torcivia said...

Awww, Chris…

It’s no big deal for a current animated series to do “Meta”.

That list is endless: The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Freakazoid!, Johnny Bravo, and so many more.

What IS a big deal is to see it done in a TV western circa 1960-1961. Even one that tended more toward humor like MAVERICK. They did a tremendous parody episode of GUNSMOKE, called “Gun-Shy”, and I understand they also parodied BONANZA, but I haven’t see that one yet.

But, parody (even sharp parody) isn’t exactly “Meta”, because MAVERICK isn’t referring to ITSELF. Just its competition.

That MAVERICK would do actual “Meta” (before we categorized it as such?) in 1960-1961 is bigger news than the still-wonderful approach taken back then by Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show.

Anonymous said...

Some Maverick episodes had brief introduction scenes with Bret addressing the audience directly, but they were probably not really meta or breaking the fourth wall, since they were not part of the episode itself.

The Bonanza spoof was "Three Queens Full" and featured Jim Backus as Mr. Wheelwright, who lived on the Subrosa ranch with his sons Henry, Moose, and Small Paul.

"Gun-Shy" also had a funny allusion to "Have Gun, Will Travel," when the marshal mentions that a gunslinger recently passed through town, "handing out business cards."

Robert Colbert and Roger Moore both guest starred in Maverick episodes before they became regular cast members. The one with Moore was called (IIRC) "The Rivals" and was a sort of "Prince and the Pauper" story. A millionaire (Moore) and Bret agree to impersonate each other. The ruse allows Bret to get into an exclusive country club where a high-stakes poker game is being played. Meanwhile, the rich guy woos a girl, to see if she will love him without knowing he is rich.

Robert Colbert was in "Hadley's Hunters," as a (framed) fugitive on the run from a corrupt sheriff (Edgar Buchanan). That episode is mainly remembered for cameo appearances by Ty Hardin (Bronco), Will Hutchins (Sugarfoot), John Russell and Peter Brown (Lawman). Edd Byrnes even shows up as a groom in a stable, combing a horse's mane (while the theme from 77 Sunset Strip plays as background music).

AFAIR, Colbert only appeared as Brent in two episodes. He may be even more obscure than Will Cartwright. And Brent's very existence contradicts an earlier episode, "Seed of Deception," in which Bart referred to himself as Bret's "only brother."

There was a publicity still with Kelly, Moore, and Colbert. But there was never an episode with all three of them together.

And somehow I have total recall for all this esoteric trivia but I never can remember where I left my keys. :)

-TC

Anonymous said...

Speaking of deadpan humor (and if I may be permitted a "digression" of my own), my favorite TV characters of all time are Daria Morgendorffer and her BFF, Jane Lane. Those girls made Mister Spock look like a hysterical personality.

-TC

Joe Torcivia said...

TC:

That is LOADS of great stuff on MAVERICK – and proof positive that I’ve got to stop “skipping around” the season sets, and watch it with more dedication. Because… MAN do I have some treats in store!

Opening character narration doesn’t count as “Meta” in my book, though I like it whenever it occurs.

Now that I know the title, I’ll head directly for the BONANZA parody “Three Queens Full”. GUNSMOKE actually did its own BONANZA parody of sorts with “Brides and Grooms” (1975, episode # 630 of 635, according to IMDB – meaning it was PRETTY LATE in the run!), with Harry Morgan as the “Ben Cartwright character” looking to marry-off his three sons. I saw this ep on one of the very few “special DVD sets” that had later color GUNSMOKE episodes, and it was hardly a GUNSMOKE episode at all because the few remaining regulars were practically bystanders.

I shoulda mentioned the reference to Paladin in “Gun-Shy”! That was a great gag too! Thanks for bringing it up.

Yes, Colbert appeared in only two episodes as Brent, as far as I can tell, too. But, I feel the original plan was for quite a bit more. That’s why I drew the parallel to Guy Williams as “Will Cartwright”.

And “deadpan” is certainly one reason I love Huckleberry Hound as much as I do!

TC said...

I'm sure that the original plan was for Colbert to be a permanent co-star as Brent, and that publicity photo of him with Jack Kelly and Roger Moore is evidence of it.

