Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Questions

Come and get ‘em.

Houston Mitchell starts us off.

I always wondered why MASH kept the same opening screen shots despite all the cast changes. Sure, they would cut in a shot of Mike Farrell, but you could always see the arm of Wayne Rogers in the opening titles long after he was gone. Why do you think they never bothered to shoot something new?

There were some new shots inserted along the way over the years, but the MASH opening titles were great. Why change them? They were our “Golden Arches.”

I happened to be out at the ranch where they filmed the exteriors the day they re-shot the helicopters coming over the mountains. I heard the sound, looked up, and there they were. Needless to say – COOL!!!

And while we’re on the subject of Opening Titles, Courtney asks:

An opening title sequence (often with a really good theme song) used to be essential to enjoying a TV show. Care to weigh in on your favorite-ever?

It’s hard to pick just one. But if I could select a few: the aforementioned MASH would rate, along with CHEERS, MIAMI VICE, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, (the original) HAWAII FIVE-O, THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, and currently it’s tough to beat GAME OF THRONES.
What are your favorites?

I mentioned once that Ted Danson was not allowed to attend CHEERS editing sessions. That prompted a question from Scott:

Why wasn't Ted allowed in the editing session? Is it a union thing? Or just a personal/show rule that you didn't want anyone involved in what you were editing to be present, so that he wouldn't (consciously or subconsciously) affect what you were doing?

Showrunners need to be able to edit shows objectively. Let’s be honest, showrunners and actors would emphasize different things. Actors might favor shots that show them in the best light as opposed to shots that better tell the story or sell a joke.

Plus, if you have one actor who has say in the editing, his fellow cast members may feel slighted if lines of theirs are cut. Dissension within the troops is often the result. You're just asking for trouble.  Better to let the showrunner be the bad guy. 

However, actors do participate in editing on occasion. If an actor directs an episode he’s entitled to see a rough cut and offer suggestions. Or if an actor is an executive producer or has contractually authority he can attend sessions.

But generally, actors are not welcome in editing bays. I always say to my casts that if they have a problem with the way the show is edited come talk to me about it.

So far I’ve never had an actor complain about the editing. A couple have grumbled because lines they liked were cut, but that’s a creative call.   They have to remember that when we're cutting their lines we're also cutting our lines. 

And finally, from Allan V:

I've recently seen a few articles arguing that MLB needs to take away the job of calling balls and strikes from umpires, and have an automated system (like PITCHf/x) do it. The claim is that there's still other work for the umpires to do during games, and the system could call the pitches more accurately.

What is your thought on this? Without an umpire calling the pitches, it wouldn't seem like baseball to me, and I think bad calls generally even out over time.

First of all, it will never happen. The unions wouldn’t allow it. Plus, you can’t take the human element out of baseball. A lot of weird things happen and they’re ruled by the umpires’ discretion. And finally, who says the tracking machines are all that accurate? There are plenty of improvements MLB could make. This isn’t one of them.  Play ball!

What’s your Friday Question?

77 comments:

Jason said...

Regarding, human umpires, there's a Piers Anthony book that describes a science fiction future game of football played with mostly android players and android refs. The refs were programmed to make at least one bad call during the game, to replicate the feel of the original...

Anonymous said...

With all due respect,. while most of your readers won't remember them, and there is always the problem of recency bias (e.g. Kobe is better than Jerry West)
The best theme endings were 1950's Westerns -Have Gun Will Travel, Maverick, Rawhide, Bonanza
The best theme song openings were 1950's detective shows - Peter Gunn, M Squad (Naked Gun did the takeoff), 77 Sunset Strip

Don Rawlins said...

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend opening theme

DBA said...

Supposedly (although we have to take them at their word for it), the umpiring body does already utilize said software to assess performance and theoretically, let guys know if they're say, consistently erring in a particular manner (or consistently treating some pitchers differently than others). Or something to that effect. So if the accuracy of the devices in question, it's already an issue since the umpires purport to self-assess using just that.

Justin Russo said...

Golden Girls intro gets me every time--nothing can beat the first strains of the piano.

