TFTP On This Day: "Password Plus" with David Letterman from NBC (May 31, 1979)

Posted to YouTube by user 'The Fun & Games Channel'
Length - 24:05

It Was 39 Years Ago Today: "Password Plus" was the second revival of the game show "Password"; the original had run on CBS from 1961-1967 and another run of the original game had appeared on ABC from 1971-1975. In this new revival, which aired on NBC from 1979-1982 and like all versions up to this point was hosted by Allen Ludden, the "plus" took the form of an extra element in which the individual passwords accumulated to become clues to an overall word or phrase that had to be guessed.

The episode above, which aired 39 years ago today on May 31, 1979, features David Letterman and Marion Ross of "Happy Days" as the celebrity contestants. (This copy of the episode is from a much later rerun on Game Show Network, and thus has packaging and interstitial elements from that broadcast.) Letterman, a few years prior to the launch of his "Late Night" program--and thus at a point in his career where he was having to do game-show guest appearances--is his regular grumpy and irascible self, but still engaging in the game at hand. Contestant Sally cruises through two "Alphabetics" bonus games (one with Letterman and one with Ross) to become the winningest "Password Plus" contestant ever to that point (five months into the show's run).


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Three Commercials from 1955

Posted to Internet Archive by user 'HappySwordsman' (top), 'Seto-Kaiba_Is_Stupid' (middle), 'HappySwordsman' (bottom)
Length - 0:59 (top), 1:22 (middle), 1:31 (bottom)

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

Here's a group of three commercials from the year 1955, a period when commercials were still fairly lengthy (the three here range from a minute to a minute-and-a-half in duration) and programs were generally sponsored by a single product (which is what allowed for the greater length).

The first commercial above is for Palmolive soap, and it utilizes a tactic that is still familiar to us today: demonstrating how using anything other than the product being advertised will produce an inferior result. The second commercial, for DeSoto/Plymouth autos, uses a mix of animated and live-action footage to help sell cars; animation was everywhere in ads of the Fifties, and it is put to effective use here. The third and final commercial is for Old Gold Filter Kings cigarettes, and it offers a lengthy testimonial to the use of filters (which were then still a novelty) using a fairly hackneyed marriage metaphor.


TFTP Kids: "The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show" from CBS (1974)

Posted to YouTube by user '70's Kids'
Length - 28:10

"The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show" is one of the more interesting shows--at least visually--from the 1970s live-action kids' show trend. The Hudson Brothers were a family musical act (those were also very popular in the Seventies) that had been around for about a decade by 1974, and the Brothers (Bill, Brett, and Mark) were just coming off of a prime-time summer variety show (those were also very popular in the Seventies). The summer show, titled simply "The Hudson Brothers Show", had aired in July and August, and just a week after its end, on September 7, 1974, "The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show" premiered on Saturday mornings (running until the following August).

Like many shows of the genre, the "razzle dazzle" consisted of brightly colored, somewhat psychedelic sets and costumes, a madcap sensibility to the songs and sketches, and a supporting cast of comical entertainers. The episode above includes several musical numbers, one with a troupe of acrobats jumping and flipping around using props such as a bathtub and a barber's chair. A couple of non-musical comedy sketches appear as well, one with a child network vice-president and another with a bear-costumed private-eye ("Sam Bear", a take-off of Sam Spade with noirish office complete with ceiling fan and blond moll).

There are commercials (most of them for toys of the 1970s) included in the commercial breaks in this copy of the episode, but they appear not to be original to the broadcast and inserted after the fact.


TFTP's Monochrome Monday (Special On This Day Edition): "What's My Line? at 25" from ABC (May 28, 1975)

Posted to YouTube by user 'What's My Line?'
Length - 1:26:57

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

We bring you this special edition of Monochrome Monday with a program that was partly in color, but was celebrating a show that was in classic black & white for the almost all of its 17 year run: "What's My Line?"

It Was 43 Years Ago Today: "What's My Line?" stands among the most important shows ever in the game show genre--the program, which aired on CBS from 1950-1967 and then in syndication until 1975, helped establish the popularity and venerability of the TV game show. Right as "WML" was going off the air in 1975, this program, "What's My Line? at 25"--originally airing 43 years ago today on May 28, 1975--appeared as a retrospective of its quarter-century history.

Airing as an installment of the ABC late-night umbrella series "Wide World of Entertainment" (after CBS passed on the special), "What's My Line? at 25" features the three individuals most responsible for the show's success: producer Mark Goodson, host John Charles Daly, and panelist Arlene Francis. Goodson, Daly, and Francis moderate the special by sharing some of their memories but also by introducing dozens of clips from over the years.

Celebrated in the special are the panelists who guessed contestants' jobs (including Fred Allen, Steve Allen, Woody Allen, and others not named Allen, such as Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf, and Francis herself); the many celebrity "mystery guests" and some of the shenanigans (such as fake voices) they used to trick the panel; some of the more interesting "lines" (or occupations) guessed by the panel; and a look back at the hairstyles worn on the show by Arlene Francis.

TFTP has featured "What's My Line?" a few times in the past, including the premiere episode from 1950 (which was also the premiere post for TFTP back in 2014), a commercial for longtime "WML" sponsor Remington-Rand (introduced by Daly), and early panelist Fred Allen's first appearance (with Buffalo Bob Smith and Howdy Doody as mystery guests!).


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1990 (WLBT/Jackson, MS)

Posted to YouTube by user 'jacky9br'
Length - 8:29

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

As we enter the 1990s in "Sign-Offs Through the Years", here is is a somewhat longer sign-off sequence from Jackson, Mississippi, NBC affiliate WLBT. It begins with a few promos: for "Saturday Night Live" (which was in its 15th anniversary season) featuring guest host Rob Lowe and Dana Carvey in full church-lady dress; for the NBC Sports presentation of The Players Championship golf tourney; and for local WLBT 3 News. These are followed by two PSAs, for a women's shelter called New Life for Women and for the Special Olympics.

A "Sanford & Son" promo slide precedes a very strange ownership/technical voiceover. After a title card with a personal dedication for the sign-off (something mischievous master control operators would sometimes slip in), a segment begins playing with special effects and the title "Purple Haze" with audio of the band Winger doing a cover of the Jimi Hendrix song of the same name. Midway through this clip, a brief ownership/technical voiceover is heard.

The sequence is capped off  by a very nice national anthem film that features local/regional images of Mississippi, including several shots of a rainbow-striped hot air balloon with the name of the state emblazoned on it.


TFTP On This Day: "Marty" on "Philco-Goodyear Playhouse" from NBC (May 24, 1953)

Posted to Internet Archive by user 'zigoto'
Length - 50:54

It Was 65 Years Ago Today: "Marty" is one of the most-celebrated programs of the live-drama era of early television (sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" of TV). In the mid-1950s, for a period of approximately five years, before filmed TV programs made largely in Hollywood had taken over network TV schedules, live dramatic TV plays, presented anthology-style from New York, were a celebrated mainstay of American television. And this period was kicked off by "Marty", which originally aired 65 years ago today, on May 24, 1953.

"Marty" aired on the "Philco-Goodyear Playhouse", one of many live anthology shows on the networks throughout the Fifties. It was written by Paddy Chayefsky, who would go on to a celebrated TV and film writing career, directed by Delbert Mann, and produced by Fred Coe, one of the leaders of the live TV drama movement. Marty is played by Rod Steiger, who also would go on to a celebrated career, and the woman Marty meets (referred to only as "the Girl") is played by Nancy Marchand.

Marty is a bachelor who lives with his mother, works as a butcher, and has begun to settle for a life of loneliness as he approaches middle age. He is convinced that women are uninterested in him and that he is (as he calls himself) a "fat, ugly little man". This changes when he meets the Girl at a "lonely hearts" dance hall, and by the end of the hour-long drama they seem to have a glimmer of a chance at a happy relationship together.

There were several things that made "Marty" so groundbreaking in 1953. One was simply the raw acting talent of Rod Steiger; he would go on to lend that talent to such landmark films as "On the Waterfront" (1954), "The Pawnbroker" (1964), and "In the Heat of the Night" (1967), and to become a leading practitioner of "the Method". Another was Chayefsky's writing that dramatized mundane yet inherently dramatic events in the lives of regular people; the play was lauded for the way that it utilized dialogue that seemed like everyday conversation. The story of "Marty" was celebrated by 1950s culture, and it became an Oscar-winning story when adapted to film in 1955.


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Mountain Dew Commercials from the 1980s

Posted to YouTube by user 'haikarate4'
Length - 2:29

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

Awhile back TFTP featured the evolution of Mountain Dew ads from the 1960s through the 1980s. Here are some more Dew commercials from the 1980s, after the beverage's outdoor, extreme sports image had been mostly established.

The first ad features teenagers cliff-jumping into a river, to the jingle refrain (and slogan) "Give me a Dew!" Ad #2 shows teens in a contest of pushing each other off of a log across a river to the same refrain. The third commercial, with more of a country music tone, shows a somewhat older (but still youthful) crowd engaged in off-road monster truck races, with the jingle and slogan "Dew It Country Cool!" (Someone still ends up getting pushed into the water by the time it's done.) Ad #4 uses the same slogan and jingle, this time with cardboard boat races. The final Mountain Dew ad in this block is another with the "Dew It Country Cool!" jingle/slogan, and here the kids are waterskiing--behind a horse running along the shore!


TFTP Cable: Miscellaneous Clips from The Weather Channel (1990)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Bryan Farr'
Length - 7:56

This set of clips from The Weather Channel from 1990 is mostly a series of title graphic sequences showing what the introductory titles to different kinds of segments looked like. Segment titles include "Local Weather", "Weather & You", "Pacific Regional Forecast", "Special Presentation", "Today's Forecast", and "International Weather".

Because of the then-current build-up in advance of the 1991 Gulf War, presumably for the benefit of the families of service members, there is also a title graphic for a segment called "Mideast Weather" (in a suitably Arabic-looking font).

In addition, there are some more prosaic graphics (just plain white text on a blue background) of local weather reports and a somewhat choppy sequence near the end of various Weather Channel personalities in the opening seconds of weather reports. Much of the material in this set of clips, including the local weather report mentioned above, comes from the cable system in Elmira, New York, from Thursday, October 11, 1990.


TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "The Big Record" from CBS (May 14, 1958)

Posted to YouTube by user 'MattTheSaiyan'
Length - 29:01

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

"The Big Record" was a musical variety show that aired on CBS for about a year in 1957 and 1958. Singer Patti Page hosted what started as an hour-long series but was cut back to a half-hour midway through its run. There were some similarities to a show like "Your Hit Parade" in that currently-popular songs were featured, although "The Big Record" had no countdown.

The episode above, from May 1958, features singer Bill Hayes, singer Helen Forest, Harry James and his orchestra, and a female singing group called the Deftones, the winners of a high school talent competition. Page sings several numbers, the Deftones make their TV debut, Hayes belts out a song in a sailor's suit, and James and his orchestra provide a few tunes, to one of which Forest adds the vocals. A couple of filmed commercials for sponsor Oldsmobile also appear, introduced by Page.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1989 (KOMO/Seattle)

Posted to YouTube by user 'robatsea2009'
Length - 4:15

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

Our 1989 sign-off is from Seattle station KOMO. It begins with a brief religious segment called "A Note of Faith", which unlike most such segments is merely a slide with voiceover. This is followed by a station editorial about children's TV viewing habits. Next comes the ownership/technical voiceover on a still of the KOMO-TV logo (they were them, to paraphrase KOMO's slogan). As a border station with a sizable Canadian audience (and similarly to other stations in the same circumstances), KOMO played "O Canada" (the Canadian national anthem) in addition to "The Star-Spangled Banner", and those two songs close out the sign-off sequence.


TFTP Late Night: Early Clips from "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" from NBC (1962/1964)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Sir Raymond Bell' (top), 'Johnny Carson' (bottom)
Length - 0:34 (top), 1:11 (bottom)

As part of TFTP's continuing series of posts on the history and evolution of "The Tonight Show" (see herehere, here, and here), these two clips feature moments from the first couple of years of Johnny Carson's tenure as the show's host. There is very little footage that remains from these years, as NBC destroyed copies of pretty much all of the episodes from Carson's first decade as host.

The first (very brief) clip above is from a little over three months into Carson's stint, in about late-December of 1962, and relates to Johnny's best moments to that point as "Tonight Show" host. The second clip (from the official Carson Productions archive) is from a 1964 episode in which Zsa Zsa Gabor rips Johnny's pants off in a sketch that has Carson doing a now-questionable impression of a Charlie Chan-like character (with a joke about Zsa Zsa from a much later episode thrown in at the end).


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Commercial Block from NBC (Sep. 22, 1967)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Gray Flannel Videos'
Length - 3:05

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

This block of commercials that aired on September 22, 1967, on NBC includes ads for Aerowax floor wax; Aero Shave shaving cream; Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, and Chicken & Stars Soup (with some ultra-Sixties animation); Sta-Puf fabric softener ("The Wrinkle Reducer"); and Sta-Flo Spray Starch. (Spelling "stay" without the "y" was very popular in the '60s.) At the very end, for just a couple of seconds, is the "snake" logo used by NBC throughout the 1960s--complete with the NBC chimes.


TFTP Game Shows: "Queen for a Day" from NBC (c. 1960)

Posted to YouTube by user 'NewQueenForADay'
Length - 8:50

"Queen for a Day" is a legendary program (airing from 1956-1964, and on radio before that) that seems of questionable taste to us now today. Four female housewife contestants each told the story of their circumstances, which were sometimes of impoverishment or affliction. Then audience response, measured by an applause meter, selected one of them as "Queen for a Day" (with accompanying prize package, of course).

Host Jack Bailey interviewed the women with a tone that was charmingly folksy but paternalistic and often patronizing. The set of clips above is from an episode with a circus theme, and the irony of the show's tendency to regularly have a circus atmosphere seems lost on those involved. The winner here gets a watch, a new washing machine and oven range, a record player, and a Spiegel catalog gift certificate.


TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "The General Electric Theater" from CBS (Dec. 18, 1955)

Posted to YouTube by user 'HORDE'
Length - 29:17

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

Everyone knows that Ronald Reagan, America's 40th president, had been an actor. But that doesn't mean its not still a little jarring to see him actually act, as in this episode of "The General Electric Theater". "GE Theater", which Reagan was also host of for its entire run from 1953 to 1962, was an anthology drama in which a different story with different actors appeared each week. The early years of TV had many such shows, although "GE Theater" was one of the few remaining by the end of its run in the early-1960s.

This 1955 episode of "GE Theater" is entitled "Let It Rain", and in addition to Reagan it features a very young Cloris Leachman. Reagan plays a journalist who has stopped off in the southern small-town where Leachman's character lives. The journalist ends up trying to debunk a local legend about a Civil War-era sword that was lodged in a tree trunk, while also carrying on a love affair with Leachman. (It's especially jarring to see Reagan in these romantic scenes.)

The episode is typical of early-TV anthology series: only a handful of characters, just a few locations (all of them sets on a soundstage), and stories that tended towards the personal and intimate--all of which worked well with the smaller budgets and smaller screen of early television.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1988 (WYES/New Orleans)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Chris Hadley'
Length - 5:06

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

For the second week in a row, "Sign-Offs Through the Years" brings you a public television sign-off--this time from New Orleans PBS station WYES and the year 1988. The sign-off sequence begins with a closing title slide from the movie showcase "Starlight Theatre", followed by an underwriting credit for Bookstar, a local bookstore. Next is a program promo for a musical program, "Echoes of the Big Bands with Merv Griffin", and after this is the ownership/technical voiceover, on miscellaneous images of WYES's facilities. This is followed by a piece with piano instrumental music and various nighttime images of New Orleans from the air. Closing out the sign-off is a national anthem film (with a cappella vocals), an element not always found in public TV sign-offs.


TFTP Variety: "Jack Benny's Bag" from NBC (Nov. 16, 1968)

Posted to YouTube by user 'balsamwoods'
Length - 1:01:39

Jack Benny's long-running weekly sitcom (a continuation of his long-running radio program) ended in 1965, and for the remainder of his career until his death in 1974 Benny did occasional TV specials. The above program is one of the early such specials, with a theme lampooning youth counterculture of the late-1960s, entitled "Jack Benny's Bag".

Like a lot of old-line comedians, Benny was pretty clueless when it came to the counterculture he was lampooning. In most cases of mainstream TV treatment of counterculture, including here, some garish colors, some psychedelic imagery, some youth-oriented clothing, and some tossed-off slang was thought to do the job.

In "Jack Benny's Bag", though, the counterculture elements are mainly window-dressing. Benny himself wears either a tuxedo or a regular suit throughout most of the special, and there is little of substance regarding the counterculture. (The one sketch that does treat it is a groan-worthy parody of the film "The Graduate" where Benny-as-Benjamin-Braddock enters through an arch that is a large mock-up of Mrs. Robinson's famous leg.) A pair of hippies appears near the beginning to collect payment for painting Benny's house (he assumed given their values that they'd do for free); Benny's Maxwell car, in which he makes his first appearance, has been painted in psychedelic designs, as has the stage backdrop; and that's about it.

