Monday, February 27, 2006

The Tube Museum

The Museum of Television and Radio on 52nd Street between 6th & 5th is a fabulous place to visit for a Tube Junkee or anybody interested in the history of a performer or events. The archives are extensive and include just about everything ever broadcasted. I spent yesterday afternoon there watching vintage Bernadette Peters and Angela Lansbury - Bernadette's appearance as a 5 year old on Name That Tune (this should be required viewing for any American) and a 1950s appearance by Angela on the George Gobel Show. Name that Tune in the 50s is different than how we know it (is it still on? I'm not sure). Five year old Bernadette is completely adorable. She actually doesn't look much different over 50 years later - just a tad taller. When the host asked her what she would like to be when she grows up, she replied "a baton twirler". The host then asks her how many times she can twirl her baton and she says "once". When he asks her how many times she wants to be able to twirl it, she says "One thousand hundred times". She and her opponent, equally adorable five year old Gus, managed to win about $800 in prize money together. I was astonished at the number of tunes they were able to name. The George Gobel show ran from 1954-1960. It was sort of a variety show - George told jokes and sang. Angela appeared as herself in this second episode of the series on October 9, 1954. They did a skit in which she played his wife and they were having trouble with their young son. In the beginning of the skit, Angela is tied up with a rope and has on a boy's cowboy hat. Angela began trying to get George to handle the son, but George was afraid of him. In the beginning of the show, George went in to greet her in her dressing room and she was trying to find her garter for her stockings. She was at least 6 inches taller than him and he called her "great big you". The skit lasted all of ten minutes but was very funny. I found myself laughing at all of the scenes. I have a feeling that George Gobel was a comedien before his time. These shows filled my chilly afternoon sans theatre with laughter. My favorite shows to watch there are the Tony Awards and old made for tv movies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

George Gobel had a TV show? I should remember that but don't. Agree that the Name That Tune show with Bernadette Peters should be required viewing.