Yes, yes, hiatus. I hope I'm training you well for this four-times-a-year Hiatus. It's now coded into the Way of Things here at the Bleat. But why? To break up the routine. To give myself a week off. To set aside some BTFs and Updates for later so the stock doesn't get too low. (Even though I have the BTFs finished through 10/25, and Updates enow for two years, but you can never have enough material.) The only question is whether the BTF for the Hiatus will be old commercials, a newspaper mystery, or something else.

So it's a tradition! And if we have a Hiatus, we look at an old TV Guide.

The most curious name in Actordom when I was growing up. And the "Junior" meant there were two of them.

tickety tickety tickety tickety Stop the presses, there's news from HOLLYWOOD

This was the three-dot section, the news so fresh it couldn't be printed in the main book.

Fifty-two series! There's no evidence either show was ever made. Tony Owen had one show after Donna Reed, and it was a one-season number called His Model Wife.

Can't imagine why the adventures of a Rolls-Royce leaasing company didn't go six season.

If the next item is news to you, you're in for a surprise.

WHAT, you might say. WHAT


In 1963, Amsterdam filed a $12,000 lawsuit against Hanna-Barbera for breach of contract; he claimed that he had been cast and signed to the role of George Jetson on The Jetsons. Although his contract stipulated that he would be paid $500 an episode, with a guarantee of twenty-four episodes (i.e., a full season) of work, he recorded only one episode before being replaced by George O'Hanlon. Several sources claimed the change had occurred as a result of sponsor conflict with Amsterdam's commitment to The Dick Van Dyke Show. The case had been closed by early 1965 and the court had ruled in favor of Hanna-Barbera.

There was always a cartoon: TV Jibe.

The last one may mystify the younguns.

As for that "Vast Wasteland" stuff:

Uh oh: his late "serial" style.

The Flood: A musical play (1962) is a short biblical drama by Igor Stravinsky on the story of Noah and the flood, originally conceived as a work for television. It contains singing, spoken dialogue, and ballet sequences. It is in Stravinsky's late, serial style.

The work was premiered in the United States on the CBS Television Network on 14 June 1962, a production conducted by Robert Craft and choreographed by George Balanchine. Dramatic actors participating in the work included Laurence Harvey (narrator), Sebastian Cabot (Noah), and Elsa Lanchester (Noah's wife, which Lanchester played with a Cockney accent).

If you wish, an excerpt.

I can't imagine the ratings were boffo.

Now, some listings. This seems quite high concept:

Can't find an ep, but here's the theme and opening. From the YouTube page, a description of a show that seemed to be flailing around for a readson to exist. Man, the typeface in that color version:

Danny Thomas thought up the idea of a sitcom for Joey where he is a hapless Hollywood PR guy. The first season was not so successful despite a mid-season retooling, so for year two the switched from B&W to color and made Joey the host of a late night talk show (that part of the revamp was accomplished in the last few episodes of the first season).

Wait - he played a TV late night talk show host, and then he actually became one?

The supporting cast was changed with Abby Dalton and Joe Besser brightening up the proceedings. The show got a third season but after that NBC had enough. So Joey took the show to CBS for round four, but now in B&W (CBS didn't want to spend too much money to get the show), making it one of the few shows to go from B&W to color and then back again.

Elsewhere in the paper's archives I found a reference to George Grim's radio news show, but this was news to me.

He was primarily a newspaperman, and I knew he did radio and TV, but the big chair? I had no idea.

He died in 2012, at 99.

At naptime, you need the protection of a phone:

We had nothing but envy for people who had two phones. Two colored phones. One of which was a Princess. They were rich.

Looks like I shrunk this one too severely, but . . .

  . . . nevermind, you wouldn't read it anyway. Or maybe you would! Point is, the first paragraph is all about Franz Kafka.

Oh, I didn't look ahead in the folder - here it is.

TV Guide was not a lowbrow rag.


Pro tip: for easier smoking, put the damned thing in your mouth already:

Sounds like a winner. His bio says his boat was the Lucky Moppie, and I thought, well, why didn't they call it that in the ad?

Ohhhhh, right.




The mystery pictures from last Friday were taken at the Wabasha Caves. It was the excursion for our exchange student, Judith, and her boyfriend - and Natalie! Back for the weekend. So everyone was together again and enjoying tales of the caves. It had been frequented by gangsters and bootleggers in the 20s and 30s, St. Paul being a safe town for yeggs and hoods, as long as they behaved. One of the stories told by the tour guide concerned a young lady who had a nice night dancing with a very suave but well-behaved fellow who, she later learned was Dillinger. Sounds apocryphal, but it was later confirmed. When the tour guide asked if we had any questions, I said yes, was this in ’34? Because we know Dillinger was in St. Paul up to April 1st, 90 years ago, so maybe that event happened 90 years ago this very night.

And why did I know he was here in 1934? Why, because I’d been preparing Hiatal material.

Dillinger shot it out in St. Paul - and escaped.

If you wish,. you can read a full account here. I'm interested in this: the apartment were the Co P-Killer was staying.

It still exists.

The photogs snapped the SIN ROOM or MURDER CONTEMPLATION FLAT or whatever tabloid name you prefer:

This shot would show up in other papers, and I've seen it reversed for some reason.

Cleaned up nicely.

I don't know if that's the exact room - it was 303, I think - but it would do if you wanted to throw a reenactment.

He'd be dead in a few months.

Well, what will we have for below-the-fold Hiatal Bleatage? From a radio magazine in 1934, some gen-u-wine stumpers!

From a radio magazine in 1934, some gen-u-wine stumpers!

Quick! Get ye to the comments and be first!

I'll be running these all week.

As for the NEXT BOOK: I was all set up to launch the pre-order on Patreon, but there is no option to pre-order anymore. The instructions rattled off by AI are wrong. (Typical.) It doesn't make any sense to hype it all up now when it's three months away.

Oh . . . one more thing!