The "Brides and Grooms" Gunsmoke episode was a direct sequel to "The Wiving," which aired earlier in the same season, IIRC. The previous episode had the father (Morgan) sending his sons into town to find wives, and they ended up kidnapping some dance hall girls. They also ended up kidnapping an older woman (Fran Ryan?), deciding to "bring her along for Pa." (She and Pa didn't get along very well, as it turned out.) The premise was probably inspired by "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."

I can't resist mentioning a "Daria" episode where she was wearing a Mark Twain T-shirt, and Trent (Jane's brother) said, "I read Huckleberry Finn in high school. When I was a little kid, I watched Huckleberry Hound. Now that I think about it, they didn't really have a lot in common."

Daria sneered, "No, Huckleberry Hound was much more of a joiner."

Joe Torcivia said...

Glad to see you posting with a Google Account, TC! Welcome!

A pity "The Wiving," wasn’t released to DVD, as was "Brides and Grooms" on the GUNSMOKE Directors Collection DVD. It was nice to get some of those later episodes, because I don’t think we’ll ever get up to them in the chronological season sets.

While I did watch Beavis and Butt-Head back in the day (and enjoyed the comic book), I never got around to watching DARIA. Whenever someone speaks of it, I get the feeling I missed something good.

Dan said...

An excellent subject, Joe:

Scrooge humming his "Earth-2" theme song was a fantastic touch, and reminds me of Don Rosa's use of a DuckTales comic book as restroom reading material in "The Beagle Boys vs. The Money Bin"!

Come to think of it, Carl Barks went species-meta in "The Gilded Man" as Don & the kids shuddered at the sight if stuffed ducks in El Dorado's treasure room.

Before the 1980s it was rare to have cartoon characters go meta, now it's pretty commonplace, the early years of Hanna-Barbera did it only 3 or 4 times, and I suppose WB went meta in 1963's "Hare-Breadth Hurry" in which Bugs *officially* took over as prey for the Road Runner "Due to a sprained giblet!" – Dan

top_cat_james said...

Now I see the reason behind your increased blogging regularity, Joe - you've been hitting the Metamucil.

*ba-dum tsssh*

In discussing '60s meta TV, I think we'd be remiss if we failed to mention a personal favorite of mine, the most self-referential American sitcom ever, until that honor was relinquished to The Simpsons.

Joe Torcivia said...

Hitting the “Metamucil”, TCJ?

Besides doing everything I could to not “spit my morning coffee” while reading that, I suppose there ARE those out there who might liken my Blogging “regularity” with… um, that other kind!

Oh, yes, I completely agree on that link! Everyone, go check that out! Might we argue that particular show may have pushed Meta into the forefront, seemingly for good? It certainly had its “romp-influence” on SCOOBY-DOO, from the Second Season (1970) though various present-day incarnations!

Meta, in one form or another, has always existed within our sphere of entertainment products… Abbott and Costello films, Tex Avery and Bob Clampett cartoons, Bugs Bunny "cutting the film" to get out of a jam, the aforementioned Rocky and his Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, George Burns learning of Gracie Allen’s antics by watching The BURNS AND ALLEN SHOW on his hidden TV, – but that show you refer to (take the link, or remain in suspense forever) may very likely be the one that brought Meta into the everyday light!

I’d sure like to know what the first, or earliest known, instance of Meta was… in OUR OWN popular entertainment, that is… Not in cave etchings, Ancient Greek literature, or anything like that.

Oh, and was there ever an unexpected animated Meta moment to rival the ending of the POPEYE cartoon “Goonland”? Look for my comments on that, within THIS POST.

Joe Torcivia said...

Dan:

Scrooge’s “Earth-2 Theme Song”! That’s great! And, now I hate myself for not thinking of that when I wrote the bit.

Though, honestly, when writing it, I DID long for an additional balloon to give Scrooge pause and wonder aloud… “Now, where have I heard that tune before?”. But, I think the gag stands pretty well as-is.

You’re right about early (and best) Hanna-Barbera not going to the Meta-well very often. I can’t think of many (any?) instances, beyond Huckleberry Hound’s regular interactions with the Narrator and, once in a while, the audience. Maybe Baba Looey’s, aside comments. Even when Mister Jinks or Yogi Bear might APPEAR to be making a declaration to the audience, they’re really just talking to themselves to liven the story.

I really liked "Hare-Breadth Hurry", but have always secretly wished that Chuck Jones had done that idea earlier in the ‘50s, as a follow-up to “Operation Rabbit”. I think it would be remembered more fondly overall, if he had.

top_cat_james said...

