Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Feel Good Video of the Year :)


2016 may not have been the cheeriest year, but the video below is guaranteed to bring joy to your heart. Although it has absolutely nothing to do with Jack Kelly, I just had to share it with you. And here's why:
You may have seen this incredible story on Fox News or elsewhere. Well, I'm proud to say, the "stars" of the video--Christine and her son Alexander Joel--are my niece and great-nephew. I met Alex in person for the first time last Christmas and he truly is one amazing kid!
I thank God and Tim Tebow for making this miracle adoption--and this precious addition to my family--possible. :)


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

"Give The Boots The Stars Wear" Pt V

And now, to conclude our yuletide look at JK & Acme Boots, the pièce de résistance:

 A pair of Maverick boots with their original box, courtesy of the Toy Cabin site! Unfortunately, these marvelous boots aren't for sale (the site is just for looking), but the description reads, "These fantastic items are produced in black leather with contrasting cut design around the sides which cleverly incorporates hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs on the border."

I hope you've enjoyed these glimpses of Christmases past with JK, JG and Acme Boots. And, I hope you have a blessed Christmas 2016. :)

Friday, December 23, 2016

"Give The Boots The Stars Wear" Pt IV

And the "boot" goes on... :)

This slick 1960 ad is probably the best known Acme Boot ad featuring the Maverick boys--it appeared in popular large format magazines such as Life and The Saturday Evening Post, and it turns up for sale as a standalone Kellectible now and then:

The photo from which the images of JK and JG down in the left corner were taken recently became a part of the Kellection.

Speaking of images, after poring over all these wonderful vintage Acme ads, I got to thinking about the different products that Maverick and its stars were used to advertise. "Mavertising", as it were. :)

The connection to Jeep automobiles and to Kaiser aluminum foil and siding is a no-brainer: they were owned by the show's main sponsor, Kaiser Industries.

Peter Paul was also a Maverick sponsor at one point.

And don't forget the Topper scooter.

In the case of Acme Boots, author Jane M. Gaines reveals in her book Contested Culture: The Image, The Voice and The Law how Acme became the boots the stars wore: "But it is also important to see merchandising as a part of scientific management strategy, in which the principle was to turn star property into capital wherever possible. Control of the star image gave studios certain leverage with other industries with which they may have had many other kinds of cooperative arrangements. And in fact, studios even traded star images for free supplies of props such as automobiles, wild animals and cowboy boots. The Warner Bros. merchandising contract with Acme Boot Company, for instance, gave the studio a $2500 cash advance and fifty-four dozen pairs of western boots each year for two years in exchange for the use of the stars of Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Lawman and Maverick in their advertising."

By the way, I haven't seen Roger Moore (cousin Beau Maverick) in any of these Acme ads, maybe because of some candid remarks he made while filming Maverick. He recounted to a Reuters reporter in 2008, "At Warner Bros. I was doing (the 1950's TV series) Maverick and sitting on the back lot and it was hot and my feet were pinched in these bloody cowboy boots. I was doing an interview and said the reason there were so many killers in the Old West was the boots--they pinched their feet and they got bad-tempered and shot one another. About a month later, I was sent for by Bill Orr, who was the head of Warner Bros. TV and he said: 'You know, the Acme Boot Company are very upset. They supply our boots and you'd better stop saying these things.'"

UPDATE! I found RM's original comments in a 1960 Australian "TV Week"

Well, I'm sure you won't complain when you see what's coming up next in TDS.  ;->

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"Give The Boots The Stars Wear" Pt III :)

So, did the Acme cowboy boot craze continue into 1959?

You betcha! :)

In fact, Acme created a special style of "Maverick" boots and our boys got the ads all to themselves ("Adios", other Warner Bros. cowboys).  

Maverick boots weren't advertised only as Christmas gifts; they were also touted as back-to-school footwear (and look, you got a free autographed picture of Bart and Bret with your purchase!):

The ad copy proclaims, "Give your little Maverick star boots named for the exciting Maverick show on ABC television!"

"The Official Warner Brothers Television Maverick Acme Boot" was for "Boys and Girls" and it featured..."Acme's all new Maverick outside leather pull-strap. Beautiful underlay top pattern on a stovepipe top with striking contrasting stitching..."

As Christmas 1959 approached, even Pappy Maverick got into the Acme advertising act when he was quoted by Bret:

This ad, from Corpus Christi, Texas, urged: "Bring in your young Texan and get him fitted now. We promise to get the word to Santa. Christmas morning his eyes will outshine the stars on the tree! Cowgirls like Acme Boots, too!"

Never fear, Bart also appeared in the 1959 Christmas ads:

"Sure...they want BOOTS", this ad begins. "Santa's cobblers have been busy all year fashioning these ACME BOOTS for your little 'Maverick'. See their eyes sparkle with real delight when they put on these boots the Stars wear. A traditional favorite with children."

Stay tuned as we continue the boot-scootin' boogie towards Christmas in TDS! :)

Monday, December 19, 2016

"Give The Boots The Stars Wear" Pt. II :)

Howdy Again!

