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« Praying in Technicolor | Main | Living in the Past »

October 11, 2005


Oddly enough, when I went on vacation a few weeks ago, I took along a copy of "Little Murders." My housemates vetoed watching it (the trailer doesn't sell it too well), and I still never ended up watching it. Hopefully I'll manage to pop it into the DVD player soon, especially since my brother is gung-ho about it and nags me about seeing it whenever I talk to him.

I also have a soft spot for Ms. Barbeau, on account of that she was married to John Carpenter and was in "Swamp Thing."

I have never seen Maude but I know the theme song! I hadn't realized that Good Times was a spin-off, too; they sure were spin-off-happy back then! Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times... any others that came from All in the Family? Thanks for the education, as usual, Danny!


Glad to know I'm not the only one who wrote fan letters over the years. In that same time era as Maude, All in the Family, was The Carol Burnett Show. She was one that I opted to write to in those years; I remember how thrilling it was to get an answer from her then when I was in my early teens.

Bea Arthur has a beautiful handwriting, from the looks of it.

I can imagine Danny Miller as a young man--he probably didn't invite girls in "to see my etchings"; he invited them in "to see the personal letters I've gotten from actors/actresses."

Great post, Danny...Now Bea Arthur is one of those incredibly talented people who, it seems to me, got caught up in 'plastic-you-know-what', and is unrecognizable, sad to say...When I was an apprentice in stock, back in '08, Vince Gardenia was 'jobbed' in to one of the plays we did. (Can't remember which one, right now,) and then,all those years later--I remember how excited I was to know he was Betty G's. husband in "All In The Family". A very dear man. He died too young, you know? I love that you can put all these photo's on your blog, gives it such a richness....thanks for the memories, my dear...

Love it! Especially the quote from Little Murders. Priceless.

Thanks Danny. I remember that theme song too, even though I was so young. Exactly how or why did Florida and her family move from NY to Chicago?

Danny, I loved that wise-cracking broad, I really did. I even had a crush on Adrienne Barbeau there, for a while. Thanks for reminding me of that, and of Good Times, which Jimmy Walker helped make one of the most infuriating TV shows of the era.

When they spun Florida off into "Good Times," they never referred to her previous job as Maude's maid in Tuckahoe, NY, it was as if they'd always lived in the projects of Chicago. I used to watch "Good Times" religiously but it was sad what happened to that show (which I'm sure had mostly white writers). Esther Rolle wasn't the only one disgusted by Jimmie "Kid DYN-O-MITE" Walker's character. John Amos, the father, also quit the show and his character was killed off. Did you know that was Willona from "Good Times" singing the theme song on "The Jeffersons?" And remember Janet Jackson as Willona's adopted daughter? Hollywood's view of 1970s ghetto life was skewed, but at least they were putting more black people on TV.

Danny, I said it before, I'll say it are my television hero! I grew up in the 50's, 60's and 70's, an avid tv watcher (Laugh In, also ground breaking). I remember our family sitting around the tv to watch All in the Family in shear disbelief. Let's see how good you really are...I bet you don't remember, "I Married Joan", "Life of Riley", "Topper", "Love that Bob", or "Make Room for Daddy"...WELL............?

I remember Janet Jackson as the abused kid, but I didn't know Wilona was singing The Jefferson's theme song.

Excellent. Just excellent. Finally, someone who gets how important '70s TV really was. Every show I watched growing up had people hollering at each other, which was a much more accurate portrayal of real life than what came before.

My personal favorite was One Day At A Time. I have the theme song to it and to Maude on my iPod. Great songs in their own right, those. Pop songs distilled to their necessary elements...

Do you remember Maude's "wide-mouthed frog" joke?

Randi, I've heard of all those shows, of course, but most were before my time. I do remember watching "Make Room for Daddy" (with my Penny Robinson/Brigitta von Trapp idol, Angela Cartwright) and its later sequel, "Make Room for Granddaddy."

I've seen a few episodes of "I Married Joan" and I'm always interested in people like Joan Davis who were huge superstars at one point but are virtually forgotten today. Maybe because she died so young? Remember Thurston Howell III (Jim Backus) as her husband and that her own daughter played her sister on the show.

"The Life of Riley" is also forgotten and now I want to go watch some episodes at the Museum of Television here in L.A. Remember "What a revoltin' development this is!" The actress who played Riley's wife, Marjorie Reynolds, was cast as Andy Hardy's mother in a 1962 pilot MGM made to try to resurrect the Hardy franchise but it never became a series.

I have seen the TV version of "Topper" and on one of Kendall and my first dates (a Friars roast for Ann Miller--oy!), we had dinner at the same table with Anne Jeffreys who played Marion Kirby in that series.

I know that both Alice from "The Brady Bunch" and Miss Hathaway from "The Beverly Hillbillies" got their starts in "Love That Bob" but my favorite Bob Cummings TV series was "My Living Doll" with Julie Newmar as Rhoda the robot who was there to serve Bob (always playing a womanizer). I already wrote about that one on here!

Marlee, no, I don't remember the wide-mouthed frog joke!

Danny, you are amazing...(I hope you haven't cheated by googling!)...It seems that so many memories of childhood are connected to television. I thought it was just a condition of baby-boomers, but it seems to hit every generation. Even my kids, who are in their later teens, remember back to "the good old days" of original Nickelodeon just seems to be part of the tapestry of our lives...not unlike music and movies. One day, you and I will have a "t.v.-off" (like a chili cook-off!) see who can remember more shows! Thanks for the memories!

I have to say, I find it intriguing that someone remembers Marcia as the original actor who played Carol. I do know I enjoy both Rodd and Barbeau's interpretations of the role. The only thing that I will say for certain is Marcia's approach was more in line with the character of Maude; Adrienne's was more relaxed and mellow, creating a balance of reason within the Findlay household. Both are equally compatible. I remember seeing Marcia in an old commercial for Maxwell House Coffee that was from the 1970s which they ran on TVLand for years... Marcia, if you by any chance read this ...please know there is a twenty-two-year-old who loves your work immensely and find you both a creative and passionate performer.

A small correction: Maude never dealt with the topic of menopause on her show. I have all seasons on DVD, so I know! :) The closest to that was an episode in which she thinks she may need a hysterectomy, but iit is never said that she definitely will have it done, she just worries about it.

I wasn't old enough to watch this in the 70s, but I love it now. I'd watch Bea Arthur in anything, but her Maude role is her best.

I don't understand your issue with Walter, though! Maude is very capable of standing up for herself, and she does. Often. (Unlike Edith from All in the Family. It pains me to watch the workings of her relationship with Archie.)

Are you still there? Just found your 2005 post on Bea Arthur. After the show ended, my sister and I used to catch 11:30 reruns because we needed to laugh after the scary show we had just watched (The only one I can remember now is "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud" -- not too frightening, if I recall correctly) Anyway. I am also a big Bea fan. But my real question is, Who was Isadora? I kept thinking that the song referred to Pia Zadora. But that can't be right. Can you answer? P.S. We used to refer to Maude's daughter as Adrian Bar-boobs.

Could any of you really die-hard Maude fans tell me who the real ISADORA was?

Just got Maude season 1 on DVD, haven't seen an episode since the 70s when I was too young to get the topical humor. Walter seems like a drunk from the few episodes I've watched so far. And Conrad Bain's character just seems like a narrow minded jerk. And watching Good Times reruns now, I think JJ is pretty funny but find Michael's racism and radicalism against whites kind of annoying. I didn't grow up around a lot of blacks when I was a child but the ones I knew weren't like him.

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