Incredible Inman: 'Honeymooners' were cats in '50s cartoon
By David Inman
Published: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, 8:53 p.m.
Question: I am trying my best to locate a couple of cartoons. I'm sure they would be on separate DVDs (if they are on DVD at all), but finding out which one is my problem. One is the cartoon with Abbott and Costello as mice, and the other is the cartoon with “The Honeymooners” cast as mice. Are these on DVD?
Answer: The Abbott and Costello-as-mice cartoon is “A Tale of Two Mice,” from 1945. (There also were a couple of cartoons with Abbott and Costello as cats — 1942's “A Tale of Two Kitties” and 1946's “The Mouse-Merized Cat.”)
And the cartoon version of “The Honeymooners” is the 1956 cartoon “The Honey-Mousers.” “The Honey-Mousers” is on the DVD set “Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3.” And “A Tale of Two Mice” is on the DVD for the Errol Flynn western “San Antonio.” It's also online at YouTube.
Q: Years ago, probably during the late 1970s, I saw a made-for-TV movie that was a remake of “It's a Wonderful Life.” Never having seen the original, I enjoyed it. Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD?
A: That's the 1977 TV movie “It Happened One Christmas,” with Marlo Thomas as the George Bailey character, Wayne Rogers as her husband and Orson Welles as the town bad guy, Mr. Potter. Cloris Leachman plays the Guardian Angel who helps Thomas. Alas, “It Happened One Christmas” isn't officially on DVD, but there are bootleg copies out there.
Q: I seem to a remember a TV movie from the mid to late 1970s or very early '80s, with Elizabeth Taylor as a stuffy yet lonely teacher or professor. She gets a roommate, a young guy, who she, of course, hates at first then grows to enjoy his company and care about him. When the guy moves out at the end, she's totally devastated. Could you please help me with the title of this movie, and who else starred?
A: That's a 1978 production of “Hallmark Hall of Fame” called “Return Engagement,” with Joseph Bottoms as the boarder. The cast includes Allyn Ann McLerie and Peter Donat, and it was a live stage production. The show was on VHS, but is now out of print.
Q: Some time back, I watched a movie on TV about a girl in Nashville hoping to become a country music star. I think Sandra Bullock appeared in a supporting role. Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD?
A: That's the 1993 film “The Thing Called Love,” with River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, Dermot Mulroney, K.T. Oslin, Pam Tillis and a bunch more folks. It's on DVD.
Q: Could you help me with a show that I remember from the 1960s? It was about (I think) three families living in a court (not “Knots Landing”). I would really appreciate any help I can get.
A: Methinks you are recalling “90 Bristol Court,” which ran on NBC in the fall of 1964. It was a 90-minute show that actually consisted of three half-hour sitcoms, each about the residents of a Southern California apartment complex.
The first was “Karen,” about a bubbly teenager (Debbie Watson) and her not-as-bubbly-as-they-used-to-be parents (Mary LaRoche and Richard Denning).
The second was “Tom, Dick and Mary,” about two medical students — Dick (Steve Franken) and Tom (Don Galloway) — who roomed together, except that Tom was married to Mary (Joyce Bulifant), who lived there, too. Wipe that smirk off your face, buddy — we're talking 1964 here.
The third was “Harris Against the World,” which starred Jack Klugman as a put-upon family man.
“90 Bristol Court “ was kaput by early 1965, when “Tom, Dick and Mary” and “Harris Against the World” were canceled. “Karen” continued all by her bubbly self until the end of the season.
Q: OK, I know there use to be a show in the mid- to late-1980s about three kids who lived upstairs from an ice-cream shop they ran on the beach. I believe their parents were deceased. It used to be on TBS, but when I mention it people act like I'm crazy. Help me prove I'm right.
A: You might not be crazy, but your taste in TV stinks.
“Rocky Road” was one of several sitcoms produced by TBS in the mid-1980s (one of the others was “Down to Earth,” about an angel-turned-nanny). These shows were distinguished by cheesy production values, untalented cast members and lousy scripts.
The no-star cast of “Rocky Road” included Jim Menza, Marcianne Warman and Hope North. Take my word for it — you've never heard of them and never will again.
Q: There must be a lot of people like me who grew up watching “Howdy Doody.” One of the features that I remember from that show is movie clips of “The Three Tons of Fun.” I have not been able to find any information on these three gentlemen. Could you help out all of us who remember this trio?
A: Those silent-film clips featured three obese, obscure comics — Frank “Fatty” Alexander, Hillard “Fat” Karr, and “Kewpie” Ross — who appeared in several comedies during the mid-1920s, including “Heavy Love,” “Heavy Infants,” “Three Fleshy Devils” and “Wanderers of the Waistline.” Oh, my sides!
Their final film as a team was in 1928, and they had all passed on by the end of the 1930s.
Write David Inman in care of The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, 525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, Ky. 40201-7431; or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions of general interest will be answered; personal replies are not possible.
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