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Tom Holmberg

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About Tom Holmberg

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  1. Something made me wish the automatic sliding door would cut her in half when she was hanging half in and half out. Now THAT would be a commercial!
  2. I tried doing a search, but it came back with no hits (though I can't believe this hasn't been discussed), but if I was an inventor why the hell would I go to George Foreman for advice? I think I'd go to a patent attorney.
  3. I still find Sue Randall attractive. I liked her in "Desk Set", a movie that always seems to be more relevant to today whenever I see it (with the dangers of AI taking away jobs). It's a pity she died at such a young age.
  4. "Hit and Run." (Season 1, Episode 13) Kookie borrows Stu's T-Bird for a date with the cute college student Chick Hammons (the beautiful Susan Randall, looking cute in a pair of cat's-eye glasses). On the way there Kookie passes the scene of a hit-and-run accident. Soon after he's chased and tried to be run off the road by a big black car, that crashes, barely missing a pedestrian. Kookie rushes to the scene of the accident to find the woman driver badly disfigured by the crash. Kookie asks the lucky pedestrian to call an ambulance while he stays with the injured driver. The police arrive and immediately assume that hot-rodder Kookie, being a "punk kid" (despite his actual age, as Kookie even points out), was the cause of the accident. The police also reveal that Kookie's witness never called them. At the station the police give Kookie the third-degree until Stu shows up to bail Kookie out. The accident victim was former actress Liz Murray (Gloria Robertson, in a thankless role she spends wrapped like a mummy, perhaps explaining her short career in movies and TV) trophy wife of wealthy contractor Robert Clark Murray (famous face Robert H. Harris, who, despite his background was often cast as a variety of ethnic types). Stu and Kookie go to visit Murray, who seems more concern about his wife's good-looks than her well-being. Murray informs them that he intends to prosecute Kookie and sue Bailey & Spencer for negligence. Later Murray visits his distraught wife at the hospital and she tells him that she had planned to tell him that night (after hat shopping) that she was going to leave him and return to her acting career. Stu enlists Kookie's girlfriend Chick, an art student, to produce a drawing of Kookie's missing witness. Meanwhile the missing witness finds Murray first and blackmails him to keep quiet and leave town. With the finished drawing, Jeff calls Kookie in to do his usual canvassing of skid row for info on the missing witness. Murray drops into 77ss to inform Stu and Kookie that he'll drop his case if Kookie takes the blame, otherwise he'll sue the pants off of them. Kookie decides "It ain't honest" and Stu agrees. Murray has the missing witness cooped up in a skid row flophouse. The witness decides he wants more of Murray's filthy lucre. A fight ensues and Murray accidentally kills the witness. Stu shows up at the flophouse (tipped off by Roscoe's sleuthing) just as the police show up. Together they go to question the mystery man, only to find him dead. A search of the room locates $500. The police show up at the Murray's with Stu to question Liz and the truth comes out. Kookie, no longer under a cloud of suspicion, finally gets his date with Chick (lucky dog!). The episode demonstrates that, given something to work with, Edd Byrnes was a pretty good actor. I think I mentioned that as a young boy I thought Beaver's teacher, as played by Sue Randall, pretty hot. Not at all like my teachers who tended to be old maids (but probably weren't really that old). No Gil, despite homicide being involved. No Suzanne. The Kookie Kar makes another welcomed appearance, though.