I can think of a few instances where Bill & Joe took a few sips out of that Meta-well. In "Droop-a-Long Yogi", our benign ursine makes mention of "my pal, Quick Draw McGraw". And both Top Cat and The Jetsons made reference to The Flintstones ("Rafeefleas" and "Elroy's Mob" respectively).

Joe Torcivia said...

That may be sort of a "mixed-meta(phor)-bag", TCJ. (Can I stretch, or can I stretch? Though, for that, I should be DOING a stretch!)

Yogi and Quick Draw are just “friends and mutual members” of the grand old H-B Gang. Quick Draw has appeared in the Yogi newspaper comic strip, the Dell Yogi Bear Birthday Party comic book, and on the early ‘60s Yogi Birthday Special on TV. …And who knows what later things from the ‘70s and ‘80s. (There, I dare not look!) So, I don’t regard referencing Quick Draw as Meta, much.

As for “the billionth rerun of THE FLINTSTONES”, by the Jetsons’ time, why not? A FLINTSTONES TV show, in endless syndication, could easily be as much a part of their history as it is ours. That’s just a good gag, well within the show’s logical framework.

But, I sure will hand it to you on TOP CAT’s “Rafeefleas”! That is well and truly the real-Meta-deal! In the event that someone out there has yet to see this, over the last 53 years (!), I won’t spoil it, because it comes as a great and unexpected surprise. To digress, in all that time, I’ve never gotten the reference in the title. There MUST be one for it to be so unusual. Anyone know?

And, another H-B Meta that we’ve all overlooked occurs in THE FLINTSTONES “Swedish Visitors”. I can’t discuss this one without spoiling it, so apologies in advance. Yogi Bear steals Fred’s picnic basket, and declares that he’s “Smarter than the Av-ver-age Fred Flintstone!” No effort is made to have Yogi look “prehistoric”. He and Boo-Boo are in their “modern” mode of look and dress, with nary a “saber-tooth tiger striped TIE” to be found. Yogi is voiced by Daws Butler. Boo-Boo doesn’t speak.

And, to really top-off the “Meta-ness”, over this gag sequence is played the “instrumental version of the original Yogi Bear theme” – not the YOGI BEAR SHOW theme we all know and love (“Yo-gi Bear is Smarter than the ave-rage bear, Yo-gi Bear is al-ways in the Ran-ger’s hair…”), but the one that plays when the cartoons are shown in “stand-alone” mode – as they are on the DVD sets. I expect you’ll all know what I mean, despite the long and awkward description.

I’m sure there are more such instances, just as I’m sure we’ll find them as long as this comment thread keeps going!

TC said...

I seem to remember Penelope Pitstop and maybe some of the other Wacky Races characters talking back to the narrator. And Charlton's Abbott and Costello comic book (a tie-in with Hanna-Barbera's A&C cartoons) sometimes had references to them knowing that they were cartoon characters: "After all the trouble we got into last issue, you'd think the writer and editor would give us a break this month," and, "We have to shave because the artist drew us with beards."

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby had a lot of in-jokes in the "Road" series, as well as in Crosby's cameos in Hope's solo films. In the "Road" movies, it became a convention that they would do the "pat a cake, pat a cake, baker's man" routine before punching the villains. Then there was one where they started to do it, but, before they could finish, a bad guy grabbed them and knocked their heads together. Hope grumbled something like, "He must have seen our last picture."

And in "Road to Morocco," near the beginning, they sing a duet. Hope sings, "Where we're going, I'm not sure," and Bing sings, "I'll bet you we meet Dorothy Lamour."

scarecrow33 said...

"Raffles" was filmed as a movie comedy with David Niven in the title role of a con artist/thief. Doubtless that is what is being referenced in the Top Cat title, as the name had become synonymous with thievery by that time. The Flintstones did a takeoff on the name with the character of Baffles Gravel, in the episode where Fred thinks Pebbles is a jewel thief. I think "Raffles" was a book or a stage play before it was a movie, but it's the movie reference that is most familiar to me.

Yes, the Flintstones episode uses the original Yogi Bear theme song ("Who is always on the spot, who is? Yogi Bear!") which was his "official" theme song while attached to the Huckleberry Hound Show, before he rated the "new and improved" theme song. That moment in "Swedish Visitors" is the best part of that episode, which I consider one of the funniest and most unusual of the series.

