Sunday, August 15, 2010

An insane TV opening and theme

Here's another TV opening from the late 50s -- 77 SUNSET STRIP. Believe it or not, this was a drama show. I only wish THE SHIELD had done this.



More later today...

28 comments:

Mike Barer said...

I remember, Car 54, where are you?

Michael T. said...

LOVE The Shield

Nathan said...

77 Sunset Strip was off the air by the time I was 4 years old and I think it's safe to say that none of my classmates and I had ever seen the damned thing. That didn't stop us from adopting the theme song (or at least our own version), in which we'd gleefully transform the word "strip" into a command and then laugh like little banshees. I'm pretty sure all of our teachers thought the world was going to hell and TV was leading the way!

Charlotte said...

That clip (Buh?) is the only thing I've ever seen of 77 Sunset Strip. All I know is that Kookie is the ginchiest! (Also, that Kookie was proto Fonzie.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Was that what the opening credits always looked like? Or just in one particularly surreal episode?

Lairbo said...

Yikes! Ditto Alan Sepinwall: I watched the show, but don't remember that opening.

Despite Ed "Kookie" Burns's comb, didn't Efrem Zimbalist and Roger Smith win the Emmy Award for best pompadours in a weekly series from 1959 to 1963?

The first time I drove down Sunset with my parents, I was excited to recognize the building used for the show's exterior, but confused and disappointed that it wasn't actually at "77 Sunset".

Ellen said...

I guess they saved all the real writing for the show. They sure didn't waste any on the theme song lyrics.

Anonymous said...

That's not the show open. This is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weAIhNDn034

Mel said...

A more contemporary favorite theme song of mine is the theme for Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

A. Buck Short said...

Have been following your last several blogs and can’t wait for the next one on how you walked to school in the snow 4 miles every day… in Woodland Hills :)

Great moments in “don’t we feel old” By Ken Levine esoterica

1) Charlotte, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes turned 77 two weeks ago. Go ahead, look it up. And we wonder how much use he still has for that comb.

2) Partially obscured in our collective memory by their scions (gee I thought they drove an old Maxwell), both Efrem Zimbalist Sr. and Robert Downey Sr. were of Russian-Jewish heritage. Zimbalest Sr. had a fiddle.

PS: Not to quibble, but as a contrarian I believe one of the greatest catches ever will still be that Jennifer Anniston.

PPS: Anonymous, you’re right, but picky, picky, picky. I believe this was merely an homage to the earlier Joey Heatherton blog.

Gary said...

As entertaining as that is/was, for almost a minute, that was not the regular theme-&-opening for the show, as Mr/Ms. Anonymous points out. Tho I do remember watching the show frequently, other than Kookie combing his hair, I can't remember anything about it. Efrem did at least one good thing, fathering Stephanie. And Roger Smith married Ann-Margaret. What could top that?

James said...

Someone was sleeping with the choreographer.

Phillip B said...

Was a loyal viewer of 77 Sunset Strip at age 6, and even I sensed there was a lot of sexual chemistry among the cast as well as the characters. Memory is unreliable from this distance, but it also seemed that there was a playful attitude toward the audience - they may not have spoken directly to the screen but there were plenty of winks and nods.

The early seasons of "Las Vegas" seemed to have the same spirit. Sure people died, but there was always a nice musical number at the end of the show!

Mike Schryver said...

No, this isn't the opening, but how I wish it had been.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

OK, maybe the lyrics weren't exactly great, but I remember the show, and I always loved the opening. Don't like the big, dancing girl production number nearly as well as the original.

Ted said...

You meet the highbrow and the hipster
The starlet and the phony tipster
You meet most every type of gal and guy ...

And even a private eye!

LinGin said...

Mike Barer - "Car 54" has a line that dates the show AND keeps alive the memory of the time period right before the 60's became THE 60's.

"There's a scout troop short a child;
Kruschev's due at Idlewild..."

D. McEwan said...

Clearly that is a different show doing a production number using the 77 Sunset Strip theme music. I was a regular viewer of that show, and that was never the opening sequence, nor the arrangement used of the music.