As promised, here's a look at another Acme Boot ad featuring Jack Kelly. This one, also from 1958, is similar to the Christmas ad shown yesterday:

The ad entices, "From the magic world of the spirited Old the glamorous setting of is the one gift with the authentic touch...Acme Boots, in all their wonderful color and handsome styling! Magnificent selections to help make your youngster's dream come true! See your Acme dealer today! Acme Boots are worn by stars and featured players of Warner Bros. western television and motion picture productions."

These eye-catching boots even came in infant sizes, for baby buckaroos and buckarettes. :)   

Also: While further researching the Acme ads, I discovered that a colorful cardboard standee with the same "Christmas tree with Warner Bros. TV western stars as ornaments" motif was used to promote the boots in stores. Below is a photo of one such standee (courtesy Hake's Americana):

  And, a close-up of JK (also courtesy Hake's Americana):

(BTW, the rest of JK in this pose can be seen here.)

Stay tuned for more fun as we countdown to Christmas with JK! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

"Give The Boots The Stars Wear" :)


It's hard to believe, but Christmas is just one week away. If you need a last-minute gift suggestion, this newspaper ad may help (but only if you have a time machine--it's from 1958):

Kids sure were lucky back then! :)

I was lucky to find this merry Maverick Christmas ad (and a few similar Acme Boot ads) in the pages of the past. I'm going to showcase them in TDS this week, so please stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

JK: Way-Out Wednesday! :)


A pair of amazing Mexican lobby cards just joined the Kellection. They're for Jack Kelly's 1957 film La Diabla, better known as She Devil.

In this way-out sci-fi flick, JK plays a brilliant research scientist named "Dan Scott" who's developed a serum (derived from fruit-flies) which can help more advanced species adapt to changes in their environment. Dan and his mentor (Albert Dekker) daringly administer the serum to a terminally ill woman (Mari Blanchard, whose first name is misspelled on these lobby cards) in hopes of curing her.

The serum works all too well: the woman is not only cured, but undergoes a drastic personality change which includes the incredible ability to change her hair color with no help from Miss Clairol. She runs amuck in a dress store and pretty much everywhere else, even committing murder to get what she wants.

As reviewers have pointed out, this film is sort of a sci-fi take on My Fair Lady. Dan and his mentor realize they must destroy the Eliza Do-Evil they unwittingly created with the serum.

She Devil was released on Blu-ray in 2013 and was given an insightful review by Glenn Erickson on the DVDTalk website. For the time being, it can also be viewed on YouTube:

The only thing more frightful is the wintry weather in my neck of the woods. (Is there a serum that can change December into May?) ;->

TRIVIA: Mari Blanchard had previously appeared with JK in the episodic Mexican film Canasta de cuentos mexicanos.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Another JK Friday Funny! :)

"Vamoose, varmints--we bought the last 
Hatchimal at the general store and
you ain't a-gettin' it!"
(Original linen-backed still from 1953's Law and Order, with Ruth Hampton, Russell Johnson, Preston Foster, Barry Kelley, and young JK as henchman "Jed")

Friday, November 25, 2016

JK Black Friday Funny :)

"Hope y'all enjoyed the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Sorry, I was so busy shopping today that I didn't have time to bake a pie for dessert. I think there's some ambrosia left in the icebox, though."

(Original still from The Stand At Apache River (1953), featuring Hugh Marlowe, Julie Adams, Stephen McNally and, of course, JK.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Veterans Day Salute

Hello Everyone,

Some wonderful original stills from Jack Kelly's 1955 film To Hell And Back have joined the Kellection, just in time for Veterans Day.

JK is in the back center of this first photo and somewhat out of focus, but he still commands attention. The snipe on the back says, "SOME MADE IT--AND SOME DIDN'T--In 'To Hell And Back'...With fear in their faces and guns ready, these are the men who fight their way with Audie Murphy (right) 'To Hell And Back' in the movie based on his autobiography of the same title. However, most of Audie's buddies of the 3rd Infantry Division didn't make it back--and it is to them he dedicated his book and now dedicates the movie. Filmed by Universal-International in CinemaScope Technicolor, with large-scale cooperation of the Army, the movie is regarded as 'the most human story of the foot soldier ever told.' Players include (left to right) Brett Halsey, Gregg Palmer, Paul Picerni, Richard Castle (on elbows), Jack Kelly, Charles Drake--and Murphy."

In the second photo, JK (as "Kerrigan") and AM flush Germans out of a farmhouse at Anzio:

Below, Kerrigan consoles Murphy after their buddy Brandon (Gregg Palmer) dies in battle:

In a lighter moment, AM, JK and friends enjoy some much-needed R&R:

The same scene as shown on a Spanish-language lobby card:

Another lobby card showing a battle scene:

BONUS IMAGE! Another fotobusta arrived from Italy the other day, and it just happens to show JK in a different military uniform in a different film: They Rode West (or Cavalcata ad Ovest). While this 'busta isn't in the greatest shape, we can still recognize JK's million-watt grin (which he's beaming at Donna Reed, on the left side of the image).