On the H-B album "Flip Fables" featuring Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, when Barney is telling Pebbles the story of the "Three Little Pigasaurs," at one point in the story the wolf poses as a ratings executive to check on what TV program the pigs are watching, and the little pig responds, "What else? The Flintstones!"

On the H-B Hansel and Gretel album, where Barney likewise is telling Pebbles a story, he mentions at the end that Hansel and Gretel became famous and made TV appearances on "The Flintstones," "The Yogi Bear Show," and "Huckleberry Hound." How's that for meta?

Joe Torcivia said...

TC:

Funny, I never read the Charlton Abbott and Costello comic. Most likely because every other Charlton H-B comic that I *did* read was so gosh-darned awful! I *do* remember reading something good about it somewhere. Can’t remember just where. Scott Shaw!, maybe? So, perhaps I’ve missed out on another something worthwhile. …That’s TWICE in one comment thread, TC! Clearly, I must get “on the ball”, or “with the program”, or find the proper METAphorical “bandwagon to jump on”.

And, oh yes… Can any discussion of Meta in popular entertainment fail to mention Hope and Crosby?!

Joe Torcivia said...

Scarecrow:

Yes, that MUST be it, on the TOP CAT title!

On the Flintstones front, I’ve since recalled that the opening scene of “Fred’s New Boss” finds Wilma and Betty watching “The Yogi Cave-Bear Show”! No visual or audio reference to Yogi, though. Just a generic announcer stating the name of the program. So, there were TWO Yogi references in the Third Season, one at the beginning (“Fred’s New Boss”) and one at the end (“Swedish Visitors”).

And Hansel and Gretel also made a memorable appearance with Bugs Bunny (Hansel? HANSEL?), but they couldn’t mention that, because H-B would not “become one” with WB for another few decades!

TC said...

Several Superman and/or Superboy stories ended with Clark Kent winking at the readers, sometimes while making a joke or pun having to do with his secret identity. Lois (or Lana Lang) would say something like, "I wish you had been here Clark. You should have seen Superman save the city." Then Clark, with his back to her, would wink at "us" and laugh, "I always seem to miss out when something exciting happens." It was a convention in early Silver Age Superman Family comics, and I seem to remember it in the Filmation TV cartoons, too.

Then there was Superman #19 (1942), when Clark and Lois went into a theater and saw one of Paramount's animated Superman cartoons. The cartoon depicted Clark changing into Superman, so the "real" Clark had to distract Lois to keep her from seeing it. The weird thing was, he did not seem worried about the rest of the audience, only Lois.

In an imaginary story in Superman #192 (1966), Superman loses his powers after exposure to Kryptonite, then suffers a blow to the head that causes amnesia. In a cameo appearance, Batman and Supergirl speak directly to the readers. They explain that, yes, they know Clark's identity, but they are not going to tell him because it would spoil the story.

Joe Torcivia said...

TC:

And, the “Meta-Movement” marches on!

Yes, the “wink” was indeed a staple of the Filmation cartoons.

The gag in SUPERMAN # 19 may be one of the greatest bits of Meta of all time! Imagine, doing something like THAT in the early forties!

And, one of the completely groovy things about “what we do here” is that your comment made me go back and re-read my copy of SUPERMAN # 192 for the first time in many years!

It’s been so long, in fact, that I’d forgotten the NOTE I’d written and put inside the bag. It said: “Supergirl and Batman talk to readers!”

Absolutely, reminding the readers that this is an “imaginary story”, and “…let the WRITER and EDITOR solve this super-mess they got Clark into!" is Mega-Meta!

Another oddity, proving just how LONG it was since I read this last, is the Baseball sequence on Page 3:

”YAYYY! Fencebuster Fenwick just slugged his 62nd home run! That BEATS Roger Maris’ all-time high!”

Consider that 61 home runs WAS the record when I last read this – and that said record was not reached by the use of “performance enhancing drugs”… but, I digress! …Oh, and that fabled shot hits de-powered and amnesiac Clark Kent in the head, leaving quiet the lump!

Old comics are SO much fun to revisit! Thanks for the reminder!

And, another example of Meta, from the “Go-Go Checks” era of DC Comics is seen starting off THIS POST!

TC said...