On that note, Ken, you recently wrote a review raving about the show (and how important it was). My question for you is silly but poignant: which Golden Girl are you and why?

Unkystan said...

Some of my favorite openings also have great themes. Like Mannix, Mission Imposdible, Get Smart, I also love the Lou Grant opening, watching the bird in the tree to the bird into the cage crapping on the paper. Brilliant and underrated. Too bad the networks no longer have time for openings.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Best Title Sequence is so objective but let's not forget the best guilty pleasure:
THE LOVE BOAT.
First off...the song was ear candy. I mean, I just said, "THE LOVE BOAT", and everyone is now singing it.
Written by the greats Charles Fox and Paul Williams

The visuals were terrific. Shots of Exotic Locales, the (All-Star?) Guest Stars and of course the Happy-to-See-You Cast (Issac pointing at us! You know you want to point back).

How can you best that?

Roger Raines said...

The Mod Squad & The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Great visuals and themes - and both part of a once cool ABC lineup.

I'd also tip my hat to Dick Cavett's band led by Bob Rosengarden whenever they launched into their Brazilian-tinged "Glitter and be Gay" closing theme.

Dave Creek said...

The best edit bay confrontation I ever saw was at a TV station where I worked in the eighties. A reporter was working on a story that involved the station itself, and had interviewed the general manager (his boss!).

That general manager just "happened" to come by the edit bay (something he'd never done before) to see how the story was going. So he's sitting on one side of the reporter and photographer/editor. On the other side, the station's media commentator just "happened" by, as well. He didn't just criticize other media outlets -- he would take on his own station (biting the hand that fed him, you might say) if he thought we'd screwed up.

So on the one hand is the guy who can fire the reporter, and on the other hand is the guy who can come on the same TV station and rip him a new one if he doesn't think the story is fair.

The news director saw this and threw them both out -- yes, that includes the general manager, who was HIS boss, too!

Kosmo13 said...

The "Perry Mason" opening theme music is the coolest instrumental theme of all time. For song lyrics that frequently get stuck in my head, either "Branded" or "My Mother, the Car" had the Best Opening Theme. I like the opening titles / theme of "Baywatch" and will sometimes watch that and skip the rest of the episode.

I was disappointed when "Walker, Texas Ranger" replaced the nifty first-season instrumental theme with that dreary "Eyes of a Ranger" doggerel croaked by Chuck Norris in later seasons.

Earl Boebert said...

I think Patrick McGoohan's "The Prisoner" had the best opening of all time. Everything you needed to know about the show's premise in a minute or so, plus powerful music, suspense, and a overwhelming atmosphere of dread and menace.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Big Thumbs Up for 5-OH and MI openers!

Current openers that come to mind - House of Cards (which may be Spacey's magnum opus) and Mad Men.

Kirk said...

Some of my favorite TV series beginnings:

All in the Family (especially when Edith's voice cracks)
Maude (the theme song comparing her to historical characters like Joan of Arc and Betsy Ross)
Green Acres (The chores! The stores! Fresh air! Times Square!)
The Beverly Hillbillies (Then one day while hunting for some food, up through the ground comes some bubbling crude)
The Odd Couple (The mock dramatic voice-over, and Felix's wife thrusting the frying pan through the door.)
The X-Files (the shadow figures pointing upwards toward an equally shadowy UFO)
Star Trek (The ethereal female harmonizing)
The Dick Van Dyke show (not just Dick tripping over the ottoman, but also the later variations, such as when he sidesteps the ottoman but then trips over something else.)

Frank Beans said...

Heh, I'll second THE LOVE BOAT as a great opening sequence (and song)--it takes me back to my earliest memories of television. Speaking of which, how about THE MUPPET SHOW opening? That's a true classic.

VP81955 said...

IIRC, the opening of "Branded" was parodied on a "Married... With Children" episode where Al Bundy moonlights as a security guard at Polk High (his alma mater), is stripped of his badge through a misunderstanding, then has to win back his honor.

Mike Schryver said...

