TV Q&A: In Search of a Satirical Soap | Entertainment


Rich Heldenfels Tribune News Service

You have questions. I have some answers – after a long visit to the Entertainment Vault.

Q: Here’s one for old memories: many years ago I remember a TV show, or series, taking place in an office in front of computers, where all the bosses were women and the secretaries were men. The men endured the usual harassment – patting on the buttocks, sexual innuendo, etc. Any info on this show?

To respond: You most likely remember “All That Glitters,” a satirical Norman Lear soap opera that aired in syndication for a few months in 1977. The cast included Linda Gray, Eileen Brennan, Lois Nettleton, and Gary Sandy. Cary O’Dell of noted that Lear’s success with another comedy soap opera, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”, led to “All That Glitters”, but the latter failed to attract an audience. O’Dell says the show was interesting and on point in its social commentary, but still fell short artistically. I remember watching it back then and not sticking with it.

Q: On Christmas Day a few years ago, I heard Elvis Presley sing a holiday song with the chorus “Why can’t every day be like Christmas?” I searched on iTunes, I searched it on Google, etc., but I couldn’t find this song. Do you have any ideas?

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To respond: Let me dig deep into my own collection of Elvis and… there’s “If Every Day Were Like Christmas,” written by Elvis’ friend Red West. First released in 1966, it has appeared on several Elvis Christmas collections over the years.

Q: Can you identify a song and singer from 1950. It was called “Wanderin’” and I used to write to the only radio station we had and ask for it to be played. I found other songs with the same name but not my song.

To respond: You were looking for a recording of bandleader Sammy Kaye’s “Wanderin'” (whose catchphrase was “Swing and Sway With Sammy Kaye”), with vocals from Tony Alamo and the Kaye Choir. Although there are other versions of the song, which date back well before 1950, we were able to pin it down after hearing Kaye’s recording on YouTube. There are various collections of Kaye recordings available.

Q: A number of years ago we saw a movie with John Belushi called “Continental Divide”. We would like to see him again. Where should I look?

To respond: “Continental Divide,” from 1981, was an attempt to make Belushi a romantic comedy star, in this case opposite Blair Brown. It was Belushi’s penultimate screen role, followed only by “Neighbours” later that same year. Online rental sites with the movie include Amazon Prime Video and VUDU. It was also released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Q: I tried to remember the name of a sitcom about convicts that came out around the same time as “Barney Miller.” Both shows were promoted as “Funny Cops, Funny Cons”. I don’t think the convict show lasted a whole season.

To respond: It’s “On the Rocks”, which in the fall of 1975 came immediately after “Barney Miller”; this show had premiered earlier in the same year. According to “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable Shows”, ABC billed the programming as “funny cops and funny robbers”. As you remember, “Rocks” was not a hit. Jose Perez, Hal Williams and Rick Hurst were among the stars; it was based on a British show called “Porridge”.

Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, PO Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or [email protected]


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