J S Swanson said...

I'm with D McE here. Not the correct title theme. It seems you've been Rickrolled. Thanks to Anonymous for the proper link. Still ~ this is a Fabulous clip!

Jeff said...

Ah, Nathan ... we had our own juvenile take on the theme. We turned it into a pee joke. "77 Sunset Strip. Open your barn door and let it ..." You get the idea.

Ron Rettig said...

That clip has no connection to 77 Sunset Strip TV series. As Anonymous said this is the actual opening of the show.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weAIhNDn034
By the way the restaurant featured in the opening and actual location shots in the the was owned by Dean Martin and named Dino's.

dougR said...

I don't know what the hell you got there, Ken, but it had nothing to do with 77 Sunset Strip, other than using the theme. Anonymous is right, and the URL supplied is the correct opening. 77 Sunset Strip was one of several Warner Brothers "cookie-cutter" detective shows, among them Surfside 6 and maybe one or 2 lesser shows (although it'd be hard to be "lesser" than Surfside 6). Warner Brothers did a lot of cookie-cuttering back in the late 50s/early 60s: Maverick (James Garner/Jack Kelly) begat Sugarfoot (Will Hutchins) and one about Bat Masterson with Gene Barry and....well, it was a great time for "another slice off the old roll of baloney" on the Warner Brothers lot!

Cadavra said...

I believe this clip is a ScopiTone, a proto-music video which was used in video jukeboxes popular in the 60s; it was a "son" of the similar Soundies, which were even more popular in the 40s.

Kathleen said...

Remember the Connie Stevens hit, "Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb"?

D. McEwan said...

"dougR said...
77 Sunset Strip was one of several Warner Brothers 'cookie-cutter' detective shows, among them Surfside 6 and maybe one or 2 lesser shows (although it'd be hard to be "lesser" than Surfside 6)."


Hey! I loved Surfside Six. Those detectives were so poor, they couldn't even buy shirts.

The third "cookie-cutter detective show" was Hawaiian Eye with Robert Conrad also shirt-challenged. In 1960, I wrote a play called Hawaiian Spy, thanks to that show. Yes, I was ten years old, but my school staged a full production of my play, with a cast of 10, ranging in age from 9 to 12. (And that was my second play to get staged I was a precocious playwright.) I fear someone reviewing my current work and saying "Lacks the pure entertainment of his early, funny plays, and Hawaiian Spy written when he was ten, and hadn't yet sold out."

dougR said...

Actually, Mr. McEwan, there was a FOURTH cookie-cutter WB detective series, and its theme song hit me as I was puttering around the house today, and now I cant make it stop!!! Ack!!

"Bourbon Streeeet.....BEAT!!! (da dooga-da-dooga-da-dooga-da)" with Andrew Duggan. The other principals escape me at this age. I'm sure there was another "son of Maverick" spinoff too, but can't think of it. They were all dreck, but arguably not if you were under 12. (Maverick did have its moments, of course.)

VP81955 said...

At the same time "Hawaiian Eye" was on, in honor of the 50th state, Warners did likewise for the 49th with a short-lived show called "The Alaskans." Roger Moore was in the cast, as was Dorothy Provine before she shifted to flapper-era New York for "The Roaring '20s," one more Warners series.

dougR said...

Yeah, Warners really knew how to exploit a franchise, didn't they? Dorothy Provine (Alaska) was also (but not, I assume, simultaneously) the female eye-candy in Surfside 6, and Roger Moore was a co-lead in 77 Sunset Strip.

And, just to throw in another factoid, the drummer on the Bourbon Street Beat and 77 Sunset Strip TV theme songs was the immortal Earl Palmer, who played behind most of Little Richard's and Fats Domino's hits, as well as the Righteous Bros., Richie Valens, Sam Cooke, and the aforementioned "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb."

2 names every schoolkid in America ought to know: Larry Gelbart and Earl Palmer. End of sermon; I'll go away now...