Friday, August 13, 2021

Friday Questions

Mid August and here we go with some Friday Questions.  What’s yours?

B Alton leads off.

Just how are parents, especially of series leads, cast? What does the casting director "work with" in determining the look (and attitudes) of the parents so that they are believable (as parents) to the viewing audience? Thanks.

Usually it’s stunt casting. Hiring actors to play the parents of show leads gives you a chance to hire  “names”  that might bring in a higher rating.  So producers try to get Carol Burnett or someone of that ilk.  On ALMOST PERFECT we used Bonnie Franklin (ONE DAY AT A TIME) in that role.  

On CHEERS we got Glynis Johns to play Diane’s mom.  (She’s now 97, God bless her.)   And Shelley Long played a mom in MODERN FAMILY. 

Danny Thomas got a whole new family in THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW back in the early '60s. 

I directed shows where Brenda Vaccaro, Linda Lavin, and Dixie Carter played mom’s.  

But for my money, the best of all-time was Nancy Walker as Rhoda’s mom on RHODA.  

Brian Phillips asks:

Did you and David Isaacs ever write a Room 222 spec script?

No.  It was before our time, first of all.  And secondly, that wasn’t the kind of show we wanted to write.  We were more about hard comedy, preferably multi-camera at the time.  

We wrote a spec MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, a spec RHODA, and two pilot specs before we broke in.  And when we did break in, we were in the middle of plotting our next spec — HAPPY DAYS.

YEKIMI wonders:

I noticed this mostly on All In The Family but seems like a lot of early 70s shows seem to have done this....a close of of say, Archie or Edith's and the rest of the actor's faces, I mean to the point were you could count Archie's nose hairs, where the face filled the whole damn screen. I found it disconcerting at best. Any reason why they would have done it this way or was it a "Norman Lear" thing?

It’s a stylistic choice I hate.  It’s almost as if an extreme close up invades your personal space.

Trust me, the actors feel uncomfortable having the camera push in so close.  God forbid they have a pimple.  

I also believe extreme close ups kill comedy.  

When I direct or run a show my close ups featured full faces and and went down past the shoulders.  That’s pretty much the standard.

And finally, from John G:

The show Mom went through a pretty drastic evolution from season one to where the show ended. In fact, only one member of the original cast finished the run. Can you think of other successful shows that changed to such a degree?

BEWITCHED got by with a new Darren (although not as good).  Charles on MASH, Woody and Rebecca on CHEERS.    THE GOOD WIFE made some wholesale changes towards the end.  It was risky but the new cast pulled it off.   I’m sure there are many other examples.  You might even perchance have one yourself.  

How many DR. WHO’s have there been?  

And finally, when a whole new cast is hired around one lead character you can pretty much call that a Spin-off.  

Stay cool out there wherever you may be.  And get VACCINATED!


VincentS said...

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, ratings for BEWITCHED fell after they (I'll keep it clean) changed Darrens.

Brian Phillips said...

Aqua Teen Hunger Force started out as a cartoon about a crimefighting trio and turned into a show about how weird things were living next to and being a sentient shake, order of fries and meatball. For my money, it was better after they got rid of the crimefighting.

A Different World was supposed to be a spin-off featuring Denise Huxtable and her adventures in college, until Lisa Bonet fell out of the Cosby-verse. It became more socially conscious and focused more on Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy.

Casper the Friendly Ghost started as a...nawwww, I'm kidding. Almost all of those cartoon had the exact same plot!

Michael said...

I remember "Mad About You" had different actors appear as Helen Hunt's parents before stunt-casting Carol Burnett and Carroll O'Connor. Guess the original set weren't famous enough.

tavm said...