I think Ken's most important point about umpiring was that the calls even out over time. Cardinals fans like to talk about Don Denkinger's blown call in the 1985 World Series, but they conveniently forget about the blown call earlier in that game that favored them. They seem to want to live in an imaginary world where only Denkinger's call would be corrected, and not the earlier one. Fans of other teams are the same way. So now we have endless replay delays for no sensible reason.

John Hammes said...

There are lyrics to "The Odd Couple". "Star Trek", too. Seriously.

The theme to "Here Come The Brides", an earworm for those of us old enough to remember.

"Nanny And The Professor", sounding very much of the era. Phoebe Figalilly IS a silly name.

"Chico And The Man". Still a great theme song, and a great theme (young character gives the old character a reason to live), though clearly melancholy in hindsight.

"Barney Miller" 'Nuff said.

"Square Pegs", one of the few - if only - themes of the era with a new wave band. Not punk. New Wave. Totally different head.

"Night Court". Mel Torme !

Frank said...

The Rockford Files opening with the answering machine and that awesome theme.
Twin Peaks' opening (mostly the theme) was unlike anything on TV at the time.
Major soft spot for the Andy Griffith Show, too.

Breadbaker said...

The Sopranos, with its great shots of every New Jersey climate zone.

BA said...

Love! American Style!
Speaking of ROCKFORD, you can see Angel in a lot of those blackout sketches.

Kevin said...

Lots of great themes already mentioned. I'll add WKRP in Cincinnati and The Drew Carey Show

blinky said...

Electronic balls and strikes will definitely happen. The whole idea that every umpire has a personal strike zone is ridiculous. High strikes, low strikes, make-good calls are what makes the game a joke at times. The technology is available and will only get better.

I remember way back when the Yankees were playing the Braves in the 1996 World series and the ump called a 3rd strike. They had a cam directly over head and it was a foot off the plate. A FOOT!.

Tom Wolper said...

Two show openings I like a lot and haven't been mentioned are The Virginian - the theme is the best part of that show - and the Diana Rigg years of The Avengers.

Todd Everett said...

"Welcome Back" and "Movin' On Up."

John Hammes said...

More television theme music, popping up from the vaults of memory:

ERNIE KOVACS (Oriental Blues)

DARK SHADOWS

MAKE A WISH (Tom Chapin, brother to Harry, performing)

VEGETABLE SOUP

VILLA ALEGRE

THE 1975 GHOSTBUSTERS - starring Larry Storch, Forrest Tucker, and a gorilla.

SPACE: 1999

Any local 1970s television newscast, usually featuring "SHAFT" - like instrumentals. And speaking...

the 1970s John Chancellor "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" theme - a sort of "computer - esque" serious repetition of four or five notes - seriously over and over... and over...

The original 1978 ABC 'WORLD NEWS TONIGHT" theme. A disco type instrumental. This is true.

Yes, shorter intros today = more ad time, still something of a rhetorical Friday question: when will the current networks understand that great, even good, theme music is crucial with keeping particular programming strongly within the national consciousness? Well, yes, today that should be international consciousness, given the world wide web.


Hmm. "...current networks understand..." . That's funny.

Anonymous said...

We St. Louis fans like to complain about Denkinger, but in reality that mistake didn't cost us the series. It was the next day when the team couldn't let it go. Whitey tried, but they just blew game 7.

Its just more fun to blame someone else, I guess.

Pam, St. Louis

David in Cincinnati said...

I also up vote the opening credits of The Prisoner, and as a Cincinnati native I will always have a fondness for the WKRP song and opening credits.

And one more show that hasn't been mentioned, but has awesome opening credits: The Wild, Wild West!

David in Cincinnati said...

WKRP - even if I wasn't a Cincinnati native, I'd like it. And also: The Wild, Wild West!

Unknown said...

One of the best opening sequences is "Wings", great music, great scenes of Nantucket from the air.
Dr. Who opening was and is great. That music.
Thanks to H&I channel, I watch Hill Street Blues again, music is great for opening and closing.

Robert said...

Can't believe no one here has mentioned "Taxi" for TV themes-that instrumental was always the perfect mix of wistful and melancholy, especially for a show about a bunch of characters who never quite were able to move forward in life.

