Friday, October 13, 2017

Maverick In Person! :)

Happy Friday!

No, you're not seeing things--that is James Garner on the Jack Kelly blog. And, you've probably never seen this incredible image before, because it wasn't taken by a professional photographer. It was snapped by an unknown fan, perhaps at the 1958 Illinois State Fair, where JG appeared as a grandstand attraction along with other performers including Jane Russell and Jonathan Winters. (If anyone knows what the pictured event actually was, please let me know!)

As you can tell by the banner in the background, JG is promoting the "Maverick Special" Jeep, which is partially visible behind him. Also, it's a little hard to see, but the tie the gentleman in the white shirt is wearing says "Maverick" and "Jeep".

This next shot is a bit blurred, but it gives another candid view of what it was like for JG (and no doubt JK) during personal appearances. 

It's obvious "Maverick" (and Maverick) was very popular as JG is dwarfed by a crowd of adoring fans:

Jack Kelly also made his share of personal appearances during the original network run of Maverick, including this one at a home show in Arizona in 1959 ("Through the courtesy of Kaiser Gypsum and Warner Bros...") :

Sometimes, either one or the other Maverick was set to appear at an event, such as a 1959 agricultural extravaganza called "Farm-Orama" which was staged at a sprawling farm near Richwood, Ohio. A local newspaper rather vaguely announced:

"The highlight of the two-day event will be the appearance on the grounds of either James Garner (Bret Maverick) or Jack Kelly (Bart Maverick), stars of a television western. The Kaiser Aluminum Co. is sponsoring the visit, with whomever appearing expected to be on hand during the afternoon of both days. He will tour the grounds via a stagecoach pulled by a multiple pony hitch."

Unfortunately, the estimated 30,000 visitors who showed up for the first day of Farm-Orama saw neither JG or JK take that stagecoach ride. Another local paper indignantly reported that Maverick was a no-show and wondered if either actor had really been scheduled to attend. ("Was the appearance of 'Maverick' a wild dream of a publicity agent seeking a means of attracting hundreds and more hundreds to the event?...This newspaper wants to know who is responsible for forcing such a 'dirty' trick upon thousands of its readers.")

But, then "Faux Maverick" appeared at Farm-Orama. That is, a stand-in costumed to "represent" Maverick made an appearance. A newspaper stated that "It was not determined whether he represented Bret or Bart Maverick." It was also revealed that neither JK or JG could attend the event due to "prior commitments".

Well, Jack Kelly (and sometimes even James Garner) will always show up here in TDS. What's coming up next? Please stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"Hong Kong" Hump Day :)


Jack Kelly looks a bit worried in this stupendous still from Hong Kong Affair which just sailed into the Kellection. But, relax JK--it's Hump Day! :)

And, lots more great pix are coming your way in TDS...please stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Smile and a Profile :)


Here's another rare color German lobby card for Jack Kelly's 1956 Mexican film Canasta de Cuentos Mexicanos (a.k.a. A Basket of Mexican Tales). Love that JK smile and profile! :)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A "Gem" of a Birthday :)

"Yay! It's Saturday! Nothing to do but kick back, eat a little hay and watch some Mr. Ed reruns. But, I have a funny feeling I'm forgetting something..."
"Yikes--it's my old buddy Jack's birthday! How could I forget such an important day? I gotta bake him a cake, but I'm out of carrots! I know: I'll run over to the General's store!"
"Hey General, I need some carrots!"
"Great horny toads--a talkin' hoss! Sorry, I'm fresh out of carrots. I'm expectin' a shipment any day now...probably Wednesday."
"Whoa--I really need them today. But, thanks anyway, General."
"I remember a friend of Jack's talking about carrots. I'll gallop over to her house--maybe she can help me."
"Pardon me, Countess, but would you have any carrots?"
"But of course, Goldie--I have many carats!"
"Those are the strangest looking carrots I've ever seen, but they'll have to do. Merci, Countess!"
 "Now, to hurry home and bake that cake!"
"Happy Birthday, Jack!"
 "Why, thank you, Goldie! As usual, the cake is delicious, but it's kind of crunchy. Did you add something different this year?"
"Er, um...walnuts!"
"Are they Diamond walnuts?"
"Uh, you might say that."
"I think I just broke a tooth."
"Broken tooth? I'm your huckleberry!"
"Hey, that's my line!"
"Wow, what a crazy dream! Goldie forgot it was my birthday, and ran out of carrots and baked my cake with diamonds, and then Doc Holliday and a blue dog showed up--it was a real nightmare. Hee hee: a night mare."
 "I'd never forget your birthday, Jack--but I'd like to forget that joke." 
Happy 90th Birthday, JK, from
La Bartista & TDS! :)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Under The Flight Path :)

Hello Everyone!

An exceedingly rare bit of Jack Kelly stage ephemera just landed in the Kellection. It's a playbill for Under The Yum-Yum Tree, a racy romp in which JK starred in July 1962.

The 55 year-old playbill looks almost brand new. While it doesn't contain any cast photos, it does have bios for JK and the rest of the players.

What's really unusual about this production is its venue. The O'Hare Inn was a sprawling 400-room luxury resort motel located minutes from O'Hare International, the world's busiest airport at the time. The Inn's exhibition hall had been converted into a theater complete with a stage, plentiful seating, air-conditioning and its own separate parking lot--perfect for summer stock.

Under the Yum-Yum Tree  was only the third production to be presented at the Theatre. Besides JK, other stars who appeared in plays during that inaugural season included Kim Hunter, Inger Stevens, Hans Conried and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

The O'Hare Inn was the site of a John F. Kennedy presidential campaign speech in October 1960. It also served as the backdrop of a 1962 episode ("Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing") of the Route 66 TV series. However, these claims to fame weren't enough to spare the Inn from the relentless ravages of "progress". The motel was demolished years ago. It's "Checkered" history can be reviewed here.

I've added info about the O'Hare Inn Theatre production of Under the Yum-Yum Tree (including excerpts from a wonderful newspaper review) to "All the World's A Stage With JK Pt. II".

Please stay tuned for more fun with JK and TDS! :)

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Jack Kelly Plays The Game Well..." :)

JK on the cover of a 1958 newspaper TV log: 

"Holding the winning hand in life isn't always easy, but Jack Kelly plays the game well as Bart Maverick--an individual men try to outwit and outfight, while women look for his love! The Warner Bros. produced Maverick is seen every Sunday at 7:30 pm on Channel 6."

Monday, August 7, 2017

Maverick Time Machine :)

Here's another South American look at Maverick and Jack Kelly, this time from Uruguay:

La maquina del tiempo ("Time Machine") was a circa 2007 supplement to the "El Pais" periodical. "El Pais" published a series of these nostalgic magazines which showcased vintage TV series and films. The cover tagline describes Maverick as "A new style of western, where the protagonists weren't lawmen but seductive rogues."

The two-page "Nota De Tapa" (cover story) begins, "One of the most original series was undoubtedly Maverick, a new style of western. It was really innovative with its comedic tone. In effect, the television reign of the great families, of honest pioneers and workers (not to mention the lonely lawmen) was disrupted with the arrival of Maverick and his numerous family members, including a cousin from England (Roger Moore), and friends."

The second page of the story shows a picture of the statue of James Garner as Bret Maverick in Garner's hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. I wish there was a statue of JK as Bart somewhere, too--well, maybe some day.

Where in the world will TDS go next? Please stay tuned! :)