Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When Other Legends Are Forgotten


This week on Tube Day Tuesday, it’s a short trip down memory lane. 

This morning, for no reason I can fathom, I was thinking about an old show called The San Pedro Beach Bums.  It was a goofy little show that I barely remember, but I do remember being amused by it.  It only lasted a couple of months, so I’m guessing it wasn’t really all that good.  Of course, I never have been much of a comedy person, so maybe I’m just not that good at picking them.

But, since I was thinking about that short-lived show, it got me to wondering what other comedies might have crossed my path in my youth.  Well, really, there were quite a few of them:  Mork and Mindy, Happy Days, The Partridge Family, The Brady Bunch, The Monkees . . . and probably many more.  Maybe this whole anti-comedy thing is newer than I thought.

But, those were all successful shows, nothing like those beach bum boys, so I wondered what else I’d watched that crashed and burned really quickly, and one show immediately sprang to mind:  When Things Were Rotten.

When Things Were Rotten 3-12-13

Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons

Even if you’re not familiar with the program—which wouldn’t be surprising, since it aired only 13 episodes way back in 1975—you can probably guess from the photo that it was show about Robin Hood.  I wasn’t even quite a teenager yet when this show was on the air, and I still remember thinking it was absolutely hysterical.

Created by Mel Brooks, and starring Dick Gautier, this was not your typical telling of the Robin Hood legend.  Here you had over the top slapstick comedy about a band of total idiots running wild in Sherwood Forest, making you wonder how they ever survived.  But, of course, the answer is because the Sheriff of Nottingham was an even bigger fool, making the merry men appear almost heroic by contrast. 

I can remember cackling at some of their antics, though I’m not really much of a Brooks fan.  Honestly, that kind of broad humor pretty much leaves me cold these days, and it has for a lot of years.  But, apparently, when I was 12, it was just the ticket.  Sight gags, stupid puns, and characters talking to the camera, they all made me LOL decades before we’d ever dream up such an abbreviation.  I wish I could see it again, because I can’t really remember the details all that clearly.  I’d like to get them refreshed.  Though, I might be just a tiny bit scared that seeing the episodes now would ruin my memories.  I seem to remember it got pretty good reviews, but good reviews don’t always mean a good or successful television program.  I guess some things really never change. 

One of these days, maybe it’ll hit Netflix, or somebody will decide the episodes ought to be on DVD.  Until then, I guess I’ll just have to be content with my memories, however vague they may be. 

Are there any shows that came and went quickly in your childhood that you still remember fondly?