Each week Boston Comedian Ken Reid and his guests discuss a specific issue of TV Guide. They debate, consider and discuss the difficult viewing choices of our past.
TV Guidance Counselor Episode 490: John Sayles
This week Ken welcomes writer, director, actor, and one of Ken's most looked up to Renascence Men, John Sayles.
Ken and John discuss outer space, TV as babysitter, how 1960 was far before Ken was born, late night TV, inappropriate commercials, human remote controls, the lack of choice, 30 Westerns on TV, Have Gun Will Travel, signature guns, TV theme songs, how you set the tone and mood for a story, Wanted Dead or Alive, Steve McQueen, how some actors are just cool, Ernie Kovacs, sight gags, surreal TV, The Rebel, Nick Adams wannabe status, Johnny Cash singing the theme to The Rebel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, how The British actually really love Murder, Elmer Bernstein's theme to Johnny Staccato, John Cassavetes, west coast white jazz musicians, the Ed Sullivan Show, variety shows, Johnny Puleo and the Harmonica Gang, SCTV, The Beatles, Jackie Mason flipping off America on live TV, Peter Gunn, lack of ambiguity in television, first seeing color on TV in a baseball game, learning story structure via watching TV, Sergio Leone, being and undercover western detective for Wells Fargo, Adventures in Paradise, Ricardo Montauban, Dobie Gillis, Bob Denver as Maynard J. Krebbs, Tuesday Weld acting on TV with Warren Beatty, Archie, making your own On the Road as Route 66 with very minor changes, The Riflemen, Chuck Connors, doing your chores, TV and movies being banned from shooting in Chicago for years, The Untouchables, Crime Story, M Squad, Lee Marvin, Police Squad being influenced by M Squad's theme song, Joe Dante directing Police Squad, the best sight gags on the show, John Ford, Andy Devine's Hollywood status after Ward Bond's death, The Millionaire, dueling Bat Mastersons, being a super fan of mafia succession, how Ring Lardner in 8 Men Out was Robert Stack's voice, Robert Stack's jokes, Walter Winchell, Neville Brand, Al Capone, Friday Night Fights, The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, how boxing was the perfect subject to air on television, Emile Griffith killing Benny Paret in the ring live on TV, The Twilight Zone, Lee Marvin in the Twilight Zone Episode Steel, Hemingway's story "50 Grand", and the oddness of TV sign offs.
TV Guidance Counselor Episode 489: Charlie Higson
This week Ken welcomes former Higsons' frontman, novelist, actor, comedian and all around UK comedy royalty Charlie Higson to the show.
Ken and Charlie discuss being built for lockdown, writing books for adults again after a 25 year hiatus, the BREAKING NEWS of Charlie's new huge fantasy series for the Middle East on MBC, Randall and Hopkirk Decease, Saturday Night Live (UK), Stand up on TV, Harry Enfield, The Fast Show, catch phrases, Paul Whitehouse, the difficulty of exporting comedy, never seeing Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, the biggest and best American sitcoms, the US tradition of late night talk shows, Craig Ferguson, Vic Reeve's Big Night Out, Vic and Bob, The Prisoner, The Avengers, the UK tradition of fantasy series, how fantasy series aren't all for kids, Doctor Who, needing to use humor for characters, translating humor to a foreign language, the beauty of working with restrictions, liking stupid comedy, classic American sitcoms, Swiss Tony, how the US likes to see people good at their job and the UK likes to see people bad at their job, Cheers, Early Doors, Peter Richardson, remaking UK shows in the US, how The Royle Family became The Kennedys, how cool characters aren't funny, all the US remakes of Fawlty Towers, how difficult it is for UK comedians to make it in the US, Ricky Gervais, English acts bombing at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, Vic and Bob confusing a Canadian audience, The Larry Sanders' Show, how The Muppets is the anti-Larry Sanders, The Higsons, opening for The Ramones in Chicago, touring America, and how modern tv and movie scores have abandoned "themes" and why that is a shame, Batman Theme and Robison Crusoe from Germany.
TV Guidance Counselor Episode 488: Jackie Michele Johnson
This week Ken welcomes host of the Natch Beaut podcast, and fellow Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend pre-Apocalypse guest, Jackie Michele Johnson to the show.
Ken and Jackie discuss good closets, personal space in a marriage, Sex and the City, converting to Judaism, Ken's blank spot that is 2004, the Reality TV Boom, how full hair and make up is a Texas thing, how who shot JR was technically a dream, Grey's Anatomy, multiple helicopter crashes, the tragic life and death of Anna Nicole Smith, Trim Spa Baby, being ok with spoilers if they are sad, do people in NYC dress cooler?, Dean Cain, Scott Peterson, Dean Cain's terrible facial hair disguise, central time, The Ring, horror flicks and pizza, Ernest Goes to School, MTV Cribs, finding Pimp My Ride Cars in 2021, everyone's Jaime Kennedy story, how Jennifer Love Hewett is too good for him, watching basketball, Average Joe Hawaii, LA's hot chick + mediocre guy phenomenon, Fear Factor, twins, Scare Tactics, Las Vegas, being a background actor, method background actors, Punk'd, The Terminator, Tracy Morgan: Crazy Person, 30 Rock, Ed, Gary Oldman, Sid & Nancy, How The Prisoner is the only show Alex Cox likes, The Hills, Laguna Beach, The O.C., how Blondie isn't The GoGos, debating if watching more or less of The Apprentice may have saved America, Friends, Extreme Makeover, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, visiting the set of Dawson's Creek, Joshua Jackson's hot wife and how he's a good dude, the secrets of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, The 100 Hottest Hotties of 2004, Jack Osbourne replacing Sharon, the big deal of reality show marriages, and Barry Bostwick on Scrubs.