Carson Clark said...

I've been watching the full episode reruns of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on Antenna TV. They really are great, but there is one glaring omission: no episodes that had a musical guest. If they originally cleared the rights for the singer to come on to sell a new album, why do those rights expire. Is using music on a TV show more of a burden than a benefit sometimes?

Matt - Classic TV Fan said...

Totally agree with MTM and H5O title sequences, both of which were done by director Reza Badiyi, who came up with the now iconic images of Mary tossing her hat in the air and the huge wave for H5O. For MTM, season 1 DVD documentary covers that title sequence creation in detail and how he came up with tossing the hat. The creators thought he was nuts and were blown away once he put it together. The season 2 documentary has a fantastic archive footage of the crew in Minneapolis to shoot updated footage to freshen up the sequence for season 4. Fascinating to see the location work for a series of images we've seen countless times over the years.

benson said...

Pam, in the Loo,

Much like idiot Cub fans need to forget about Steve Bartman. Alex Gonzalez, field your position.


Two favorites from back in the day...The album version of Cheers...with the classic lyric "and your husband wants to be a girl". Fame pimp/whore Kris Kardashian must be spinning in her grave.

And no one mentioned "Secret Agent Man". They've given you a number, oh they've taken away your name

Rod said...

As a kid growing up in the 60's I liked the title sequences and theme music to--
"Lost in Space"
"The Time Tunnel"
"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"
"The Land of the Giants"

My favorite title sequence and music lately was the intro to every episode of "24"

Andy Rose said...

I've always been intrigued by produced intros that are slightly different in each episode.

The Simpsons: couch gag
The Prisoner: different Number Ones
The Muppet Show: different guest introduced by Kermit and different Gonzo trumpet gag
Animaniacs: different gag lyric at the end
Modern Family: the last frame of the cold open is held by the Dunphy family

You could also make an argument for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The last two versions of the intro used a lot of flying boxes of highlights from past shows, but the final "highlight" box was always Ed introducing the current episode.

The intro to Taxi was a fluke. They didn't get the version they intended completed in time, so used some scene bumper footage they had filmed in New York with an incidental track Bob James made for a different episode. That scene with the taxi was only about 12 seconds long. The reason each actor's name credit zoomed into the screen was to mask the fact that they were looping the same piece of footage over and over again.

Astroboy said...

Most of my favorite opening theme songs have already been mentioned, so I'll add a favorite I don't see, the opening to the series "News Radio" by Mike Post. I especially like the years when the opening showed the cast when their credit was on the screen and you got to see the wonderful, and still much missed, Phil Hartman. (Man, I loved "News Radio", even WITH Andy Dick on it! Great laughs and not a cheap dirty joke in sight!) Any Mike Post theme is going to be a great one; like The Rockford Files and Law & Order and soooo many others.

ADmin said...

My favorite was Millenium - seemed to spur on, or at least come it with, a new genre of show openings. Also liked Weeds intro... and True Blood's

Diane D. said...

I agree that you cannot take the human element out, and Umpires have to make the calls, but there should be some mechanism to redress what happened in 2010 when that pitcher was robbed of a PERFECT GAME by one of the worst calls in baseball history. The runner was out by a mile and the Ump admitted it. In general, it's ok to say bad calls even out between teams over time but when you're talking about a perfect game, there's NO WAY to even that out, ever.

Tammy said...

Oooh, theme songs! So many great ones, I'll stick to ones that haven't been mentioned:

Outlander: one of the best intros ever. The music and the visuals are both so beautiful, it's a shame the show itself doesn't live up to those standards.

Dexter: visuals were pretty clever, and I loved it when he had a baby and they had him doing the same morning routine but so tired he can't see straight :).

Diff'rent Strokes: great harmonies, and did you know Alan Thicke wrote that? And The Facts of Life too (another classic).

Il etait une fois...l'homme: French 70's cartoon, don't know if you got it in the States. The intro goes from the big bang to the 20th century in 90 seconds, set to Bach. What could top that?

