Sunday, January 31, 2016

Carol Burnett Honored at SAG Awards

Carol Burnett was honored at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last night with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Last year's recipient was Debbie Reynolds, which I wrote about on Phyllis Loves Classic Movies.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is "bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession." The past few years has seen this honor awarded to several big names in the Classic Television world: Betty White in 2009, Mary Tyler Moore in 2011, and Dick Van Dyke in 2012.

The hosts of this years SAG Awards were two women known for their comedic talent in television and in films today: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. You can watch Tina's tribute to Carol Burnett here and Amy's here. Burnett's acceptance speech is below.

Carol Burnett is a creative dynamo and a comedic genius.  She embodies the generosity and courage that the greatest actors use in creating enduring and memorable characters. From her heartbreakingly hilarious Starlet O’Hara to the adorably inept Eunice and alarmingly funny Miss Hannigan, Carol has delighted and inspired millions of viewers and thousands of comedic actors. She took risks as a performer and through her courage, encouraged fellow actors to try new things and always, always reach for the sky. Her innate love of actors led to the creation of an ensemble cast that made The Carol Burnett Show a masterpiece of variety programming.
 ~ Ken Howard, president of SAG-AFTRA

You can read more  about Burnett's career here.

Some of my favorite Carol Burnett skits:

Went With the Wind
Carol and Maggie Smith 1974
Part 1 of 2
 Part 2 of 2
Carol and cast play Sorry!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bewitched S1 E3: It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog

Air Date: October 1, 1964

Episode Description: One of Darrin's clients makes a pass at Samantha and she turns him into a dog. This is also the first time we see Larry Tate.

I feel like this dress would be a pretty green. It's a dark teal in the colorized version.

A view of the back of the dress.

Back of Sam's hair.

Notice the closet behind the built-in headboard.

Better view of the closet - not in later seasons.

This was to show the two pom-poms on the end of her scarf.

Love this chic black ensemble with white gloves.

This one was hard to get a clear shot of but I'm sure it will be in a later episode. I see it in green, blue, and purple. The colorized version made it different shades of blue.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Betty White!!!

Today is the birthday of the second most famous woman in the history of television, Betty White (the first undeniably being Lucille Ball). Staring in hit series after hit series, this energetic and charismatic 94 year old has done it all.

Born in Illinois in 1922, Betty Marion White and her family moved to Los Angeles during the 1930s. It was while performing in a high school play that Betty decided she wanted to become an actress. At first she was turned down because she wasn't photogenic, leading her to try out radio instead, soon having her own show, The Betty White Show.

Her very first on-screen appearance was in the 1945 short Time to Kill. She plays Lou's girl.

In 1949, Betty began to co-host and, eventually in 1952, host Hollywood on Television. In 1950 she was nominated for her first Emmy.

Also in 1952, Betty White starred in her own television series, Life with Elizabeth (1952-1955). She also had full creative control of the show, and much of the episodes were based on real-life situations. Each episode was divided into three "incidents" in the life of Elizabeth and her husband Alvin. Unfortunately there is no complete list of episodes. You can watch a total of 20 episodes for free on Hulu. I highly recommend the show. It is delightful and hilarious.
Check out this article from the Huffington Post with 35 photos of a very young and stylish Betty White.
From 1953-1955 she had a daily talk show, The Betty White Show, where she would chat with the band, sing songs, and advertise products. It ran for 65 episodes. In 1958 she had another show of the same name (14 episodes) where she would perform skits, many of them in the vein of I Love Lucy.

Betty's next series was Date with the Angels (1957-1958), which ran for only 33 episodes. It is also available on Hulu (I haven't gotten around to watching it yet).

Over the next decade, Betty would guest star in several television series, including Petticoat Junction, The Odd Couple, and the Carol Burnett Show.

In 1973, Betty joined cast of the popular Mary Tyler Moore Show. After guest starring in one episode it was decided to make her a regular member of the cast. In it's fourth season, Betty played Sue Ann Nivens, who hosted a homemaker show for WJM-TV. She won an Emmy for her role. The first three seasons of the show are on Hulu and season 4 will begin airing in a month or two on MeTV.

After the series ended in 1977, Betty again had her own show with the ever popular title of the Betty White Show. It ran for one season (14 episodes). She also appeared in several TV Movies and guest starred in several more television shows.


In 1985, Betty starred in her most famous role, that of Rose in The Golden Girls. The show ran until 1992 and re-runs are constantly shown on TV.

Betty's most famous recent role is that of Elka in Hot in Cleveland, which ran from 2010-2015. Her popularity through the years is a testament to her, her acting, and her ability to embrace the present.

