Tuesday, May 21, 2013


A few years ago I did a show for VH1 called 'Super Secret TV Formulas' where we looked at different TV cliches. The show runner gave me a list of subjects and asked if I could come up with some not so obvious examples. I thought you might enjoy my notes back to the producer. I'll bet I missed a few that will come to your mind right away.

The first subject was: Flashback Episodes: 
The first ever was the I love Lucy Christmas episode - here's the story and a clip.
The flashback was the key to Kung Fu and the most interesting part.
Dark Shadows jumped from past to present for months at a time.
Dick Van Dyke Show had flashbacks to Rob's Army days.
Green Acres did it a lot.
Frazier and Niles flash back to their days as kids.
Star Trek did it to use footage from the pilot and save money.
'Who Killed JR' on Dallas was a mess of flashbacks.

Drag for a Day: 
Milton Berle probably was first, since he was there at the beginning of TV.
Steve Eurkel played his cousin Myrtle
Lucy did male drag as Superman.
There was a notorious flop - The Ugliest Girl in Town (1968 - ABC) - would be a great example but I have no idea if the series exists anymore.
Max Baer (Beverly Hillbillies) was both Jethro and his sister Jethrine in the first season.
Jonathan Winters did an old lady character, Maude Frickert, that was hilarious; he did the character on practically every variety show.
Barney on the Andy Griffith Show - there is a famous and readily available
still picture of Barney in Drag.
Johnny Carson
Benny Hill
The Robot from Lost in Space put on women's clothes once for a play.
Harvey Korman on Carol Burnett did a very funny fairy Godmother.
Jamie Foxx on In Living Color as Wanda
John Belushi as Liz Taylor on SNL
Will Farrell as Janet Reno on SNL
Dana Carvey as Church Lady on SNL.

Let's Get it On, Already: Aaah, sexual tension... 
Starsky and Hutch - They were always touching and saying "I love you, man."
Serena and Larry Tate on Bewitched.
Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor.
Gilligan and all the women on the island.
LaVern, Shirley, Lenny and Sqiggy.
Mr. Ed and Wilbur.
Hunter? Remington Steele?
Smithers and Mr Burns from Simpsons.
Fresh Prince - Will and his cousin.
Dean Martin and his Golddiggers.
Mork and Mindy.
Vivian and Lucy on The Lucy Show - CBS execs called it 'The Dykes Sans Dick Show.'
Jethro and Miss Hathaway.

All useless knowledge comes in handy one day, I suppose.