Mentioning cast changes, I just remember reading how that happened every season on the 5-year program "The Doris Day Show". First season had Doris and her pre-teen children on a farm with her father Denver Pyle, second season had her also going to work in the city of San Francisco with her associates being McKean Stevenson (pre-"M*A*S*H"), and Billy DeWolfe and her friend being Rose Marie, third season had her moving to an apartment with a restaurant down below with Bernie Kopell (pre-"The Love Boat") and Jackie Joseph added to the cast, fourth season I think didn't have much notable changes, but the fifth pretty much ignored the previous ones as by this point, the kids are gone and forgotten! I myself don't ever remember watching any ep in its entirety but I've stumbled into some of the opening credits, either by switching channels or discovering on YouTube. The theme music playing over them is the by now-iconic "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)"...

Covarr said...

In Boy Meets World, Topanga's dad was played by THREE different actors: Peter Tork, Michael McKean, and Mark Harelik. They were all entirely different from each other, and only the first was believable as having raised her. Just goes to show, I guess, that good casting isn't just about talent; Michael McKean is undeniably amazing, but he was simply wrong for this particular role.

Cory's parents, on the other hand, were perfect for their parts. Maybe it's to do with them being series staples since the first episode.

kent said...

MASH was far more than just Charles, B.J. replaced Trapper, Potter replaced Henry and Klinger effectively replaced Radar. I used to marvel at how MASH could keep changing major characters and somehow get better every time.

Pat Reeder said...

To tavm:

"Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be)" was how the producers hoped you would respond when you saw whatever new configuration of a family Doris had this week.

therealshell said...

THE GOOD FIGHT has lost several key players from the original cast, and still is one of the best shows on tee-wee.

Mike Doran said...

In Re The Doris Day Show:
Season 1 was what they called a "warmedy", with Grandpa and the kids. Boring.
Season 2 moved Doris to SanFran part-time, with Bernie Kopell and Kaye Ballard at the ristorante; the kids and Grandpa were phased out.
Season 3 saw Doris relocating to SF full-time; kids and Grandpa disappear, Mac Stevenson is her boss at a magazine, Rose Marie is her pal, Billy DeWolfe is her neighbor, emphasis shifts to hard comedy.
Season 4: John Dehner becomes Doris's pompous-ass editor-boss, Jackie Joseph gets the office pal slot, Doris becomes Dehner's straightwoman, hard comedy all the way.
Season 5: Same as above, but Peter Lawford comes on part-time as Doris's "romantic interest"; this was the final season (to no one's surprise).
As we can see, the Day Show had a new format for each of the first four years, not stabilizing until Dehner came along in S.4.

More Than You Wanted To Know will return ...

Greg Ehrbar said...

CBS greenlit the pilot of Lost in Space but asked them to add a villain. Jonathan Harris was cast as Dr. Zachary Smith. The early episodes are more like 50s sci-fi movies with costumed monsters but the series changed over three years into a groovy cartoon, especially as television because more escapist with shows like Bewitched and Batman (which was Lost in Space's not-always-triumphant competition in ratings).

Very early, Harris deliberately added nuance to the role to stay employed. CBS liked it because he became a "man-child" character, it cut down on violence (there were a lot of notes) and as stated, TV was getting silly anyway at the time. Producer Irwin Allen not only encouraged Harris, but the actor was allowed to mark up his dialogue. It was Harris who created all the alliterative robot insults like "bubble-headed booby."

Dr. Smith was originally supposed to be killed off after a few episodes. So were Barnabas Collins and Dr. Julia Hoffman on Dark Shadows.

Dark Shadows was doing poorly in 1966 but the occasional addition of a ghost or phoenix seemed to work, so the following April, Jonathan Frid joined the show as vampire Barnabas. He was, like Dr. Smith, not the sympathetic character he became but the ratings skyrocketed.

