News of the Week: Chicago Beats Cleveland, Dewey Defeats Truman, and Jimmy Kimmel Makes Kids Cry

To Quote Harry Carey: “Cubs Win! Cubs Win!”

If a Hollywood script writer wrote the plot of the 2016 World Series for a movie, it wouldn’t have been believable. Two teams that haven’t won a championship in decades playing against each other? The series goes seven games after one team is down three games to one? And the seventh game goes into extra innings?

The last time the the Chicago Cubs won The World Series, in 1908, Henry Ford produced his first Model T car, the Titanic hadn’t even been built yet, and a loaf of bread was five cents. Jimmy Stewart was born in 1908 and Mark Twain was still alive.

Here’s what was on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post on October 10, 1908.


Cover of The Saturday Evening Post
November 4, 1908


I’m happy for Bill Murray and all of the other Cubs fans. As a Red Sox fan who went through a lot of pain for a lot of years until they won in 2004, I know how they’ve felt.

I Didn’t Win $250,000

Quaker Oats had a contest earlier this year where the public could go on their web site and create a new oatmeal flavor. If they picked your recipe you’d win $250,000! I didn’t win, so I guess I’ll cancel that order for a Lamborghini.

The three finalists have been announced. It’s down to Vanilla Chai, Lemon Ricotta Pancake, and Apple Cheddar Rosemary. My choice is Vanilla Chai. Voting ends November 19.

And no, I’m not telling you what my flavor entry was. There’s always next year.

Starbucks and the Coffee Cup Wars: The Sequel

Green Starbucks cup
Courtesy Starbucks

Remember last year when people got upset because the coffee cups at Starbucks weren’t Christmas-y enough? It’s happening again this year. This is becoming an annual Christmas tradition, like watching It’s A Wonderful Life, decorating your house with colorful lights, and punching people in the face as you fight over the last toaster on sale on Black Friday.

Here’s the new Starbucks cup. It’s a green and white cup with a drawing of several faces all close to each other in a big circle, and while Starbucks doesn’t specifically say it’s the cup for the holiday season, it’s November 4 and you’d think the holiday cups would have been unveiled by now. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that “during a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values.” Oh, if only a coffee cup could solve our nation’s problems. I was really looking forward to this election being over concentrating on the Christmas season – a non-politicized Christmas season.

Maybe next year Starbucks can go back to snowmen and trees and angels and Santa?

Hello Bye Bye Birdie

I think that the live events that NBC has been producing the past few years are one of the great things on television right now. So far we’ve seen Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Grease (with Hairspray coming next month and A Few Good Men in the spring) and while we can say that not all of them have worked 100%, it’s great that someone is doing something that harkens back to the live performances we saw in the 1950’s during The Golden Age of Television (the first Golden Age of Television).

Next up is a new version of Bye, Bye Birdie. It was first a Broadway musical in 1960, with Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera, and then a 1963 film with Van Dyke, Janet Leigh, and Ann-Margret. This version will star Jennifer Lopez and will air some time during the holiday season of 2017.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s about the craziness that occurs when rock star Conrad Birdie visits the president of his fan club in a small Ohio town. Mad Men did an episode about it. They were going do a tie-in with Patio Cola:

RIP Tammy Grimes, Michael Massee, Hazel Shermet, Don Marshall, and John Zacherle

Tammy Grimes
Tammy Grimes
Photo by Philippe Halsman

Tammy Grimes passed away this week at the age of 82, and you can read Saturday Evening Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson’s feature on early ’60’s idol and the 1964 profile we did of her. Here’s her New York Times obituary. I didn’t realize that she was once married to actors Christopher Plummer and Jeremy Slate and later to musician Richard Bell.

Michael Massee was in a ton of movies, including Se7en, The Game, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, along with TV shows like The Blacklist, The X-Files, Alias, House, Rizzoli & Isles, and 24, but he will probably be remembered as the man who accidentally shot and killed actor Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow in 1993.

Massee died of cancer. He was 64.