  5. Small Talk: Gumshoe Gab

    Nice Location shot of Dino's and 77SS
  6. "The Vicious Circle." (Season 1, Episode 10) Blake Catto (game show host Bert Convy) has been kidnapped by former associates (including familiar bad guy actor Frank DeKova) of his ex-mob boss father Lou Catto (famous face Harold J. Stone, once again typecast as a gangster). The only witness to the crime was Kookie, who reported the crime to a disbelieving police department. When he reports the crime to Jeff, he also discounts the story. Lou Catto and his ex-gangster associate Pete Schreiber (famous face George Tobias, usually dim-witted henchmen or pal to the hero, though best known as Abner Kravitz from “Bewitched”) deliver the $150,000 ransom to the crooks and they let sonny boy loose. Blake Catto, a lawyer by profession, tells papa that he should report the crime to the police and let them handle it. Lou doesn't think the cops will investigate a crime committed against a ex-mob boss. Just when Lou thinks he's out, his former associates pull him back into the world of crime. Lou intends to deal with the problem the "Chicago way." Blake visits Lt. Gilmore (finally joining the cast) but Gil says he can do nothing unless his father swears out a complaint. But after Blake leaves his office, Gil orders some discreet inquiries be made. With seeming police indifference, Blake hires Stu to get evidence that there was a kidnapping and to identify the kidnappers. Even though blindfolded the whole time, Blake was able to make some useful observations using his other senses to provide some clues about the crime. Jeff assigns Roscoe to check with his underworld contacts for any info. Jeff has Stu consult with Gil, who was in the OSS with Stu during WWII. He also gets Kookie up at 5 a.m. to assist in locating where Blake was held by the kidnappers, using the clues Blake has provided (including the fact, repeatedly mentioned that Blake could tell by the smell that the shack was near a chicken farm). Jeff, Kookie and Blake drive out into the hills to locate the shack. Unknown to them, Lou and Pete are tailing them. Unknown to them, Lt. Gilmore and Sgt. Finnegan are tailing them. They all wind up at the shack, where the crooks are still conveniently hiding out. A siege of the shack is undertaken by the allied good guys, with Kookie manning a teargas gun (and combing his hair between shots). During the walk through the woods, Kookie talks about his days in the Army, even though later on in the show's run its made clear Kookie was in the Navy. At last, all the pieces of the traditional 77SS are in place. Roscoe is used as legman. Gil is their police contact. Frankie Ortega plays at Dino's (where Stu tries a grasshopper). There is witty banter among the cast members- Suzanne tells Kookie he'll never be a P.I. because he couldn't find a bear in a phone booth. * "One False Step." (Season 1, Episode 11) Or "Strangers on a Plane." Wastrel mystery writer Marc Harrington (Richard Long, effectively playing the villain), pretending to be John Smith, gets in a discussion with congressional aide David Evans (Edward Kemmer, “Space Patrol”, but not Trump’s space patrol), on board a plane from Washing, D.C. to LA. Marc suggests to David, who's trying to get his wife to agree to a divorce, that they swap murders. Marc will kill David's wife and David will kill Marc's wealthy aunt. Without a motive they would be perfect crimes. David thinks Marc is joking at first, but later as he is leaving the airport and he finds marc returning immediately to Washington, he decides Marc is serious. David hires Bailey & Spencer to protect his estranged wife (and we know how that will end up). Stu flies out to Washington with David. Meanwhile, the much more efficient Marc has already stalked and met David's wife. Stu warns Mildred Evans (Lynn Bernay, Bernay went on to a long career as a costume designer) that she's in danger and stakes out her apartment. There he discovers that Pat Forsyth (Connie Stevens), sister of David new fiancée, Diana Forsyth, also watching the apartment. Marc calls Mildred and makes a date for dinner. Marc drives Mildred out to the river with the promise of dinner on a yacht, and with some nicely tricky camera work, Marc strangles her. Marc meets David outside his home and to David's horror informs him that he fulfilled his part of the bargain. The police show up and run David in for questioning. The police also bring in Stu, who lies about what he's been up to. Marc contacts David with instructions for killing his aunt Ella (familiar face Isabel Randolph, often playing snooty society matrons), using the fact that he has David's lighter, which he had stolen on the plane, as leverage to get David to finish his half of their bargain. Jeff, using the info that Marc's book was published by a vanity press that Marc had let slip to David, gives Stu John Smith's real name. Stu, using his brilliant detective skills, manages (after much paging through the H's) to find Marc Harrington's name in the phone book. Channeling her inner Nancy Drew, Pat goes to the Harrington house to try to find David's lighter, only to find Stu hiding in the closet. Stu comes out of the closet (not that way!), while Pat find's Mildred's glasses. Pat puts the glasses on to show Stu., just as Marc walks in and sees her. The guilty, and quite insane, Marc, thinking the woman is Mildred faints dead away. letting Stu and Pat escape. When Marc calls David with the final instructions and threats, David hangs up on him. Enraged, Marc returns to the scene of the crime to plant the lighter, only to see Mildred's ghost (played by Pat) haunting him. Marc goes completely around the bend at the sight. When I first saw this episode, I was like WTF, it's "Strangers on a Train"! But the show credits Patricia Highsmith for the original book and Raymond Chandler for the original screenplay, so they weren't trying to fool anybody. Obviously, considering the source, this is a very effective thriller. Richard Long is very good playing the psycho villain (though you have to wonder who he was sleeping with to keep getting roles on 77SS?). The show rarely got this stylish with its camera work either. One of the better episodes, if not a typical 77SS episode. Richard Long and Connie Stevens would go on to star in other 77SS spinoffs. Richard Long would even join Bailey & Spencer for a season, and Connie Stevens would record "Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb" with Edd Byrnes. Should be considered one of the top episodes of the series.
