Friday, September 19, 2014

"The Judge" features a couple stars of classic TV

They had us at Vincent D'Onofrio, because we looooooooves us some Vincent D'Onofrio, but the rest of the cast of the upcoming "The Judge" is quite a lot to crow about, too!

Besides Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role (yea, a plus), and Vera Farmiga, whom we love on "Bates Motel" (yes, BRB watches it faithfully! not afraid of the name!), there's Ken Howard popping up, whom we know, of course, as Garrett Boydston on "Dynasty." Then there's Grace Zabriskie, not only Laura Palmer's mom on "Twin Peaks" but also the mom of another troubled teen, Christy Duvall, as Theda Bassett on "Santa Barbara." Love that. Zabriskie is Mrs. Blackwell, while Howard portrays Judge Warren.

The movie is due October 10. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Baltimore Comic Con serves up TV-related delights

One thing we really liked about this year's Baltimore Comic Con (this author's sixth in a row), besides hanging with friends and having a lot of fun, was the great shopping. The shopping was just really good this year at the event, held the weekend before last at the Baltimore Convention Center downtown. We found lots of stuff related to the TV shows we love. Plus, the con was held in a different area of the convention center this year, causing many guests we talked with to remark that there was more elbow room. Sure enough, that con had been beyond packed in recent years. Here's a little photo glimpse of some of the sights and sounds of this year's event.

Above, wrestler Jerry ("The King") Lawler and Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca of "Star Wars," were among the guests. 

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" gets new life with animated web series, live-action movie

The only reason we knew what the heck a mongoose was in our formative years was because of the animated TV special, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi." The 1975 cartoon, narrated by Orson Welles and based on Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Books," was a fixture on network television for quite a few years. This author watched it faithfully every time it aired, always newly enthralled by the heroic mongoose who dispatched two evil, plotting cobras with such skill -- and a fervent love for his adopted family.

So imagine our delight when we happened upon a table for Rikki-Tikki-Tavi at the Baltimore Comic Con a week or so ago. Yes, this is a seemingly forgotten property that is now being revisited. There will be a new animated web series in the next year or two, along with a live-action movie. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi in live action!??? Yes, we said it. Look for our interview with the mongoose's PR rep on an upcoming episode of the Washington, D.C.-based "Fantastic Forum" TV show.

And hop over to for more info. You can download an app on GooglePlay or the Apple App Store and see the premiere video.

Now this is a classic worth revising -- we can't wait! Meantime, catch the original below. June Foray provided voices, and Les Tremayne of our beloved "Shazam!" and "The Dukes of Hazzard" voiced the father!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Terrific TV Toys: Dolly's doll is a keeper, and so is the star herself

Once in a while, what looks the most fake is actually the most real. Funny how that works. But when it comes to Dolly Parton, her "more" has always been much more, and her honesty has also been front and center, in your face. She's refreshingly frank about who she is. We like that about her. So it was very timely when she appeared on "The Wendy Williams Show" a few weeks back to talk about her latest album, "Blue Smoke," and about her "Auntie"-ship to pop star Miley Cyrus, and just about herself and who she is. That quote from the "Oprah" show a few years back popped up again: "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!" Wendy loved it, and we love it, too.

When this author was a little girl, Dolly Parton had a TV variety show on the air and a related doll on the store shelves. Remember those variety shows? Dolly was a household name, so she seemed a good fit, though the show lasted only one season. The doll lasted longer, even if it is a little rough around the edges. You'll see it in the video below, the latest installment in the BRBTV series, Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature) ...

In her couchside chat with Wendy Williams, Dolly was as bubbly as ever and still going strong. After a whole lotta years in show biz. Rock on, girl.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vintage tabloid is a treasure trove that takes us on a little trip back in time

Wow, what a find. Our buddy Andrea had this out on the table for her garage sale last month. Yes, she was going to part with it! BRBTV grabbed that up, forthwith, on the merits of its cover alone! And really, there's just so much other stuff to grab onto, in this August 17, 1982 issue of the National Enquirer, it would make this blog post waaaaaaayyyyy too long to cite it all. It's an extravaganza as far as '80s television is concerned, particularly for "Dynasty," "Dallas" and "The Dukes of Hazzard," which were all in their original airings at that point.

