Childhood Memories – TBS

16 Nov

When this blog was in its infancy, there were a couple of posts called Childhood Memories. One was about my parents taking me to an Elvis concert. Another was about the cross-country trips that my family took every summer. Yet, another was about our weekend excursions to Gatlinburg. It’s been a while since Childhood Memories made an appearance, and I felt it was time to bring it back out.

I remember how great it was when we first got cable television. No longer was I limited to three real channels and a fuzzy PBS. There was much more television to explore. Australian Rules Football on ESPN. Cheap looking news sets on CNN. Slime pouring from the sky on Nickelodeon. It was a potpourri over never before seen material.

However, a lot of cable channels were filled with before seen shows. Reruns of shows that had faded into off air oblivion only to be revised as time fillers. Some, like My Little Margie, went back to my mom’s formative years, but most were the shows that my older brother grew up with. Gilligan’s Island. The Munsters. The Andy Griffith Show (my all-time favorite). The list goes on and on.

Everyday brought adventures that had been replayed countless times, but my favorite cable watching time was Sunday mornings. Before getting ready to go to church, I would hop in a chair; cover up in a blanket; and turn it to TBS. First, I watched The Three Stooges beat the crap out of each other. People talk about violence on television these days, but I don’t think anything is like seeing a guy get hit over the head with a crowbar.

Going against the grain, I liked the Shemp version of the Stooges a lot better than the Curly version. Curly worked at being funny, but Shemp brought it naturally.

The best of the Stooges.

Moe was just meaner than Hell, and I am not sure what role Larry was trying to play. Whatever the case, I watched The Three Stooges religiously on Sunday mornings.

However, that was just the opening act for the true reason to watch TBS. When the Stooges got out of their jams, it was time to watch the Robinson family never get out of theirs. I was fascinated by Lost in Space. Will and Robot. Don and Judy. John and Maureen. Penny. Dr. Zachary Smith. Heck, the Jupiter 2 was a character all its own.

They are not Swiss, but they are the Robinson’s.

It was an awesome show, but here is the thing. Just as I liked Shemp better than Curly. I liked the black and white Lost in Space better than the color one. The black and white version had a seriousness to it. The first episode was a realistic glimpse into the space program. There was suspense as Dr. Smith and Robot were out to destroy to mission. When the family found themselves lost on unknown planets, danger faced them at every turn. A trip in the Chariot meant avoided whirlpools, earthquakes and giant aliens. I can’t describe how cool it was.

Then, the show changed. It went to color and the aliens became pastel colored vegetables and interplanetary carnival barkers. Dr. Smith became a comedic character who constantly fought with Robot. Each episode was filled with lines like:

“You bubble-headed booby!”

“Oh, the pain, the pain.”

In short, it went the way to The Three Stooges. I read that the show changed because it had to compete with Adam West’s campy version of Batman. It wasn’t a good decision, but hindsight is 20/20.

When Lost in Space was over, it was time to get ready for church. As I sat in the pew drawing on offering envelopes, I though about Stooges poking the eyes out of each other and Robot saying, “Danger, Will Robinson!” The whole time I was wishing that I was back home watching TBS. I remember many episodes from those shows, but I don’t remember much about what I heard in church.

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8 Responses to “Childhood Memories – TBS”

  1. javaj240 November 16, 2012 at 05:13 #

    My sister loved “Lost in Space”. “Danger, Will Robinson” was heard constantly in my house. Constantly. I was (and still am) an “Andy Griffith Show” gal.

    • Rick November 16, 2012 at 05:34 #

      Andy Griffith is the best show ever, but, like Lost in Space, the black and white episodes are better than the color ones.

  2. norcalvol November 16, 2012 at 06:14 #

    Andy Griffith definitely my favorite too. Funny how the leaving of Barney coincided with the advent of color.

    And giraffes are so selfish…

    • Rick November 16, 2012 at 06:44 #

      What’s really strange is that Andy Griffith did not reach No. 1 until after Barney left. Kind of like Tennessee winning the national championship the year after Peyton.

  3. paintlater November 19, 2012 at 12:49 #

    I loved Gilligans Island & Batman but then Skippy the Bush Kangaroo hopped onto our screens. Cheers

    • Rick November 19, 2012 at 13:42 #

      Those were two of my favorites.

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