Telly – Who Loves Ya, Baby?

This isn’t a very good scan but then, it wasn’t a very good show. In the midst of his success as Kojak, Telly Savalas somehow decided he wanted to be Frank Sinatra. One year, he got the producers of the Academy Awards to let him sing one of the nominated songs, which he attempted to do while smoking a cigarette, a la Sinatra. Unfortunately, he also decided to pre-record his vocal and hadn’t quite mastered the knack of taking a puff between lines of the song and getting his mouth clear to lip-sync the next line. For weeks after, Johnny Carson did jokes about Telly not being able to smoke and lip-sync at the same time. Since Savalas was a CBS star, they had to let him do his own variety special, which went much the same way. Note the line which says, “Audience will be seen on camera. Please dress accordingly.” What that usually means is that the pages get instructed to seat the best-dressed folks up front, or in the section on which the cameras will be trained…and everyone from about the third row back will be dressed like they’re shopping at Target.