Stories and insight in the world of showbiz and beyond.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

OLD DOG GOES BACK TO SCHOOL

I had a great learning experience Thursday (This posting was Sunday Feb 26). I was invited to speak to a class at USC in Los Angeles called “Music, Television and American Culture” taught by Jon Burlingame. Besides being a noted NY Times and Daily Variety music columnist, Jon is an avid Lloyd Thaxton fan and the proud owner of four Lloyd Thaxton “Dawks” (only an avid fan knows what a “Dawk” is).

The class consisted of between 40 and 50 students 18 to 20 years old. Which means that the oldest was born almost 20 years AFTER the Lloyd Thaxton Show was off the air. Between my reminiscing, screening a few clips from the Show and a short question and answer segment, I managed to take up the entire hour and a half class. After all the things I've done over the years, this was a brand new experience.

It was amazing that the segments I screened were as relevant to these young students as they were to my audience 40 years ago. To them it was completely new and as they laughed and applauded, I had a mental flashback. I was back in the 60s performing in front of the kids who were about to take part in that day’s show. This 2006 classroom seemed no different than being in my studio when the Beach Boys, The Beatles, Jan and Dean, James Brown, and Sonny and Cher ruled (just to name a few).

To get back to the present, I had to take a cue from one of Cher’s most famous movie moments. I figuratively slapped myself on the face and said, “Get over it!”

I have always believed whenever a person finds and follows a career that gives him nothing but pleasure and happiness, that person is truly blessed. I am one of the blessed. And the fact that after 40 years I still have people write to me and thank me for bringing some pleasure, happiness, and laughter into their lives is mind boggling. And, I thank you all so much.

While I was playing the segments I realized, that except for a few close friends and family, I had never shown these clips to anyone since they were first presented on the show. It was eerily akin to a time capsule that had just been opened after 40 years.

During the Q & A, several students said, “When I graduate, I hope I get a job where I have as much fun as you.” I said that I hope so too. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

I closed the presentation with a clip of the Turtles singing

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again
Some sunny day

And we did meet again. On a sunny day - 40 years later.

14 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Lloyd,

I hope this will inspire you to see the potential market for a DVD of your show will extend to more than just your old fans (of which I am one).

Nostalgia is only a part of what will appeal to folks about your shows. That they are charming and fun and funny is much more important.

Dave

5:59 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

I'm jealous of those kids! I'd LOVE to see the clips you've shown, Lloyd! I don't suppose you can tell us what you showed???
Gary

6:13 PM

 
Blogger BiLL Earl said...

dear lloyd

sell me a DVD!!

and please tell us all about HOW the Dawk came about and how it got linked to your show..

BiLL
http://billearl.blogspot.com
"BOSS" COOL STUFF!

6:15 PM

 
Blogger Rowland said...

Lloyd,

I hope that when you put your shows on DVD you don't hack them up too much.
For some reason, companies putting out
some of the old telvesion shows (Dean Martin's show would be a perfect example) feel they need to 'speed up'
the pace, thinking today's market won't sit still for the entire contents of the original. I think that's all wrong. The REASON I want to see an old program is to see it in its entirity, in context, with it's original pace, be it slow or fast. Only then can I really get the complete feel of what I remembered the show to be.
Anyway...just my two cents (plus whatever the DVD's cost!).

Rowland

6:19 PM

 
Blogger Ruby Begonia said...

Hey Lloyd,
My human named me after a memory from your show..the memories of youth last forever. You will always "Strike a Familiar Note" here! This Mouse Cliquer would love to see some clips via DVD.
Ruby Begonia

7:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I had been in the audience! I'd also like to know that you showed.

I'll join in the chant...

What about a DVD!

earl

9:33 AM

 
Blogger Lloyd Thaxton said...

By popular demand, here are the clips I showed at my USC outing.

1. Opening of a show and (funny) introduction to guest Ben E. King lip-syncing "Stand By Me."

2. Four kids in a sing-along contest. As you remember, the kids (you kids) would sing along (not lip-sync)with a record, the audio would mute but you had to keep singing. The contest? The winner is whoever comes closest to being on the beat when the audio returns. Got a lot of laughs.