Hazel Shermet was one of those people you’d see on TV and say “I know her!” even if you didn’t know her name. She appeared on shows like I Dream of Jeannie, That Girl, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Facts of Life, as well as over 100 commercials. If you were a kid in the ’70’s you heard her voice as Henrietta Hippo on a really bizarre show called New Zoo Revue that I watched every single weekend for some reason:

Shermet, an actress and singer who also appeared on Broadway, was 96.

Don Marshall played one of the crewmen trapped in the Land of the Giants on ABC in the ’60s. He also appeared in the series Julia and several other TV shows and movies. He passed away last weekend at the age of 80.

John Zacherle? He was one of the first horror movie hosts on television, appearing as Roland/Zacherley on local stations in New York and Philadelphia in the 1950’s. He even had a hit song in 1958 called “Dinner with Drac.” He passed away on October 27 at the age of 98.

You can thank Zacherle for opening the door to other horror movie hosts like Svengoolie, who hosts his own show every Saturday night on Me-TV.

This Week in History

“Dewey Defeats Truman” Headline (November 3, 1948)
Why didn’t Thomas Dewey actually win that election? Maybe it was his mustache.

Walter Cronkite Born (November 4, 1916)
That’s right, the CBS newsman would be turning 100 this year. Here’s Jeff Nilsson with a look back at his influence.

Abraham Lincoln Elected President (November 6, 1860)
The Republican candidate defeated Democrats Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Breckinridge and John Bell of the Constitutional Union party.

It’s National Candy Day

Didn’t we just celebrate a candy day, on October 31? Seems like we should just combine National Candy Day with Halloween. It seems more efficient and we can spend our energies celebrating Love Your Lawyer Day (which is also today). But I guess we shouldn’t dismiss any day that helps give us two candy holidays in one week.

To celebrate you could just eat the leftover Three Musketeer and Snickers bars you stole from your kids’ bags because Jimmy Kimmel told you to, but if you want to actually try to make your own candy, how about these recipes for Peanut Butter Fudge and Pumpkin Walnut Fudge?

And yes, before you ask, fudge is considered candy. It’s science!

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Daylight Saving Time Ends (November 6)
Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed Saturday night/early Sunday morning!

Election Day (November 8)
Finally, the day has arrived. Some voters are angry, but this might not be the worst election in history.

Veteran’s Day (November 11)
Here’s a look at America’s early attempts to honor our veterans.

Tammy Grimes, Idol of the Early Sixties, Dies at 82

In her time, Tammy Grimes was known as a vivacious, talented actress and singer. With her energetic performances on Broadway and her uniquely raspy, low voice—its accent shaped by finishing schools and not, as many assumed, by a British upbringing—Ms. Grimes made a memorable impression on audiences. She passed away on October 30th and is survived by her daughter, actress Amanda Plummer.

Ms. Grimes won a Tony award in 1960 for “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” in which she played an ambitious saloon singer in a Colorado mining town who eventually became a hero after the sinking of the Titanic.

In a 1964 profile in the Saturday Evening Post, Ms. Grimes offered advice on how to comport oneself at the end of a Broadway tour:

Don’t smile at all. Carry a Colt .44 and shoot at anyone. Buy 10 bikinis; arrange for blood transfusions, oxygen tanks, wigs, fast cars to make fast getaways, a leading man who can charter planes and fly in blizzards. Assume Garbo-type privacy. Look worn out but brave. Think seriously of becoming the last of the big-time spenders.

She hoped to translate her talents to television, but made a legendarily regrettable choice. Offered the role of Samantha in the television comedy, “Bewitched,” she turned it down, preferring to star in her own sitcom, “The Tammy Grimes Show.” Bewitched became a hit series, running for eight years. “The Tammy Grimes Show” was judged so bad that the network cancelled it after just one month. It was an unprecedented move in an era when even awful programs were allowed to finish their season.

But all that still lay ahead of Ms. Grimes when this article appeared in 1964, and she was still a rising star, enjoying a sense of great promise and the admiration of critics.

Tammy Grimes Article
Read this profile of Tammy Grimes from the pages of the April 4, 1964 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Photos by Philippe Halsman.