TV Guidance Counselor Episode 487: George Pasles
This week Ken welcomes VCR Party Live's resident gal Friday, and the lord of Overlord, George Pasles to the show.
Ken and George discuss armpit hair, Philly, on set romances, Phantasm, cigarettes, storm chasers, original art, dirt bikes, pearls and oysters, Simon & Simon, Tales from the Darkside, Monsters, commandeering televisions after being dumped by your parents in a store, knowing things from Simpsons parodies, Joanna Kerns' Olympiad sister, Janet Jackson's Lethal Enforcers arcade cab, It's Your Move, blackface on Gimme a Break, Hardcore, Murder She Wrote and sports, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, John Carpenter, getting cable post high school, Bloopers vs Boners, sexual movies, Chip on Kate & Allie, bad paste ups, Jane Badler, Covenant of Evil, Dueling Danzas, Telma Hopkins world, Hiroshima Remembered, The Wall on network TV, Riptide, writing letters to Tom Bray, having a Commodore 64, Steel Collar Man, Charles Rocket, Rock N Roll Summer Action, NBC's Thursday Night Powerhouse Lineup, Skippy and Malorie trapped in a basement, Coach's learning songs on Cheers, the connection between Webster and The Golden Child, the beauty of Buckaroo Banzai, Dukes of Hazard, Knight Rider, The A-Team, shows re-using clips, Arsenio Hall, racist former game show hosts blocking Ken on Twitter, and the WONDER of Still the Beaver.
TV Guidance Counselor Episode 486: Clint Conley
This week Ken welcomes bassist and singer from Mission of Burma, long time Chronicle producer and personal hero Clint Conley to the show.
Ken and Clint discuss the nexus of punk rock and television, finding interesting things in New England, growing up just outside NYC, having a father "in the business", grad school at BU, the interaction of the high brow and lowbrow, the arty and the boneheaded, weirdo bands, Cousin Brucie, Ed Sullivan, rock bands on TV, the importance of 1966 for Youth Culture, Batman, Gallant Men, copycat shows, Combat!, Secret Agent, The Rifleman, Man from U.N.C.L.E., plat spinning, vaudeville acts, Hollywood Palace, Boris Karlof, seeking out all the horror movies, Channel 9 and 11, Alan King, Ed Sullivan giving extra time to Sly Stone, The Rascals, Raymond Burr, fearing iron lungs and quicksand, the worthless nature of Tucker Carlson, Candid Camera, Prank Shows, Hulabaloo, Richard Pryor and George Carlin on young rock n roller John Davidson's show, My Mother the Car, Vic Morrow, the Twilight Zone disaster and E! Network's re-enactments, Eric Burden and the Animals, Gidget, band names, Night of Whirling Death, Wild Wild West, Car 54, Where Are You?, having a VCR in the 1970s, hating Lost in Space, being scared of Billy Mumy, taping Iggy Pop on Dinah Shore, the greatness of Green Acres, meeting Mary Tyler Moore, W.C. Fields tribute by his own son, The Smothers Brothers, The Amazing Randi, Johnny Carson: GOTCHA!, The 100 Foot Wave, and the greatness of Barry Jenkin's The Underground Railroad.
TV Guidance Counselor Episode 485: Stanley Livingston
This week Ken welcomes writer, producer, director and actor, Chip from My Three Sons himself, Mr. Stanley Livingston.
Ken and Stanley discuss Ozzy and Harriet, hanging out with Mr. Ed, swimming, being a stunt kid, Paul Newman, his brother getting recast, Doris Day, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, the family burlesque business, Baltimore, vaudeville, mom and pop dirty businesses, the hunt for TV content, My Three Sons, Nick at Nite, Fred McMurray, the strange production of My Three Sons, movie stars on TV, the Skippy pilot, having not seen your big break for 50 years, reconnecting with your co-stars, not being Huck Finn, The Actor's Journey, learning all the ropes, starting your own production company as a teenager, writing The Aftermath, the technical advances of editing software, being made up by Jack Pierce, Famous Monsters, Forry Ackerman, being a Monster Kid, and Paul Bartel's strange Private Parts.
An absolute treasure
So glad I found this show. Bless you Ken and your bounty of classic TV Guide PDFs.
Being a child of the early 70’s, I have a few years on Ken. You would not ever suspect this, however, due to Ken’s encyclopedic knowledge about shows that were WAY before his time.
For example: He and a guest referenced an early Sunday morning Christian show called “Jot” that I had seen as a boy, but convinced myself was a fever dream because no one else had ever seen the damned thing. Also, the fever dream concept lends itself quite readily to that show, which was about a drawn (poorly) dot named Jot who apparently just could not steer clear of those pesky sinners.
The fact that I was watching that show at all speaks loudly to the dearth of programming for a young child on Sunday morning.
Thanks, Ken, for the great work and extraordinary concept.
Listen to the episodes. Even if you do not recognize the guest by name, you will be familiar with their work at some level. They are all packing gold.
Always a delight.
Every episode features SOMETHING that tickles my nostalgia bone. Ken is always so pleasant and delightful. Ken makes me feel less wierd about being such a TV lover, and it’s like listening to an old friend talking about TV memories.