Friday, May 29, 2009

A hot dog makes her lose control

Earlier this week, I stated that the announcement of the TV western Tales of Wells Fargo coming to DVD in a “Best of” release was the brightest TV-on-DVD news to date. Once again, I have been proven wrong with a resounding “Get outta here!” is announcing that Shout! Factory will release the first season of the sitcom classic The Patty Duke Show on disc this September 29th.

Created by potboiler author Sidney Sheldon—who also masterminded I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart (this show, by the way, is why Sheldon occupies a special circle of Hell)—Duke remains one of the wildest situation comedies of the 1960s…and in a group that included Mister Ed, My Favorite Martian, My Mother the Car, Bewitched, Gilligan’s Island, The Flying Nun and others too numerous to mention, this is indeed a prestigious honor. Child actress Patty Duke—who was just coming off an Oscar win for her role in The Miracle Worker (1962)—was the titular star, playing wacky teenager Patty Lane…and her more reserved Scottish cousin, Cathy. The premise of the series was that they were cousins—identical cousins all the way. One set of matching bookends…different as night and day.

I’ve always been a big fan of this series despite the fact that it had all the nutritional value of cotton candy—particularly because the show also starred The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis alumni William “Leander Pomfritt” Schallert and Jean “Imogene Burkhart” Byron. (Byron was one of the sexiest moms in the history of family sitcoms, and anyone who disagrees with me is more than welcome to step outside…while I remain here, laughing and poking merciless fun at you.) The series was rerun for many years on the late, lamented Nick at Nite and was “Must See TV” during my exile in Morgantown. Oddly enough, I’ve still yet to see the reunion movie made back in 1999—if anyone knows where I can buy a copy, help a brother out, will ya?

Timeless Media Group is also working away in the DVD mines with a new release of Red Skelton telecasts—Red Skelton, America’s Clown Prince will be released on July 14th and will contain thirty shows sanctioned by the Red Skelton estate. TMG will also repackage their earlier The Guns of Will Sonnett releases into one big collection on that same date—I sold my earlier Sonnetts on eBay some time ago in order to generate some fast cash and shore up some needed bedroom space but if the price is right on this collection (the SRP is $69.99, which might come down a bit depending on where you shop online) I may pick it up again. I got a big kick out of this underrated series, as evidenced by a review that can be located here as part of TDOY’s voluminous Salon Blog archives.


Laura said...

I was interested to see that the TV version of THE MIRACLE WORKER has just been released on DVD -- in this one Duke played Annie Sullivan and Melissa Gilbert played Helen Keller. I remember it being a good film. May blog about that later!

I have very vague childhood memories of THE PATTY DUKE SHOW --would be interested in checking it out again.

And thanks for the link below on the Randolph story!

Best wishes,

lashel said...

The Guns of Will Sonnett set combining Seasons 1 & 2 has actually been available for several months at Sam's Club. Perhaps Timeless gave them an exclusive on this? Its $30 for the set there. Sam's has a few Timeless sets available, they had the Laramie in color set before its scheduled release date for the same $30 price also. Wagon Train in Color and M Squad are about $50 each. Good deals unless you can find them even cheaper online. I've been reading your blog for a while and enjoy it, Ivan! We have a lot of the same taste in movies and TV shows! Larry

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Thanks for the heads-up re: Sonnett, Larry...and lest I forget, thanks for encouraging my behavior.

Beef said...

Very exciting news for the legions of Patty Duke fans and fans of "The Patty Duke Show"!! Believe me, you DON'T want to see the 1999 TV movie reunion! It was dreadful--nearly as bad as some of those "Gilligan's Island" reunion movies!

mike doran said...

Here in Chicago we have a group of digital stations known as MEtv (ch 26.2), MEtoo (ch 26.3), and THiS (ch 26.4),all in the nostalgia business. All three of them run THE PATTY DUKE SHOW at various hours, early in the morning and very late at night. The Duke show, along with MISTER ED and the original OUTER LIMITS, is a daybreak staple on THiS, which is nominally a movie channel. Even stranger: Patty Duke has just done a PSA on the subject of online retirement, in which she plays Patty and Cathy as old ladies. She's not that much older than I am (early 60s, i think), but Oh God, has she aged! When did Patty Duke turn into Agnes Moorehead? I don't think I want to know...