People take Grayson Hall's contributions for granted. Dr. Hoffman (first referred to as "Jules" probably before Hall was cast) was also going to be temporary. Grayson Hall was an Oscar-nominated stage pro who knew how to steal a scene with facial expressions and without any scripting at first, she created an unrequited crush on Barnabas with her character. The writers picked up on it and not only did it help Barnabas to become perhaps the first sympathetic vampire but she stayed for the five-year run of the show and its endless appeal.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Right now I'm watching an episode from the fourteenth season of ER and there are maybe three actors from the original cast, all playing nurses. A strong dramatic format can survive multiple cast changes. It's different on a successful sitcom -- I think FRAZIER ended with the first cast intact. Even Moose/Eddie.

Lee Wall said...

Last of the Summer Wine ran for 38 years in the UK and was built around a trio of three old men. Unsurprisingly that meant that cast members go too ill to carry on and there were 10 different members of the trio in total over the years

Philly Cinephile said...

Glynis Johns is one of the five still-living actors who played "Special Guest Villains" on BATMAN. The other four are John Astin, Julie Newmar, Joan Collins, and Barbara Rush.

Janet said...

The parents on FRIENDS were all really good, particularly Elliott Gould and Marlo Thomas.

Oh, and Brenda Vaccaro played a mom on that show, too

Lark Hawk said...

E.R. and Law & Order are two shows that were veritable Ships of Theseus when it came to casting. The final seasons of both shows didn't have any of the original cast. But when you have an ensemble cast and a 15 year run, people can come and go gradually without disrupting the feel of the show.

Rick Hannon said...

Posing a Friday Question inspired by Yekimi's ... I've always enjoyed watchng the facial and body language reactions of actors when they are periferial to the scene. Some seem to be very much in the moment and react as one might expect someone to do in real life. Jennifer Aniston in Friends and Kaley Cuoco in Big Bang Theory are good examples. Some (looking at you, Lisa Kudrow) just seem to be waiting for it to be their turn to speak a line and are very disconnected from the scene. My question: is this all on the actor, or does a director work with them to get such reactions?

Jeff Boice said...

Cast Changes: A long time ago (early 1970's) syndicated reruns of My Three Sons hit the local airwaves (just the color episodes). I watched one and was stunned. I went to my older brother and asked "Ernie on My Three Sons was adopted?" He replied in disgust "Oh, yeah" and gave me the whole sad story.

Close-Ups: I wonder if, back in 1973, anybody ever thought "You know, in the future people will see this on a 70" screen". Maybe these extreme closeups of Carroll O'Connor aren't such a good idea."

gottacook said...

Lee Meriwether is also still alive. (She played Catwoman in the 1966 theatrical version of the TV show, which had run only a half-season until then, twice a week.) That must have been the first time I saw Adam West et al. in color, as we didn't have a color TV until 1967. Not only were there eventually three Catwomen (Newmar, Meriwether, Kitt) but also two Riddlers (Gorshin and Astin).

tavm said...

Jeff Boice, I have yet to watch the Black and White eps that had William Frawley and Tim Considine (well, maybe that first color ep with Tim getting married was the only time I saw him but I really don't remember his presence). I know there's a site that has all the eps but like other series from the past, I've yet to watch any of them...

Tommy Raiko said...

Talking about shows that withstood dramatic changes, ya gotta mention the late 80s sitcom Valerie starring Valerie Harper. After two years, Valerie Harper left the show in some contract dispute, and the show was renamed Valerie's Family for its third season and then became The Hogan Family for its last three.

Fed by the muse said...

My favorite parents casting (actually uncle and aunt) is in the "Get Smart" season one ep "My Nephew the Spy," Charles Lane and Maudie Prickett playing Max's visiting uncle and aunt (both terrific). I wish they had returned for future shows (though it is never confirmed in the teleplay just whose side of the family Max is on). For actual TV parents IMO it's tough to top Maurice Evans and Agnes Moorehead as Samantha's parents in "Bewitched" (of course, Mabel Albertson was also memorable as Darrin's mom, Mrs. Stephens).

kitano0 said...