Let's remember all veterans on this day and be thankful for their service. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scootaway With JK! :)


The photo below of Jack Kelly and James Garner on the cover of the June 1959 issue of American Motorcycling may look familiar (it appeared in Linda Alexander's bio of JK), but you may not know the story behind the Maverick boys' little two-wheeled "steed".

According to the cover blurb inside the magazine, "Jack Kelly and James Garner, better known as the 'Mavericks'--Bart and Bret--take time off from their top-rated television series for a round of golf at a course adjacent to the Warner Bros. studio in Burbank [CA]. They're still in the saddle--but it's a Harley-Davidson motor scooter instead of a horse."

And, that motor scooter was actually H-D's first--and so far only--scooter, called the "Topper". H-D president William H. Davidson stated in an article in the same issue of American Motorcycling that the Topper was designed for "young adults, and the young at heart" and "The post-war baby boom is now bringing into the driver market young adults in large numbers who need wheels. Scooters are a logical answer to this problem because they are not being purchased just for 'sport'. They are definitely a means of transportation."

The Topper's many user-friendly features included an automatic "Scootaway" transmission which "enables the driver to accelerate smoothly from a full stop to motion without a 'hitch' or shifting of gears".

Yet another familiar face posed with the Topper in American Motorcycling:

Yes, that's leggy Arlene Howell, better known to Maverick fans as "Cindy Lou Brown". Too bad Cindy and Bart didn't have that Topper to scoot away from danger in "Alias Bart Maverick":

But, a few years later Bart ended up with a Topper of his own:

Alas, H-D's Topper topped out in 1965. The website "How Stuff Works" sums up the jaunty scooter's untimely demise: "Despite carrying the revered Harley-Davidson name, the Topper didn't sell particularly well in a market quickly becoming dominated by Japanese machines. And it wasn't long before the scooter craze subsided, taking the Topper as one of its early casualties."

Bart should have stuck with Goldie. ;-) 

STAY TUNED for a special Veteran's Day salute--coming up next time in TDS!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Winning Ticket :)


Bart and Beau
Would be a winning ticket
On this Election Day--
'Tis pity they're not running this year.
Thankfully we're all still free
And can vote with head and heart,
But, frankly, my dears,
With the choices we've been given
I'd rather vote for Beau and Bart. :)
But, seriously, folks--whether your state is red or blue, whether your candidate is Republican or Democrat (or from another party), please vote. We may not like everyone or everything on the ballot, but we as Americans still have the freedom to voice our choice and that's what really counts.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

What's Up, Doc Holliday? :)


A number of TV westerns wove historical personages into fictional plots. For instance, Paladin of Have Gun--Will Travel swapped epigrams with Oscar Wilde; the Cartwrights of Bonanza encountered Mark Twain and Charles Dickens; Secret Service agents Jim West and Artemus Gordon reported to President Ulysses S. Grant on The Wild Wild West.

Even Maverick got into the act. Real-life westerners John Wesley Hardin and Wyatt Earp appeared fleetingly, but John Henry "Doc" Holliday made several appearances, first played by Gerald Mohr and then most memorably by Peter Breck, who guest-starred opposite Jack Kelly's Bart Maverick in six episodes as the consumptive dentist turned gambling gunfighter. 

Breck's Holliday is a darkly comic figure who gets his "friend" Bart into some hair-raising situations. In the excellent "Triple Indemnity" episode, Bart comes this close to being done in by Doc, who's mixed up in an unsavory insurance scheme. Bart is spared at the last second, but Doc wasn't really trying to kill him--right? (Bart, and the viewer, are left to wonder.)

Below are some photos of this odd couple from the Kellection. I found the two behind-the-scenes stills in, of all places, a Goodwill store not far from my home, which just goes to show you never know where JK will pop up. Enjoy! :)

I love this still, taken during the filming of "Triple Indemnity".
Dig the extras and crew members in sunglasses!
A screen cap from the scene shown being filmed in the still above.
A great candid still from "A Technical Error". I thought this was a regular scene shot until I noticed the cigarette in JK's right hand. (Actor Stephen Coit is on the left side of the sign.)
Screen cap from this hilarious episode
BONUS PHOTO! No Doc Holliday here, but this marvelous pic is from "The Maverick Report", an episode in which he appeared. That's lovely Jo Morrow with JK. I'd searched for this pic for some time and was recently able to add it to the Kellection. I first saw this image in a 1962 Cleveland Press TV log purchased several years ago (note the painted out background):
It's a pity JK and PB didn't get to do more episodes as Bart and Doc before Maverick ended in 1962. But, a few years later, a very different version of Doc Holliday appeared in an episode of The High Chapparal--played by Jack Kelly! :)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Flashback Friday: The Dancing Mavericks! :)

Not the greatest copy, however, I couldn't resist sharing this cute Maverick newspaper ad from 1965. I know Bart and Bret are supposed to be drawing their guns, but they look like they're dancing to me. Enjoy and have a great weekend! :)

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!"