So what are these shocking childhoods of Linda Evans, Pamela Sue Martin and Joan Collins that the cover screams about? Well, Evans, it says, was a "sad and skinny wallflower raised in poverty." Quoting various sources (many of them named, believe it or not), the story says Linda wore hand-me-downs and dreamed of one day living in a world of Ferraris and champagne. Her high school rival for a boy she liked was none other than Stefanie Powers.

For Pamela Sue Martin, the mag says, as a teen her world was filled with lots of boys, beer, cigarettes and  mischief. Unlike Evans, Martin had no aspirations to act at a young age. She started in the business as a model.

Joan Collins, on the other hand, barely had a childhood, the story says, her family dodging German bombs in World War II when she was a child. Collins (apparently) spoke to the Enquirer herself, quoted as saying, "I remember huddling in the basement, hearing the tremendous roar of exploding bombs. I used to pray to God, just sitting there in the dark, wondering if the bombs were going to hit us. Ever since, I've been unable to sleep in the dark."

Collins was 49 at the time of this publication. As a teen, the story says, she wrote an explicit sex saga, starring the teachers at her school, and passed it around to her female friends (shades of her later life as a novelist?). She married her first husband, who it says raped her on their first date, at only age 17. (The IMDb says she was 19.)

It's interesting to note whether or not certain "predictions" the magazine makes came true. For instance, the story, "Tony Curtis is Killing Himself with Cocaine." The actor was 57 at the time, and the story claims "show business insiders" feared he would be dead in a year. Well, actually, Curtis died much later, in 2010, at the age of 85. Then there's Linda Lavin of "Alice," getting her own screaming headline on the cover. The story said she would marry her live-in love, Kip Niven, later that month. Indeed, she did, on August 22, 1982. Then she divorced him in 1992.

The "TV -- Behind the Screens" section is just a goldmine. Love that one. It mentions Melissa Sue Anderson of "Little House on the Prairie" being offered $17,500 a week to play "the daughter of the Carringtons' butler" on "Dynasty" (whom we know as Kirby, the role that went to Kathleen Beller). Linda Gray of "Dallas" got tormented by a guy with a gun at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Heather Locklear of "Dynasty" was evidently talking marriage with L.A. disc jockey G.W. McCoy. And yes, the aforementioned Joan Collins "hit the roof" when Gordon Thomson was cast to play Adam Carrington on "Dynasty," since he was only 12 years younger than her. Producers ordered him to say he was 27 rather than 37. Yea, we'd heard that one before.

This issue also has a feature story on Tom Wopat and John Schneider, who were in the midst of their walk-out on "The Dukes of Hazzard." Wopat's career was failing and he was trying to talk Schneider into going back, the story says, as Warner Bros. told him the two had to come back as a package deal. Schneider was (reportedly!) telling Wopat no, because he had offers coming out of his ears at the time. The story also gives a look at their two replacements, Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer. So fun.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Terrific TV Toys: "Batman: The Animated Series" Colorforms

Batman knocking out the Joker, then Catwoman, then hopping a Batwing out of the Batcave? And how did all those villains even get into the Batcave in the first place? Step into the world of Colorforms, where you create the action on the shiny canvas! Yep, Colorforms are still around, and they've marked quite a few decades of play in our pop culture, but for the latest installment of Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature), we'll take a look at a Colorforms set celebrating the 1990s "Batman: The Animated Series" ...

Friday, September 05, 2014

Margot Kidder offers her thoughts on Richard Donner's cut of "Superman II" and working with Richard Pryor

Last month's Steel City Con near Pittsburgh sure was jam-packed. BRBTV concludes its coverage of the event with this video shot during Margot Kidder's panel discussion with fans. In it, she addresses questions about Richard Donner's cut of "Superman II," as well as what it was like to work with the late actor Richard Pryor, her co-star in "Superman III." And wait for Brian's question about "Superman IV" at the end -- it's a nice kicker.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Dean Cain discusses "Lois & Clark" and Scott Peterson

We're not done yet! Our coverage continues of the Steel City Con a few weeks ago. We showed you Butch Patrick of "The Munsters," then we showed you a cool replica of the Dragula vehicle from the show. Now, actor Dean Cain talks about his experiences on the 1990s ABC hit, "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," as well as the character of Superman in general and his portrayal of convicted killer Scott Peterson in the TV movie.

In Part 1 of this video coverage of Cain's panel discussion with fans, the actor comments on working with Lane Davies, who played Tempus on "Lois and Clark," what happened with Season 5 of the show, his part in "The Daly Show," and how he felt about his role as Scott Peterson.

