Sunday, October 9, 2016

JK Sunday Funnies: Lunch at the Drive-In! :)

(Original 1969 still from "The Civilized Men" episode of "The Name of the Game"; speech bubble effects courtesy of

Friday, October 7, 2016

"Sale" Away With Jack Kelly Part II! :)

More fun with JK and Sale of the Century:

Newspaper ad from Syracuse, NY
Was it difficult getting a 1970 Pontiac Le Mans automobile into the show's eighth-floor studio so it could be offered as a prize? You don't know the "half" of it:
Image of 1970 Pontiac Le Mans courtesy
And, here's a heart-warming article about a special yuletide segment of Sale which aired on 12/25/1970. Some very lucky kids got to "join Jack Kelly at a grand piano for Christmas songs":

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Sale" Away With Jack Kelly! :)


On September 29, 1969, a new quiz show premiered on the NBC television network. Titled Sale of the Century, its ebullient emcee was none other than Jack Kelly.

An actual admission ticket for Sale of the Century
A typical publicity blurb for the show read: "Jack Kelly (remembered as TV's Bart Maverick), is the star and host of NBC Television Network's new daytime game show, Sale of the Century, which tests the general knowledge, reflexes and shopping savvy of three contestants each day." The game "...was designed for every housewife who has ever succumbed to the temptation to pick up an irresistible 'bargain'."
I'm sure we've all seen the many Sale promo photos (like this one) of JK hamming it up with grocery items:
This 1969 photo was inexplicably used to illustrate
 a 2015 article about investing on the Financial Times website!
Well, here's a pic of our favorite quizmaster actually hosting the show:
Items up for "Sale" include
a Hoover vacuum cleaner, Samsonite luggage...and a mynah bird!?

MORE ABOUT Sale of the Century NEXT TIME! :)

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.

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!