Other great ones: Thirtysomething, Who's the Boss, MacGuyver, The A Team, Happy Days, Fame, Northern Exposure, Buffy, Angel, Psych.


The Bumble Bee Pendant-- "I just said, "THE LOVE BOAT", and everyone is now singing it.". Yup. "Issac pointing at us! You know you want to point back." Yup :)

Kirk-- I remembered the tune of The Odd Couple being great, but forgot about the dramatic voiceover- so funny.



Frank Beans said...

@John Hammes:

Oh man, how could I have possibly overlooked BARNEY MILLER and NIGHT COURT, the two greatest NYC-themed comedies of all time. As penance, here's a special treat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXQnWEqIhzA

Jahn Ghalt said...

@Schryer, Blinky, and Ken:

Since I was a little leaguer I have noticed that many ordinarily perceptive fans, players, and manager/coaches can't seem to competently call a routine force play correctly. One exception was a fellow beer league teammate who had some training as an ump. He typically only criticised a ump for not being in the right position to make the call.

(I know many of these, especially coaches, knew full well that the play should not have gone "our way")

In MLB, with as many as two reviews available to a manager per game, an honest assessment can be crucial.

I have often thought I could call balls and strikes better than the more "gullible" head umps. Mostly, umps err on the side of the pitcher - at least on outside pitches. If they ever have a video game which requires the player to call ball and strikes, I might get it. This would require a set of VR-goggles - to get the depth part realistic. A fellow at work got such a system last month - only $800.

Jake said...

SANFORD & SON/SANFORD ARMS

ANGIE

PHYLLIS

THE THORNS

THAT GIRL

KING OF THE HILL

MR. BELVEDERE

THE WALTONS

DALLAS

BOB NEWHART SHOW

THE JEFFERSONS

Hank Gillette said...

I think Patrick McGoohan's "The Prisoner" had the best opening of all time. Everything you needed to know about the show's premise in a minute or so…

Other shows that explained everything in the opening (not saying that they were good): Gilligan’s Island, The Patty Duke Show, and Branded.

The visuals on the original Hawaii Five-0 opening were superb, along with the great music by the Ventures. Gunsmoke also had a great theme, not to mention the original opening where we see Matt Dillon facing down a bad guy in the street (and winning every time).

MikeeN said...

Monk, Small Wonder, Psych.

gottacook said...

Different arrangements of theme music from one season to another in the course of a long-running series are also of interest. Sometimes the initial arrangement is the best one - such as, in my opinion, the first season of Lalo Schifrin's Mannix. In other cases, the arrangement gets more interesting with successive seasons - I'm thinking, for example, of how Patrick Williams' Lou Grant theme evolved from season 1 (the year with the bird business mentioned above) to season 5.

I especially like the closing-credits arrangements for Mary Tyler Moore's first and last seasons, 1970-71 (big brass section) and 1976-77 (guitar, piano, and possibly flugelhorn).

[A Friday post two years ago (6/13/14) drew 100+ responses on this same topic.]

Mike B. said...

@Carson Clark:

Not knowing the specifics of what the Tonight Show originally did, they likely paid for original airing and one network rerun. Unfortunately, the cost of music rights have not scaled with the micro-networks.

gottacook said...

As for shows with opening lyrics that explain the entire premise in detail, prime-time TV was filled with shows like that when I was 10 or so. With no effort at all, I can think of The Pruitts of Southampton, Mister Terrific, The Guns of Will Sonnett, and both half-seasons of It's About Time (with different lyrics for each).

Guffman said...

When it comes to opening titles - at least those with lyrics - two sitcoms that are guilty pleasures come to mind: "F Troop" and "Lotsa Luck" You can find the later here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoyF-wnx9cc

James said...

I love opening themes to tv shows. Yet my favorite classic tv show never had one--not even a theme song (hint: it's one of the shows below).

Instead there was this, which I loved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHk5cGwuS6A It pisses me off no end that it's not on any of the DVD collections of any of the TV shows that were part of it.

Anonymous said...

Car 54 Where Are You. Memorable song; numerous sight gags.

Xwords

Earl Boebert said...

