Monday, June 24, 2013
In the early 1950's, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis did something of which Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin only Dreamed:
They conquered the world.
Not a shot was fired and there were no casualties in a comic revolution
that captured most of the planet.
The unlikely paring offered audiences a voluble and volatile mix
of slapstick antics and street-smart banter that was too big for
any 12 inch , TV screen to contain.
If you met them, before they were a team, you might wonder how they
could compliment each other in front of a camera or behind a microphone.
Martin, an alluring crooner with impeccable comic timing and Lewis,
a kinetic comedian , whose adolescent demeanor, on stage, belied
the burgeoning auteur within.
They liked each other personally and shared the same comic sensibility.
When the legendary Atlantic City nightclub impresario, Skinny D-Amato,
booked them in his renowned 500 CLUB as two single acts ... Martin singing and Lewis performing
a record pantomime... it was clear that they needed each other.
After bombing, back to back, D'Amato, who was an entertainment visionary, told them that they could work the stage together or each could leave the club alone.
That was 1946 and in the turbulent decade that followed, they became the biggest stars on Film, in Nightclubs and on Television.
In 1956, they went their separate ways after making millions of people laugh and making show business history.
The story of their decision to "divorce " is a show business tragedy come true.
The act and their relationship succumbed to a lethal mix of ego and pride, jealousy and infighting.
Both went on to incredibly successful individual careers.
But together, they were invincible and incomparable.
They also made a lot of money for America's best nightclubs, the nation's largest theaters, Paramount Pictures, NBC Radio, NBC Television and their TV sponsor, The Colgate Palmolive Company.
While the wild physicality of their act didn't translate well to radio, their monthly, video adventures as part of the rotating constellation of stars on NBC-TV's expansive and expensive, COLGATE COMEDY HOUR, made for some of the most spontaneous moments in the mediums early years.
Here, from the DONAZIFY YOU TUBE site is the 5/2/54 episode of their Sunday night show, which celebrates the eighth anniversary of MARTIN AND LEWIS performing together.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
THE DAY TV NEWS SET ITS EYES ON THE SKIES - THE FIRST AMERICAN LAUNCHED INTO SPACE - NBC-TV - CIRCA MAY 5, 1961
It took less than 15 minutes for Astronaut Alan Shepard, supported by thousands of NASA technicians, government contractors and military personnel, to accomplish a daring dream of human adventure and scientific exploration, that would come to typify the baby-boom generation's sense of bravado : putting an American into space.
Shepard, a decorated Naval aviator and an accomplished engineer, was among the first class of 7 Astronauts who would risk
their lives to launch the America's manned-spaceflight program, NASA's Project Mercury.
On May 5th, 1961, in the face of uncooperative weather and technical challenges, Shepard's Freedom 7 capsule , mounted atop a Redstone guided missile, thundered into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
It was a sub-orbital flight of 15 minutes duration, but it was this country's first step into space.
It came at just the right time for a nation was that unsure it could find the footing to take its first steps toward the stars. The Soviets had just put Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into Earth Orbit, while American missiles, designed by German scientists who had emigrated to the US after World War II, kept exploding on the launch pad.
Shepard's flight gave America the confidence to move forward and upward into space.
At NBC News, division president Robert Kitner had launched his own experiment in broadcast journalism, the INSTANT NEWS SPECIAL.
His innovative vision was to produce wide-ranging, LIVE, special coverage of major stories as they develped, that would culminate in a prime-time, news program.
The Race For Space Between the United States and what was then the Soviet Union, offered the perfect opportunity to test this new and vibrant form of journalism.
While the US and the Soviets battled for supremacy in space, NBC and CBS ran the race for ratings.
At NBC, the smart and savvy Frank McGee anchored the network's television coverage of Project Mercury with superlative support from radio correspondent Jay Barbaree, whose daily beat was the manned space flight program.
At CBS News, anchorman Walter Cronkite owned the story. In years to come, he would fly with Astronauts in simulated weightless conditions and is alleged to have inquired about the possibility of being the first Journalist in space.
This was also one of the few stories on whichthe fledging ABC News division would shine, based on the expertise of the late Jules Bergman, who was as knowledgeable about NASA and the science of space fight
' as any Astronaut.
Just as Project Mercury was a Templar for the missions to the Moon that followed, NBC's coverage of early space exploration laid the foundation for major, breaking news coverage at the network level and for cable news.
Below, from the MR. DAN BEAUMONT YOU TUBE site,is a rare excerpt from an NBC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT WITH FRANK McGEE on THE FLIGHT OF FREEDOM 7.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
The striking and evocative PHILCO-GOODYEAR TELEVISION THEATER production of MARTY, written by the prolific and profound Paddy Chayefsky for NBC,is truly a landmark in network drama.
The one hour episode of the renowned, award-winning anthology series was produced by the iconic Fred Coe and Directed ,LIVE, by video virtuoso, Delbert Mann on May24, 1953 in B&W, at NBC's 30 Rockefeller Center Studios.
Early television viewers and critics lauded this deftly woven story of an angst ridden , Italian butcher from Brooklyn, who is in search of love, while tormented by well meaning friends and family.
The Teleplay speaks for itself.It is a templar of Television's so-called GOLDEN AGE OF LIVE DRAMA.
While the video version starred Rod Steiger, it was Ernest Borgnine's portrayal of a middle-aged man who is struggling to find romance and self-esteem, in the film version that won an Academy Award.
From the OLD MOVES RADIO & TV YOU TUBE site, in its entirety , is MARTY. Enjoy!!!