Feb 12, 2018

The Best Week of TV Ever

December 5, 1966.  You are in the first grade at Hansche Elementary School in Racine, Wisconsin.  Two weeks ago you had your sixth birthday, so you are old enough to stay up until 9:00 pm, but too young for sleepovers with your friends.  There's no radio or record player in the house.  Your church forbids you from going to movies, theater, concerts, bowling alleys, or skating rinks.  You're allowed to watch tv.

So, every night after dinner, you sit on the floor in the living room, with Mom doing the newspaper crossword puzzle in her favorite chair, Dad and your baby sister on the couch, your little brother beside you playing with his toys. You're doing homework or reading a book.

While watching the Best Week of TV Ever.

Dec 5, Monday

Gilligan's Island: "And Then There Were None": Gilligan thinks that he's killing the other castaways, and dreams that he's Mr. Hyde.  Scary!

Run, Buddy, Run: "Buddy Overstreet, Please Come Home."  After running from gangsters who put a hit on him, the cute Buddy (Jack Sheldon) gets to go home.

The Lucy Show: "Lucy and the Monkey."  Lucy thinks that her boss, Mr. Mooney, has turned into a monkey.  Come on -- even I know that people don't turn into monkeys.

Dec 6, Tuesday

Daktari: "Cry for Help."  Paula is bitten by a deadly spider (gross!), and Dr. Tracey consults a tribal healer.  Cute black guys in loincloths!

Petticoat Junction: "The Runt Strikes Back": Betty Joe strikes back against her bullying older sisters by getting a job.  And there are THREE cute guys at the Shady Rest. One is Terry Phillips, who also worked as a dialogue coach on Petticoat Junction.  

Dec 7, Wednesday

Lost in Space: "A Visit to Hades."  The space castaways visit a planet that looks like "Hades", a new word for "Hell."  With a devil-guy named Morbus.  Will Robinson (Billy Mumy) is six years older than me, and super-cute.

The Beverly Hillbillies: "The Woodchucks." Dimwitted but hunky Jethro joins an all-girl birdwatching club.  So boys can participate in girls' activities?  I want an EZ-Bake Oven.

Dec 8, Thursday

F-Troop: "The Return of Wrongo Starr."  I've never heard of Ringo Starr, but Henry Gibson is cute.  In a few years I will see him on Laugh-In.

Bewitched: "My Friend Ben."  Aunt Clara conjures up Ben Franklin.  I've never heard of Ben Franklin, or the kite that discovered electricity, but there's a cute teenage boy (Tim Rooney).  He took off his shirt in Village of the Giants (1965).  Later I found out that he was Mickey Rooney's son.

That Girl: "Phantom of the Horse Opera."  Ann Marie and her boyfriend Don befriend an organist from the silent film era.  I've never heard of the silent film era, either!

Dec 9, Friday

Tarzan: "Pearls of Tanga"  Tarzan and Jai try to stop the despoiling of a native paradise full of loincloth-clad hotties.  Plus Tarzan is chained up in a cave.

Hogan's Heroes: "Don't Forget to Write."  Colonel Klink is transferred to the Russian front, and the hotties of Stalag 13 try to save him.

Dec 10, Saturday

Flipper: "Alligator Duel." Pet dolphin Flipper is kidnapped and forced to fight alligators, and shirtless teens Sandy and Bud rush to the rescue.

Get Smart: Perils in a Pet Shop.  KAOS is using trained parrots to smuggle secrets.  I learned another new word, "chaos."

Dec 11, Sunday

You usually go to church on Sunday nights, but for some reason tonight is different. Maybe Mom or Dad don't feel well.  But missing a 2 hour sermon and altar call is great, and you can watch:

It's About Time: "The Sacrifice."  The cute astronaut castaways try to save their hosts' daughter from being sacrificed in a prehistoric cave ritual.  Well, at least there's a boy with his shirt off (Pat Nardi).

Hey, Landlord: "The Big Fumble."  Chuck claims that he is best friends with a famous football player, who doesn't remember him.  Football is boring, but the player is future comedy great Fred Willard.


  1. It's 60s TV. There have been weirder plotlines than turning into a monkey.

    For me, it had to be watching All the Right Moves on TNT. Mostly because before I got satellite, that was the first time I'd seen a penis on TV and not a premium channel. That would be 1998, I believe?

    The story's even more tragic, when you remember that a generation of Democrats would vindictively abandon people like Tom Hanks's character because McGovern, and that generation's Republicans would be Republicans.

    I didn't watch a lot of TV, and what I did watch is kind of a blur. So, the only full week I remember was when I had chickenpox in 1990. My parents set up a TV for me in my room because, for that week, whenever I was in my room, I was naked to keep the fever down and stop the itching.

    1. It was over 50 years ago, so the only episodes I actually remember are the ones from "Gilligan's Island," "Lost in Space," and "Bewitched." I had to look up the plots of the others. But I'm sure we watched them.

    2. I remember in 1993, Beastmaster was on constantly. (Literally. You could tune in any time, somewhere in the country, and watch how is this in any way related to Andre Norton's space opera?) Lot of early 80s movies on TV during that time.

      I remember one time when AMC (before they thought Independence Day was a "classic") had a marathon of Hercules movies. Many years later, sister network Turner Classic Movies would confirm my suspicion that it was very popular with gay guys.

      I also remember the Action Pack bloc, Hercules and Xena, but they changed it up when those shows ran their course. It led to a whole genre of gay-vague action shows.


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