A large amount of the music people are referencing was played by a group of Hollywood studio musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew," which included Glen Campbell. There's a terrific documentary about them on Netflix called "The Wrecking Crew!" Don't leave off the exclamation point in your search.

Johnny Walker said...

Ken, I have a Friday Question for you:

What was the deal with Kirstie Alley's cameo in WINGS? The show already had one guest star, Clint Black (which the episode was basically an advert for) and suddenly Alley appears for - literally - a small paragraph of dialogue. No story, just a joke about how she loves Black (and a possible in joke about the future of Cheers). Do you know anything about that? Thanks!

Johnny Walker said...

Also, you've made it six months with comment approvals being turned on. How's that going? We've seen no more fights in the comments, which is great. Are you still having to reject comments even now? Just curious!

Big Al in St. Louis said...

Add to the list, "Wide World of Sports," with "the thrill of victory and agony of defeat." No theme sing, but great opening.

I'm part of the do called "baseball Amish" a phrase coined by Bernie Miklas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Let the umpires make the calls and no instant replay. If the players can make errors, so can the umps.

Roger Owen Green said...

Kevin liked the Drew Carey Show theme. But which one? Season 1 had Moon Over Parma, sung by Carey. Season 2 - 5 O'Clock World. Seasons 3+ - Cleveland Rocks by the Presidents of the United States of America

H Johnson said...

Too many great theme songs too definitively pick just one or a dozen even. Did anyone mention Hill Street Blues or Magnum PI? I'd have to go with Andy Griffith if only given one choice.

Aloha

cd1515 said...

Jahn-
respectfully there's no way on earth that you or any other civilian could call balls & strikes better than the current guys.
no chance.
not only are those guys the best in the world at what they do, it's MUCH harder than you think to just stay still and not flinch as a 95-mph fastball is thrown directly at you.
oh and you also have to judge all the late movement on those pitches.
you'd be lost.
so would I.

VP81955 said...

Saw it last year; it's wonderful.

Marc Wielage said...

Ken, the main title for M*A*S*H used a handful of shots from the Robert Altman feature (and the pilot), and because of how film worked in those days, the picture quality suffered drastically. When we remastered the show in the 1990s for Fox, I suggested to one of the execs that we replace all those shots with cleaner versions -- which do exist -- but he nixed the idea, basically saying, "aaaa, the audience is used to all those scratches and pieces of dirt by now." But it does look like crap and doesn't need to. I think it's an annoyance because some shots look great, and some look like they're under water.

Marianne said...

Hi Ken! Friday question: My mum and I watched a hilarious episode of Frasier the other day and it prompted our discussion regarding the total lack of quality sitcoms these days (that's our opinion, anyway). Do you agree, or are there some good ones out there that we're not giving enough of a chance?

David G. said...

Question about the first question on here today: This would pre-date your involvement with "M*A*S*H", but -- just in case you might know -- why did the creators of that program's opening credits include a very noticeably scratched-up shot of an ambulance in that ongoing opening sequence? It looks like that shot has been cleaned up via computer a while ago for the DVD releases, but it still shows up on several of the episodes. Why did someone decide to include that damaged clip of film as part of the weekly opening credits way back in 1972?

Zafron said...

Memorable TV themes are an almost lost art in this day and age.

Favorites not previously mentioned include:

Dragnet
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Rifleman
The Big Valley - The highlight of a ridiculous show.
Ironside - A Quincy Jones joint
The Wild, Wild West
That Girl
Dan August - I remember little about the show besides the theme song.
George Of The Jungle - It has three great theme songs. One for each segment.
The Night Stalker
SWAT
The Equalizer
The Larry David Show

Note to networks and producers: Strong theme songs can make even the most forgettable of shows unforgettable.

Diane D. said...

Wow, Jahn Gault thinks he could call balls and strikes better than professional umpires! There aren't many people who would say that.

Charles H. Bryan said...

BATMAN? All those biff and bams and pows and nanananas over the crudely animated comics panels?

The old SPIDER-MAN cartoon.

And STAR TREK - not exactly a theme song, but that music under the "To Boldly Go" speech is still pretty great.

