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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 371  (Vol. 8, No. 18). This edition is for the week of April 30--May 6, 2007.


"Zotz!" I say
Sad passings of legendary Hollywood supporting players

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
by Mike Smith

"Spider-Man 3"

MIKE'S RANT
by Mike Smith

Passing On....Add One More....The True Final Frontier....While I'm Remembering Space Travelers....It's In The Numbers....No More Monkeeing Around....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 18: Michael Smith

With a few notable exceptions, I have never been a huge proponent of featuring celebrity obits on the PCR's front page as they can be unnecessarily depressing, however newsworthy, but they are mentioned. I usually defer to Mike Smith's stellar in-depth pieces for The Rant to fill in the blanks. This week, however, was a particularly powerful one for me as far as the personalities involved and, with your kind indulgence, I would like to break my own rule and make a few comments.

Tom Poston Dies at 85
One of the earliest and most prolific pioneers who brought deadpan delivery to a fine art is no longer with us. I was saddened to hear of the passing of actor/comedian/gameshow panelist Tom Poston at the age of 85.

Letters to the Editor Of course, it is certainly notable that he helped shaped the Bob Newhart show, Newhart and its successor Bob, and together they re-invented and re-defined low-key (but potent) humor. And of course, Poston's origins on the '50s Steve Allen Show is what got him started and his appearances on the '70s Mork and Mindy arguably brought him back out into the limelight. But my earliest and most vivid memories are of Poston on the 1960s version of the TV game show, To Tell The Truth. With co-panelists Orson Bean, Peggy Cass, and the redoubtable Kitty Carlisle (who, by weird coincidence, also passed away this month--at the age of 90!), Poston, to me, was the "everyman" to Bean's cerebral-comic approach, Cass's loud crudeness, and Carlisle's Hollywood glamour cluelessness.

Zotz!
While the papers and the internet news pages have tried to be exhaustive in their filmographies of Tom Poston, there is one entry they have all neglected (at least as far as I have been able to determine), and that is the little-known and frequently overlooked 1962 William Castle movie called Zotz!. In Zotz!, Poston plays professor John Jones who discovers a mysterious coin that gives him special powers. Soon the government learns of it and tries to take it from him. Believe it or not, I actually remember the movie trailer playing on television at the time (gawd am I old or what)! All I can remember is Poston standing outside, then points to the sky and says "Zotz!" and we cut to an airplane nose-diving (presumably caused by Poston's action). I never forgot that trailer and it was decades before I saw it show up on TV (I enjoyed it, but it was very low-budget).

While reading some of the online obits for Poston I was floored to learn that he'd married The Bob Newhart Show co-star Susanne Pleshette around the year 2000. For some reason that had gotten by me up to mow.

Tom Poston died Monday night at home after a brief illness, a family representative, Tanner Gibson, said Tuesday. The nature of his illness was not disclosed.

Character Actor Dabbs Greer Dead at 90
Like Tom Poston, Dabbs Greer seemed like such a likable, sweet man. Someone you'd like to know and come to trust easily and will also be sorely missed.

For those a little younger than I am, he might be best remembered as Reverend Robert Alden in Little House on the Prairie. For many baby-boomers like myself, Dabbs Greer made an indelible impression as a character actor in the '50s TV series, The Adventures of Superman.

The Adventures of Superman
In "Five Minutes To Doom" Greer plays Joe Winters, an innocent man facing execution.
Last Sunday at Hooters...
Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
100 Tears director, Marcus Koch, left, peers at me over Paul Guzzo's shoulder.Joe Davison, left, and Chris Woods look not too happy about something!
Chris Woods, left, turns to make a point, Terence Nuzum, right, ponders darkly.Your humble editor, left, cuts up with TFR organizer Paul Guzzo.
Group shot from the end of the table, l-to-r: Joe Davison, Chris Woods, Terence Nuzum, Paul Guzzo, Marcus Koch, Alanna. Hidden from view: me.Chris Woods places a call to Joel Wynkoop to inquire about Hooters attendance. Terence almost looks amused.
Clark/Superman interviews Winters in prison and knows he's telling the truth about his innocence and sets out to see justice done. Greer's sincere delivery and guy-next-door gentleness completely melts your heart.

In "The Superman Silver Mine", Dabbs plays Mr. Pebble, a prospector who wants to donate a secret silver mine to a children's fund. A crook impersonates him hoping to discover the mine's location when he kidnaps Lois, Jimmy, and Pebble himself. The crook is captured by Superman and the mine is revealed to be the very cave where they were imprisoned. Greer's delivery of that revelation always makes me laugh.

The Tonight Show's Tommy Newsom Dead at 78
With a deadpan personality totally in contrast to the flamboyant Doc Severinson, assistant NBC orchestra leader Tommy Newsom would serve as a comic foil to Johnny Carson for decades on the late-night variety show The Tonight Show (currently starring Jay Leno).

His musical talents were never in question, however, and Newsom was recognized as a prolific and even genius music arranger, winning many, many awards over the years.

Taking over Tonight Show orchestra-leader duties when Severinson was unavailable, Newsom was notorious for staring at Carson deadpan for several seconds before responding to a provocation. Whatever he said afterwards was made funnier because of the delay and delivery.



Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Filmlook" is ©2007 by Paul Guzzo    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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