Tuesday, May 28, 2024 May 28, 2024
86° F Dallas, TX



we went back in for our mastectomies.”

Collins wanted to know more, much more.

While Collins was extracting this information in graphic detail from the twins, Donahue was anesthetizing everybody with a report on how Mexican aliens secure fake driver’s licenses.

Donahue, who modestly entitled his autobiography Donahue, must see to it that he isn’t so badly outmatched again.

Charlie Rose, however, captured honors for the day in the category dealing with potential viewer depression.

This is the same Charlie Rose who taped his show out of Channel 5’s Fort Worth studio until he was finally able to cut a national syndication deal. Now Rose’s show originates in Washington, D.C.

Charlie’s pretty shrewd. Or maybe his producer is. Anyway, somebody determined that there are a lot of fat girls who watch The Charlie Rose Show, which is why they lined up Wanda Bork for a guest shot.

Wanda has lost 402 1/2 pounds.

She still doesn’t look all that great, since there’s a problem of what to do with all that baggy flesh. Wanda has already undergone one “tummy tuck.”

But they showed a photograph of Wanda before she dropped the weight, and she looked, well, pretty chunky.

Wanda said that before she lost the weight, she suffered from “low self-esteem.” Are you listening, all you fatties out there?

She talked about looking at the world through her “prism of fat.” She described that mountain of flesh as “her security blanket.”

Wanda discussed how her son would hide under the dashboard whenever they drove through town and encountered one of his friends.

It was during this period, when she’d finish off lunch with a half-gallon of ice cream, that Wanda said she was becoming a “mean and spiteful person.”

While Wanda was spilling her guts, Charlie Rose was prancing around the audience.

With each new revelation from Wanda, Rose would appear either bewildered or shattered.

“Before you lost the 402 1/2 pounds, uh, uh … what did your husband think about the way you looked?” he demanded.

Wanda sort of smiled and said, “My husband is a man who likes a heavy woman.” After a while, I was getting to where I really liked Wanda. “Now that I’ve lost the weight, he calls me ’Bones’ and says he liked me better before.”

Now Charlie started getting profound. “I don’t want to play psychologist, but do you think you kind of made him feel insecure?”

One of the features of The Charlie Rose Show is people phoning in with questions. The first caller identified herself only as being 200 pounds overweight. She desperately wants to quit eating, but can’t last more than a day without getting after a crock pot of mashed potatoes. This woman said that she hates herself. Charlie realized he’d hit the jackpot this time.

“In the last 24 hours, what’s the most miserable you’ve felt?” Charlie asked. Wanda told Charlie that was a dumb question, and the caller agreed.

The caller went on to say that her husband ridicules her for being fat, then gives her holy hell whenever she tries to diet because he thinks she’s a lost cause.

“Who gives you the incentive to keep trying?” Rose asked.

“My psychiatrist,” answered the caller.

A young lady in the studio audience admitted to weighing 205 pounds and said she didn’t have any particular desire to lose weight.

“I eat ice cream for the same reason some people take a drink of liquor,” she revealed. “I don’t like liquor. Won’t touch the stuff.”

“Good for you,” said Charlie.

Then he trotted out Dr. So-and-So, the ultimate authority on obesity. Being overweight, he said, is a sickness. Actually a series of sicknesses. Just one big sickness piled upon another.

And suddenly, all too soon, Charlie’s half hour had run out. Charlie peered into the camera, looking like he was about to cry, and signed off with the words, “Have a lovely day.”

The remainder of the afternoon was a routine journey through the marshy soap operas and insipid game shows. The Chuck Barris offerings, particularly The Newlywed Game, remain just as revolting as they were when they first came on the air 15 years ago.

There was, however, one standout entry in the daytime field that made everything that preceded it seem like the epitome of refined taste.

This was You Bet Your Life, a takeoff on the old Groucho Marx quiz-comedy. The updated version features Buddy Hackett.

One of Hackett’s contestants was a hairdresser at a funeral home.

“Does the fluid drip out of their ears?” asked Hackett. He asked some other questions that were even worse than that. There have been guys sentenced to death row for being less offensive than Buddy Hackett on You Bet Your Life.

