Friday, January 10, 2014

Spotted: Howard Keel

Howard Keel as Farrah Fawcett's dad? Yep, it happened, on a now-quite-obscure '90s sitcom called "Good Sports." Remember that one? Fawcett's obvious showcase with her honey Ryan O'Neal? Co-anchors on the all-sports channel of a cable network to rival Ted Turner's empire (and Turner is certainly referenced during the series, which only lasted a season)? Farrah and Ryan come dancing into the musical intro, all flirty and funlike, her little black dress so trademark '90s and matched to his tux? Yea, that one.

The episode we're talking here is "Bobby and Gayle Go on a Date" from June 1991. Keel, known to us "Dallas" fans as Clayton Farlow, guest-stars as Sonny Gordon, the rather commanding but kind father to Fawcett's Gayle. He observes the unrequited affection O'Neal's Bobby has for his daughter and convinces Gayle to go out with the poor schmuck. Well, OK, he doesn't't say it like that; he's in Bobby 's court, for sure.

Keel shows up in another episode of the series, the following month when Gayle's ex-boyfriend Nick -- played by William Katt of "The Greatest American Hero" --turns all demented and returns for revenge for their breakup.

Are we glad we watched the complete series on DVD (thanks, Tracy)? Well, yea, we really can't turn down Farrah any day of the week, even if the series doesn't age well. But Farrah sure did. Gayle is 40, and Fawcett is stunning at about that same age. And we loved that in one ep she is shown reading the book, "The Burning Bed," a nod to one of her biggest roles.

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