Sunday, December 27, 2015

One of my favorite INSANE TV opening title sequence

Believe it or not, this is from a drama show from the '50s.  Can you imagine doing something like this on HOMELAND? 

28 comments:

Ralph C. said...

And here I thought it was a NRA burlesque show...

Anonymous said...

You must admit that's one less minute of show you have to write for.

Bill Avena said...

The 1966 film The Jokers had models firing guns in a fashion show with a "gangster motif".

V. Anton Spraul said...

I don't think that was ever the opening title sequence of the show, or indeed, ever appeared on the show. The overlay identifies it as a Scopitone, which was a short music performance on a kind of early video jukebox. Scopitones are notoriously oddball in their staging and often feature dancing girls and the like.

Jon88 said...

Supporting V. Anton's suspicions. That N3 is also significant, though I'm not sure of what -- Italian television? Some other country, certainly. Here's a collection of the show's openings from several seasons, with a version including the lyric starting at 1:37. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrrcSieqMH8

Joseph Scarbrough said...

I must confess that while I've never seen 77 SUNSET STRIP, I'm all too familiar with its theme song (I have a CD of the 50 greatest TV theme songs of all time, and that's one of them), though based on its theme song, I wouldn't have imagined that it was a drama.

Anonymous said...

Many of the non Western/non sitcom theme songs of the late Fifties and early Sixties were jazz based.
Jazz was still a popular music style and a lot of the best themes were great jazz tunes.
Among the top:
M Squad (Count Basie)
Peter Gunn (Henry Mancini)
Route 66 (Nelson Riddle)

Lot of the period's best music.

Boyd said...

My family watched that show every week and I'd like to think that I would remember such an opening. I don't. My memory is certainly fallible, but...

Why don't you call Kookie?

MikeK.Pa. said...

Jack Warner was notoriously cheap, but especially on the TV side (just read James Garner's autobiography, THE GARNER FILES). Warner Bros. TV would rotate the same scripts between 77 SUNSET STRIP, HAWAIIAN EYE and SURFSIDE SIX. The only thing different was the backdrop.

Mark Murphy said...

I was too young to watch "77 Sunset Strip" when I was a kid, and having looked at one or two episodes on YouTube within the past couple of years, I suspect I didn't miss much.

I do remember that at one point one of the TV stations in my hometown (and your old stomping ground, Syracuse, Ken) had a contest inspired by an upcoming local appearance by Edd Byrnes.

I don't know exactly why he was coming to town, but I do know that the winner of this contest would have "Coffee With Kookie." I'm not sure I ever found out or cared who won, or whether there was a second prize. (All together now: "Two Coffees With Kookie.")

Anonymous said...

Kookie, Kookie lend me your comb. Janice B.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't much of a show and Edd Byrnes wasn't much of an actor but the Kookie character was a great example of Southern California cool in the early 1960's before drugs, the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam and the Beatles.
He was a hipster before hippies and the Southern California version of a beatnik.
Think West Coast conservative well-dressed Maynard G. Krebs.

Canda said...

Hilarious. 77 Sunset Strip must have been a fun show to be around. It was on when I was young, and I remember enjoying it...probably because of the look of it. Warner's won't sell DVDs of it, and instead make you sign up for their internet TV service with a fee.

Pat Reeder said...

Well, once again, I posted a comment that has since disappeared. I don't know if they are being removed by editors for some unknown reason or if someone has sold me a computer loaded with joke shop disappearing pixels. But I shall try one more time:

There is a website devoted to the Scopitone video jukeboxes and a YouTube channel that collects the clips. They include lots of then-hot acts like the Hondells and Barbara McNair, often surrounded by gyrating bikini babes. One of my favorites is Donna Theodore's "Femininity." Joi Lansing's theme from "The Silencers" is also groovy, "Mad Men"-era eye candy. And the best of all time is Ms Lansing's "The Web Of Love." If you enjoy Tiki exotica that combines bikini girls trapped behind giant spider webs and guys in grass skirts cooking said pulchritudinous babes in big cannibal stew pots (and who doesn't?), it's a must-see.

Ken Levine said...

I don't know what to tell you, Pat, because I have never deleted one of your comments. Are you sure they post in the first place? Do you see them posted? And then they disappear? It's very strange. You're the only commenter that has this problem.

Again, I appreciate your posts, apologize, but I don't know what to tell ya.

James Van Hise said...

