You have questions. I try to have answers.
Q: Is the man that plays on “The Bridge” the same one who played Stottlemeyer on “Monk”?
A: Yes. Actor Ted Levine, who played the irritable lawman Leland Stottlemeyer on the Tony Shalhoub series, is now Lt. Hank Wade of the El Paso police investigation on the FX drama The Bridge. He’s a veteran character actor whom you may have seen in a lot of other places, including as the murderous Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb in Silence of the Lambs.
Q: Please tell me the words of the song in the Trojan lubricant commercial, and who sings the song. Can you buy the record?
A: I think you are referring to All Shook Up, the Elvis Presley classic. The key lyric in the ads is “My hands are shaky and my knees are weak/I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet/Who do you thank when you have such luck/I’m in love. I’m all shook up.”
Avila, a duo consisting of Daniel Johnson and Brie Stoner, covered the song, and it is their version used in several Trojan commercials. The recording was part of an EP called Curtains that also included versions of I Walk the Line and My Favorite Things (which was used in a Victoria’s Secret ad). I did not find a CD of the recording but have seen the songs for sale as a download on Amazon.com and iTunes.
Q: I can still recall a lot of TV shows from the ’50s and ’60s that we never really hear much about anymore. Sure, I watch Me TV and Antenna TV but even those great channels don’t have all of the older shows. In particular, what became of “Dobie Gillis,” “Car 54, Where Are You” and “The Real McCoys”? Are they still out there somewhere, or are they lost forever?
A: Neither lost nor forgotten, as this long answer will explain. Some of you right now are saying “You rang?” and singing “There’s a holdup in the Bronx …” But for those of you tuning in late, all are comedies. Dobie Gillis (1959-63) starred Dwayne Hickman as a high school — and later, junior college — student with dreams of success, especially with women, which were not generally realized; a pre-Gilligan’s Island Bob Denver played Dobie’s friend Maynard G. Krebs. Car 54 (1961-63) starred Fred Gwynne (later of The Munsters) and Joe E. Ross as New York police officers. The Real McCoys (1957-63) starred Walter Brennan — a three-time Oscar winner as best supporting actor — as the head of a West Virginia family running a ranch in California.
According to its website, metvnetwork.com, Me TV airs Car 54 episodes at — all times Eastern — 2 and 2:30 a.m. Sunday (or late Saturday night, depending on how you arrange your viewing day). It also has The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis at 5 a.m. Sundays. (Check its website for more information.) Retro TV, an over-the-air service, shows The Real McCoys on its schedule weeknights at 6:30 p.m. You can see if you have a Retro affiliate at www.myretrotv.com.
In addition, Dobie Gillis, one of my all-time favorite shows, was recently released by Shout! Factory in a complete-series box. It’s a joy. Shanachie has released the two seasons of Car 54, but it appears that at least the first-season episodes are in their abbreviated edited-for-syndication form instead of in their original broadcast length.
A company released four seasons of The Real McCoys that are no longer being made but can be found from some vendors. Inception Media not long ago reissued the first two seasons; an Inception representative said the original masters no longer exist, so the DVD releases have been syndicated cuts. While there was talk at one point of a complete-series McCoys box, there are no plans for one at this time.
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Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.