Swinging with the Beverly Hillbillies

swinger1 300x223 Swinging with the Beverly HillbilliesSomeone in the prop department of the Beverly Hillbillies was having fun. In another case of what could be gotten away with in the days before VCRs and DVRs, I present you with this image, taken from “Something for the Queen,” which aired on October 2, 1968, the second episode of Season 7. In this episode, the Clampetts return to their castle in England so that they can give the deed to Canada back to Queen Elizabeth (yeah, don’t ask). On the plane with them is a man who’s apparently very fragile in the psychological sense. He hears the Clampetts talk about owning Canada and overhears Jethro describe Elly Mae’s buzzard, which he’s smuggled onto the plane in a carpet bag so that he can hunt oafs and serfs (please don’t ask again), and instead of simply rolling his eyes at their idiocy, like any normal person would do, he has a nervous breakdown. (more…)

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Tizzie Gets Confused

tizzie front1 300x300 Tizzie Gets ConfusedHoly crap, I’m confused! And apparently so was the team that assembled today’s featured comic. Taken from the pages of Polly Pigtails, another Parents’ Magazine publication from the late 1940s. “Tizzie Gets Beautiful” presents the story of a young lady who, like Dirinda from a previous post, bemoans the lack of attention paid upon her by boys. Tizzie’s nemesis is also, like Dirinda’s, named Mary, though this time it’s Mary Lou, a new girl in town who has the audacity to be pretty.

Polly Pigtails wasn’t a comic book, per se. It featured a variety of different content, from short stories to fashion articles to craft ideas and comics, all aimed at pre-teen girls. This makes it another excellent source to examine how post-war media both reflected the lives of young girls and tried to shape them. The artwork in “Tizzie Gets Beautiful” is quite good and enjoyable to view. The story though… Well, read it for yourself. Let’s see if you’re as lost as I am once you’ve finished it. (more…)

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The Golden Age of Bad TV

rollerdisco4 300x220 The Golden Age of Bad TVYou often hear the complaint that modern television is terrible, followed up by the question: “Why can’t they make good programs like they used to in the old days?” Most often this lament is linked to the prevalence of reality programs. While I completely agree that there’s a great deal of bad TV on the air right now, I have to snicker at the second part of the comment. TV? Better in the old days? You must either be 19 years old or have a very short memory.

TV, at its core, has always served the basest instincts of the public. Deep at heart. people like to watch train wrecks. They like seeing celebrities being celebrities, and they also like seeing ordinary people being ordinary people. They’d much rather tune into something like Dancing with the Stars than they would to something such as I, Claudius. This is true now, and it was true in the past. Reality programming has been around for a long time. (more…)

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Dirinda’s Blind Date

Dirinda 300x275 Dirindas Blind DateIn the late 1940s, Parents’ Magazine produced a variety of wholesome magazines and comics aimed at the youth market. These publications serve as good source material for the study of social expectations placed on young women in the post-war era. Girls in those days had many of the same problems that girls do now, namely boys, but they had much less in the way of opportunity than women today, a fact that many modern females tend to either take for granted or not appreciate. I’m always a bit shocked when I talk to girls who don’t understand how the social advances of the last fifty years have improved the lot of women in this country. But I digress.

The associated comic book series Sweet Sixteen was marketed towards teenage girls. Today we examine the opening story of Issue #4, “A Date with Dirinda: A Blind Date,” a fun and interesting read, despite the title character’s propensity to sob all the time. Sob sob. Dirinda Jones stutters, I think. I’m not sure, as she seems to have long periods of clarity as well. Even if she doesn’t stutter though, she has several other social handicaps, including that of being a math geek, wearing glasses and having freckles. Today such a girl would have to beat off potential hipster suitors with a stick, but in 1947 she was an outcast, an undateable wretch destined to live out her life having to wince every time someone asks her if it’s “Miss Jones” or “Mrs. Jones.” No wonder Dirinda sobs a lot. Sob sob. (more…)

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Lew Burdette’s Home Run

lew burdette autograph 213x300 Lew Burdettes Home Run

Ah, the good old days of television, back before the advent of the VCR. You could get away with a lot more in the 1950s than you can now. These days, every frame of a program can be easily analyzed by anyone with a DVR or a DVD player. Mistakes are quickly spotted, and goofs are logged in multiple places on the internet within microseconds of their airing.

Before the VCR made this careful and often tedious examination of every program possible, TV shows rarely had to worry about the little details of production. A program would air once, maybe twice with a summer rerun, and then vanish for all eternity, or at least until syndication picked it up a few years later. You didn’t have to sweat the small errors, like a water glass being half full one minute and completely full the next. The entire scene lasted three seconds, and no one was looking at the glass anyway. (more…)

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startrekpostermag 198x300 Convergence

Having been rewatching old Star Trek original series episodes as well as reading old Archie Comics lately, I was happy to come across this. This was from early 1977, so it’s a little too soon to be riding the wave of the first motion picture, which was 1979. Star Trek had been making a bit of a resurgence around then, though, with the first space shuttle being named Enterprise and plans for a new series, which never materialized.

I love how you have to pay postage and handling for “intergallactic transporter” charges. Not only is “intergallactic” misspelled, but Star Trek took place within our own galaxy, so it would be intragalactic. One dollar for an issue is a pretty fair price though. Something like that would be at least five dollars these days. I also love how the three-color printing process of the ad puts Spock in a yellow uniform.

(From Betty and Veronica #258, June 1977)

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