77 Sunset Strip was a harmless, generic detective show at the time which was very much in tune with other Warner Brothers detective shows like Hawaiian Eye, Bourbon Street Beat and Surfside Six. Kookie was a minor character in season one used as comic relief who just parked their cars when the detectives arrived, but he became so popular with teenage girls that his part was enlarged and the actor even made some movies because of that popularity (like Yellowstone Kelly with Clint Walker, another Warner Brothers star). Apparently even then actors had contracts which had to be renewed after 5 years because for season 6 they got rid of everyone except Efrem Zimbalist Jr (who now had a solo agency) and the show became more noir in style, even leading off with an unprecedented 5 part storyline titled "5" written by Harry Essex (which I still remember as ending in a ghost town where a mysterious unseen mastermind is killed without his identity ever being discovered). The show was canceled during season 6 as audiences apparently missed the co-stars, but season 6 still had 20 episodes.

normadesmond said...

do i think homeland could do this?
yes, but the girls would be covered.

Pat Reeder said...

Ken, yes, it's weird. I go through the whole process, see the comment posted, then I'll come back the next day to read more comments, and mine is gone. I have no idea why. Maybe the site decides, after thinking about it for a while, that I didn't really do enough to prove that I'm not a robot.

Pat Reeder said...

BTW, as long as I'm back, here is another, possibly even weirder take on that "Web of Love" song. Instead of Joi Lansing's hot-body Tiki exotica, it's Ann Miller on "The Hollywood Palace," tapping her way out of the web of love:

https://youtu.be/CpMoT9T3m48

YEKIMI said...

Reference the disappearing posts. I know Pat's was there earlier because I saw it and I have noticed in the past that other posts from other people were there but when I come back later they had disappeared. I never gave it much thought at the time, I figured maybe they revealed a TV trade secret or did or said something that pissed off the Google Gods and got their posts deleted. Hell, for all I know Google may have deleted the people themselves from the universe at large.

Pat Reeder said...

Thanks, YEKIMI. Glad to know someone else can verify that my post really was there. My new theory is that Blogger.com is trying to Gaslight me.

Earl Boebert said...

Just a reminder that if you have any interest in television and movie music from the 60's and beyond, the great documentary about the session musicians of that period, "The Wrecking Crew," is currently streaming on Netflix.

Mike Doran said...

This is how I remember the fall of 77 SUNSET STRIP:

In 1963, ABC's longtime sweetheart deal with Warner Bros. came to an end with the departure of Oliver Treyz from the network.
Jack Warner demoted his son-in-law Bill Orr from the TV division (the industry joke: "Orr's been demoted to cousin."), replacing him with Jack Webb.
77SS was WB's only surviving show; Webb and his crony William Conrad decided to gut the existing show, retaining only Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and changing the whole tone from lighthearted to sorta-noir.
Zimbalist's detective business was moved to LA's Bradbury Building, but the SUNSET STRIP title was kept because in Webb's words, "It's presold."
"5", the five-part premiere of the new noir 77SS, had a monster guest cast (everybody from Tony Bennett to Richard Conte to Burgess Meredith to Leonid Kinskey to Walter Slezak to Peter Lorre to George Jessel to Ed and Keenan Wynn to just a whole gang of others), "worldwide locations" all over the Burbank lot, the convoluted Harry Essex plot (which didn't have that "ghost town" business; more on that later) - and landed with one of the bigger thuds in TV history.
Nobody wanted a "newer, darker" 77 SUNSET STRIP.
Not long thereafter, Jack Webb was out and Bill Orr was back ("The son-in-law also rises.")

By the way, Mr. Van Hise:
That "ghost town" show was "Reserved For Mr. Bailey", from the earlier run of the show, written by Montgomery Pittman.
It got some notice at the time because Efrem Zimbalist was the only actor on camera during the whole hour, drastically breaking with the usual 77SS format.
A one-shot, not to be redone ad infinitum as so many other WB shows were.
Just so you know ...

benson said...

Pat Reeder and YEKIMI,

Old words of wisdom: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Always enjoy your posts. Happy New Year. Back to looking over my shoulder.

Vance Durgin said...

I'm not so sure this is a Scopitone -- thought Scopitones were color, not B/W. Don Ralke had the Billboard-charted version of the theme in '59, but this isn't that version. Ralke's version isn't one of the titles on the Scopitone site, either.

In terms of recycling scripts, one ep ('One False Step, '58) used the same 'swap murders' idea as 'Strangers on a Train' (also produced by Warners), though it was strangers on a plane in the ep and was changed in other ways as well. Used to be a few minutes of it on YouTube.

Dino's Lodge on Sunset is where 'Kookie' parked cars and the detective agency was located next door. Eventually he was hired away by the agency and they got another car-parker. But that guy never had a hit record.

Opening credits for the Webb-era "5" with impressive guest cast and Bradbury Building location: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNMKR0uHBVo

Anonymous said...

That is what they do on Homeland.

Ellen said...

Here's a link I found to show's openings:
https://youtu.be/WrrcSieqMH8

Mike said...

I've had several comments disappear over the years. By a curious coincidence, all of my best comments.

Definately posted, then gone later without a deletion message. May have something to do with links?