Sunday, August 15, 2010

"A hot dog makes her lose control"

Sitcoms about crazy kooky teenagers were the rage in the 60s. Best opening titles of the bunch was THE PATTY DUKE SHOW. If you're a baby boomer you can probably still sing the words. My favorite lyric of course is "A hot dog makes her lose control". Hmmm? What hidden meaning could that have in 1965 to a generation of adolescents?



Later today, the worst 60s teen show opening titles. Get ready to cringe.

31 comments:

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Always wondered about that hot dog. I'm sure you'll get a plethora of other people's bests, Ken. I can't think of any.

Mike Schryver said...

To begin the plethora, another '60s teen theme I loved along with The Patty Duke Show was Gidget.
I can't imagine what the worst one is.

Vic Secret said...

I agree with Bob. The Patty Duke show theme was very subliminal. If a "hot dog" made her lose control, I wonder what other toys worked for her??

Baylink said...

Nabisco made the *buns* for those hotdogs, too, no?

I'm surprised no one gave them any crap about identical cousins, which sort of implies her mom got DP'd by twin brothers, no?

StvHerbert said...

Any truth that the hot dog in the song was a reference to a dance? I've heard that.

Gary said...

This doesn't hold a votive candle to The Flying Nun.

Josie said...

Am I the only person who hears that as Hard Rock and not Hot Dog?

Rinaldo said...

I was in high school when this was on, and we all wondered about that hot dog too. (There was no dance of that name known to anyone I've ever met. And sorry Josie, but you may indeed be the only one!)

This is great, but I prefer the first version of the theme, from 1963. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSgtxo4R8JU In 1965 Sid Ramin went for (or was ordered to serve up) a straight rock beat, but when the show was new he gave it a jazzier, bouncier background that feels right to me.

Sid Ramin is still alive and delightful, by the way. He earned his immortality in TV with this theme and "Music To Watch Girls By" (Benson & Hedges). But he also orchestrated (with collaborators) West Side Story and Gypsy! An amazing gentleman.

Anonymous said...

I wish TV Land still showed this kind of stuff. "Roseanne" is now their idea of nostalgia. They used to show great stuff that couldn't be seen anywhere else and even the old commercials. It was brilliant.

D. McEwan said...

"Josie said...
Am I the only person who hears that as Hard Rock and not Hot Dog?"


Yes. And what sense would "A hard rock makes her lose control" even make?

I have a friend who performs this song in his act, only he replaces the word "Cousins" with "Lesbians", and replaces "At times they even talk alike," with "at times they even sleep together."

Josie said...

I probably am wrong, since no one else hears it, but it sounds to me like "the hard rock makes her lose control" which makes sense in context.

Ellen said...

Hot ROD, people! It's a CAR. Ha.

Tom Quigley said...

Wonder how she felt about zucchini?....

KEN LEVINE said...

Been to numerous lyric sites. Here's what they all say:


Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere,
From Zanzibar to Barclay Square.
But Patty's only seen the sight.
A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights --
What a crazy pair!

But they're cousins,
Identical cousins all the way.
One pair of matching bookends,
Different as night and day.

Where Cathy adores a minuet,
The Ballet Russes, and crepe suzette,
Our Patty loves to rock and roll,
A hot dog makes her lose control --
What a wild duet!

Still, they're cousins,
Identical cousins and you'll find,
They laugh alike, they walk alike,
At times they even talk alike --

You can lose your mind,
When cousins are two of a kind.

Ref said...

I thought it was a chemical imbalance that made her lose control. (Sorry. A cheap shot at a good person, but I couldn't resist.)

Rinaldo said...

Yeah, I think there's no doubt about "hot dog."

But if you REALLY want to start a fight about TV theme lyrics, bring up "While Bella and Ursula stay in step" from George of the Jungle. (And yes, the writers confirm that that's what it says. They were planning on giving George 2 wives, and then unsurprisingly were warned off, before writing the episodes but after writing the theme song.)

chalmers said...

I've never seen the show, but I do remember when they discussed it on "Cheers" and Cliff referred to "the minuet-loving Cathy."

Rinaldo said...

Yes, I have a soft spot for the song (and always grinned about "hot dog"), but "adores a minuet" always struck me as cheap sloppy lyric-writing. I mean, however demure and old-fashioned, what girl born after 1800 actually adores a minuet? It hasn't been popular since Louis XIV. (The Ballets Russe, and crèpes Suzette, those I'll buy.)

Chas Cunningham said...

"Barclay Square" in line 2 is how Americans try to spell the London pronunciation of Berkeley Square.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes - Ballet Russe vs rocknroll, crepes suzette vs Hot Dogs, etc... all good but the real question is, when is the Lindsay Lohan rehabilitation going to officialy start with her being cast in "The new Patty Duke show"!

Paul Duca said...

Rinaldo...."Music to Watch Girls By" was for Diet Pepsi-Cola. The tune used in the Benson & Hedges ad was "The Dis-Advantages of You" and was composed by the same person who did MAN OF LA MANCHA

Rinaldo said...

Damn... you're utterly right, Paul Duca. Thank you for the correction. (Mitch Leigh being the La Mancha guy.)

Both songs were in the smallish category of "TV commercial jingles that were also top-40 hits." A difference was that Ramin's "Girl Watchers" was heard on its commercial first, and then picked up as a single (and covered by other artists). That really didn't happen often.

Matt Patton said...

The video is of the second version of the theme song, shot after the show moved to California--which was sort of sad, really. The show gained something in the way of atmosphere for being shot in New York. By the way, I've always loved the shot of Duke with her head stuck in the crook of the pipe. She milks it for laughs just enough. The kid, as they say, was a pro.

D. McEwan said...

" Josie said...
I probably am wrong, since no one else hears it, but it sounds to me like 'the hard rock makes her lose control' which makes sense in context."


You actually hear the "a" as "the"? Hearing exam lately? And how would "the hard rock makes her lose control" make sense? the Hard Rock Cafe did not exist in the 1960s, and if you're referring to rock and roll (which was not called "Hard Rock" back then) then no article would be needed, it would just be "hard rock makes her lose control."

In any event, it's "a hot dog," always has been, always will be.

amyp3 said...

But sometimes a hot dog is just a hot dog.

Paul Duca said...

Rinaldo...my pick of the TV spot tunes turned hit records is Alka-Seltzers "No Matter What Shape (you Stomach's In)", done by the T-Bones (who had several big hits in the 1970's as Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds).

Joseph said...

Billy Crystal's line in "Mr. Saturday Night" about the lyrics went something like "A hot dog makes her lose control? Sounds like a great date. 'Waiter? A frankfurter! And keep them coming!'"

You're Kidding said...

Wow....amazing.

The lyric is "A heartthrob makes her lose control".

Heartthrob was a common expression the 60's....how could you miss that?

You're Kidding said...

It turns out that the lyric is, indeed, "Hot Dog"

I apologize. I'm a jackass.

carlespo said...

No Freudian reference to "hot dog"? This is very surprising. The bigger question is, where is (or was) there such a mansion with the expansive property, as shown in the sitcom, in Brooklyn Heights? I've read that the location is supposed to be 8 Remsen St. but there is no big mansion there. The show looks more like it is set in the fictional town of Mayfield (Leave It To Beaver). Note the Freudian reference there. Ah, the innocent times of the 1960s!

John Stodder said...

Most 60s sitcoms and dramas were all about the theme song. The shows seldom lived up to the great theme songs, but the theme songs were enough to keep bringing us back each week.