I thought Bonnie Franklin was so cute during One Day at a Time. Ken, can you tell us more about her?

Jim S said...

Don't forget "Barney Miller." The show started off with Hal Linden, Jack Soo, Max Gail, Ron Glass, Gregory Sierra, Abe Vigoda and contstantly returning guest star James Gregory. Also Barbara Barrie as Barney's wife.

Jack Soo, sadly, died midway through the run, Abe Vigoda got a spin-off so his character retired, Gregory Sierra's character just disappeared after Sierra left to go to another show. But since this was a cop shop, it made sense that characters were transferred out or retired. That's the advantage of a workplace show. People come and go all the time at workplaces. It's family shows where an actor leaves and the character simply disappears and never is spoken of again that bothers me (See My Three Sons and the oldest son just disappearing after his contract was up). Barbara Barrie was phased out after a couple of years and only made a few guest appearances after that.

Characters like Levitt and Dietrich (Ron Carrey and Steve Landesburg) were brought in full time, while other characters like Linda Lavin's female cop were tested out and didn't make the cut. So at the end, three out of eight characters were still on the show. (Exception for James Gregory. He became a regular, got his own show, which was cancelled and became a recurring guest star again.)

What I loved about the show was that each character had his or her own vibe. The actors weren't slotted into a role like the "Naive Rookie" or the "Jaded Veteran".

Dietrich was very different from Fish and Levitt was very different from Chano (Gregory Sierra). Each cast change altered the dynamic of the squad room. It wasn't meet new boss, same as the old boss.

I miss Barney Miller.

Gary said...

I'll agree that Nancy Walker was great, but for my money TV's all-time greatest mom has to be Doris Roberts on EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. Except for the fact that she stole much of her dialog from my actual mother.

flurb said...

Nancy Walker was an astoundingly gifted comic. She could, and did, get laughs on what, for any other actor, would have been straight lines on "MTM and "Rhoda." She had a long, lively Broadway career, introducing the hilarious "I Can Cook Too" in the original production of Leonard Bernstein and Comden & Green's "On the Town." Plus several years ago there was a rerelease of an LP with her singing all kinds of songs from the American songbook, and, IMO, her quietly amazed "Long Ago and Far Away" is the most heartbreakingly lovely thing this side of Ella Fitzgerald... Like many great comics, she knew how to get serious; but she was one of a kind.

Ere I Saw Elba said...

The dog who played Eddie on FRASIER in later years was actually a replacement. The original dog (Moose) had one of his sons take over after season 7. No word on how they split the royalties.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Loved Nancy Walker...but Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalfe deserve kudos for their turns as Leonard's and Sheldon's moms on BIG BANG THEORY.

Michael: Actually, Helen Hunt's character had three sets of older relatives on MAD ABOUT YOU.


Fred said...

The Burns and Allen TV series had one Blanche Morton — Bea Benaderet —
but four Harry Mortons — Hal March, John Brown, Fred Clark, and Larry Keating —
the first three of them all within a year or so. Brown, who more than once
was a simultaneous regular on five radio series, appeared on I Love Lucy,
and worked with Brando Hitchcock Welles and Disney in films, was blacklisted,
having been named by a radio cast-mate who subsequently found
1960s cartoon fame.

DBenson said...

To flip the question -- which was raised in discussion of the Doris Day show -- what about shows that abruptly changed or altered settings/premise? A few I remember:

