1. Quiz: 1970s TV Show or Sign in My Neighborhood?

    HERE’S some fun: Like me, you’re a fan of signs of various sorts in my neighborhood and 1970s television.

    Ah, but how well do you know them both?

    I’ve devised a little quiz to help you find out! Of the following images, which are title cards of obscure 1970s television programs, and which are signs I saw when I was driving home from getting Thai food?

    1.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    “Baba Sweets and Jalebi Junction” (CBS, 1973-1975) starred Mabel King as Eleanor “Baba” Sweets – the sassy ticket agent at the train station in the Little Bombay section of Detroit. While each half-hour was a non-stop laugh-parade of hilarious travelers, fans especially remember Norman Fell as a harried commuter who always slept through his stop in Rochester Hills and ended up in Jalebi Junction waiting for a taxi to bring him home.

    2.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    Though it lasted just one season, “Justice Street”  (NBC, 1976) is widely regarded as the quintessential procedural cop show as well as an important forerunner to “Hill Street Blues” and “The Commish” – indeed, both Stephen Bochco and Stephen J. Cannell cut their teeth writing scripts for the series. Andy Devine turned in a surprisingly subtle performance as former Disney animator turned police detective William “Bill” Justice, and many attributed his untimely death in early 1977 as the reason for the series’ demise. As it turns out, it was an argument over a parking space on the Paramount lot between co-producers Quinn Martin and Jack Webb that doomed the show just weeks after debuting to stellar ratings.

    3.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: Trick question – TV show and sign in my neighborhood.
    “The Paul Lynde Show” (ABC, 1972-1973) starred Mr. Center Square himself as Paul Simms, an attorney at odds with his deadbeat son-in-law. Unabashedly derivative of “All in the Family,” it was destroyed by the competition: “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Adam-12.” Inexplicably, it’s also the name on a sign outside a store specializing in women’s footwear a few blocks  from my house, located on the corner of Pawley Street and Lindemere Avenue.  Update: Turns out the business is actually “Pawl-Lind Shoe.” Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Arlene H. for the correction!

    4.) 1970s TV show or sign in my neighborhood?

    Answer: TV show.
    Prolific producer Garry Marshall developed “Mr. Pizza & Kabob” (ABC, 1978) as a mid-season replacement for the Aaron Spelling bomb “The San Pedro Beach Bums.” Ronnie Schell played restauranteur Jimmy “Mr. Pizza” Delvecchio (nephew of Al on “Happy Days”) while Hector Elizondo played Kabob, his eager but inept Armenian immigrant busboy (“Ooh, dat veddy veddy good idea, boss!”). Despite eight crossovers on five of Marshall’s other shows, the series couldn’t find an audience and was gone in just two months. Never one to give up on what he felt was a viable property, in 1990 Marshall reworked the premise into a popular motion picture, turning the pizza parlor owner into a successful businessman played by Richard Gere and Kabob into a beautiful, kind-hearted prostitute (Julia Roberts).

     So!  How’d ya do?

    Posted by on July 22, 2013, 2:26 PM.

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