Thursday, March 15, 2012
The Odd Couple Unexpectedly Meets Bilko. Part Three.
So I was digging for gold and found it in the Bilko goldmine.
I harkened back to an episode of Bilko where it was established that one of the platoon members, played by Fred Gwynne, was an expert on birds.
He had been trapped in an igloo in Alaska for over a year, with only the Audobon book of birds to keep him company.
So he knew every page in it from cover to cover.
Every word, every sentence, every picture, every comma, every stain, every smudge.
Bilko successfully gets him on the $64,000 Question.
This was obviously before America learned that the major quiz shows, and this one in particular, were rigged.
Fred Gwynne makes it all the way to winning $32,000.
The last plateau before going for the $64,000 Question.
Does he quit, or risk it all and go for the whole enchilada?
A no brainer.
There's nothing he doesn't know about birds.
Except------during the ensuing week, he gets bumped on the head.
A bump that knocks all the birds out of his head.
Bilko, undaunted, attempts to take advantage of the rules.
For the last question, you're allowed to bring a guest expert into the isolation booth with you.
Yes Virginia, they had an isolation booth.
Bilko books a hotel room directly across the street from the TV studio.
The platoon is there en masse, armed with every book on birds.
And, for no particular reason, the occasional stuffed owl and eagle.
They have a radio transmitter.
Bilko is to go on with Fred Gwynne as the guest expert, with the receiver from the transmitter in his ear.
In order to hide the receiver from view, he wraps the entire sides of his face, inluding his ears, in bandages.
When asked about it, he claims that it's the result of an old war wound.
During the questioning, the platoon feeds Bilko the answers.
Bilko whispers the correct answers to Gwynne.
Then, the transmitter and receiver short-circuit, causing a minor explosion.
This causes Bilko to faint, and drop out of sight.
And it brings Gwynne out of his amnesia, causing him to naturally rattle off the correct answers.
It was a memorable and hilarious episode.
And it was the image of Bilko in the bandages that gave me the way to beat the Odd Couple Theatre Critic story.
Next time, how this was accomplished.
My book,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
You might want to check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you like one, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website "On Screen & Beyond" has two has two hours of an interview I did on it's podcast in their archives.
Just Google On Screen and Beyond if you're interested.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."