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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Polly Bergen: I Miss Her Already.

Polly Bergen died this past week.
She was an enormously attractive and talented woman.
I'm sure most of you know who she was.
But then, most of my readers are over forty.
Anyone under forty has trouble remembering who Bob Hope was.
Polly Bergen was a great singer.
She was a great actress.
And she was a great game-show panelist.
When she was a regular panelist on Goodson-Todmsn's "To Tell The Truth", which is where I first saw her when I was ten years old, she combined those latter two talents.
Aside from being lovely to look at, and theoretically delightful to know,, she was the only panelist ever to appear on that show to create a persona for herself.
Every other panelist was essentially an extension of his or her personality, with the possible exception of Robert Q. Lewis, who, on the air, was merely unctuous, but off the air, was a total prick.
Polly Bergen, on "To Tell The Truth", played it totally flighty and ditzy, something I'm given to understand she was not at all.
Goldie Hawn, on "Laugh-In", played it totally flighty and ditzy, something she was not at all.
Polly Bergen was to "To Tell The Truth" what Goldie Hawn was to "Laugh-In"
And was just as adorable at it.
She left "To Tell The Truth" after only a few years, to be replaced by Peggy Cass, who was exactly what she seemed to be.
And I don't think she ever did a game show again.
I think she thought she was on the verge of a budding movie career.
She had a starring role in a piece of fluff called "Kisses For My President", playing, of all things, the first woman president.
And it was all played for laughs and silliness.
That seems appropriate.
I mean, really.
A woman president?
"To Tell The Truth was a really well constructed game show.
It required the panelists to be mentally alert at all times.
It required the "liars" to be mentally alert at all times.
It created a fascination for the audience for them to figure out who was lying.
I, of course, being the worst poker player in the world, could never have been a "liar" on "To Tell The Truth".
And I could never figure out who was lying.
It was one of those rare game shows that I thought was smarter than I was.
Goodson and Todman were such major purveyors of entertainment in the twentieth century that it is not fair to dwell on just "To Tell The Truth".
Next time, and perhaps the time after that, I'm going to take a more extensive overview of Goodson and Todman's output over the years.
R.I.P. Polly.

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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
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 paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman

*****


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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 macchus999@aol.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."