Screen Capture Theatre: "Al Capone," or What About Mob?

This time on Screen Capture Theatre we look at the totally true, completely factual, overacted 1959 film ...

Come and listen to my story 'bout a guy named Al,

Chicago-bound from Brooklyn town as muscle for a pal,

But Al wanted money and he had a real hot head,
so all his rivals ended up all filled with red hot lead

Bullets, that is. Bang bang. Bust a cap.

Well, the next thing you know, old Al's the man in charge,

The law would like to lock him up because he lives so large,

Then there's a lot of killing, and no hits were ever cleaner.


One guy even gets it while munching on a weiner.

Kosher, that is. With mustard. Gluten free.

Al finally goes to prison for income tax evasion,

... and it's really hard to find a rhyme for "income tax evasion."

At Alcatraz he pays the price for all his dirty tricks ...

... the prisoners all welcome him by pelting him with bricks.

Extruded, that is. Hardened clay. Adobe.


Screen Capture Theatre: The "Killer Is Loose" Guide to a Happy Marriage

Welcome back to Screen Capture Theatre! When it comes to marital harmony, I think the 1956 film "The Killer Is Loose" makes some ... interesting ... points.      

Greetings, fellow married people and others. My name is
Detective Sam Wagner. My first name isn't really "Detective," ha ha!
Anywho, I'm here to give you some excellent tips on how
to be hitched -- and happy! 

First, get yourself a smoking hot wife.
This is mine, so "slow your roll"!

My wife's name is Lila and she's a tiger in the kitchen and
a worker bee in the bedroom. Or maybe it's the other
way around -- I never can remember.


Oh, little problems come up now and again. Like the
 time I accidentally killed Warby Parker's wife
and he swore revenge on me by targeting Lila.


Warby Parker was in prison, but he was paroled for
good behavior and so he headed our way. 

Lila was in real danger, so I did what any considerate
husband would do. I hypnotized her. Ha ha! Just kidding.
I didn't tell her anything at all. 

She just thought she was being shadowed by Buddy Holly.

Lila didn't understand how considerate I was being by keeping her
completely in the dark about being stalked by an armed
psychotic. She got mad at me and walked out.


Warby Parker saw his chance and moved in on
Lila, who was wearing an outfit designed to blend in.

Warby disguised himself as a stadium blanket.

Of course, we stopped him in a peaceful manner and
Lila is safe.

Her trust level, on the other hand, is something she
needs to work on. 


Podcast: The Keefe Brasselle Story, or Godfather Knows Best

Keefe Brasselle’s show business career includes a few movies, some TV work, probable arson, extortion, kickbacks, assault with a deadly weapon and lots of threats of bodily harm. His unholy alliance with a CBS executive led to the executive’s downfall, and his repeated boasting about his mafia connections, along with his lack of any real talent, made him a bitter has-been reduced to writing and acting in a 1970s drive-in quickie. In this episode we examine Brasselle’s career and his unsavory associations.

Forgotten Sitcoms: "The Mothers-in-Law"

"The Mothers-in-Law"
could also have been titled "Lucy and Ethel's Children Get Married, Move Into the Garage and Have a Baby," but that's a terrible title.

It is, however, a kind-of-succinct description of this forgotten sitcom, which ran on NBC from 1967-69.

The title roles were played by Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard as, respectively, Eve Hubbard and Kaye Buell, longtime next-door neighbors and Lucy and Ethel-like friends who become even closer when Jerry Hubbard (Jerry Fogel) marries Suzie Buell (Deborah Walley, who unlike everyone else, didn't get to be called by her real name on the show). Herbert Rudley played Eve's husband Herb, and Roger C. Carmel played Kaye's husband, Roger C.

The executive producer of "The Mothers-in-Law" was Desi Arnaz, heralded before each episode by a "Desi Arnaz Presents" title. Long divorced from Lucille Ball by this point, Arnaz was also experiencing a career fade. Ten years earlier, he was regarded as the man behind the redhead, the one who helped make their TV production company, Desilu, one of the most successful in Hollywood. Now he needed to bounce back, and "The Mothers-in-Law" was his best shot.

The show was created by two longtime "I Love Lucy" writers -- Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr. -- and the scripts were full of Lucy and Ethel-type misadventures. (Example: While the newlyweds are away, Eve and Kaye sneak into the garage to nose around the place, but get locked in, and hide in the shower when the couple returns.)

For the mothers-in-law, Arnaz turned to Arden and Ann Sothern, both of whom were long associated with Desilu -- Arden with the TV series "Our Miss Brooks" and Sothern with the TV series "Private Secretary." (Arden and Lucille Ball had also appeared together in the 1937 film "Stage Door.") Sothern didn't work out -- Ballard, to that point known more as a nightclub comic and impressionist, was much more of a comic contrast. Eve Hubbard was a rather stuffy WASP matron, while Kaye Buell was hot-blooded and Italian.

Arnaz sold the show to Procter & Gamble. This was back when advertisers still bought entire blocks of time on the TV schedule, and P&G was the long-time owner of a Sunday night half-hour on NBC right between "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" and "Bonanza," two of the tube's most popular shows. 

"Bonanza" finished the 1967-68 season in a three-way tie for fourth place; "Disney" finished at 25th place. "The Mothers-in-Law" finished in 37th place -- it appeared that after watching "Disney," most of America turned away from "The Mothers-in-Law" and to CBS to catch the last half-hour of "The Ed Sullivan Show" before stampeding back to NBC and "Bonanza." This happened even though Arnaz appeared on a couple of episodes as a performer -- with Desi Arnaz Jr. accompanying him on drums. 

NBC was unhappy with the show's ratings and considered cancelling it, but P&G wanted to keep it on the air -- it was selling lots of Ice-Blue Secret deodorant! They threatened to move the show to ABC, so NBC gave in and kept it on the schedule. (For the second season, Richard Deacon replaced Roger C. Carmel as Kaye's husband when Carmel left in a pay dispute. The character's name remained Roger C.)

In the second season's first episode, Kaye's grandmother visits from Italy. She is under the impression that Jerry and Suzie-Deborah are still unmarried, so they agree to "get married" while great-grandma is there, even though they've been hitched for a year. Then right in the middle of the ceremony, Suzie-Deborah gets the news -- she's pregnant -- and great-grandma dies of a heart attack. (I may have made up that last part.)

The birth of twins in early 1969 -- Joey and Hildy -- didn't help the ratings. (What's wrong with you people?!) "The Mothers-in-Law" finished the 1968-69 season in 40th place. P&G found a new timeslot tenant for the following fall -- Bill Cosby. And Desi Arnaz? Aside from a few unsold pilots, "The Mothers-in-Law" was his last project behind the cameras. In front of the cameras, he still made appearances on talk and variety shows, and in 1976 he hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live" that ended with a conga line in the studio. He died in 1986.

Screen Capture Theatre: "Them!", or Ant-y Maim

This time around on Screen Capture Theatre (patent pending) we examine the 1954 film:

Our story begins in the New Mexico desert, from a vantage
point that makes people look like ants -- GIANT MUTANT ANTS

Police officer Bobby Bowtie is working with the plane
above to locate a little girl ... 

... they find her in shock, with a look of horror on her face
that can mean she's seen only one thing -- a "90-Day Fiancee" marathon.


And also because her family has been attacked by -- AAHHHH!
Oh, sorry -- that's a yucca tree.

That's better -- AAHHHHH! A giant ant with a face that
looks like the front of a 1953 Chrysler!

Called into the case are FBI agent Matt Dillon, who was
attending a Green Hornet cosplay convention ...

... and Dr. Kris Kringle, an ant expert (Matt Dillon brought
eyeshades for everybody.)


Led by Dr. Kringle, the humans begin a
constructive dialogue with the giant ants.


But there are a lot of giant ants and they're heading
toward Los Angeles, lured by promises of
nice weather and good-paying jobs. 

The ants end up living in the Los Angeles river basin
because they love the drag race scene from "Grease."

The authorities try to keep everyone calm.

Tired of being upstaged by Matt Dillon and Dr. Kringle,
Bobby Bowtie invades the ant lair in hopes of getting a selfie with the queen.

The lawmen find a nest of newborn queens and celebrate
the miracle of life by immolating them.

The city is saved -- but despite the most fervent wishes
of the little girl, "90-Day Fiancee" is
still on the air.

Whaddya Mean, a Hoosier Queen?!

On Wednesday, January 28, 1948, the Mutual Network radio show "Queen for a Day" came to Louisville for a live broadcast, setting up shop in what is now Louisville Gardens for a broadcast over station WGRC, which later became WAKY. 

On each episode, several women with hard-luck stories competed to be chosen as "Queen" and receive tons of prizes from emcee Jack Bailey, seen at right holding a highly coveted -- Dishmaster Deluxe? Anyway, I'll let the article from Variety tell the rest of the Louisville story: