Friday, April 27, 2012
"NBC; Our Saturday Night Babysitter"
Can any of you tell me what your TV schedule will look like tonight, without the assistance of TV Guide? I'll bet you remote cowboys can't. Yet, long before NBC became a mouth piece for Obama, and the source for funneling liberal gruel to the masses, NBC once served as our Saturday night baby sitter.
Our mom often took waitress work at night and Saturday is always a busy night for waitresses. But, having already reached our early teens we kids had to rely on NBC to keep us in line on Saturday night. They succeeded.
Before we reached our older teen years we had to settle for having our fun in front of the TV. And it wasn't a bad gig at all! Mom always made supper before she left for work so we always had dinner together.
As she left for work we kids geared up for snacking and wallowing. We were almost always rewarded with a six-pack of Pepsi (not an every day beverage as it is now), a bag of peanuts and a candy bar. Thus, began the orgy of junk food and TV.
Even now I can tell you the schedule. At 7:30 NBC presented "Flipper". For those of you who just arrived on the planet, Flipper was about a very smart dolphin who, from one week to another, performed feats as diverse as saving an injured Sea Lion to leading the good guys to a nest of modern day crooks up to no good at all. Flipper was very intelligent and loving and thrilled us with his brilliance.
At 8:00 Jeannie came curling out of her bottle on "I Dream of Jeannie". Long before Larry Hagman became the evil-doer on Dallas, he was just mild, slightly fumbling Major Tony, "master" to Jeannie.
Now this show worked in so many ways. It was funny, yes. But, for a teen age boy, Jeannie was as close to pure sex that you were ever going to get on TV in those days. Though the network censors insisted that Jeannie cover her navel, those wispy halters that holstered those lovely breasts, and that bare mid-riff sent teen hormones into the stratosphere! And Jeannie was always hugging Tony and kissing him and would do ANYTHING to please "master". Folks, do I need to say any more?
At 8:30 Get Smart came on. The show, produced by Mel Brooks, was extremely funny. It featured a bumbling government secret agent named Maxwell Smart who, long before cell phones, had to remove his shoe to call his boss. We hormonal teens were further rewarded by getting to see long, lanky and sexy Barbara Feldman who weekly saved Max Smart from disaster.
At 9:00, having plowed through a bag of peanuts, a candy bar and a bottle of Pepsi, we gained our second wind on a sugar high and settled in to watch NBC's Saturday Night At the Movies. This was a great treat. The quality of the movies was always first rate. Of course, they were older movies, but they were movies with class. Flicks like "Titanic", a bio of John Phillip Souza, "Casa Blanca", "Demetrius and the Gladiators", "Hercules" were all perfect fare for our viewing.
11:00PM NBC surrenders national programming and our local NBC affiliate takes charge. Another round of movies! And this time it is the chilling, scare the hell out of the kids type movies. And my brother and sister and I were prepared for it. Run around the house, batten down the window locks, re-check the doors, then back to the living room where we dimmed the lights and waited to be scared to death. We're talking "Dracula", "Frankenstein", "The Wolf Man", "House of Wax", "House of Usher" and all manner of other goulish fare.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...we've fallen asleep at sometime during the late evening and we are either awakened by mom chiding us for not going to bed, or we are awakened by that Indian on the screen signaling the end of programming.
The next morning we awaken in stupor of a sugar hangover and must get up and dress for Sunday School. We whine about it but somehow know that the punishment of church is our due after the orgy of TV and junk food, a Saturday night debauching. Besides, I needed to go and ask God for forgiveness at what I was thinking while watching Jeannie in that wispy genie outfit.