Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
Whether you are into Hollywood or sitcoms, this is a book for your personal library shelves. This is according to the authors the 101 greatest sitcoms of all time. Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik are the authors. The copyright is 2007 and the publishers are Black Dog and Levanthal Publishers, Inc of New York. John Lithgow does a good job with the foreward.
The book contains an alphabetical list of the sitcoms discussed. It starts at The Addams Family and ends with WKRP in Cincinnati. It has the name of the show, what years it was on as well as the network that showed the sitcom. Underneath that, there is a little blurb that gives the basic summary of the show. There are also little known facts about the show and the stars that were in it.
For “The Brady Bunch”, there is a behind the scenes glimpse at what went on during the first day of filming. Florence Henderson had her makeup done for the show sitting between Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner for their roles in “Star Trek”. She claims that neither man even spoke to her.
There is a little bit of Hollywood history in Brian Keith’s past. His show, “Family Affair” is outlined in the book as well. In his private life, he traveled with his mother and father until they divorced when he was five years old. His father remarried a woman named Peg Entwhistle. She is the woman who infamously leapt to her death from the Hollywood sign in 1932.
One part of sitcom history that they bring up is titled Flops. Some of the shows mentioned are, “The Girl with Something Extra”. That starred Sally Field and John Davidson portraying a couple. The something extra was that the character played by Sally Field had ESP.
Character Actors is a part of the book you will not want to miss. You will recognize many familiar characters from television and be able to put a name to the face. Some of the actors names in this section had supporting roles in many sitcoms.
One woman that pops up everywhere is Amzie Strickland. When you see her picture, you are sure to recognize her. She is perhaps best known from Murphy Brown. She played a character who had a little accident in her car and wanted to sue Murphy.
Burt Mustin is one man that many people will never forget. This man has been in many peoples homes through the courtesy of TV. He might be best remembered for his portrayal of the senior citizen, Justin Quigley, on “All In The Family”. He was also in an episode of “The Brady Bunch” when Bobby had a strange role model – Jesse James.
Those are just a few of the items you will find in this 329-page book. It has shows that developed from radio and movies as well. It is time worth spending to go through this part of television history.