Rick said...

It took a while for me to think of a favorite that doesn't seem to have been mentioned yet. Finally I did: the Al Jarreau vocal over the credits of "Moonlighting".

Jahn Ghalt said...


@ cd1515:

A nice addition to a baseball fantasy camp would be the chance to call balls and strikes with a pitch tracker to confirm just how bad the fantasy ump is.

As for "late movement" - that sure seems to fool umps as well as batters. I've often wondered if it wouldn't be better to "take a snapshot" than to follow movement - one reason to try a VR simulation (the "easy" way to check) - there's nothing like practice to validate theory.

One could anonymously test umps and post scores.

@ Diane D:

I suspect I'm not alone in thinking I could be an ump. Saying it is even more fun, no?

In March at Indian Wells I had a chat with the service line lineman - asking how much tougher it is to call a 130MPH serve (compared to the women's match that had just concluded) - "A little".

This guy lives in Michigan and travels to ply his trade - found out the hours are much longer than they are for umpires.

Jahn Ghalt said...

Cheers Theme Song - 2:29

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-mi0r0LpXo

David Z. said...

Johnny Walker said...
Also, you've made it six months with comment approvals being turned on. How's that going? We've seen no more fights in the comments, which is great. Are you still having to reject comments even now? Just curious!


Another blog I read regularly had to go to moderated comments due to the same kind of crap that was going on here on Ken's blog. After about a year that blog went back to unmoderated comments but, perhaps not surprisingly, it didn't take long for it all to start up again and for the trolls to reemerge, so they wound up going back to moderated comments. It's a shame, but apparently there's something about the safe anonymity of the internet that brings out the worst in some people.

'Bolt Upright said...

"Jonny Quest", best theme, without a doubt.

suek2001 said...

Friday Question:
I was watching some rerun of One Day at a Time and was struck by something that seemed almost foreign sounding..audience applause at the end of a scene.....this episode was one where Julie was deciding whether to get married..She had some dramatic line such as "I have to get married and Mike won't stop me" or something like that...and then a beat...and then applause...
I then recalled a lot of shows in the 70's were like that? Was that encouraged by the showrunners...did the applause mess with the beat of the show? Why was that a thing?

fred said...

Before baseball starting showing the "strike box" on TV. Umpiring balls and strikes was AWFUL! Especially in Yankee Stadium and Fenway. Go back and watch the strikes Roger Clemmons got from the HP umpire when setting his strikeout record. It was a joke! Also watch the strikes being called in 68 when Bob Gibson set a WS record for punch outs. Those type of things shouldn't happen again as technology won't allow. But there are still times when one team gets the black called on the edge of the plate and the other team doesn't...
But the best thing is the new replay system. We aren't watching managers throw tantrums on the field every night. A MUCH better situation. There were lots of people against replay coming in. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone against it now!

DwWashburn said...

Electronic calling of balls and strikes would be a godsend.

Each umpire has his own interpretation of the strike zone. This umpire has a "wide strike zone". That umpire has a "high strike zone". Would baseball stand for a first base umpire who would consistently call a runner safe if he were one step away from the bag when the ball arrives? How about an umpire who would call a batter out if the fly ball hit the fielder's glove but didn't catch it? Or a plate umpire who would call a batter out after two strikes? Of course not.

There are specific rules that define when a batter is out. Just like there are specific rules that define the strike zone. If the umps can't do their jobs and we have technology to improve enforcement of the rules of baseball, let's use it.

Greg Ehrbar said...

The Jetsons and The Avengers with Rigg and Macnee

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Muppets Show (original) was so good. Why couldn't they copy the formula for this past attempt. It was fairly unwatchable. The joy was not there in the show

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Charles Fox, the Love boat theme song writer also wrote the themes for Lacerne and Shirley, Happy Days and Love American Style. Very impressive

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Agree. What that Exec forgot about is the next generation of possible fans who aren't used to scratches
Very short sighted.

Melissa Agar said...

Here's a Friday question (and maybe one you've answered before): What character(s) were your favorite to write for?