Super Bowl 2010 Snickers commercial

In addition to her impressive screen career, Betty White has also written 7 books:
  • 1983: Betty White's Pet-Love: How Pets Take Care of Us
  • 1987: Betty White In Person
  • 1991: The Leading Lady: Dinah's Story
  • 1995: Here We Go Again: My Life In Television
  • 2008: Together: A Novel of shared vision
  • 2011: If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)
  • 2011: Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo

  • I'm in the acting business. That's the ego business. When you get offers, the way things are going now you've gotta enjoy it. You've gotta take to time to taste it, and appreciate it and make the most of it.Those offers aren't going to come around all the time. By the time I'm 100...


    Bewitched S1 E2: Be It Ever So Mortgaged

    Air Date:  September 24, 1964

    Episode Description: Darrin and Samantha buy a house. Gladys Kravitz's troubles begin.

    Trivia: This episode was completed along with the next five episodes on 11th September 1964. The episodes were all filmed previously, and Elizabeth Montgomery had just came back from maternity leave to fill in the spaces where Samantha should be.

    Hooked on Houses has a great post on the Stevens home as it appears in season 1.

    Note the burnt toast and spilled cream on the table. This 'mortal' business isn't too easy for Sam.

    [first lines]
    Narrator: Here you see the average, normal, suburban housewife in one of her daily routine tasks: Preparing breakfast for her husband. With a modern kitchen and all conveniences at her disposal, the capable housewife moves efficiently through her tasks. Of course, sometimes there are problems, especially if your husband expects breakfast ready before he goes to work. But that's no problem for the average, normal suburban housewife, if she happens to be a witch.

    This is the first episode we see the iconic heart necklace. The white gold diamond pave heart was a gift from her husband (and director of Bewitched), William Asher. It was lost during season 3 (ep. 27) and replaced a few episodes later with a rhinestone copy on a slightly longer chain (source).

    Agnes Moorehead was chosen to play Endora after a chance meeting with Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher at a Bloomingdale's department store.

    Samantha was in mid-turn so I cropped off her face.

    Saturday, January 16, 2016

    Bewitched S1 E1: I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha

    I had wanted to wait and do seasons 1 and 2 with the colorized version but I decided to just do them in black and white.

    The theme song to Bewitched, written by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller, originally had lyrics. The version I included below is sung by Steve Lawrence. The person who posted the video on YouTube wrote this: "Steve Lawrence recorded the song and it was used for the flip-side of his 1964 single "I Will Wait For You." As far as I've been able to determine, it was never released on any album. In 2005 when the movie starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrel premiered, the song was included on the soundtrack, 41 years after it had been written."
    Bewitched, bewitched, you've got me in your spell.
    Bewitched, bewitched, you know your craft so well.
    Before I knew what you were doing, I looked in your eyes.
    That brand of woo that you've been brewin' Took me by surprise.
    You witch, you witch! One thing is for sure,
    that stuff you pitch, just hasn't got a cure.
    My heart was under lock and key, but somehow it got unhitched.
    I never thought my heart could be had. But now I'm caught and I'm kind of glad
    To be, to be bewitched.
    Bewitched! Bewitched!

    My heart was under lock and key, but somehow it got unhitched.
    I never thought my heart could be had, but now I'm caught and I'm kinda glad
    that you, you do, that crazy voodoo
    and I'm bewitched by you!

    Rehearsals for Bewitched were set to begin on November 22, 1963. It was postponed however due to the assassination of President Kennedy.

    Elizabeth Montgomery was pregnant when filming started and they had to shoot around it, resulting in lots of close-ups. It can be seen in some shots however.

    The show aired for the first time on September 17, 1964. In the first episode, Darrin (Dick York) and Samantha (Montgomery) keep bumping into each other and end up getting married. And then she tells him - she's a witch. Luckily, Samantha bewitched Darrin as well as everyone who watched the show and a classic was born.

    Here are the outfits from episode 1:

    Here Samantha is wearing a textured Chanel suit (pale pink in the colorized version). It features a notched collar, three-quarter length sleeves, four matching buttons, and double pocket flaps. It appears to be made of nubby wool, mohair, or boucle.
    This sleeveless, polka-dot shift dress has a gathered neckline and what appears to be a tie at the waist. It is a mustard color (seen further down in this post).


    The home that Darrin and Samantha rent for the first two episodes before buying the home they would live in for the rest of the series features the exterior and the foyer/living room of the Baxter's home for Hazel (1961). (IMDb)

    The sweater/jacket is the same as in this behind-the-scenes photo from the Pilot. Underneath is the sleeveless polka-dot dress (worn in the brief clip where Samantha is kissing Darrin under a tree which is pictured above). You can see more of it, including the white pumps, in the photos below.

    You can really see her pregnancy in this shot.

    A note on the costumes: According to IMDb, the costumes for the later seasons were by Vi Alford (women) and Byron Munson (men). However, in an interview conducted by Harpies Bazarre with Herbie J. Pilato, renowned Bewitched author and Elizabeth Montgomery biographer, he stated that while Munson was the costume designer (in earlier episodes), Montgomery often wore her own clothes (most likely the sweaters and slacks we've seen in season 3 especially) and even started her own clothing line around season 4 (you can read an interview with Montgomery about it here).