  7. Pilot Season and Shows in Development

    There's a reboot of "Alf" in the works https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/alf-reboot-warner-bros-tv-1202892541/
  8. Especially anything sold by Hunter Ellis (whoever he is) and that Flex Seal guy.
  9. I like that they think the people who watch the retro channels are on their last legs and have one foot in the grave already, what with all their moderate to severe ailments, lack of oxygen and fear of break-ins.
  10. Last night Me-TV reran the "Hoodlum Rock" episode (featuring "Scum of the Earth"), among my favorites (even though I was into punk rock at the time). I like the line where Pievy explains that Scum asked him what time it was in the limo on the way to the station. When he said, "I don't know", Scum said "Well, that's it for him" and threw him from the car.
  11. That's sort of a P.I. cliché. They were always getting knocked out to further the story. I wonder why we don't hear about CTEs in P.I.s? Yes, Lucinda should have cut the whole bunch off. She probably would today and set up a foundation for retired show business types. It's more than likely a 50s thing. The "Strangers on a Train" episode is coming up.
  12. Small Talk: Gumshoe Gab

    Tonight's (8/6-8/7) 77SS is the first in the long line of Stu goes to Europe and fights the Red Menace episodes ("Iron Curtain Caper "). Needless to say, I'll skip it.
  13. "All Our Yesterdays." (Season 1, Episode 7) "Title. Title. Title." Sleazy Henry Lane (famous face Herbert Rudley, Eve Arden’s husband in“The Mothers-in-Law”) hires Stu to keep an eye on his wealthy former silent movie queen Lucinda Lane (real former silent movie star Doris Kenyon, in real life Kenyon started her own production company). Stu arrives at the palatial Lane mansion to be greeted by Lucinda's icy blonde personal assistant Marcia Frome (Merry Anders, first of five 77SS appearances). Stu is going to be producer of the big budget, narrow screen, black and white, silent movie Lucinda is financing for her comeback. Stu discovers that Henry wants to get his hands on the foolish old woman Lucinda's fortune before she blows it all on a silent movie remake of her big hit "Foolish Girl" by proving her incompetent when he finds him in his office reading his files. Stu's first job as producer is to reassemble the old silent movie gang for the film. With some help from Kookie, Stu locates director Harkness Jones (Owen McGiveney) directing traffic as a school crossing guard. Drunken screenwriter Roderick Delaquois (John Carradine, progenitor of the whole Carradine clan) is living in a shack as a beach bum on the beach at Malibu (possibly a neighbor of J.R.). Lucinda's male lead Bramwell Stone (real-life silent matinee idol Francis X. Bushman, the silent "Ben-Hur") is retired, boring his uninterested family with stories of old Hollywood. Stu finds a whole flock of hungry Lane buzzards in his office-cousin Charles Lane (character actor John Hubbard), his wife Marion, and Henry's wife Harriet-all eager to get the case started. Stu threatens to quash the case if they pursue it and Henry figures they can wait for more evidence before proceeding. Back at the Lane mansion Marcia gives Stu a good slapping for his part in the plot and Stu removes her glasses and gives her a good smacking, on the lips. Stu confesses he didn't know what Henry and the rest were planning when he took the job. When Stu tries to get Lucinda to cut back on expenses or at least film a talkie, Lucinda extravagantly says she may spend more than the original million dollars she planned, including buying a movie studio. Henry visits Stu at Dino's to pump him for information (where Frankie Ortega gets in a nice musical joke), while cousin Charlie gets a visit from loan sharks wanting the money he owes them. Charles sics the goons on Stu, who beat him up and dump him in a cheap hotel with stolen money, all set up to be arrested. But Lucinda and Marcia ride to the rescue and bail Stu out. Now Stu is able to ethically quit working for the Lanes, but continues as Lucinda's producer. Even Lucinda's old-time associates on the film are now worried by how much she is spending. Stu gets a subpoena to appear at the Lane's commitment hearing. A visit to Lucinda's doctor before the hearing clarifies everything for Stu wrapping up the case with everybody happy, except maybe greedy cousin Charlie. Marcia's so happy she takes off her own glasses for a kiss from Stu (proving that girls who wear glasses do make passes). An effective sentimental story and tribute to the stars of the silent screen, who would