Murray, Come Back
If you’re a fan of classic TV (as is yours truly) you may want to check out the Memorable Television Network, or Me-TV (metvnetwork.com). There you can find old favorites such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, Batman, The Rifleman, The Rockford Files, Kojak, The Bob Newhart Show, Perry Mason, The Honeymooners, and many others. Me-TV, in other words, is where you can in revel in actual entertainment, not wallow in the plethora of today’s tacky “reality TV” programming. Not even Newton Minow ever imagined this “vast wasteland.”
Not long ago I was enjoying an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. In it, Mary, Murray (the WJM-TV news writer), and Ted (the station’s pompous news anchor) are attending a broadcasters’ convention in Los Angeles. Ted, who considers himself quite the ladies’ man, has become convinced that a beautiful reporter covering the convention is infatuated with him. She’s “warm for my form,” he proclaims and repeatedly states that she wants his body. Murray, a master of the acerbic comeback, has had enough of Ted’s bluster and finally declares, “Ted, if she were a grave robber she wouldn’t want your body!” In a response that may not have been entirely acting, Mary strives mightily to constrain her laughter. As for me, I was roaring at one of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard.
I was still giggling about Murray’s remark when I went to bed that night. Later, I even dreamed I was retelling the episode to friends. My thanks to the “MTM” writers for sending me off to sleep in my most cheerful mood in recent memory.
Misery Really Does Love Company
Another humorous media incident occurred on the radio as I was driving to Dallas one day. It involved an e-mail sent to talk show host Mike Gallagher. He had been relating how he was working to improve his health, struggling to get in shape through diet and exercise. A sympathetic woman listener sent him an account of her experience after her daughter had given her a gift membership to a gym, complete with personal trainer. Beginning with a positive, if reluctant, introduction to her exercise routine, her hysterical tale degenerated from one of simply sore, stiff muscles to one of disillusionment, if not downright disdain for the whole experience. She ended her missive with this: “If God had wanted me to bend over He would have scattered the floor with diamonds!” Hats off to you, lady—I couldn’t have said it better myself.
My car radio was the source of some unintentional humor recently. A public service announcement for a charitable organization for the blind was asking for donations of cars, boats, and trucks to enhance the lives of the sight impaired. Now, maybe I’m missing something here but it doesn’t seem to me to be a good idea to put vehicles in the hands of those who can’t see. The roads are hazardous enough, what with drunk, reckless, or inept drivers and, in my part of the country, the DFW highway system. And the idea of the blind piloting boats on our waterways is simply, well, all wet.
It seems that charitable organization might think better of its policy of supplying its constituents with large, motorized objects. Either that or insist their P.R. folks be a little more explicit explaining their purpose before hitting the airwaves with these PSAs.
© 2012, The Wit’s End Scribbler