Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's My Wednesdays? #9: Love & Marriage

You'll have to click on the image to view today's WMW?, as the naughty 
uploader has forbidden embedding.  It's worth it.  But do come back!

This week, a day-late salute to birthday boy Mr. Steve Lawrence, and (at 19:30) a very special Mystery Challenger.  It really is a lovely episode if your time allows you to take it all in, if only to appreciate both Arlene's fur shrug and Dorothy's wiglet (and at least one other Hair Hall of Fame potential entry).

As always, I marvel at the sheer cosmopolitan fun of all this.  These are people immersed together in a shared culture - publisher, columnist, star, and woman-about-town all together on the panel - and then the guests, and holding it all together the urbane host (the subject of some gentle, fond ribbing, as he was that week - September 29, 1963 - a new father).  In addition to the week's Mystery, Arlene makes fairly short work of a pretty English teacher from Moscow (in New York with the Moscow Circus, a Cold War propaganda coup of sorts, I suppose).  Dorothy may, to a critical eye, show signs of having had a cocktail (I've noted a tendency, now and then, for her careful Manhattan Mid-Atlantic to slip into something distinctly more Middle-Western), but even so, she fairly quickly figures out the identity of the scoreboard-operator at Yankee Stadium.

It was a rich week on network television, at least as far as CBS goes.  What's My Line?, of course, aired on Sunday nights, at 10:30 p.m., and on that particular Sunday, the show was preceded by the very first episode of The Judy Garland Show, on which the star was joined by Donald O'Connor.  As the episode ends, John Daly notes in passing that in the coming week, everyone's favorite game show would be pre-empted.  He doesn't say why, but a little research reveals the occasion to have been the airing of a special, Elizabeth Taylor in London, a very curious-sounding hour that found the star wandering the streets of her homeland's capital reciting poetry to some rather heavy-handed underscoring (sadly, it's not been YouTubed, but you can hear some here, if you're feeling strong enough).  If nothing else, I suppose it was less painful than the very special special of several years later, Lucy in London.

Thinking of Steve Lawrence (and not to mention of his Mystery Challenger) calls to mind, to those of us of a certain age, the topic of marriage.  His lasted more than 55 years, and seems to have been a particularly happy and congenial one, whatever the tabloids came up with.  That's an appropriate subject for today, for today is Mr. Muscato's and my one-year anniversary - one year legal, that is, and rising eleven altogether.  I only hope we can be as happy, interesting, and attractive as the years and decades pass as the Lawrence-Gormés, the Francis-Gabels, the Kilgallen-Kollmars, the Cerfs, and the Dalys.

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