soon be passing on. One of the strengths of shows from this era was that it was common practice to vary the mood of the show, interspersing humorous episodes, serious episodes, sentimental episodes, message episodes, etc. Also appearing (uncredited) in the episode was silent movie comedian "Snub" Pollard. * "The Well-Selected Frame." (Season 1, Episode 8) Jeff hangs around city parks trying to pick up beautiful women. A beautiful woman, Valerie Stacey (sultry Peggie Castle), picks him up instead. She wants to hire him to stop her husband, Howard Stacey (famous face Bartlett Robinson, "To Serve Man" episode of “The Twilight Zone”) who's in love with his secretary, from trying to murder her to avoid alimony. Stu suggests she contact the police, but Valerie insists she wants him to investigate. Valerie suggests that Jeff come and stay at the house, disguised as an architect, to better keep a private eye on the situation. At the Stacey house Jeff meets Lotus Wong (Francis Fong), introduced with a totally racist gong, Howard and Alec Lewis (Richard Webb, “Captain Midnight”), Valerie's brother. Meeting with Valerie in the garden, she lays a big thank you kiss on him just as the butler appears. Valerie tells Jeff she needs to meet with him later, in private, in her room. Jeff again suggests the police, wanting to get out of the job, but Valerie insists only Jeff can help her. In her room, Valerie whacks Jeff over the head with a poker. And when he awakens he finds his gun in his hand and a dead husband. Valerie and Alec is also present and a pack of police are just outside. Jeff jumps out a window and hides in Lotus' room, after spying on her in a bubble bath. Jeff escapes from the house with the assistance of Lotus after calling Stu for assistance. Jeff hitchhikes to a beach house (that looks suspiciously like J.R.'s Malibu house) to find Lotus waiting for him (okay, don't ask how, they can't explain it). With an APB out for him Jeff does the only logical thing, naturally he goes for a swim with Lotus. Stu eventually shows up to offer little help besides the fact that Valerie was previously married to a pilot shot down over Korea. Jeff returns to the scene of the crime to question Alec, which consists mainly of a knock down, drag out fight. Valerie offers Jeff two alternatives, claim that he killed Howard in self-defense when he attacked him with the poker and she'll give him $10 million of her inheritance for a couple of years in prison, or she'll claim that Jeff murdered Howard in cold blood and she knocked him out with the poker and Jeff will get the electric chair. Not great choices for our hero. At the coroner's jury, in a not very exciting dénouement, Jeff takes the third alternative, telling the whole truth and having his lawyer question the somewhat confused Alec. The truth will out. A par for the course 77SS episode in the noir tradition, with beautiful dames and wealthy suspects. The rest of the cast has little to do.
  14. "Casualty" (Season 1, Episode 5) "I just want to say one word to you. Just one word... Plastics."-"The Graduate." The Las Vegas Meteor Casino is losing their shirts and need Bailey & Spencer to investigate. Someone is cheating the casino by passing counterfeit $100 chips on the casino floor. Casino executive Cranston McDonald (famous face, character actor Russ Conway,) hires Stu, giving him the low-down on how the chips are manufactured. Stu checks out the company that manufactures the chips, Acme Plastics (well-known as the company of choice by coyotes worldwide). At Acme Stu learns that the company takes as many precautions as the U.S. Mint in manufacturing the chips, even including "sintered aluminum powder" in the chips. He also learns that the former manufacturing chief quit to start his own plastics company. Teaming up with Kookie (who's driving the famous Kookie Kar, which he should have driven throughout the show, especially instead of that crummy Ford Falcon), Stu pretends to be a vacuum cleaner salesman when he visits Anton Krieger's (famous face Otto Waldis, busy character actor, frequently playing villians or henchmen) rival plastics company. Demonstrating the efficiency of his vacuum on the factory floor, Stu sweeps up incriminating "sintered aluminum powder." Staking out Krieger's factory, Las Vegas loser and drunken ex-pharmacist Richardson appears to be the go-between for the phony chips. In Las Vegas showgirl and aspiring nightclub singer Diane Adams (Ruta Lee, first of five 77SS appearances), picks up the chips for her boyfriend Chicago gangster Frank "Frenchy" La Tour (famous face, bad guy Brad