In Part 2, Cain talks about just how he approached the role of Superman (who inspired him), the switch of Jimmy Olsens on "Lois and Clark," and the casting process he went through for the role.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Step into the "Munsters" Dragula! It even drives, Tony says!

Tony Greco of Pittsburgh has a hot replica of the "Dragula" coffin car featured on "The Munsters," and in this video from last month's Steel City Con, he gives Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV a glimpse inside and out! This thing even drives, he says. Nice. We do still love the gold-colored Dragula replica built by our buddy Mike here in Metro Detroit, but hey, this one will do, too!

Thanks to Brian for the assist with the camera.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Butch Patrick talks "Munsters" a paranormal house (what?) and more with BRBTV

Buying a paranormal house? Riding around on a Harley? Working on a new book that will initially have only a 100 or so copies? These are the elements of Butch Patrick's life right now. Hear all about it in this video of the "Munsters" star chatting with Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV at the Steel City Con near Pittsburgh earlier this month.

We had mock-threatened him before, when we spoke to him on the phone for this interview regarding the proposed new "Munsters" series, that we were going to get him on camera! Thanks, Butch, for chatting with us. Thanks to Brian for the assist with the camera! (And please pardon the fact that we were flying without a mic that day!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tony DeGuide talks with BRBTV about his movie with Mickey Rooney

Tony DeGuide is an actor and a filmmaker, and he's done some modeling over the years, too. Based in Chicago, he's got a movie project coming up that he discusses with BRBTV, plus he gives us the goods on the movie he did with Mickey Rooney, which was one of that legendary actor's last projects. Enjoy his comments below, at this video shot at the Hollywood Show in Chicago in August 2014.

This rounds out the BRBTV coverage of the Hollywood Show -- now on to those Steel City Con videos from earlier in the month!

Thanks, Tony! And thanks to Don for the assist!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Diane Franklin tells BRBTV all about her new book

Diane Franklin was just adorable back in the day, when she was making '80s movies like "Better Off Dead," "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," and "The Last American Virgin." She's still adorable, BRBTV learned as we chatted with her at the Hollywood Show the weekend before last on a sunny day in Chicagoland.

Franklin has also done some television over the years, like "Matlock," "Charles in Charge" and the "Dallas: The Early Years" movie, where she played the young Amanda (Ewing). Now Franklin has released an autobiography, "The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s," which you can find on Amazon. She's quick with a dainty little accent -- French or English -- and she's a delight to talk to. Thanks, Diane, for chatting with us.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Parker Stevenson talks "Hardy Boys" with BRBTV

Let's get frank, shall we? Because that's what we tend to do here on the BRBTV News Blog. When this author was a little girl, it wasn't Shaun Cassidy she was watching on the 1970s hourlong drama "The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries," based, as you know, on the popular kids' books. Though I loved Nancy Drew, and had probably read each and every one of my yellow hardcover Nancy Drew books at the time and never missed an episode of the series starring Pamela Sue Martin, when it came to the Hardy Boys installments of that series, I wasn't a Shaun girl. That was my best friend Julie. She couldn't get enough of Shaun. Shaun posters, Shaun issues of Tiger Beat, Shaun everything. Da-Do-Run-Run. But me? It was Parker Stevenson for me. He was the hunky one, as far as I was concerned. He was the real man of the two, the older, rather stable brother. And just so hot. OK, that's pretty frank.

Last weekend's Hollywood Show just outside of Chicago offered up a nice selection of stars of the classic TV shows we grew up with. You saw the John Amos interview on Monday. Well, how about none other than Parker Stevenson? This longtime actor, who we also loved in the 1980s "North and South" miniseries, was kind enough to chat with us for a few minutes toward the close of the show on Sunday. He reminisced a bit about "Hardy Boys," as well as his role on "Baywatch," and gave us a tidbit on his very recent "Longmire" episode -- he'll be coming back to the show! Fabulous!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We love TV books!

Wow, what a nice find! This is a big part of the reason we go to shows like this past weekend's Hollywood Show at the Hilton in Rosemont / greater Chicago. We've been reading about Hollywood Shows for years and have been wanting to go to one, seeing list after list of wonderful guests from classic TV shows. Finally, we got to experience one of the shows, and if we could characterize the vendor offerings of this particular event, it would definitely be TV and movie books. Just about every vendor had them on their table, and the choices were marvelous. Here's what we snagged on Sunday ...

We left the price tags on so you could see them, but these were all half-price at this particular table. That "Mod Squad" is a hardcover, a Whitman Book copyright 1970, and sitting next to it on the shelf were similar books for "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "My Favorite Martian," "Dr. Kildare" and others. There were three of those "Welcome Back, Kotter" paperbacks, produced by Tempo Books (and we could've glutted out and gotten all three, but you should see the BRBTV book collection already). This one is copyright 1976 by the Wolper Organization Inc. and the Komack Co. Inc. We couldn't tell how the three editions were numbered and wanted to get the first in the series if at all possible, but this one evidently ain't it. No. 1, it says on the inside pages, is called "The Sweathog Trail." The author is William Johnston.

The "TV Super Stars '81" tome very much reminded us of the "TV Time '78" paperback this author got as a child. It has a little chapter on each of a bunch of different stars of the era, including Patrick Duffy of "Dallas," above. Larry Hagman and Linda Gray are also featured, as are John Schneider and Catherine Bach of "The Dukes of Hazzard." The recently passed Robin Williams, starring in "Mork and Mindy" at the time, is in there, interestingly enough, as well as a bunch of the "Eight is Enough" stars, the original Big Three of "Three's Company," Valerie Bertinelli, Erik Estrada and more. In all, 29 stars have chapters, which give little bios and snippets of their lives at the time, plus a black-and-white photo and vital stats that include birthplace, birthdate (not year), hair and eye color, height and weight.

Great TV reading, man!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

John Amos talks to BRBTV about "Good Times" and "Roots"

Once in a while you talk to someone you've always really-really-really wanted to meet, and for this journalist that was yesterday, that was the Hollywood Show in Chicago, and that was John Amos, star of "Good Times" and "Roots" -- both history-making television series and so important from a cultural standpoint.

As James Evans, Amos was strong, solid, wise, protective of his children, faithful and devoted to his wife, and a man who felt a strong sense of responsibility as a father, both in providing for his family and imparting values to them. To this little girl growing up in a small town in the Midwest, he was the ideal dad. You just didn't mess with James Evans. As he talks about his experience on the popular 1970s sitcom, Amos describes just who was his inspiration for this portrayal of this iconic dad, as well as how he felt about the social responsibility in helping present this classic TV family of color that was so real and unapologetic amid struggles with rough times in inner-city Chicago.

Amos also played the older Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking 1977 TV miniseries "Roots," based on Alex Haley's novel, while Levar Burton was the younger version of Kunta Kinte. This TV event -- busting out viewership records -- rather brutally brought this era of American history alive like no history book could.

I watched both of these TV series when they originally aired, and I'm so thankful to have met and talked to Mr. Amos!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Terrific TV Toys: The Mego figures of "Star Trek"

Mego Corp. ruled the action figure world back in the 1970s, and we're not just talking superheroes. Not by any means. They did tons of great figures from TV shows, like our beloved "Dukes of Hazzard," "Happy Days," many others. But one set that was pretty popular was the "Star Trek" collection of Megos. This author owns a few of them and shows them to you in the newest installment of the regular BRBTV series, "Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature)."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We all will miss the sweet Jo McLaney

It's a sad day when we have to say goodbye to such a sweet friend. And indeed, the rest of "The Dukes of Hazzard" world mourns with us. Miss Jo McLaney of Covington, Georgia, whose flower shop originally supplied flowers to the "Dukes" filming in Georgia, an avid fan of the show who was such a fixture in its world, and whose collection of "Dukes" memorabilia wowed fans for years at the A Touch of Country shop in Covington, has passed away.

Jo was more than a friend to this author. She was a sweet presence, an inspiration. She loved others, and others loved her. She was very active in the "Dukes" community, an advocate for the show and an important keeper of a slice of "Dukes" history. But more than that, she was a gentle soul and a kind person. I first met her at A Touch of Country, at one of the Saturday meetings she would hold there for fans of the "Dukes" or "In the Heat of the Night," which also filmed there in Covington. She was so helpful in the production of the "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" reference guide. I saw her often over the years and kept in touch. We chatted at the first Hazzard Homecoming, 2011, and I was able to shoot a little video of her. Jo talked about her "Dukes" collection, and showed us all of the "01" items she was wearing -- earrings, bracelet -- even fingernails!

Rest peacefully, dear one.

And BRBTV offers prayers of peace and comfort for Jo's family.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rest in peace, James Garner, gone at age 86

You wouldn't think that "The Rockford Files" would appeal to a little girl of the 1970s, but indeed it did, with this author, as she watched from the 13" black-and-white television atop her bedroom dresser, the TV she had just gotten for Christmas or a birthday and the TV which had significantly broadened the horizon of childhood. All of a sudden, I didn't have to watch what anybody else in the house was watching. I had control, autonomy. I could explore any new world that the Big Three networks (and perhaps one or two independents) would afford me from my post in rural mid-Michigan. And one world I happily explored was that of James Rockford.

He was strong and assured, smart but ordinary, that James Garner. The role wasn't his first but definitely one of his most noteworthy. Did he remind me of my dad? Yea, probably. And my dad liked him and watched the show, too. But James Rockford was just so interesting in his own right. A solid, manly build. Strong features. Not pretty-boy handsome, but more ordinary-guy handsome, and it's the latter that this girl prefers. Hot without trying to be. It was his very indifference that seemed to have such an appeal. The wit, the sarcasm, the tolerant disgust with the workings of the world around him. Piecing together an existence here and there, with his private-detective business, basically down on his luck but getting by. The underdog, I guess. And the rough-hewn background of James Rockford mirrored, in a sense, that of James Garner. It all added up to such a nice package. He wore it well.

I loved James Garner and followed his career through the years, after those days of viewing in the 1970s. I felt a certain kinship with him, as we had an important date in common, though regrettably I never got to meet him. And seriously, did he really sustain a decades-long marriage -- since 1956, the year my mom graduated from high school? Garner deserves a gold medal for that. Nobody in Hollywood does that. "Marriage is like the Army," Wikipedia quotes him as saying, "everyone complains, but you'd be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist."

BRBTV offers condolences to Garner's wife and family. The actor was found dead at his home of apparent natural causes last night. Read more about Garner's career at Wikipedia, Fox News and CNN.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons, public domain, and Alan Light, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Lynda Carter talks "Wonder Woman" on "Katie"

Classic TV's "Wonder Woman" made an appearance on the "Katie" show this week. Lynda Carter, looking good as always, talked with host Katie Couric on Monday about her time on the superhero series of the '70s. She said she can't believe sometimes that people still recall her as "WW."

In talking about the iconic outfit she wore on "Wonder Woman," Carter admitted that she asked for the waist to be loosened up. "My mother had that waist, and it just made me look like somebody had yanked (hand motions), and then it made my hips look big."

Carter discussed the end of the "WW" series and the transition in her life.

"I eventually decided to move to Washington. I was still doing a series at the time, and Maybelline Cosmetics at the time and a lot of work, but fell in love with a great guy from your area," she told Couric, "a native of Washington. You were from Virginia, right?" she asked the host.

Did Carter miss acting, at that point? "I actually did a lot of work in acting. I did a lot of different movies during that time and guest appearances. A couple of series. But I did this series in Vancouver and I missed my daughter's fifth birthday, and I said I'm not doing it again. I'm not committing to something long-term. And I really gave up singing because the road is no place for a child. It's a terrible place for a child."

Couric showed a clip of Carter's recent appearance in "Two and a Half Men" (where Carter said she felt like giggling every time she got close to her co-star, Ashton Kutcher: "You remind me of my son, and this is too weird!" she quipped). Carter has also embarked on a new tour, "The Time of Your Life." Couric showed a clip from Carter's last tour, singing the Queen hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."

How does Carter feel about passing on the lasso of truth to Gal Gadot, who will soon appear as WW on the big screen? "Well, they didn't ask me," she joked. "I kinda wanted to keep it, but ..."

Kidding aside: "The truth is that I wish her well. I think to play a superhero is kind of thankless in a lot of ways, and as long as they don't write it for a guy and put a girl in there, you know, grrr, because that's not Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman's about heart, about kindness, about righting wrongs. It's like all of us, right? It's where we live. It's all of the places we live. And that's really who Wonder Woman is. All of the things we do. And then there's still that secret self that wants to come out and act every now and then. So we come in all shapes and sizes, and I really do hope that she can bring that kind of heart to the character."

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth of July from BRBTV!!!!

Perhaps you've seen the recent holiday photos on this very blog celebrating the collection of plush Scooby-Doos at BRBTV headquarters. There was the Halloween photo, the Christmas, the Valentine's Day, even the Easter photo. And if you've seen any of those, you of course realize that this collection keeps growing!!! We are most definitely Scooby-Doo fans here at BRBTV, seeing this character and his TV show as among the most marvelous ever on television. We also happen to have someone around who is mighty good at that whole claw / crane game thing at the grocery store, at the mall, at the local carnival, at our friendly neighborhood Dave and Busters ... And that mighty, mysterious Claw Game Avenger Who Shall Remain Unnamed has set out to rescue Scoobies everywhere (at least from many parts of Michigan, with a little darts and coin-pusher assistance here and there from BRB) ...

So here's what we're looking at now, for this special Fourth of July edition of the BRBTV News Blog. And yes, they all do have names. And yes, we're going to give you those names!!!!!

OK, so ... (we can't believe we're doing this) ... starting from the arm of the sofa on the left, the Christmas Doos: Nutcracker-Doo, Candy-Doo, Santa-Doo, Antler-Doo, Candy-Too, Rudy-Doo, Santa-Too. Then the checkered Doos: Justice-Doo, Honor-Doo, Equality-Doo (aka Ebony and Ivory Doo), Courage-Doo, Valor-Doo. Then the Valentine Doos: Sweety-Doo, Hearty-Doo, Lovey-Doo and Mama-Sweety-Doo. On the right arm: Floppy-Doo with Squirty-Doo on his back.

Moving to the back row of the soft, left side, the Marley family: Papa Marley and Uncle Doobie, with Marley-Doo, Doobie-Doo and Hippy-Doo. Jingle-Jangle-Doo and Manhattan-Doo are in front of them. Then along the back, it's the Fruity Doos: Limey-Doo, Apple-Doo, Grape-Doo, Blue-Doo, Kiwi-Doo, Cherry-Doo, Blueberry-Doo. To the right of Blueberry is ole Grampa-Doo, then the other brown Doos: Smiley-Doo, Bucky-Doo and Chippy-Doo.

In the bucket is Scrappy-Doo, and next to him the recently added Rocky-Doo. Moving back across the sofa from the bucket, across the front it's the Gangsta Puppies, G-Doo, O-Doo, B-Doo and P-Doo (the brand-new neon Doos -- we're right on the claw-game cusp with these!). Next to P-Doo is Old Yeller Doo. Then in back of the puppies we have the spotted Doos: Spotty-Doo, Snotty-Doo, and close sisters Dottie-Doo and Diva-Dottie-Doo. Just in back of them is Pinky-Doo.

OK, front row now!!!! From left, it's My Big Boy and My Bigger Boy (not in that order), plus the Easter Doos: Baby-Bunny-Doo and Bunn-Ana-Doo with Hoppy-Doo and Bunny-Doo in front. Then it's King Kong Doo with Fuzzy-Doo in front (another most recent acquisition, whom we discovered during this very photo shoot actually talks when you press his ear!!!!). Finally, it's Delivery-Doo, Isotope-Doo, Radioactive-Doo with Scooby-Boo in front of him, and THEN ... the one that's in front of Isotope-Doo???? You'll never guess!!!! It's .... Scooby-Doo.

Were you counting? That's 61. And that won't be all. We just have no idea how we're going to take the next photo.

Have a wonderful Independence Day celebrating the freedoms we are blessed to have.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Monday, June 30, 2014

"Dukes" cast members will appear at Indiana event in August

Catherine ("Daisy Duke") Bach and James ("Rosco P. Coltrane") Best of "The Dukes of Hazzard" are among the guests at a charity event in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on August 9. The one-day event happens at the Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds and will also feature Sonny ("Enos Strate") Shroyer, Byron ("Coy Duke") Cherry, Don Pedro ("Sheriff Little") Colley and Rick ("Cletus Hogg") Hurst.

The event will benefit the C.H.A.R.G.E Syndrome Foundation. Proceeds will go toward the foundation and to get Madison Carroll Kremer, 12, a lifetime membership.

The fun will include a Daisy Duke look-alike contest, Uncle Jesse cook-off and other stuff. The night before, August 8, Best will be doing his one-man show at Lawrenceburg High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., showing clips from shows and movies he has done and telling about his life.

Read more about the event at this website. Thanks to Brian for the heads-up!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Take a look at the Jersey General

One of the cool folks that BRBTV got to talk to in Philadelphia last weekend was the owner of a very nice General Lee replica (yea, it's true -- all roads lead back to Hazzard, wherever we go in this great nation of ours!).

Tom Felice lives in New Jersey and calls his car the "Jersey General." The car was the General featured on an episode of AMC's "Comic Book Men." Felice told us that he was approached at a show just like this one last weekend by folks from the show and asked to appear on it. Check out, also, AMC's video clip of the episode to see Tom offering up his "Dukes" merchandise. Yea, we recognize that stuff!!!

Thanks to Tom for taking the time to talk to us last weekend. (And catch Brian's tribute to "Comic Book Men" with his staff T-shirt in our video! The guys from the show also had a table at this event.)

You can see more info about the car at the Jersey General's Facebook page. This car is available for birthdays, weddings and other events!

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Friday, June 20, 2014

From one voice actor to another: Remembering the great legacy of Casey Kasem, by Will Rodgers

"Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

That was the famous sign-off for legendary radio personality Casey Kasem, who sadly passed away at the age of 82 after a long battle with both dementia and Parkinson's disease. Kasem left this world on Sunday, June 15, 2014. He was among the last of the all-time radio greats and for many years was the host of America's Top 40 Countdown. When he retired in 2009, he handed the reins over to Ryan Seacrest.

While Casey Kasem's top claim to fame was in the world of radio, he was also an accomplished voice actor. If you were a child watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, his voice was definitely heard on many cartoon shows, whether it be by Filmation, Hanna Barbera, or Sunbow Animation. Also during those days, when studios operated on limited budgets and voice actors consisted of three or four people in the cast, each voice actor would voice several characters as well as the main role they were playing. As for the characters he played, there were quite a number of them. If Dick Clark was the world's oldest teenager, then Casey Kasem was the ageless teenage voice since most if not all of the characters he's played were teenagers. So it's hard to believe he was 82 when he passed.

I recall that Casey Kasem was the voice of the Autobot Cliffjumper in the "Transformers" animated series by Marvel/Sunbow in 1984. By that time, his voice was very distinguishable. He also portrayed Mark in "Battle of the Planets." A series I never saw, but I recall people mentioning it after his passing.

Kasem was Alexander in the 1970 cartoon series "Josie and the Pussycats." While I never saw this Hanna-Barbera series, I have seen the episode of the "New Scooby Doo Movies" where Scooby and the gang met up with the female rock group. If I can recall, Alexander was the Shaggy of that series.

Coming down to the two voice roles I know him for best, I must say "Zoinks!" for my next tribute. My second favorite voice he played is the role that everybody knows him best of all, Shaggy on "Scooby-Doo." (Or Norville Shaggy Rogers.) Shaggy is the owner and sidekick of Scooby-Doo and has been on all incarnations of the show. However, Casey Kasem voiced over Shaggy from 1969 to 1985 on Saturday mornings, and on "A Pup Named Scooby Doo." Beyond that, Kasem only voiced over Shaggy on a couple of direct-to-DVD movies and was the voice of Shaggy's father from time to time. Don Messick, the original voice of Scooby-Doo, had passed away some time ago, and now Kasem is gone, too. The girls, Daphne and Velma, are interchangeable and various women have voiced them over, which leaves Frank Welker, who is still the voice of Fred (Freddie) Jones (and is now the voice of Scooby-Doo).

Kasem will be sorely missed since he originated the beatnik character of Shaggy. It's interesting to note that Shaggy at one time would eat anything and everything. When Casey Kasem was a vegetarian, it was written into the modern animated series and movies that Shaggy is a vegetarian, too.


"Holy departing voice guys! So long, old pal. We'll never forget you."

Casey Kasem can also be remembered for bringing an iconic teenage superhero to life in the form of animation, Robin, the Boy Wonder. In an interview with Starlog magazine in 2004, Kasem revealed that Robin was his very first voiceover gig. While Superman was first animated by Fleischer Studios in 1941, it was the fledgling Filmation Studios who first animated Batman in 1968 as part of the "Batman/Superman Hour." While Ted Knight narrated the cartoons and voiced over Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and the villains, and the late Olan Soule was the first to voice over Batman, it was Casey Kasem who first voiced over Robin as well as voicing over various other male characters. He even donned an Irish accent and voiced over Chief O'Hara, as well. While Shaggy is his best known voice gig, Robin gets my vote for second best remembered role.

In 1970, he and Soule voiced over Batman and Robin on a few PSAs that Filmation made for "Sesame Street." In 1972, Kasem played both Shaggy and Robin when the Dynamic Duo guest appeared in two episodes of the "New Scooby Doo Movies" in the episodes "The Dynamic Scooby Doo Affair" and the "Caped Crusader Caper." Olan Soule reprised his Batman role and Ted Knight was already part of that voice cast, voicing various characters. In 1973, all three of them would become part of the "Super Friends" by Hanna-Barbera. Ted Knight narrated this one version only. And Olan Soule portrayed Batman on the "Super Friends" until Adam West took over the role in 1984 on "Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show." However, Casey Kasem loyally stayed with the role of Robin throughout all the "Super Friends" incarnations from 1973-1985. Kasem voiced over Robin one more time on a Cartoon Network promo, which has Robin hanging out with other cartoon sidekicks. He still sounded good in the role.

There are two kinds of Batman fans. There are those who like the Dark Knight and prefer Batman to be a loner. The other category are Batman and Robin fans, which I am one of. While most of the Robin haters look down upon the Boy Wonder as a scrawny little kid or a queezy little punk or a brat in a bright red and green costume, Casey Kasem portrayed a Robin who was a very intelligent, competent teenager or college kid who I thought was super cool, and Kasem's performance commanded respect. While I have enjoyed the performances of Burt Ward, Chris O'Donnell, and Loren Lester as the Dick Grayson version of Robin, it was primarily Casey Kasem who has made me a proud Robin fan.

So if you are a fan of the "Adventures of Batman" by Filmation, Shaggy on all the incarnations of "Scooby-Doo," Robin on the "Super Friends," Alexander on "Josie and the Pussycats," Mark on "Battle of the Planets," Cliffjumper on the "Transformers," or musicwise, if you were a longtime fan of America's Top 40 Countdown, then Casey Kasem will be truly missed by all his fans. In fact, Kasem was one of the reasons I went into radio and am pursuing a career as a voice actor.

Farewell, Casey Kasem. You will be missed. and again, as Casey used to sign off his radio show, "Keep you feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

Will "The Voice Man" Rodgers, who has been called "The Voice of Hazzard County" by members of the "Dukes of Hazzard" cast, is also the author of the BRBTV guides to the "Superman" and "Justice League" animated series.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Rest in peace, Mr. Kasem

With the news of Casey Kasem's passing this weekend, the Doos that were added to the BRBTV plush Scooby-Doo collection on Saturday -- just hours before his death -- stand at attention in tribute. We, of course, know Kasem as the voice of Shaggy on "Scooby-Doo." Kasem died at age 82 yesterday, after suffering from Lewy Body disease, a form of progressive dementia, for several years.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

We're wowed by the collection of

Thanks to Joe Johnson at, BRBTV is now the proud owner of the beautiful vintage Peanuts vehicles below. There's Charlie Brown in the No 25 red-and-white racer, Lucy in the little yellow No. 15, Snoopy in the red (love that), and Woodstock in the green No. 7. These beauties were produced by Aviva Toy Co. in Hollywood.

BRBTV now also has the brand-new Snoopy HW City doghouse vehicle by Hot Wheels. Thanks, Joe! Check out Joe's site for your guide to any kind of die-cast car, particularly the ones celebrating classic TV shows we love. For instance, being a "Dukes of Hazzard" fan, he's sure got that show covered, including BRBTV's fave "Dukes" car, the 00 Mustang ...

Joe's collection of signed items is very impressive -- he's gone to many cons and other events to meet the folks involved with these TV shows. Check out the cars on his "Dukes" page, as well as his page for "Dallas." Can you believe there were that many cars released for the original "Dallas"? This includes Ewing Oil tankers and individual character cars.

Plus, Joe helped solve the mystery we'd wrestled with since seeing Greenlight Hollywood's new "Dallas" vehicle, just released this year, which we posted about on February 6. We were thinking that thing was supposed to be a Southfork pickup truck, but it's not noted as such anywhere on the packaging. Well, check out, where you will find a guide to every car used on any kind of TV show or movie!!!! Wow, we're really impressed that someone has taken the time to put something like this together. When you check out the page for the original "Dallas" series, you'll see that 1970 blue Chevy C-10 truck shown in screenshots, being driven by Ray and used in the first few episodes of the show (note the snow at Southfork). Love that!!!!

We checked out what there was for the "Wonder Woman" 1970s show, and wow, there's a ton of cars there, including that powder-blue Mercedes of Diana's that we remember so well. The IMCDB even has a "Dynasty" page, though it needs some info. C'mon, hard-core fans, dial in ...

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
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