In "Luella," a 1964 episode of The Saint, a woman mistakes Simon Templar (Roger Moore) for James Bond. Maybe if Moore had played Bond before he played Templar, the scene would have been Meta. As it is, it was nine years later when Moore first played Bond. And David Hedison co-starred in both that Saint episode and in Moore's first Bond movie.

I don't recall anyone ever mistaking Bond for Templar (or for Remington Steele, either). Maybe the gag would have been too cute by half. But George Lazenby did appear briefly as a secret agent with the initials "JB" in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. reunion movie in 1983.

Doug McClure was a semi-regular in the 1980's sitcom "Out of This World." In one episode, in a scene in his home, you could see movie posters on his wall in the background: Shenandoah, The Land That Time Forgot, and the 1966 remake of Beau Geste.

In the comedy Every Which Way But Loose, Clint Eastwood ends up in a western ghost town, heading for a showdown with a biker gang. Spaghetti Western music plays as he walks down the street. There was a similar gag (a western-style walkdown accompanied by Ennio Morricone music) in Kelly's Heroes.

TC said...

Then there was the story "What's in a Name? Doomsday!" in Shazam #7 (1973). A rumor gets started that saying Captain Marvel's name out loud could cause a disaster (long story). One bystander says, "No one is allowed to say that name. Must be a lawsuit or something."

At first, I thought it was an allusion to the 1950's DC vs. Fawcett suit, but now I think the story was a spoof of the trademark dispute between Marvel Comics and DC. That ended with DC being allowed to use the name "Captain Marvel" in the strip itself, but not on covers or in merchandising.

Similarly, there was a Charlton Abbott & Costello comic book story where they were on a safari and met a jungle hero who was obviously Tarzan. The running gag was that no one was allowed to say his (trademarked) name. Some years earlier, some sort of trademark dispute prevented Charlton from publishing a Tarzan comic.

Joe Torcivia said...

More great examples from TC, whom I’ll now dub TIAH Blog’s official “Monarch of Meta”!

It’s somehow fitting that we’ve circled back around to Roger Moore, because he STARTED this whole thing in the first place! Though, what would you call this latest example of “Moore-Meta”? “Pre-Meta”? “Reverse-Meta”? Ah, I’ve got it! “Future-Irony-Meta”!

Yes! We may have discovered a new fannish-activity to occupy our time, and feed our hunger for new pop-culture reference discoveries! Digging for examples of things that were NOT Meta at the time they occurred, but BECAME Meta over the years, due to subsequent events! …And WE were there, at this movement’s beginning, TC!

Oh, and it was David Hedison’s pal, Roger Moore, who advised him of the benefits of working in television and to take the role of Captain Crane for the TV version of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, after Hedison previously turned down the part for the original feature film version.

The SHAZAM thing would seem to be a “double-dip” or, if you will, an example of “Multi-Meta”!

And, yeah, I should check out some of those Charlton ABBOTT AND COSTELLO comics! (Imagine ME saying anything of the sort about a Charlton Hanna-Barbera comic!). Lots of characters have had to use Tarzan parody names, such as SUPER GOOF’s “Barzan” (in issue # 3), but Charlton’s A&C have got to be the first ones to joke about their inability to invoke the original!

I’d agree that the Tarzan trademark dispute, likely still hovering about the Hallowed Halls of Charlton, helped fuel the gag!

Adel Khan said...

I never knew the term “Meta” included (“Breaking the fourth wall”, in-jokes, etc).

I haven’t seen “MAVERICK”, but I have read about James Garners’ experience on the show in his autobiography. Years later, Roy Huggins would team-up with Garner to film “THE ROCKFORD FILES”. ”MAVERICK” sounds very interesting!

I missed out on issue #380 of “Uncle Scrooge” where the story was printed. Seeing the one panel alone, of a sleep deprived Scrooge singing the lyrics to “DUCKTALES” in the morning make it memorable. A great example of how the dialogue perfectly matches the artwork.

One of my favorite tropes, in “QUICK DRAW MCGRAW” shorts, is how the narrator, will refer to a circumstance one-way. From then on, the characters will phrase the situation exactly, how the narrator mentioned it. Hope you know what I am talking about.

I also enjoy how either the narrator or the characters would sing a lyric of “THE QUICK DRAW MCGRAW SHOW” theme. It is interesting how “QUICK DRAW MCGRAW” and “MAVERICK” both western shows, share the trait of a character singing or humming their respective theme song.