Dexter, “The Magnificent Seven”). Jeff sends Stu to Miami to meet with gambler Chick Brouse, who sets Stu up with the identity of crooked gambler and small-time hood Larry Costigan. Back in Las Vegas, Stu engineers a meeting with Diane, who later introduces Stu as Costigan to Frenchy. Stu ingratiates himself with Frenchy at a poker game while one of Frenchy's button men checks Stu out. Frenchy intends to enlist Stu in helping pass the counterfeit chips. Unfortunately, a L.A. mobster turns up who identifies Stu to Frenchy. Frenchy uses Diane to set up Stu for a fall, by filling his cigarette lighter with nitroglycerin (there isn't an easier way of killing someone? But then again the Surgeon General has warned that cigarettes are bad for your health). Stu ends up in a poker game with Frenchy and his goons, where Stu turns the table uses the lighter to get the goods on the counterfeiters. Pretty much a template 77SS episode, except they still haven't got the rest of the cast to lighten the story with a little humor yet. For instance, this would have been a perfect episode for Roscoe to appear in, but sadly nope. Dyan Cannon (as Diane Cannon) had a bit part, in an early appearance in her long career. Ray Teal (Sheriff Coffee from “Bonanza” also has a bit part, letting the air out of Diane Adams’ tire) * "Two and Two Make Six" (Season 1, Episode 6) A gimpy assassin want ex-con, war hero Bruce Wayne- no, Ernie Detterback (Adam West) dead. Beautiful dress designer Alice Detterback (Whitney Blake, Dorothy Baxter “Mrs. B” on “Hazel.” She was also the creator of the series “One Day at a Time.”), Ernie's wife, picks up Jeff in Dino's and hires him to investigate the attempts on her husband's life. Alice knows Jeff because he was the one who put Ernie in prison (or as Jeff says, Ernie's hold up of jewelry messenger, Jim Bird, put Ernie in prison). On a trip to stately Detterback manor someone takes a shot at Jeff. Jeff pursues leads by a trip to Nelson's Department store where Alice works. There a sleazy elevator operator, Baldwin (famous face Karl Swenson, "Little House on the Prairie") gives Jeff a tip that store exec Clyde Shafter (John Stephenson, Mr. Slate from “The Flintstones”), Alice's boss, occasionally drives Alice home after the store closes. When Ernie threatens Jeff over involving his wife in the investigation he forgets his cigarette case, with the names Bolton, Conover, Highsmith, Klee, Lazarra and Shafter engraved inside. Back at stately Dettterback manor to question Ernie and Alice, Jeff gets attacked by a thug in the street, but the thug gets plugged by the mysterious assassin before Jeff can question him. At police HQ not-Gil police detective Coletti (Barney Phillips, in his second appearance as Coletti) questions Jeff, Ernie and Shafter. Aiding Jeff's investigation Coletti finds that Conover, Lazarra and Klee are all dead. The next day Shafter falls from the sixth floor of his department store. Obviously the cigarette case in the common denominator in all the deaths. After much hemming and hawing Detterback recalls that he picked up the cigarette case from messenger Jim Bird in the jewelry hold up he was arrested for. Locating Prof. Highsmith (the unfortunately named Douglas Dick), the college professor (you can tell he's a professor, he wears glasses) recalls there was a Klee in his unit in Korea. Later Highsmith turns up at stately Detterback manor with Jeff, Ernie and Alice. Highsmith, who claims he had been followed all day, tells Jeff that he remembered a Bolton from Korea. He had been hold up in a cave with five other random soldiers, hiding from the Chi Coms. One of the men was a badly wounded Bolton. Highsmith, Klee and the others left the badly injured Bolton in the cave as they made their escape. Jeff knows now that someone wanted to kill the five soldiers who left Bolton behind and Detterback was involved only because he had the cigarette case, the key to the whole case (so to speak). How Jeff wraps up the case is an unintentional hoot. The ex-soldier revenge plot is something of a cliché (usually its ex-POWs being killed) but it still works, though I thought the guilty party was pretty obvious from the beginning. The producers still seem to be treating the show as a straight forward mystery series, with little humor except for Kookie's banter.
  15. BUZZR TV: Classic Game Shows

    I don't get BUZZR anymore, but apparently they are showing old "Beat the Clock" episodes (which James Dean and Warren Oates were a stunt testers for) , which would be worth watching. Another show they should run is "Truth or Consequences."