Guests abound, including Dick Clark, Lou Rawls, Phyllis Diller (who portrays Mrs. Robinson in the "Graduate" sketch), Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, Eddie Fisher, and Benny's own former supporting player Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. (Rochester appears with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon as their "Odd Couple" characters in the special's cold opening.) Sponsored by Texaco, the special includes a few filmed commercials for that product, and a group of young girls in Texaco "Fire Chief" costumes appear with Benny in a couple of segments.


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken (1968/1971/1981)

Posted to YouTube by user 'chicagofilmarchives' (top), 'Bionic Disco' (middle), 'robatsea2009' (bottom)
Length - 1:06 (top), 1:04 (middle), 0:30 (bottom)

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

These three commercials from fast-food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken all feature the iconic red-and-white-striped KFC bucket. In the first commercial, from 1968 and the only of the three to also feature the actual Colonel Sanders, the Colonel puts wheels on the bucket to demonstrate its portability. (Was take-away food still that much of a novelty in the 1960s?) Commercial number two (from '71) uses the bucket as a punchline: a mother has served KFC chicken at dinner with her daughter's new boyfriend and passed it off as her own cooking, until little brother barges into the dining room wielding the bucket. Finally, the third commercial, from 1981, displays the bucket prominently upfront--a KFC employee fills and displays a bucket--before going on to show numerous groups of people eating fried chicken--out of KFC boxes.


TFTP On This Day: "Action News" from WPIX/New York (May 8, 1980)

Posted to YouTube by user 'NewsActive3'
Length - 32:18

It Was 38 Years Ago Today: Station WPIX has a history that goes back to the late-1940s, and until the mid-1990s it was one of New York City's independent TV stations. (In 1995 it became a WB affiliate and later an affiliate of The CW, which it remains today.) This late local newscast from WPIX is from May 8, 1980, 38 years ago today.

Featured news stories include reports on Cuban refugees, the aftermath of an aborted Iranian hostage rescue mission launched by President Carter, the funeral of Yugoslavian leader Tito, controversy surrounding New York City medical official Michael Baden, a local teen who interviewed former President Richard Nixon, and comedian Bob Hope's efforts to help with the Iran hostage crisis. In sports are reports on the NY Islanders in the NHL playoffs, baseball scores for the young 1980 season, basketball scores from the NBA playoffs, and local horse-racing results. Towards the end of the newscast is a report about the controversy surrounding the PBS program "Death of a Princess".

The newscast recording includes the commercial breaks and within the breaks are ads for Potamkin Cadillac (a local car dealership), two different Black & Decker products (garden hoses and step stools), Seven Seas salad dressing, Citizen and Corum watches, Oldsmobile Cutlass autos, Waterpik Shower Massage shower heads, Micom word processors, Exxon information systems, Kaufman - The Carpet Experts, Energizer batteries, and Gravely lawn and garden tractors.


TFTP's Monochrome Monday: "All-Star Revue" from NBC (Feb. 14, 1953)

Posted to Internet Archive by user 'HappySwordsman'
Length - 56:57

TFTP's Monochrome Monday brings you a classic black & white TV program or clip every Monday morning to kick off the week....

In the fall of 1950, NBC launched a new variety show called "Four Star Revue"; the name derived from the four rotating hosts--Ed Wynn, Danny Thomas, Jack Carson, and Jimmy Durante. With the beginning of the show's second season in the fall of 1951--and an expanded roster of rotating hosts--the program's name was changed to "All-Star Revue". The episode above, hosted by singer Perry Como, is from the show's third season and originally aired on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1953.

The episode begins with a rather lengthy and elaborate musical number that has Como arriving at his office and being attended to by a large group of chorus girls, servants, deliverymen, even a shoeshine boy. The rest of the episode features comedy sketches with Joan Blondell, Ben Blue, and Patti Page; songs by Page ("How Much is That Doggie in the Window?"), Como ("You'll Never Walk Alone" from the play "Carousel"), and Page and Como duetting ("Side by Side"). There is also a very strange sketch near the middle in which Como and his kids tour an art museum in which the paintings all come to life and the figures in the paintings do short commercials for sponsor Pet Milk.


