A Full Day: Fernwood Remembered, Merry Christmas, (Darling)

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” Jim Valvano


Today is December 15, 2016, the 349th day of the year.

On this day in 1973, the ride Pirates of the Caribbean opens at Disneyland.



In reading the biography of Alan Thicke, who passed away Tuesday, I came across a personal golden nugget. Back in 1977, there was a spinoff from the rather odd, soap opera parody Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, which was set in the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio. In fact there is a real Fernwood, Ohio, but this is not it.

Anyway, the spinoff was a talk show called Fernwood 2 Night. It, too, was a parody, this one of late night talk shows. The host was Barth Gimble (played by comedian Martin Mull), who while wanting to bring the big time to Fernwood, was often embarrassed by the odd collection of acts and guests that turned up. The Ed McMahon to Gimble’s Johnny Carson was Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard). Hubbard was a bit of an airhead and often, um…. insensitive (telling an 8-year-old black, female, dancer how much the mini-series Roots did her people proud).

Barth Gimble (left, played by Martin Mull) and Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard) on the set of Fernwood 2 Night

The house band was Happy Kyne (played by longtime big band leader and film score composer Frank De Vol) and the Mirth Makers – a group made up of an accordionist, guitar, bass and drummer. They often played the latest and hippest music on the current scene, including Boogie Fever and Disco Duck.

Growing up, I think I was the only one in my house watching the show, and I remembered roaring with tears coming down my cheeks at the humor. I tried to never miss a show that summer and fall of 1977.  The humor was irreverent and, by today’s standards, quite politically incorrect.

So, for those who are reading this, I’ve linked to four scenes from the show.

The Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm48gbC-NpI

The Burger Juggler and a rather unique School Integration plan (This was edgy stuff for 1977) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaalILRLoKs

UFO Alien Abduction/ Comedienne Fannie Flagg plays a Fernwood resident who claims she was violated by an aliem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCBOfj9iA6I

Happy Kyne sings Shake Your Booty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zae9GJ387kY



Others do not need to tell me to have a Merry Christmas in order for me to have one. That is on me.



Every year I hear Karen Carpenter’s voice singing Christmas song, l just sit back and marvel at the soulful, soothing voice that came from that small woman. And then, I get sad and the torture she had within her that ultimately took her life.

Here is Carpenter singing Merry Christmas, Darling



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