Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

TV Trivia Thursday #17

Today is, of course, one of tragic remembrance, where the trivial may seem out of place. Yet as I have learned, in times of genuine sorrow, distraction can be as important as recollection, and laughter is truly, as the saying goes, not only the best medicine, but sometimes the only one that helps at all. And so, since I've already missed a couple of weeks in a row, here are a few TV quiz questions to help us all though this most un-trivial of anniversaries:

1) This actor turned down the opportunity to reprise his best-known character in a sequel , fearing that he would be typecast in the role - only to accept a similar role in another series just three months later! Name the actor and both series.

2) What beloved 1960s series originated as an episode of The Danny Thomas Show?

3) A few weeks ago, we discussed Bob Barker's record of the most consecutive years on television. Which colleague of his set a similar record, in 2004, for the most total hours before a TV camera?

4) What talk show host famously walked off his own set in protest for having a joke censored, only to sheepishly return a few weeks later?

5) Name a recurring character who was common to both Second City TV and Saturday Night Live.

6) What prolific filmmaker had his industry debut in 1969 directing the pilot episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery?

7) What 1997 series became television's very first hour-long sitcom?

8) The world's oldest and longest-running sports show began in 1952 and is still going strong. Name the series and its country of origin (hint: not the USA!)


At 9/11/08, 6:40 PM, Anonymous ral315 said...

3) Regis Philbin
4) Jack Paar
6) Steven Spielberg
8) Hockey Night in Canada

At 9/11/08, 10:55 PM, Blogger torontopearl said...

These are all guesses...some more educated than others! ;)

1) Kelsey Grammar? Cheers/Frasier

2) Make Room for Daddy (I remember this show, so I think I'm correct here)

3) Dick Clark?

5)"I must say..." Ed Grimley (played by Martin Short)

7) The Simpsons?

At 9/12/08, 8:37 AM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I think the Simpsons debuted earlier, but I think it's reasonable that it was a Fox or WB series. (Or possibly cable.)

At 9/12/08, 12:56 PM, Blogger Elie said...

To clarify #7, it's referring to a show which ran for an hour on a weekly basis. Many regular 1/2 sitcoms have had special hour-length (or longer) episodes over the years, especially for their finales.

At 9/12/08, 1:24 PM, Blogger trn said...

3) Regis!

At 9/12/08, 1:33 PM, Blogger trn said...

It doesn't seem like the answer to the first one would be Kelsey Grammer, unless I am misunderstanding the question, as Grammer did reprise his role as Frasier and did not instead play a separate but similar character.

I'm thinking this regards an actor from M*A*S*H.

At 9/12/08, 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If TRN is right, then I think that would make the two series M*A*S*H and Trapper John, MD. I don't know who the actor is, though.

-- Clayton

At 9/12/08, 2:07 PM, Blogger trn said...

Hmm, but what constitutes a sitcom?

At 9/12/08, 2:15 PM, Blogger trn said...

If the earlier series is M*A*S*H, wouldn't the other series, the one for which the actor did accept a role, not be Trapper John, MD, but an unrelated series?

At 9/12/08, 2:57 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Well there was Trapper John MD and after MASH was over there was the brief run of After MASH. I don't remember if Radar - I forget the actor's name - showed up on After MASH, though I doubt it.

Unless they tried to get Wayne Rogers for Trapper John and he opted instead for City of Angels where he played a smart alecky detective.
(City of Angels was a fine show, but it was about as popular as When things were Rotten.)

At 9/12/08, 3:19 PM, Blogger trn said...

Hmm, do we know whether the sequel in which the actor declined to appear was made?

At 9/12/08, 3:24 PM, Blogger Elie said...

Hmm, looks like my wording was possibly unclear again. Yes, the sequel was made, the actor refused to reprise his character so another actor was used, but a few months later the original actor played a similar character on another show.

At 9/12/08, 3:36 PM, Blogger trn said...

Thanks for the clarification, Elie!

So, Soccer Dad's answer is potentially correct.

