Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blogs for Mirth -- TV Show Intro Contest

Learned Foot has made the call, and we at Mr. Dilettante are proud to answer. January 22 is Blogs For Mirth Day (BFMD). As you can see from the lovely imagery attached to this post, it's all in exquisitely good taste, as most KAR productions tend to be. And we're gonna play, because we like mirth. Oh my yes.

Today's assignment -- we are having an 8-video tournament to determine the coolest, mirthiest intro music in television history. Vote for your four favorites by no later than NOON CST on Saturday, January 17. The four winners will go on to the semifinals and then we will have the finals on BFMD itself. There will be further mirth this week of a yet-to-be-determined nature. But rest assured, it will be very, very mirthy. Let there be no doubt.

I have seeded the 8 contestants, all hourlong dramas, most with a certain amount of camp and, generally speaking, old as hell. Kinda like me. And here they are:

The #1 seed features vertiginous camera work, cool music and Jack Lord. Book 'em Danno, it's Hawaii Five-O.

The #8 seed is an oldie, from 1965, featuring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin having a lot of fun serving as federal agents doing really weird stuff in the West. Conrad's character was James West and the show? That would be The Wild Wild West.

The second contest pits the 4 and 5 seeds. The #4 seed had star power galore, as it was the series that launched the career of Kirk's boy, Michael Douglas. It also gave Karl Malden a chance to wear a lot of fedoras and later get a side job pitching AMEX travelers checks. You get some excellent 70s clavinova, too, as you join the boys on The Streets of San Francisco.

The #5 seed is the home of multiple shows, including Peter Falk's Columbo, Dennis Weaver's McCloud, Rock Hudson's McMillan and Wife (although in this one, the wife was gone) and, among others, Jack Klugman's Quincy, M.E., which later became its own show. But they all had the flashlight on the lonely road as part of the NBC Mystery Movie.

The third contest pits seeds 3 and 6. The #3 seed features some funky percussion, a bird and a guy who got away with murder later on, all with the dulcet tones of Sammy Davis Jr., here far removed from the Rat Pack. It's the master of disguise, Robert Blake, as Baretta. And keep your eye on the sparrow.

The #6 seed is the only foreign entry. It's all about style here, as Patrick Macnee and the lovely Diana Rigg trade fun, intrigue and a few knowing glances as The Avengers.

The final battle is between seeds 2 and 7. The #2 seed is an eternal classic, written by Lalo Schifrin, a contemporary and rival of the geniuses of midcentury muscial scores, Henry Mancini and Bernard Herrmann. It's tense and it still sounds cool, 40 years on. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to consider Mission: Impossible.

The #7 seed is another long-lived cop show that features another swinging arrangement and a really cool Univac-style computer. It's Mike Connors, kicking butt and taking names as Mannix.

Choose your winners in the comments section. And remember, the mirth is just beginning.


W.B. Picklesworth said...

1,2,5,6. But to be honest, those shows are pretty long in the tooth and I'm grasping at straws. The one exception is your mention of Colombo. I didn't see much of it, but I'd love to see more.

Right Hook said...


But it doesn't seem right that S.W.A.T. is not in the contest.

Gino said...


with an extra oomph for 4.

Mark Heuring said...

Sorry, WBP -- the good thing is that knowledge of the shows in question isn't a requirement. I never watched Mannix, for example.

RH, I thought about S.W.A.T., but it wasn't campy enough, I guess.

kingdavid said...

I'm going with 1,2,5,6; just like Picklesworth, except I do remember all these from my youth.

Colombo was one of the best shows of all time. I never thought about until now, but Monk is actually a Colombo wannabe.

Maria said...

The answer is: (drum roll)


And make sure to put your hands together the next time I comment on my dad's blog!

From, yours truly,