TFTP Signs-Off for the Week: Sign-Offs Through the Years - 1987 (KTCA/Minneapolis-St. Paul)

Posted to YouTube by user 'mjanovec'
Length - 3:21

Each Friday afternoon, TFTP signs-off for the week with a classic station sign-off sequence for your enjoyment and to bid farewell until Monday...

And throughout 2018, we are featuring "Sign-Offs Through the Years", as we go year-by-year with each successive week.

Here is a 1987 sign-off (from Saturday, October 17, 1987, to be exact) from Minneapolis-St. Paul public TV station KTCA. (Several months ago, TFTP featured another sign-off from KTCA from just a few years after this one.) After the end of the end credits (and some underwriting announcements) from an episode of "Austin City Limits" is a long ownership/technical voiceover that includes images and title slides from quite a few then-current public TV programs produced by KTCA. This is followed by a credit scroll that lists the roster of KTCA station employees, then by color bars.


TFTP Game Shows: "Get the Message" from ABC (c. mid-1964)

Posted to YouTube by user 'MatchGameProductions'
Length - 21:35

"Get the Message" was one of a number of "clue-guessing" games that were in vogue in the early-1960s after the success of "Password". (TFTP featured another one, "The Object Is", in a recent post.) Hosted at the time of this episode by Frank Buxton (later replaced by Robert Q. Lewis), "Get the Message" itself wasn't much in vogue--it only lasted for about nine months in 1964.

Two three-person teams--one regular contestant and two celebrities on each team, one team all men and the other all women--competed in guessing a "message" (a name, a title, a phrase, etc.). (The celebs here are Howard Keel and Orson Bean on the men's side and Peggy Cass and Phyllis Newman on the women's side.) The two celebs each wrote a one-word clue that were given to the regular contestant who would try to "get the message" based on those clues. The guess alternated until one side solved it. First side with three correct guesses won the game and got to proceed to a bonus game where the regular contestant gave clues to the celebrities.


TFTP Will Return After These Messages: Commercial Block from 1972

Posted to YouTube by user '31Mike'
Length - 5:34

Every Wednesday, TFTP takes a break from regular programming to bring you a selection of classic commercials. We will return after these messages...

This commercial block from 1972 features ads for GE television sets, Superior motor homes, Goodrich tires (with two separate, but very similar, ads), Colt 45 malt liquor, the Yellow Pages (with football player Bart Starr), Alka Seltzer, Taconis tobacco, and New York Life insurance. Also included is a bumper slide promo for ABC's "The Odd Couple".


TFTP Variety: "Solid Gold" from syndication (Jul. 12, 1986)

Posted to YouTube by user 'Michael Pannoni'
Length - 49:13

"Solid Gold", which was syndicated from 1980-1988, is from a genre of TV program that doesn't really exist anymore today--the weekly music countdown show. These programs highlighted the top charting pop songs of the week, sometimes by having the original artist sing them but just as often by featuring a stable of singers or dancers in re-enactments of the songs.

"Solid Gold" usually had dancers do a brief dance routine for the thirty seconds or so of a song that was featured when the original artist was not performing it. Sometimes these routines bordered on the ridiculous, like here with the John Mellencamp song "Rain on the Scarecrow" that features one dancer in a rhinestone scarecrow costume. In this episode, counting down the top ten songs for the week of July 12, 1986, the original artists performing are The Bangles for "If She Knew What She Wants" (#8) and Falco for "Vienna Calling" (#5). And when we say "perform", of course we mean "lip-sync".

Often there would be "performances" by artists that did not have songs in the week's top ten. Here that includes Smokey Robinson, a-ha, Patti Austin, and Kenny Loggins. There are also in this episode segments that seem a little random, such as regular people on the street lip-syncing to the Huey Lewis and the News song "The Heart of Rock and Roll" and a short dance segment based on jukebox hits of the past.

For the record, here's the entire top ten countdown featured in this episode of "Solid Gold": #10 - "Mothers Talk" by Tears for Fears; #9 - "Who's Johnny" by El DeBarge; #8 - "If She Knew What She Wants" by The Bangles; #7 - "Nothin' at All" by Heart; #6 - "Rain on the Scarecrow" by John Cougar Mellencamp; #5 - "Vienna Calling" by Falco; #4 - "There'll Be Sad Songs to Make You Cry" by Billy Ocean; #3 - "Crush on You" by The Jets; #2 - "Move Away" by Culture Club; and #1 - "On My Own" by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald (sung by the show's host, Dionne Warwick).