Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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So I’ve been going through some old videotapes…

Filed under: Films and Video — Charlie Summers @ 1:07 pm

Anyone who’s followed this blog for any length of time knows I am a collector. Ok, “packrat” may be a better definition, although I am trying to be better. One of the things I’ve been doing to reduce the clutter (and the many many boxes in the blackhole I laughingly call a basement) is go through old saved videotapes. I haven’t yet gotten to the hundreds of beta tapes down there (for those of you too young to remember video tape, web search “VHS vs Beta” sometime for an eye-opening overview), but I have started on the hundreds of VHS tapes. In the first box I started to transfer to digital video, where I can store literally hundreds of tapes in the space of a single hard drive, I’ve found:

  • Promo: The Late Late Show: One of the tapes had a 60 Minutes episode, after which there was a 10-second promo for The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, premiering tomorrow night. I have always considered this program truly the last of the late-night talk shows, since that’s exactly what Tom did…talk. He had on interesting guests, asked interesting and interested question, and basically brought his old Tomorrow program to CBS.

    I get that I was one of the few who truly appreciated this program for the jewel it was, and even David Letterman eventually came to the realization it needed to be replaced with a mindless “comedy” show (originally hosted by Craig Kilborn who was never particularly funny and has returned to well-deserved obscurity) then Craig Ferguson who is on his way out - the demographic they were looking for wasn’t interested in smart dialog, but rather sophomoric hijinks. But it was Snyder who set the bar for intelligent talk, and is someone I still greatly miss. I often hoped when he left The Late Late Show he would be given a weekly show in the mold of David Susskind…but it never happened, and Snyder passed away in 2007, taking with him all hope for intelligent, entertaining, and witty television interviews.

  • Great Performances: Jesus Christ Superstar: I have always loved this rock opera…I remember listening to it over and over, wearing out the records on the little record player in my room at home. In retrospect, I must have driven my parents (and the neighbors) crazy with those two disks. To this day, I can hear the entire thing in my head (the original, without the songs added for the Broadway and movie versions), and each Good Friday I sing it to the walls of my office.

    But I have no memory whatsoever of this version. Apparently broadcast April 11, 2001, I recorded this Really Useful Films production to a high-grade tape, and I swear I don’t remember watching it. Still haven’t, although as soon I can gather together two hours I’m going to lock the door to my office and enjoy.

  • Coming this fall - James Camron’s first television series: Yep, a 10-second promo for Dark Angel. And let me admit I still have an old-man crush on Jessica Alba.

  • E! True Hollywood Story - Dallas. Sometime I’ll tell you the story of why Dallas was a weekly guilty pleasure, but this E! program dug the dirt about its history…and only a little way in, got everything completely wrong (They talked about the show leasing the “Southfork” ranch for the five-episode opening mini-series, not realizing that series was shot at a completely different ranch, one with a main house and three sibling houses out back.)

    Still, it’s trashy television about trashy television. What’s to complain about?

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