Part one:




As for the rest of this, you’ll forgive me, etc etc. Look, it’s not like there isn’t any Bleat at all; fun stuff below the fold. Column in the newspaper. Diner, obviously: the first of a two-part Christmas ep. As usual - and no one believes me when I say this - it’s unscripted. There are occasional, and I’m sure discernible, pauses, but that’s because I hear my name called downstairs and have to go do something. It’s not like I think Oh, What Comes Next. That would spoil it.

Twenty-two degrees today; a welcome change from marrow-cracking cold. The sunset view from the living room of Jasperwood tells you why I’m here.

I was at the grocery store today when the phone rang; daughter. Hey Dad, the Orchestra concert is tonight. Everyone forgot about that, and it threw everything into a hat. That one over there. No, the other one. The cocked one. So dinner was abandoned, everyone grazed where they were, except for Daughter, who wanted to stop afterwards at Starbucks for a sandwich. It cost a hundred and sixty-seven dollars and appeared to be sponsored by the Dijon Mustard Promotional League, but it’s time she started learning about mustard in its true form. She’s already aware of Cheese as it truly should be; mustard is the next step.

Anyway. I have an action-packed day tomorrow, with audio, print, and video to do, all piling up with the promise of the Friday pleasures afterwards: the deep nap, the good pizza, the old radio shows, the B&W movie, the weekend Bourbon, and then the most bittersweet thing in months. The end of Fringe.

Bear with me; there’s a larger point here.

I still can’t believe people warned me off it, saying it did a Shark Leap in the third season, or maybe the second. I’ve happily followed it wherever it went, and it all sort-of-kind-of makes sense. To tell the truth I never really bought Peter’s character as being all the things he was supposed to be, but I liked him because the show liked him and had a quiet decency. Olivia is a different case; that’s one talented and distinctive-looking actress, outside the ridiculous TV-action-heroine mold. Everyone adores Astrid, because she’s indispensable and button-cute and kind to old men who take acid and listen to David Bowie. But the star is John Noble, and the reason I got hooked on the show and quickly grew to love it was his performance as Walter Bishop, whose performance won’t end up in the New York Times account of great TV actors because he was playing a somewhat lobotomized scientist who chewed Red Vines while piercing interdimensional barriers.

Here’s the thing: I never want to see him play anyone else. It’s the curse of a great role. It’s like Star Trek: I never wanted to see Shatner or DeForrest Kelly or Doohan be anyone else. I know Noble’s on another series now, and NO. Sorry. Because he’s not Walter Bishop.

Then again, I used to think the same thing about Leonard Nimoy, until - after decades - he found a role where he could grin widely and project the same immense intellect of Spock with casual delight. And that role was on “Fringe.”


Now, the Cues! BOILERPLATE: As I say every week: if you're just joining the Listen project, it includes a selection of music cues gleaned from old radio shows In this case, "The Couple Next Door," the wonderful 1958-1960 radio show written by, and starring, Peg Lynch. It's library music the producers dropped in to get them in and out of scenes. It's the background soundtrack for mid-century life.

THIS WEEK: Not much. But I gleaned some curiosities from another show.



CND Cue #273 For the life of me I cannot name the tune - but it's standard cartoon music, when played quicky on instruments with a higher register. Here it's more bloated logy music, the sound of indigestion.


CND Cue #274 If you're going to do a show about eating a meal, yes, this will do.


CND Cue #275 Shazaam this one, and it'll come up with some interesting: the Greatest Hits of Bob & Ray. That's because they used this cue for the "Aunt Penny's Sunlit Kitchen" routines.

Now, something else.

Call the Police #1. Perhaps the most inappropriate cue, given the subject matter, I've heard. Surely this was a mistake.


Call the Police #2. Nope.


Call the Police #3 The show ended with a tribute to Real Police officers - in this case, James MacArthur. As it turns out, he was a real cop. The man on the right. Can't tell if he's Robert Mitchum playing Harry Dean Stanton, or vice versa.

(Excerpt from William Ashbolt Collection, Cleveland Press Collection.Full picture is here.) The pictures are from a collection about the Sam Sheppard murder case. He was an osteopathic doctor accused of killing his pregnant wife. Shepperd said that the murder was committed by - altogether now - "a bushy-haired stranger" who also attacked him and knocked him out. The fact that he was carrying on with a nurse was irrelevant, of course. First trial: guilty. Ten years in the big house. Retrial: acquitted.

His lawyer was F. Lee Bailey, who had a suspect of hs own: the mayor's wife.

And now it gets peculiar.


Sheppard's third wife, Colleen Strickland Sheppard, was the daughter of professional wrestler George Strickland, who introduced Sheppard to wrestling and trained him to wrestle. Sheppard made his debut in August 1969 at the age of 45 as "Killer" Sam Sheppard, wrestling Wild Bill Scholl in his first match.

Sheppard wrestled over 40 matches before his death in April 1970, including a number of tag team bouts with Strickland as his partner. Sheppard's infamy made him a strong draw.

I'll bet. Oh, there was this:

Just three days after his release, Sheppard married Ariane Tebbenjohanns, a German divorcee who had corresponded with him during his imprisonment. The two had been engaged since January 1963.

Tebbenjohanns endured her own bit of controversy shortly after the engagement had been announced, confirming that her half-sister was Magda Ritschel, the wife of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. However, Tebbenjohanns emphasized that she held no Nazi views.

On October 7, 1969, Sheppard and Tebbenjohanns divorced.

Wikipedia says he was pounding 1.5 liters of hooch towards the end. There's a surprise.



Rinso! Listen to the music, and note: this airs in the middle of the summer.

In this space last week I wrote: "More on Nichols and May next week. I think you'll find it interesting. If I remember to bring it up, that is. You never know."

I didn't. Next week.

That's it for this week! Column up here; scroll down to the COLUMNS pane. See you around.








blog comments powered by Disqus