Another standout item in this galaxy of culture is a daytime drama poignantly entitled Texas. It’s not anything as trashy as it sounds.The setting is Houston, a city to the south principally known for its enceph-alitis epidemics. The story concerns the happy adventures of the Broderick family and is perhaps loosely based on Tommy Thompson’s warm and delightful Blood and Money.Charlie Broderick is a closet queen con-stantly on the lookout for a good party, but Carla, his nagging old lady, cramps his style.So Charlie feeds her – I swear to God – some of his famous homemade ginger-bread that he’s laced with roach poison. However, the viewer can’t help but get the impression it’ll be at least another two months before she kicks off. So Charlie, in the meantime, will continue to entertain himself by dancing on the sofa.This show would be considerably more appealing if it were done topless.An unfortunate aspect of Texas is that several people are making six-figure in-comes for writing this pig swill.For the past year and a half, perhaps the single outpost of literacy in the otherwise lunatic land of daytime TV was Leave It To Beaver.Unfortunately, in this area Beaver is what they call “on hiatus” in the television industry. The show was dropped from Channel 11 ’s daytime schedule in January.The reason was that the Beav was get-ting his teeth kicked in, ratings-wise, by that goody-goody Phil Donahue.“Beaver did surprisingly well in the ratings, considering the competition,” says Clem Candelaria, programming director at Channel 11. Candelaria makes a solemn oath that Beaver will return to Channel 11’s schedule, maybe even this year.

That’s good news because Leave It To Beaver, which was filmed between 1957 and 1963, contains the most effective exhibition of pure acting skill ever generated on network TV.

I refer, of course, to the unforgettable work of Ken Osmond, who is now a police officer in Santa Monica. Osmond created Eddie Haskell, the consummate cynic, a masterpiece of duplicity.

“Good morning, Mrs. Cleaver. That certainly is a lovely dress you’re wearing. And how are you today, Theodore, you little bastard?”

Upstairs, Wally Cleaver grabs Eddie’s sleeve and tells him to lay off the Beav.

“Just take it easy, Sam,” says Eddie. “You’re wrinkling the cashmere. What do you think this is? East Berlin?”

The series included such impeccable dialogue as:

Ward (looking concerned, as usual): “I can’t understand why Wally would make up such a preposterous story about Saturday night basketball practice just so he could back out of his date with Mary Ellen Rogers.”

Beaver: “Because football season’s already over.”

Old Ward. Through seven seasons, he never cracked. Never got loaded and wrecked his ’62 Dodge. Never smacked June. Never put a cheap move on Miss Landers, the Beav’s doll-faced teacher.

The best episodes in the seven-year run of the series were during the final two seasons, when most of the plot emphasis drifted away from Ward and June and the Beav and more toward Wally’s adventures at Mayfield High with Eddie and Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford, played by Frank Bank.

Unfortunately, just as the writing on the series was growing stronger, the Beav was growing older. Jerry Mathers’ voice began to change, and as he approached adolescence, the Beav started coming on more and more like a severe goose.

The series was cancelled, leaving Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont with nothing to hold on to except some modest residuals that enabled them the luxury of never having to work again if they didn’t want to. And for the most part, they haven’t.

There are some other reruns that can hang in there with Beaver to a certain extent, though none can match it.

Father Knows Best occasionally hangs in there. It was particularly refreshing to learn that when Robert Young made his big comeback on Marcus Welby, M.D., he admitted to being a chronic alcoholic during most of his tenure on Father Knows Best.

In other words, while Jim Anderson was pitching out all those down-home values to Bud and Betty and whatever they called the other one, Young was half-bagged on the vodka he was hitting in his dressing room between takes.

The trouble with Father Knows Best is that they never developed an Eddie Has-kell character to help cut the treacle.

Superman is also generally worthwhile. George Reeves, who eventually blew his brains out, provides consistency in the lead role. It’s currently found on Channel 21 at 4:30. The earlier episodes, which featured Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane, are the strongest ones. Noel Neill replaced Miss Coates and softened the role.

Eight hours worth of constant exposure to daytime television can do things to a person, like screw up your brain.

But it does have its advantages. Unlike radio, live renderings of Dallas citycouncil meetings appear nowhere on theschedule.