Friday, October 31, 2014

Your Mental Sorbet: The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

Here is another "Mental Sorbet" little spark of madness that we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special is a Halloween-themed television special starring Paul Lynde broadcast October 29, 1976 onABC. It featured guest stars Margaret Hamilton in her first reprisal of her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Also guest starring are Billie Hayes as Witchiepoo from H.R. PufnstufTim ConwayRoz KellyFlorence Henderson, rock bandKissBilly Barty as Gallows the Butler, Betty White and, in an unbilled surprise appearance, Donny and Marie Osmond.

Happy Halloween
Tony Figueroa

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

David Susskind, A Televised Life: Next on TVC

Stephen Battaglio, business editor for TV Guide, will join us on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Oct. 29-Nov. 3 at the following times and stations:

WROM Radio
Detroit, MI
Wednesday 10/29
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
Sunday 11/2
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at

Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 10/31
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at
Use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in KSAV
or hear us on the KSAV channel on CX Radio Brazil

Indiana Talks
Marion, IN
Saturday 11/1
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 11/2
6pm ET, 3pm PT
Click on the player at
or use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in Indiana Talks

Pittsburgh Talks
Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday 11/1
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 11/2
6pm ET, 3pm PT
Click on the player at
or use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in Pittsburgh Talks

KSCO-AM 1080
San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA
KOMY-AM 1340
La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA
Sunday 11/2
11am ET, 8am PT
Also streaming at

Boost Radio Network
Paramus, NJ
Sunday 11/2
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Click on the On the Air button at

KHMB-AM 1710
Half Moon Bay, CA
Sunday 11/2
9pm PT
Monday 11/3
Midnight ET
Click on the Listen Live button at
or use the Live365 app on your smartphone and type in KHMB
San Francisco, CA
Monday 11/3
10pm ET, 7pm PT
with replays Tuesday thru Friday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Talk Slot button at

Ann Arbor, MI
Various times throughout the week
on the Entertainment Channel at
David Susskind took risks, broke rules and, in many ways, shaped television programming as we currently know it today. After beginning his career as a publicist and agent, and establishing his own agency, Talent Associates, Susskind went from behind the desk to behind the scenes, establishing himself as a producer of such live television productions as Armstrong Circle Theatre, where he battled network practices of blacklisting, exposed TV audiences to provocative subject matter and introduced such actors as Sir Laurence Olivier to American television. But it was his groundbreaking weekly talk show, Open End, that made Susskind a household name. Open End ran for 25 years and featured movers and shakers could speak their minds about a wide range of topics literally without restrictions.

Joining us this week as we remember David Susskind will beStephen Battaglio, business editor for TV Guide and the author of David Susskind: A Televised Life, an excellent biography of Susskind that not only covers every aspect of the life and career of the legendary producer, talk show host and impresario, but in many ways is also a capsule history of the first four decades of television.
TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Wed and Sun 8pm ET, 5pm PT on WROM Radio
Wed 9pm ET, 6pm PT on WYYR: Yesteryear Radio
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 6pm ET, 3pm PT on Indiana Talks
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 6pm ET, 3pm PT on Pittsburgh Talks
Sun 11am ET, 8am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 11am ET, 8am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 8pm ET, 5pm PT Boost Radio Network
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM 1710 (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network
Replays various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork
Tape us now, listen to us later, using
Also available as a podcast via iTunesFeedBurner
and now on your mobile phone via
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TV CONFIDENTIAL Archives: Show No. 252 with guests Bill Marx and Herbie J Pilato

TV CONFIDENTIALShow No. 252 with guests Bill Marx and Herbie J Pilato

Original Airdate: Week of Oct. 15-20, 2014

First hour: Ed welcomes Herbie J Pilato, author of Glamour, Gidgets and The Girl Next Door, a new book that celebrates the accomplishments of more than four dozen TV actresses from the Golden Age of Television who shattered expectations, one way or another, while paving the way for successive generations. Herbie will be appearing at the Barnes and Noble at 731 N. San Fernando Blvd. in Burbank, CA on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 7pm. Also in this hour: Tony Figueroa and Donna Allen discuss the careers of Scott Bakula and Marie Osmond, both of whom were born during This Week in TV History.

Second hour: Ed welcomes author, musician, arranger and composer Bill Marx, son of Harpo Marx and the executive producer of The Marx Brothers TV Collection, a new DVD box set that features some of the earliest appearances of Groucho, Harpo and Chico on television, many of which have not been seen in years.

Monday, October 27, 2014

This Week in Television History: October 2014 PART IV

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

October 27, 1954
Disneyland, Walt Disney's first television series, premieres on ABC. 

The one-hour show, introduced by Tinkerbell, presented a rotating selection of cartoons, dramas, movies, and other entertainment. The show ran for 34 years under various names, including Walt Disney Presents and The Wonderful World of Disney. The program was the longest-running prime-time series on network TV.

November 2, 1959
Charles Van Doren, a game show contestant on the NBC-TV program Twenty-One admitted that he had been given questions and answers in advance. 
One month after the hearings began, Van Doren emerged from hiding and confessed before the committee that he had been complicit in the fraud.  On November 2, 1959, he admitted to the House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight, a United States Congress subcommittee, chaired by Arkansas Democrat Oren Harris, that he had been given questions and answers in advance of the show.

I was involved, deeply involved, in a deception. The fact that I, too, was very much deceived cannot keep me from being the principal victim of that deception, because I was its principal symbol. There may be a kind of justice in that. I don’t know. I do know, and I can say it proudly to this committee, that since Friday, October 16, when I finally came to a full understanding of what I had done and of what I must do, I have taken a number of steps toward trying to make up for it. I have a long way to go. I have deceived my friends, and I had millions of them. Whatever their feeling for me now, my affection for them is stronger today than ever before. I am making this statement because of them. I hope my being here will serve them well and lastingly.
I asked (co-producer Albert Freedman) to let me go on (Twenty One) honestly, without receiving help. He said that was impossible. He told me that I would not have a chance to defeat Stempel because he was too knowledgeable. He also told me that the show was merely entertainment and that giving help to quiz contests was a common practice and merely a part of show business. This of course was not true, but perhaps I wanted to believe him. He also stressed the fact that by appearing on a nationally televised program I would be doing a great service to the intellectual life, to teachers and to education in general, by increasing public respect for the work of the mind through my performances. In fact, I think I have done a disservice to all of them. I deeply regret this, since I believe nothing is of more vital importance to our civilization than education.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa