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
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

Friday, June 13, 2014

New Facebook page documents the "real" General Lees

Every "Dukes of Hazzard" fan knows there's a big difference between a General Lee replica and a real General Lee. There's a whole bunch of beautiful replicas out there, and the owners of those cars will tell you that when they take them to events, there are folks outside of the show's lore (and some inside) who will assume that's the "real" car from the TV show.

Well, there wasn't just "one" General Lee, of course, and that's a whole other story. But we have to admire a new Facebook page, just launched yesterday, that sets a goal of chronicling the story and details of each of the "real" General Lees, meaning each car used in the production of the TV series and surviving in a small number after the show went off the air (and preserved thanks in part to the fine Mr. Wayne Wooten).

The Facebook page is just starting out and doesn't have a lot of info on it yet (like the recent commercial starring John "Bo Duke" Schneider and Tom "Luke Duke" Wopat in fine form along with one of the original cars), but we're curious to keep an eye on it and see how it develops.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bo Hopkins talks to BRBTV at Canadian event

We're just going to come out and say it ... We had a bit of a crush on Bo Hopkins when he played Matthew Blaisdel on "Dynasty." He struck us as a sort of Marlboro Man -- tough, smart, strong, with an ethic or two amid an unethical biz. Matthew believed in hard work. He was hunky. We liked that. Quite a lot.

So it was with great pleasure that this author got to talk with Hopkins as he greeted fans at the Fleetwood Country Cruize-In, a yearly car show held at the Steve Plunkett estate in Ontario, Canada. Hopkins was one of several celeb guests, along with Candy Clark and car designer George Barris, appearing at the event last weekend.

Hopkins talked about working with Farrah Fawcett on "Charlie's Angels" (they went jogging together), as well as his "Dynasty" days -- both in the early days of the series and later when he made his shocking return in the siege of the Carrington mansion at the end of Season 7. He also gave his views on how the industry has changed over the decades.

Hopkins doesn't make very many appearances like this -- as he says in this video, he's not part of the comic con / autograph show circuit. We're honored to have gotten a little of his time!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Terrific TV Toys: Farrah Fawcett doll by Mego

She was a true 1970s icon, a natural beauty with free-flowing charisma. She was at ease in front of the camera, and the small screen certainly was her forte, whether in series television or made-for-TV movies. She was Farrah Fawcett (with the -Majors tacked on back then), and she was the undeniable star of "Charlie's Angels."

Yea, once in a while you'll hear someone say Jaclyn Smith was their favorite Angel, and once in a lifetime you'll hear say Kate Jackson was, but c'mon -- let's face it -- for the zillion or so rest of us, it was 100-percent Farrah. Farrah of the hair-ah, the blond beauty who was friendly and fun and had a slice of brains when she needed one, too. Farrah who had her ups and downs over the years but whose star still shone brightly until her passing far too soon in 2009, fated to have her death date overshadowed by another cultural icon, though that one draped in considerable infamy.

This author lived Farrahdom back then, amid the sensational '70s. Watched "Charlie's Angels" as it originally aired. Wanted to be Farrah like every other little girl out there. And now is sharing a small piece of that world with you in the latest installment of the BRBTV Terrific TV Toys video series ...

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Terrific TV Toys: Diana Prince / Wonder Woman by Mego

She could thwart evil with a magic spin (as our BRBTV television spot for the "Superchicks" book says), and every little girl wanted to be her back in the 1970s. She was Wonder Woman, as portrayed by Lynda Carter in the amazing live-action TV series. And she was celebrated by a 12-inch doll by Mego at that same time -- one of several 12-inch female dolls Mego produced with that same body mold.

This author owned the doll as a little girl and shows it to you here in the latest installment in the Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature) video series. Marvel at how the doll transforms from Diana Prince in her War Department uniform (1940s first season of the show!) to Wonder Woman in the familiar, ever-popular "satin tights" (well, a form of polyester, actually, in this case, but stunning nonetheless!).

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Terrific TV Toys: Bionic Beauty Salon by Kenner

Every Bionic gal needs a place to get a tuneup now and then, do a little diagnostic on the artificial parts, you know, and perhaps get a mani and pedi! For Jaime Sommers, "The Bionic Woman," that place was the Bionic Beauty Salon made by Kenner in the 1970s, in celebration of that great classic TV show and its amazing super-spy character.

BRBTV's Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature) video series continues with this installment taking you up-close and personal with this blast from the past, part of BRB's own childhood collection ...

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Terrific TV Toys: Fembot doll by Kenner

Every good female hero needs a bad female villain, and for Jaime Sommers, "The Bionic Woman," that was the Fembot. On the classic 1970s TV series, this was a robot with a decidedly feminine flair. The androids were introduced over a story arc that spanned "The Bionic Woman" and "The Six Million Dollar Man." Never watch the shows? Consult the Bionic Wiki and you can read all about those lovely but deadly creatures.

As Kenner was cranking out the cool toys in celebration of the two shows in the '70s, it certainly bet wisely on a Fembot doll. This is a nice one. Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV shows you her own copy of the Fembot from childhood, which has all parts except (we figured after this video was shot) the little stun gun. (See the Fembot's packaging and details at

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Motor City Comic Con: BRB in costume!!!!

We had to round out our coverage of this year's Motor City Comic Con, which you've seen on this blog over the past couple weeks, with something a little goofy. Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV had the privilege of experiencing for the very first time that whole concept of con cosplay at this event. She was interviewed by a few different folks on the convention floor that day, because this costume got quite a bit of attention -- there seemed to be no one else at the con wearing this one! One of the folks who interviewed her was Mac Kelly, who once hosted the nationally syndicated "Wolf Man Mac's Chiller Drive-In" TV show and who was at the show with Joseph Johnson of ONTV. Thanks, guys, for this great clip, and this is wonderful coverage of the show!