3. An LT finger-people routine to "Jose He Say." One of my favorites.

4. "We'll Meet Again" by my guests The Turtles.

You shoulda all been there.

Lloyd

12:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will second that emotion too. Get crackin' on the DVD. Most of us are at the high end of the age group and the chances of steppin' off this planet comes ever so closer to that magic moment. I also go along with the idea that you should present the show pretty much the way it aired.

Gregg Garson producer of the Dean Martin show was trying to present what he thought was the very best of what the Dean Martin show was, in a very small space of 4 DVDs. Where the Martin show was on for 10 years. With an average of 22 shows per year you can see that a FULL disclosure of ALL those shows would present quite a large collection of what made everyone smile and laugh at that show. Of those 220 plus shows ... there were a lot of dud moments.

But to speak on the other side of the coin. One man's tuna fish sandwich is somebody else's stake dinner. Or you can please some of the people, some of the time... but not all the people, all the time. Some people like me for instance, I love to see all the warts of a show ... as well as the best of the best moments.

Like with the Johnny Carson show. When the jokes fell flat. They had a better responds than the polished perfect jokes. When a bit at the desk with ED went south Johnny would pick up the papers off the desk and put them in the trash can and set fire to them. Having had the great pleasure of working on that show for the last 2 years of it's run. I can say that there was NO editing done to that show. Except for the bloop of a bad word. You saw it as it happen in the studio.

So Lloyd "IF" you have ALL the tapes of EVERY show that aired here in Los Angeles, I don't relish the task that you have before you. Finding what you hope will make us happy with those choices. Or on the other side. "IF" you put ALL the shows into a single box set... It's going to be one hell of a collection of DVD's.

Later
RV

1:58 PM

 
Blogger Ted Alvy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:19 AM

 
Blogger THE ROCK RELIC said...

PERFESSER!! Ya can't MEAN it!! Your fave was "JOSE, HE SAY"? Dude, that was one of MY favorites back then! The one where she gets PO'd (sorry. Somehow, that holds a special connotation here!) about him saying that "Juanito fool around. I don't believe Jose, I believe in Juan"?? There was a girl, Jan Limous, who could do the song PERFECTLY! WOW!! The whistling, the hook in the lyric, the "whatzamatter with that Jose? Why he do that to me?"
The audience HAD to have gone wild over the "finger-people" doing that one!

Chuck

11:00 PM

 
Blogger Gary said...

Not only did Lloyd do his own shows back in the day, but he also was a guest star on several shows. Recently I was lucky enough to get a copy of THE MILTON BERLE SHOW from Sept. 23, 1966 with Lloyd guesting along with Martha Raye, Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows and Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs. Lloyd, did you guest on a lot of variety shows like that? I'll keep on the lookout for more!
Gary

11:02 AM

 
Anonymous Tom Quigley said...

Lloyd,

Loved your story -- Wish those kids at UCLA could have experienced what I and millions of other teens who grew up in the 60's experienced with the music and the entertainment of that day. I've got a 12-year-old nephew who is just starting to learn how to play the guitar (same age I did) and I hope that the first songs he learns are some of the ones from that era.

One thing you mentioned was that at the end of your presentation you closed with a video of the Turtles singing "We'll Meet Again." I know the Byrds ended their first album with that song. Did the Turtles lift it from the Byrds (who in turn lifted it from the movie DR. STRANGELOVE)?

5:32 AM

 
Blogger rick said...

Tonight was a sleepless night and my mind wandered back some 40+ years as I danced my feet off on your show. The first time I appeared you had recently recorded your own song and were having a contest to see who could best lip-sync your song. I won and had the joy of being "YOU" for an hour. One of the highlights of my youth. Thank You for bringing so much happiness to so many young ones. Oh and yes I would love to buy a dvd. Just think what my "Grandchildren" would say !

4:49 AM

 
Anonymous TurtleGuy said...

Hey Lloyd;
I sang "We'll Meet Again" for the Turtles back in the day. Nice to be remembered by an unforgetable figure to me. You molded me, man. For better or worse. Yes, we were the Flower Children, but you sir, were the teacher.

7:14 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home