Friday, September 16, 2016

A Birthday At the Races! :)

"Let's see now--the winner of the last race was MANY HAPPY RETURNS, the favorite in this race is CARROT CAKE, and IT'S MY BIRTHDAY is now at the starting line!"
 "Oh Jack, I don't see any horses with those names! Are you trying to tell me something?"
 "Uh, 'It's My Birthday'?"
 "(Wait a minute...Carrot Cake...Birthday...)
I got it: It's Goldie's birthday!"
"Well, you're warm..."
"You're darn right--I'm roasting in this
heavy costume!"
"Oh, never mind."
"Don't worry, Jack! I remembered your birthday and there's a freshly-baked carrot cake waiting for you at the barn. Wow! My cousin just won the race! Way to go, Silver!"
"I thought it was 'Hi-Yo, Silver!'"
"Hey, that's my line!"

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Yes, It's True, Maverick is Here!" :)


If we fans want to watch Jack Kelly in Maverick these days, we can pop a disc into the DVD player or computer. But, what about when Maverick originally aired, in the days when there were only three major networks and no way to record shows at home? What happened if you had only one TV and someone else in the family wanted to watch Ed Sullivan, which meant you missed Bart and/or Bret that week? Or, if Maverick wasn't shown in your town at all? (It seems strange, but Maverick didn't originally air in all markets.)

Well, I did some digging, and it turns out Henry J. Kaiser, the show's primary sponsor, addressed the latter problem in 1958 by announcing that Maverick would "blanket the country" and be seen in more U.S. cities than ever before.  The way Henry J. saw it, it would be almost un-American not to air Maverick: "It is high time to quit selling America short and to put into action the faith, courage and work that will swiftly get the country moving forward full blast. Selling will be a major key to unleashing the forces that will take our people to unprecedented heights."

In other words, the more eyeballs on Maverick, the more sales for Kaiser:

The folks who finally got to see Maverick were pretty excited about it ("YES, IT'S TRUE, MAVERICK IS HERE!"):

"They were both born Maverick...Bret and Bart...brothers who accepted life as a gamble, but who would settle for nothing less than an honest game."

And, the public's love for Maverick didn't cease when the series vamoosed from ABC's lineup in 1962. It was pretty popular in syndication, too. Below are a couple of 1963 newspaper ads from Lima, Ohio:


 Here's a 1965 ad from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, complete with daily schedule (can you name the episodes from their descriptions?):

Finally, here's a 1973 ad from Des Moines, Iowa:
I read in an antiques column that interest in a popular TV show character often fades about 25 years after the last new episode of the character's show airs. That would have been 1987 for Maverick. Fortunately, Bart and Bret Maverick's popularity has extended into the 21st century, even though they're not so easy to find on the airwaves anymore. Until recently, Maverick was running on the Encore Westerns cable channel. Then, diginet Me-TV announced the show was joining their Fall 2016 schedule, then abruptly announced it wasn't. Oh well...thank goodness we have new ways of watching those Maverick boys nearly 60 years after they first rode onto the TV range. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

RIP Leslie H Martinson

Hello All,

On Monday 9/5 I posted a lobby card from Jack Kelly's film FBI Code 98. This film was directed by Leslie H. Martinson, who also helmed 18 episodes of Maverick.

Sadly, the talented and prolific Mr. Martinson passed away on 9/6, at the age of 101. His obituary in the New York Times includes a great photo of JK and Roger Moore with Mr. Martinson. This photo also appeared in a article about JK which was published in TV Weekly in 1960 and which I blogged about in 2011. It's now the featured post.

Roger Moore shared some interesting tidbits about working with JK and Mr. Martinson in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond. You can read them here.

BTW, Mr. Martinson wasn't the only long-lived Maverick director. Richard Bare, who directed 11 episodes of the series, was also 101 when he passed away in 2015!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day! :)

"Wait a's Labor Day? Then why are we at the office? Go home! Play golf! Have a cookout! And don't forget to charge the holiday on your timesheets." ;->

Saturday, September 3, 2016

JK: Close And A Cigar :)


Two more vintage photos recently joined the Kellection. They both happen to show Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick, and Bart happens to be smoking a cigar in each photo:

Whether in fancy duds...
...or in a buckskin jacket, Bart is smokin'! :)
Did you know that the cigars the Maverick boys smoked were the stuff of Hollywood urban legends back in the day? I didn't, until I read the following 1959 newspaper story from the Victoria (TX) Advocate:

"Maverick Stogies Show Bret, Bart Are Different

'The myths I've heard circulating about the cigars Bret and Bart Maverick smoke have given me some of my heartiest laughs.'

So says Warner Bros property man Leo Lynch. Among his many responsibilities is seeing that fresh stogies are on hand for James Garner and Jack Kelly during production of ABC-TV's competition-killing Sunday night series Maverick.

Lynch says he's heard it rumored that these so-called 'Maverick cigars' are flown in from Havana where they are made from a secret blend exclusively for Maverick.

Another tale suggests that a little old Spanish lady in downtown Los Angeles hand-rolls the smokes not only for Bret and Bart, but for Jack L. Warner and executive producer William T. Orr.

Why does Maverick smoke cigars? Producer Roy Huggins has a ready answer: 'Because none of the traditional western heroes smokes them*. This was a calculated measure to distiguish Maverick from others. The villain is the cigar smoker in most westerns. Maverick inhales stogies for the same reason he doesn't own a beautiful horse, or handle a gun well, wear buckskins**, or a badge--he's a non-conformist. The cigars serve to remind us of this fact.'

Along with serving the purpose of backing up Maverick's philosophy, the cigars have acted as valuable attention-getters and conversation pieces.

Jack Kelly likes this 'cigar' incident:

'A wealthy businessman visiting the set asked about the cigars as soon as we were introduced. He said he'd heard the studio paid three dollars each for them and asked if he might try one. Of course we obliged, but made sure the wrapper was off before giving it to him. After a few puffs, our visitor proclaimed this a most magnificent smoke and asked where he could get some. I was afraid to tell him, so I didn't.'

If Kelly won't offer an answer, try property man Lynch, who casually insists nobody ever swore him to secrecy.

'Where do we get them? At the studio commissary's smoke stand. Very popular little cigars. Big sellers. They cost a nickel each.'" :)


* I think Mr. Huggins forgot about Richard Boone's heroic Paladin, who was known to savor a cigar now and then.
**Actually, the Maverick brothers did have beautiful horses (e.g. Goldie), and, at times also handled a gun pretty well and wore buckskins (see second pic above). ;->

Friday, September 2, 2016

Retroceso Viernes! :)

That's "Flashback Friday" in Spanish...and here's another fantabulous Mexican lobby card from the Kellection, this time for Amor y Besos, better known in English as Love and Kisses, the 1965 flick starring Jack Kelly as Rick Nelson's pop. Enjoy! :)

There's lot's more about Love and Kisses here and here.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: I've been perusing the pages of the past again and have found some incredible JK stories and pictures to share with you. Please stay tuned! :) 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

JK Saturday Sillies :)

"After I changed your oil, I did a complimentary safety check and lookey here: you got a couple bad spark plugs, your carburetor's pretty cruddy, your transmission is sluggish and your battery probably only has about six months left. I can fix all this stuff now if you'd like. Of course, it'll be extra. If you wanna wait, it should only take, um, about five hours, unless I have to call out for parts, then I'll have to keep it overnight. Oh, okay, you just want the oil change? That'll be $19.99 with the coupon."