Elie, can you also clarify what the criteria are for a show to be considered a sitcom?

At 9/12/08, 3:49 PM, Blogger Elie said...

I'm afraid I can't say more on #7. The question is based on information from the trivia book I've been using. But not having watched the show in question myself, I can't vouch for what category it really belongs in. Viewing it as a "Sitcom" may be a subjective judgment of the book's author.

At 9/12/08, 4:04 PM, Blogger trn said...

Okay, Elie. Thanks.

I can't think of any hour-long program that really feels like a traditional situation comedy.

At 9/12/08, 4:12 PM, Blogger trn said...

Maybe Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be considered a sitcom?

At 9/20/08, 9:28 PM, Blogger Elie said...

Nice job, all, and sorry for the long delay in posting the answers. It's been a very busy couple of weeks both at home and in the office. Here goes, better late than never:

1) Between TRN, Clayton, and Soccer Dad, most of the answer was supplied, but here it is in total: Wayne Rogers played Trapper John McIntyre on the original M*A*S*H, but declined to star in the sequel "Trapper John, MD", which debuted in September 1979, claiming that he didn't want to be typecast as a TV doctor. Yet by December of the same year, he was starring in House Calls, once again playing not only a doctor, but a wisecracking one!

2) Pearl had a good guess, but the answer is The Andy Griffith Show, one of the first TV spinoffs, having its origins in an episode of Danny Thomas's show where he is arrested in the "hick" town of Mayberry by Sheriff Andy Taylor for running a stop sign. Several other recurring characters from the eventual Andy Griffith spinoff also appeared in this Danny Thomas episode.

3) Ral315 is correct: On August 20, 2004, Regis set the official Guinness Book record of 15,188 television hours, passing Hugh Downs.

4) Ral315 is correct here as well. Paar, who preceded Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show, was not allowed to tell a planned joke using the phrase "water closet" (my, how times have changed since then!). He stormed off the set in fury, announcing "There must be a better way to make a living than this!". Upon his return a few weeks later, he began the show with "...as I was saying before I was interrupted, there must be a better way to make a living than this. Well I looked, and there wasn't!"

5) Pearl, our resident Canadian, is correct! Short made the jump from Canadian ensemble sketch comedy SCTV to its US counterpart SNL, bringing his iconic nerd character Ed Grimly with him.

6 and 8) Ral315 is correct on both counts!

Which brings us to controversial #7! I guess I can call this one a wash, since as I stated above, the definition of "sitcom" is a mite too subjective for this to be a fair question. But the answer, according to my source, is Ally McBeal, also notable for other innovations, such as using elaborate fantasy sequences to depict a character's inner thoughts.

At 9/20/08, 11:00 PM, Blogger trn said...

Aw, I named Regis too.

Jack Paar was fantastic.

Yes, the sitcom question is a bit too subjective. Sounds more like an opinion of the source rather than a plain fact.

As for depiction of inner thoughts, the Ally McBeal show couldn't have been the first to do that; what about The Wonder Years?

An hour-long program that premiered twenty years earlier, Eight is Enough, could have been considered a sitcom, I suppose. It even had a laugh track!

Elie, I hope though busy things are okay. Shavua tov.

At 9/21/08, 12:18 AM, Blogger Elie said...

TRN, sorry I missed your one-word comment above. You get credit for #3 as well!

It's ironic if Eight is Enough would meet the criteria, given that the author of the trivia book is Dick Van Patten!!

At 9/21/08, 1:47 AM, Blogger trn said...

No problem, Elie. Thanks for the credit!

Dick Van Patten is the author of your book? Hahahaha, that *is* ironic!

At 9/22/08, 9:29 PM, Blogger rebecca said...

Infant Joy


'I have no name;

I am but two days old.

What shall I call thee?

'I happy am,

Joy is my name.

Sweet joy befall thee!


Pretty Joy!

Sweet Joy, but two days old.
Sweet Joy I call thee:

Thou dost smile,

I sing the while,

Sweet joy befall thee!

-----by maple story accounts


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