-- "Newhart" made a sort-of transition by giving Dick a job at a local TV station, so the show became a workplace comedy about half the time. "Bob" started out with old comic artist Bob being the fish-out-of-water at a big a media empire; that was eventually replaced with Bob working at a small greeting card company.
-- "Are You Being Served" was semi-revived by moving the cast to a farm, the rationale being that's where the department store had invested their pension money.
-- "Green Acres" had Oliver open a law office with a young partner in Hooterville. What looked like a new permanent element was instantly forgotten.
-- "McHale's Navy" moved from the Pacific to the Atlantic, where they could do Italian and German jokes instead of Japanese jokes.
-- "It's About Time" suddenly shifted from astronauts in the stone age to astronauts in the present with a stone-age family. I'm guessing it was a desperation move.
-- "Fact of Life" let the girls finally graduate and moved them all into a workplace comedy.
-- "Mannix" started out as a rebel within a huge investigation / security firm, then switched to the standard lone PI with a secretary.
-- "Red Dwarf" disposed of the gigantic mining ship that was home for the early seasons, but eventually brought it back, sort of.
-- The original "Battlestar Galactica's" last gasp was finding Earth, which meant they could use existing backlot streets and undisguised locations instead of cobbling together cheap alien worlds.
-- "The New Dick Van Dyke Show", originally set and filmed in Arizona to accommodate Van Dyke, uprooted its lead characters (and production) to LA.

-- In its final season "Mork and Mindy" seemed to be setting up a new premise where they'd be time travelers fleeing a crazed alien assassin. The story included revealing Mork was an alien and blowing up their house. Earlier the show had replaced Mindy's father and grandmother with a bunch of younger friends; they all vanished and the father was brought back (with a wife who vanished after a few episodes, like Exedor's bride). There was also an episode devoted to reverting Mork's character to his earlier innocent weirdness. By the final season the show was probably doomed anyway, if for no other reason than Robin Williams's price must have been astronomical.

ScarletNumber said...


You left Morgan Fairchild and Kathleen Turner as Chandler's mother and father. Of course you couldn't get away with casting Kathleen Turner in that role anymore.


I think Growing Pains casted the parents well: Jane Powell as Jason's mother, Robert Rockwell as his stepfather, and Gordon Jump as Maggie's father. The only odd thing is that they gave Jump a thick Irish brogue when it was obvious on WKRP that didn't speak that way. I always found it distracting, much like Dabney Coleman's speech impediment in Dragnet.

ScarletNumber said...


The biggest change for Newhart was that its first season was taped, while the later seasons were filmed.

I would also say The Facts of Life changed focus after the first season, as the focus shifted to only 3 out of the original 7 girls, plus Jo.

Family Matters went from being about a middle-class black family to The Urkel Show.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I've mentioned this before, but one of my biggest peeves is when TV families have no resemblance to one another. That's what was so great about the casting on "Frasier." You had no trouble believing that Frasier and Niles were brothers. On "The Brady Bunch" you could accept that Florence Henderson was the mother of the girls; "All of them had hair of gold like their mother..." And Robert Reed could've been the boys' father. There are a few good actors that can mimic each other's traits or mannerisms which can compensate for a lack of physical resemblance. But most of the time the parents don't look as if the could have borne those children. And the kids couldn't even pass for half siblings. And where did that redhead come from?

Speaking of stunt casting, on "The Big Bang Theory" Judd Hirsch (sp?) was cast as Leonard's father. I have no problem with that as such. But I think it would have been much funnier if they had picked Chevy Chase. They had already played father and son in "Christmas Vacation."

JIM S I had heard that Linda Lavin left "B.M." because she got her own show, "Alice."


kent said...

My number one TV mom would have to be Livia Soprano. After all, how many moms actually arrange a hit on their son?

Fred said...

John G:
The show Mom went through a pretty drastic evolution ... only one member of the original cast finished the run. Can you think of other successful shows that changed to such a degree”

In its final seasons— after some modest pruning — Keeping Up with the Kardashians replaced one of its main characters with a political novice

“To flip the question -- what about shows that abruptly changed or altered settings/premise?”

Burke’s Law became Amos Burke Secret Agent in season 3

•if for no other reason then Robin Williams price must have been astronomical .”

To say nothing of his dealer’s

Elf said...

I believe only two cast members from NYPD made it from the first episode to the last: Dennis Franz and Gordon Clapp.

Al in PDX said...

As Fred noted earlier, four different actors played Harry Morton on the Burns and Allen show. The other day I was watching an old rerun (well, obviously it was old if it was a 50s sitcom) and it happened to be the episode in which Larry Keating replaced Fred Clark. At one point, Burns walks on-stage and freezes the scene just before Harry's entrance and explains that Clark has left the show to perform on Broadway. He introduces Keating, who enters, and then calls over Bea Benaderet to introduce the two saying, "This is Larry Keating and he is going to be your husband now."
Since breaking the fourth wall was such an integral part of the show, I guess it made sense to do it that way.

powers said...

The science-fiction series The Invaders (1967~1968) made alterations to its premise along the way.
The show began with David Vincent (Roy Thines)encountering an alien spaceship "one dark lonely night."

From there we would see Vincent in his lone man crusade to stop the invading aliens attempt to conquer the Earth, as well as convincing people to believe him.

When that concept started to become tired the series had Vincent have the backing of a group of wealthy & powerful individuals who were convinced of his alien invasion story. It was the thirty-first episode from December 5, 1967 and titled "The Believers," appropriately enough.

Matt in Westwood, CA said...

Also agree that Nancy Walker as the mom for Rhoda on both MTM and RHODA is clearly all-time best. The episode that introduced her character on a very early MTM not only won the Emmy for best writing, but also Valerie Harper's first Emmy as Rhoda. To see her at her best, just watch Rhoda's Wedding, the scene in Brenda's apartment where she essentially hijacks Rhoda's wedding is absolutely classic...and that was an Emmy nominated script.

A Non Mouse said...

And both Tork and McKean were stunt casting too. They were building toward a Monkees onscreen reunion with Mickie Dolenz also recurring that season and ending with Davy Jones guest starring for an episode.

McKean was cast with real life wife Annette O'Toole as Topanga's dad. I think for how Jedediah was written, bitter and cynical, McKean was a better choice. Third dad was basically just a guy.

Anthony Adams said...

Annie O'Donnell appeared in two episodes as Amy Farrah Fowler's mother before being replaced, for the wedding sequence a couple of seasons later, by Kathy Bates

Dave said...

Hi Ken,
My wife and I just watched Here Today, the recent film by Billy Crystal. Wondered if you had seen it yet and had thought of reviewing it? There was a part in the movie where they are doing rewrites/discussing a sketch on the SNL type show his character works on and from the discussion I thought of you and your posts about crude humour vs funny lines. Overall a really enjoyable film we thought.

Greg Ehrbar said...

The Mork and Mindy changes were essentially one of many examples of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Robin Williams was virtually unknown except for a few appearances (most visibly on "Laugh In '77") but the show was a runaway hit out of the gate.

It seems that there was some network reshuffling (no!!) and against Garry Marshall's pushback he was ordered to make the show "Even more funny" with a new, younger cast to get even more viewers and be even more successful. I think even the time slot was changed. Almost everything was done to fix what didn't need fixing. Jay Thomas was apparently put in the position of trying to outdo Robin Williams in being funny, so that there would be even more of what was there was in abundance.

The show immediately began to fall. The solution to bring in Jonathan Winters (Williams' idol) and add more heavily gimmicked storylines (guest star Racquel Welch in an episode that wasn't even acceptable back then much less now) pushed it further down. As mentioned earlier, bringing back the cast was a kind gesture to the fired actors but was far too late. The earth was scorched. Robin Williams' well-known personal problems aside, there was plenty of excess of many kinds all the way around.

"Mork and Mindy" was lightning in a bottle, but sensations like that usually have a longer shelf life (about five years at least) unless too many people put their own interests ahead of the overall potential that enriches everyone. But "enough" doesn't seem to be "enough" for some.

DBenson said...

