Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Rickles" - 1975

Why am I posting the opening musical number ("I'm A Nice Guy") from the 1975 TV special Rickles? Well, play the clip and pay close attention at around the 2:55 mark. Truly surreal.

Monday, April 29, 2013

M*A*S*H Ad: "Fallen Idol"

I found a couple more TV ads for the show while reading some articles on the passing of Allan Arbus. This one, for SSN 6's "Fallen Idol" is pretty accurate, but I wonder: where does "Alan Alda and Harry Morgan star" come from? As per the show's credits, Alda and Mike Farrell were the top two stars of the show, so whose decision was it to replace Farrell's name with Morgan? Not that it's inaccurate in any way, but I am curious as to how it was decided to do that.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dear Allan

Dear Allan,

It was with great sadness that I learned that you had passed away on April 19, 2013. You lived to be 95, a great old age, but nevertheless I can't help but feel like it was much too soon.

I grew up with you as your character Dr. Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H, and even though you only appeared on the show about once a year, in many ways he was my favorite character on the show. Sidney was brilliant, warm and understanding; yet he had a spine of steel: when faced with threats from the intimidating Col. Flagg, his response was a withering put-down, leaving the mad man to stand there, nonplussed (if only I could have responded to bullies in the same flippant, confident manner). You were an inspiration, and I don't think I was the only M*A*S*H fan who imagined a Sidney Freedman spin-off show. For my money, I could have watched you as that character for many, many more years after the 4077th packed up and went home.

A few years ago, it dawned on me that I frequently wait too late to make contact with people whose creative work is important to me. So I made an effort to try and track you down, if only just to get the chance to send you a letter and say how large you loomed in my life growing up. I called acting unions and agents; sadly no one ever got back to me and I never got the opportunity. I will always regret not being able to tell you how much Sidney Freedman meant to me.

I realize, of course, that you will never get to read this message, and that writing this blog post is probably a little crazy. But I figured who better than you would understand?


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