6 Rms Riv Vu

Bob Randall’s comedy 6 Rms Riv Vu opened on Broadway on October 17, 1972 with a cast that included Jane Alexander, Jerry Orbach, F. Murray Abraham and Jennifer Warren. It closed after 247 performances whereupon CBS acquired the rights to tape it for television. This was done on February 16, 1974 with a cast that included Carol Burnett, Alan Alda, Millie Slavin and Lawrence Pressman and then it aired on March 17. Burnett and Alda both received Emmy nominations…and that’s about it for this one.

Two Top Bananas

Don Rickles and Don Adams star in one of several early Showtime specials that tried to capture the look and feel of a classic burlesque show with old routines and older strippers.  This may also have been the first made-for-cable TV show to be released on home video.  I still have a Beta copy of it somewhere.

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.