Some other relocations I forgot:

-- "I Love Lucy" upscaled the Ricardos from a New York apartment to suburban Connecticut.
-- "Laverne and Shirley" went from blue-collar Milwaukee to aspirational Burbank.
-- "The Torkelsons" moved from broke in Oklahoma to living with a well-off employer in Seattle and the whole format was changed for "Almost Home".

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

Didn't My Three Sons also move from Anywhere, USA to Los Angeles? And by the end of the show, hadn't most of the men left and it was Fred MacMurray's wife and/or the oldest son's wife, starting off every episode on the phone saying "You'll be out of town on business another week darling? All right, I'll handle this week's whacky adventure with Ernie, Dodie and Uncle Charlie!"

Nancy Walker left a bigger impression on MTM than Nanette Fabray as Mary's (and she later played Bonnie Franklin's mother on ODAAT)

Livia Soprano mentioned above, Nancy Marchand was the original Hester Crane, and she may not have had her son killed, but she might have been willing to talk to Junior or Paulie about her son's new girlfriend.

And I am not at all embarrassed to be the one to point out that Cloris Leachman replaced Charlotte Rae as house mother to the Facts of Life girls, and I think George Clooney was involved at one point?, and I'll never miss a chance to point out that the actress who played "Jo" would only agree to be involved in a reunion if she could direct a Very Special Episode where the gang got back together for Jo's funeral

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

LA Law (NBC Thursdays, after Cheers!) was another one where the original cast was all but gone by the last episode, and some great actors/characters came and went in the mean time: John Spencer, Conchatta Ferrell, Amanda Donohoe and of course, Diana Muldaur

Necco said...

"Casted" involves a fishing line. "They cast an actor in the role."

Leighton said...

Yes, "The Doris Day Show" was bonkers. Constant "rebooting." Can you see that happening today?

And can you believe that it ran concurrent with MTM for THREE years? Some will say that MTM was a natural follow-up to "That Girl" and Day, but MTM is brilliance, whereas the other two are pablum...

Elizabeth from Iowa City said...

I have a baseball question for you.

I was at the Field of Dreams game Thursday night and I was wondering if you watched it and if so what you thought of it.

I live in Iowa and I was stunned when I won the lottery to be able to buy tickets to the game. I went with some friends who had also managed to score tickets, some White Sox fans, some Cubs fans (as I am).

I felt as if I were in a studio audience, not at an actual baseball game. No beer or food vendors in the stands, crammed together so tightly in the bleachers I couldn't do a box score if I wanted to. Great game, and you could really see the action close up, but it sure didn't feel like going to Wrigley and tossing back a few Old Styles, or to Vets Stadium in Cedar Rapids to watch the Cedar Rapids Kernels, which has a similar capacity. (Their mascot is an ear of corn named Mr. Shucks.)

Also, there were a few kids in the audience, but I would say that most of the people in the stands were 40 and over. I'm not really understanding how a game based on a 30 year old movie is supposed to bring new fans to the game. Comments?

Donald from Chicago said...

You can't just drop a Happy Days bomb and then walk away. Do you remember anything about the script?

PolyWogg said...

I have a pseudo-Friday question about baseball. I know, I know, it surprises me too. :) I like going to live games, enough I might go to two in a year. So I'm not exactly a giant fan. But I've noticed in reading a number of books where the character likes baseball, they often have the fantasy conversation of the "perfect team". An all-star lineup of greatest players of all time or maybe greatest players they have SEEN PLAY IN PERSON. Do you have a post (or a series of posts, hint hint) where you could talk about your favorite players at various positions and why? Go on, impress us. :)

In the meantime, one of the comic feeds I get had the Count from Sesame Street doing baseball announcing. You might recognize some guest announcers in there somewhere.


JS said...

Friday Night Lights was a rare show where they let the first cast graduate from high school and brought in a completely new cast for the high school students. It worked.

Ron Havens said...

If you are looking for successful shows that had major cast changes over the course of its run, you should look no turther than NBC's ER.