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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2010!
Assistant Editor / Co-moderator: Terence Nuzum

Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eleventh calendar year!
Number 552  (Vol. 11, No. 43). This edition is for the week of October 18--24, 2010.

Where At?

  • R.I.P., Tom Bosley
  • R.I.P., Johnny Sheffield
  • Where Have All The "T"s Gone?
  • Where Have All The UFOs Gone?
  • R.I.P., Barbara Billingsley

    Readers: I hate weeks when PCR seems like a funeral home for celebrities, but the death notices just won't stop. I'll try and find something more upbeat by week's end!


    R.I.P., TOM BOSLEY
    POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2010

    -- THE FIRST DECADE --
    Crazed Fanboy's Most Memorable Moments, 2000--2009
    As submitted by PCR writers, compiled by Chris Woods
    THE DROW: ALL HALLOW'S EVE!
    From 2005, Dylan Jones' article on the history of Halloween.
    I'd seemingly no sooner put the "RIP TV Mom, Barbara Billingsley" piece to bed, when news came over the wire regarding the passing of Happy Days TV Dad, Tom Bosley, at age 83.

    Already a familiar face on '60s and '70s TV, Tom Bosley found his greatest fame as Howard Cunningham on the '70s sitcom Happy Days, itself a spinoff from an episode of Love, American Style. Much of the Happy Days cast either came from already successful careers, like Ron Howard ("Richie Cunningham") or went on to greater success afterwards, like Henry Winkler ("Fonzie") and to a lesser extent Erin Moran and Scott Baio.

    I was a fan of the show, but not all that regular a watcher. Just enough to be conversant. But I admired what they had accomplished.

    Like too many retired or semi-retired actors, Tom Bosley wound up late in life on the late-late informercials shilling for companies like SMC (direct-marketing warehouse). I sometimes confuse that with the hair-transplant outfit "Bosley Medical Institute", but the two are unrelated.

    Tom Bosley marks still another beloved personality from TV's Silver Age to leave our plane of existence and will be sorely missed.

    BTW, this week's Mike's Rant features an outstanding in-depth look at the lives of both Barbara Billingsley and Tom Bosley.


    Comment


    R.I.P., JOHNNY SHEFFIELD
    POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2010

    "Boy" to Johnny Weissmuller's "Tarzan" is some of the most popular movies ever to star the jungle muscleman, Johnny Sheffield, has died at the age of 79.

    Sheffield beat out more than 300 other youngsters for the role of Boy in the 1939 movie Tarzan Finds a Son! and went on to co-star with Johnny Weissmuller in seven more Tarzan films.

    He later played another jungle boy, Bomba, in a dozen movies but quit the business after the last one in 1955.

    He continued to get fan mail for decades afterwards. He worked for various companies and dealt in real estate, but he always remained grateful for his fans.

    Sheffield is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.


    Comment



    WHERE HAVE ALL THE "T"S GONE?
    POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2010

    OK, I've had it. Will someone out there PLEEEEEEEASE tell me why young people---females in particular---have been dropping the "t" sound in their language?

    Instead of "No, I didn't!", it's "No, I dih-int!" Or..."What a cute kitten" becomes "What a cute kih-in". This morning while watching the news, one of the folks interviewed about the importance of practicing safety on Halloween, a lady (adult!) who owns a costume shop, stressed how very "impor-ant" it is. And every time she said it, it was "impor-ant". Is there some instance of a pop culture influence I missed? A lame British accent maybe? Some TV show I couldn't care less about where nobody pronounces "t"s that became all the rage while I wasn't looking?

    I actually asked one girl I know why she drops her "t"s now. She claims she always has--even though I know for a fact that's not true!

    Anyone who can enligh-en me about this is invited to post a response on the message board via the link below. And thanks. It's impor-ant.


    Comment


    WHERE HAVE ALL THE UFOS GONE?
    POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2010

    Long-time readers are aware of my fascination with the paranormal and the copious amounts of writing appearing in PCR about it by Will Moriaty and myself. The recent spate of UFO sightings in China and New York prompted many inquiries as to why Ye Olde Editor has remained silent on the subject until now.

    Sorry to say, I was simply not terribly impressed with either one! If anything, the China "lights" that temporarily closed an airport carried some small interest, but the nighttime photos I saw were not revealing, and any useful information from the ministry was not likely forthcoming.

    Sadder still are the "Manhattan objects", shiny orbs that floated over New York for a time last week. To me, they are obviously mylar balloons (similar to the ones that caused the sensational Mexican UFO flap in the '90s). Even the YouTube video on news pages regarding the Manhattan objects featured a background voice stating, "I think those are balloons" (!!).

    The bottom line is as baby-boomers age, the UFO "product" that was sold to us during our lifetime is not finding a similarly-sized new audience (Bigfoot, et.,al, is another matter). Moreover, new digital cameras are not capable of romanticizing a light in the sky the way old film stock could.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's all but disappeared. But younger people do not have the Cold War backdrop to intensify the paranoia about alien invasions. Their attentions are elsewhere. UFOs have gone back underground. Kinda ironic, that.


    Comment


    R.I.P., BARBARA BILLINGSLEY
    POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2010

    The quissentential '60s TV mom, Barbara Billingsley, is dead at the age of 94.

    Most identified as mother to "Beaver" Cleaver in the '60s sit-com Leave it to Beaver, Billingsley, along with Hugh Beaumont (Mr. Cleaver) established the first major template for the proverbial "normal American family". Their kids Theodore "Beaver" (Jerry Mathers) and Wally (Tony Dow) paraded out a little morality tale every week to supposedly relect typical suburbia for the better part of a decade (starting in 1957).

    I must confess here and now that I was never all that big a fan of Leave it to Beaver even back in the '60s--it was a bit too syrupy-sweet even for my innocent, pre-hippie youthful self. In their zeal to make Beaver kinda dim-witted so Wally would always have to bail him out, Mathers always seemed to suffer from some condition that bordered on Asberger's Syndrome or something. Nowadays, whenever I catch an episode on RetroTV, I marvel more at what we accepted as "typical" before the British Invasion changed the entire topography of pop culture. But I digress...

    Barbara Billingsley enjoyed a major comeback of sorts during the '80s when TV and movie producers, children who grew up with the Beaver, were now in a position to re-employ their childhood icons. Most notable is her appearance in the movie Airplane (1980) as the plane passenger who is conscripted to speak "Jive" to two African-Americans the stewardess cannot understand.

    Despite my tepid attitude toward Leave it to Beaver, I admired Billingsley's pro attitude in that she gave it all to any part she was in, right up to the end. She will be sorely missed.


    Comment

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