In the “TOP CAT” episode, “The Tycoon”, Top Cat mistakes the cheque Benny the Ball for a paltry sum. While he dismisses, him, he suggests, “Go watch TV, will you? Maybe Yogi Bear is on.”

Before, I saw the early “H-B” characters crossover; I appreciated how the characters would mention each other in the shorts. A sense of interconnectedness was established between them.

Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo’s cameo in the “Flinstones” episode is set perfectly. I like Alan Reed’s reading, of the line “Oh boy, what, else can happen”. The camera pans up revealing Yogi and Boo-Boo on the tree branch.The instrumental version of the Yogi Bear theme heard in his title-cards enhances the scene.

Joe Torcivia said...

Adel:

MAVERICK is just another great show that you should see someday. It was smack in the thick of the huge proliferation of TV westerns of the mid-to-late-fifties thru the early-to-mid-sixties. But, it did its thing with a healthy sense of humor. Not exactly going so far as to call it “camp”, but its tone was more often “fun” over grim. And, believe it or not, the fact that there was usually more than one “star” – and that those stars, more often than not, had individual episodes to themselves – actually livened things up.

I can’t decide, from this perceptive, if I would have enjoyed – or have been immensely frustrated by – the Fifth Season approach (post James Garner who wasn’t “really around” for Season Four, Roger Moore, and Robert Colbert) of alternating new “Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick” episodes with repeats of James Garner! Did it give the generally less-informed viewers of the day the impression that it was Kelly’s “Bart” alternating with Garner’s “Bret” all over again, as it was after Season One was underway / thru Season Three, or were the repeats clearly recognized as such? Since that was the last season, I’d have to guess the latter.

You missed UNCLE SCROOGE # 380?! Well, get out there immediately and buy a copy, Mister! It’s one of my most favorites, of the things that I worked on! Or, buy it for the great Don Rosa reprint – or because Gemstone was such a remarkable publisher that every reader and fan should have a complete run of its product! The reasons to own this wonder of comicdom are almost endless!

Seriously, though… Scrooge was not “sleep-deprived”, though I *can* see why you’d draw this completely logical conclusion from the way that particular isolated panel was drawn. It was more that he was wistfully “lost in his thoughts” of whatever he was singing or humming in the original translation (I no longer recall what that was), while passing the time waiting for a table at his regular coffee shop. I just gave him some “thoughts” to really “get lost in”, about his adventures on (as Dan so perfectly put it) “Earth Two”!

The choices in creating or constructing THE QUICK DRAW McGRAW SHOW were interesting if you give it some consideration from the perspective of the times.

THE HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SHOW was essentially populated by characters from H and B’s old studio, MGM, (Tom and Jerry, Droopy, and Barney Bear) dropped into a “creative blender”, and poured-out into different molds – with the voice-work of Daws Butler and Don Messick helping to disguise that fact immensely.

But, QUICK DRAW McGRAW drew its component parts from the popular television series and genres of the day! Westerns (too many to name), most obviously (the then-glut of which is referred to above), LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and FATHER KNOWS BEST begat AUGIE DOGGIE AND DOGGIE DADDY, and PETER GUNN and MIKE HAMMER translated into SNOOPER AND BLABBER.

Oddly, for its third such “Three-Segment Show”, THE YOGI BEAR SHOW, H-B dipped not into MGM’s past, but into ITS OWN, for Yogi himself, Snagglepuss (from THE QUICK DRAW McGRAW SHOW), and Yakky Doodle (from earlier Yogi Bear, Augie Doggie, and Snooper and Blabber cartoons).

…Fascinating, when you think about it!

Anonymous said...

Actually, Roger Moore DID play the "real" James Bond (well, sort of) in 1964. It was a skit in the British comedy show "Mainly Millicent." The joke was that 007 was in a restaurant while on vacation, but no one believed he was really off-duty, so enemy spies kept trying to kill him. He ended up on a date with a pretty KGB agent who was also "on holiday," but neither trusted the other. They kept pouring their drinks out, or tried to distract each other while switching the glasses back and forth, suspecting poison. Pretty funny stuff. It was available on YouTube the last time I checked.

Some Connery fans said that Moore's official Bond films in the 1970's were more like "Carry On" parodies than real spy thrillers.

