Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Podcast, With Footnotes….

So I did another podcast!

This was with our own John Trumbull, for the SNL Nerds podcast he does with Darin Patterson. I was asked to guest because the subject was the Starsky and Hutch movie with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

Now, this is not because I’m a superfan of the movie–in fact I hadn’t seen it, I watched it specifically to prep for the show–but because Trumbull has been after me to write a Starsky and Hutch column for YEARS now. Somehow he got wind of my fondness for the original show.

Really I have a tremendous fondness for ALL the Spelling-Goldberg cop and detective shows from the 1970s. They’re not good, exactly–in fact a lot of them are pretty awful–but I still kind of love them. Their sheer badness makes them comfort food viewing in our home.

So for his birthday Trumbull wanted me to be on the podcast and of course I said yes. You can find it here. Check it out. Then come back here for a couple of footnotes.

….Back? Great. Here’s a shot of the Saturday Night Live vinyl LP that was all we had in those pre-video days of yore.

And here is John Saxon, dancing vampire.

Huggy Bear’s vampire-protection kits….

And here is the original joyous homoerotic beach jog publicity shot with the rainbow-lettered shirts. This was typical of the slash-fiction trolling the show used to inflict on ABC.

Just in case anyone thought I was exaggerating. I’m telling you, the Polyester Age was weird, man.

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  1. Jeff Nettleton

    The word on the street is that Starsky & Hutch was a great show!

    I’m kind of in the same area for the Spelling shows; I always enjoyed the Rookies and SWAT, as a kid, like Robert Urich but Vegas was just “okay” to me and Charlie’s Angels was puberty, though I much preferred Police Woman.

    I also had that SNL album, on cassette. Got it for Christmas and had to listen to it with the volume turned down, lest my grandfather hear some of the cruder stuff.

    How can any era with mood rings, pet rocks, ringer t-shirts, The Bad News Bears, Welcome Back Kotter, roller disco, pop rocks, Krofft shows, The Exorcist, Gerald Ford and tv shows with Japanese-pop stars-who-speak-no-English be weird?

    Seriously, if you didn’t experience the 70s, hunt down the DC/Paradox Press Big Book of the 70s!

  2. Tim Rifenburg

    Downloaded the podcast to my yard work mp3 player so I am looking forward to it when I am on lawn duty this week. I liked the S & H tv show (and a good portion of the 70’s detective shows when I was growing up). I was the right age and the detective stuff coincided with my love of mystery and detective stuff that the Denny O’neil and Frank Robbins penned Batman stories cultivated and the Juvenile mysteries I read. I will say some of the shows and a lot of the Aaron Spelling ones played better when I was younger and first watched them. I started collecting series like Starsky and Hutch, Charlie’s Angels etc. when they were released on dvd and a lot of them just did not hold up for me. The production values, stunt work and some of the acting just made some of the shows sub par. Usually the ratio of good to bad episodes was upside down. But when the episodes clicked they really were great. The Pilot movie and Episode 3 were stand out episodes of S & H and there were others in the first season that were better than subsequent season episodes. When I started pruning sets from the shelves and getting rid of stuff I knew I would never go back to the first seasons were the only ones that made the cut. (Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew was an exception. The 2nd Season was the only one I kept of the 3). Some shows like Vegas and Barnaby Jones I had to watch in small batches and alternate series. Vegas had the same 3 plots and as much as I liked Robert Urich in Spenser, I tired of him in Vegas. I recently saw the Bill Bixby Magician had come to DVD so that will be my next nostalgia purchase when I find a sale. I was amazed it was released at all. Hopefully I won’t be disappointed when revisiting it.

    1. Edo Bosnar

      I watched a few episodes of Bixby’s Magician a few years ago – they were posted on YouTube (not sure if they’re still up). I thought they were pretty solid, with a solid cast and well-written/plotted stories. And that’s not just nostalgia speaking, as I never even knew that show existed when I was a kid back in the 1970s.

      Otherwise, to your point about watching in small batches, my general advice for anyone going back and rewatching shows, esp. drama shows, from before the 1990s is to never binge watch. They should always be spaced out to one per day at the most. (My only exception to that rule would be the various Star Treks.)

  3. JHL

    I have only the vaguest memories of Starsky and Hutch, Vegas, and Charlie’s Angels. The Mod Squad and S.W.A.T. I have certainly heard of but have never seen. The other shows pictured are completely new to me. I’m fairly certain Charlie’s Angels is the one I saw the most since I’m fairly certain that, unlike the others, it was picked up in syndication by one the local Kansas City TV stations. I burned through a lot of childhood summers with syndicated TV. I was one of the kids who would watch most anything so long as it was on TV.

  4. I did too, but it was all 1960s stuff — The Lucy Show, Gilligan’s Island, Batman, Green Hornet.
    I was never into the Mod Squad but I vividly remember a TV Guide article explaining why it lasted when so many attempts at relevant shows bit the dust: it was a schizoid show where half the episodes were counter-culture centric and the other half were conventional thrillers about undercover cops. From my limited exposure I’d say that was spot on.

    1. Tremendous fun being on. I said it before, but considering all the medical stuff lately, anything that is NOT that is a huge morale booster. Every time I get to reclaim some part of my pre-cancer lifestyle is a plus.

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