Moore said that he was never offered the role of Bond before Connery, but that it was offered to him in 1967, when Connery quit the series for the first time. He had to turn it down because he was still committed to doing "The Saint." Like Pierce Brosnan, though, he eventually got the part after all.

Anonymous said...

In "Arsenic and Old Lace," Jonathan Brewster, a serial killer, had killed a man because, "He said I looked like Boris Karloff." On Broadway, that line must have brought down the house, because the part was played by...Boris Karloff.

Bela Lugosi played Jonathan in a road show production of the play. I don't know if they changed the line to "He said I looked like Bela Lugosi," or if they left it unchanged. Either way, it would have been pretty funny. Karloff and Lugosi were sort of rivals, and were often compared to each other.

The 1944 movie with Raymond Massey as Jonathan was very funny, but it would have been funnier if Karloff had played the part, thus preserving the in-joke. The line lost its impact without the self-reference.

A made-for-TV play in the late 1960's featured Fred Gwynne as Jonathan, and changed the line to, "He said I looked like Frankenstein's monster," which was just as well. It would have been a good gag if he had said "Herman Munster," but maybe that would have violated a trademark or something.

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s great Meta stuff!

I would have HOPED the line was changed to “He said I looked like Bela Lugosi”! And the mention of Frankenstein’s Monster was surely enough to conjure up thoughts of Herman Munster, copyright or no.

Anonymous said...

The Matt Helm movies, with Dean Martin as a sort of American James Bond, often had in-jokes and self-parody. In the first film, The Silencers (1966), Dean and Stella Stevens are riding in his car. She turns on the radio, and Frank Sinatra is singing "Come Fly With Me." Helm grumbles, "Turn that off, he's terrible." She changes the station, and we hear Dean singing "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime." Helm smiles, "Now there's a guy who can sing."

In the second Helm movie, Murderer's Row, Dean is dancing in a disco with Ann-Margret. Dino, Desi, and Billy are the band playing on the stage. Dino leans over and says, "Now you're swinging, Dad." Helm looks confused. "Dad!?"
Ann-Margret: "He calls everybody Dad."
Dean: "Doesn't he know?"
A-M: "It's a wise son that knows his own father."
Dean: "The way they wear their hair these days, it's a wise father that knows his own son."

In The Ambushers (1967), a girl gets excited while listening to a Frank Sinatra album, and Helm says, "You really like Perry Como that much?" Naturally, he insists on replacing it with a Dean Martin record.

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, GOTTA LOVE that Dino and Frank stuff! Wonderful!

I guess, as the song might go, "Everybody Loves Some-Meta, Sometime!"

Anonymous said...

In the 1994 Maverick movie, Danny Glover makes a cameo appearance as a bank robber. When his mask gets pulled off, he and Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) do a double-take, as if they recognize each other. When Glover leaves, he grumbles, "I'm getting too old for this," his catch phrase from Lethal Weapon, in which he co-starred with Gibson.

In the 1970's TV series Sanford & Son, there was an episode where a TV network was doing a series called "Steinberg & Son," based on the Sanfords. In one scene, the lead actor, who plays Steinberg, argues with the producer, demanding that the sound stage be on a set without windows. IRL, Redd Foxx had been in a dispute with the producer of Sanford & Son. One of Foxx's demands was that the set have windows.

In a 2003 episode of Kim Possible, her bumbling sidekick Ron Stoppable (voice of Will Friedle) is doing community service for school credit, and visits an elderly recluse named Timothy North (voice of Adam West). Ron stumbles onto the Ferret Cave under the house, and learns that North was the superhero Fearless Ferret in the 1960's. Ron talks North into letting him assume the role of the new Ferret.

It turns out that North is a retired actor, and starred as the Fearless Ferret in a 1966 TV series. After the show was cancelled, North became delusional, and believed that he really was the superhero.

The spoof of the Batman TV show is obvious, but it may also be a satire of Batman Beyond. In that series, Friedle was the voice of Terry McGinnis, who, in the year 2039, became the new Batman, protege' of a retired Bruce Wayne.

Joe Torcivia said...

Great Meta examples! I never watched Kim Possible, but I may have to seek that one out!

Yes, a fine “double-meta” on Batman '66 AND Batman Beyond!

Thanks for continuing to visit, during this Blog’s inactive period. I fully expect it to return, probably late in the year!