How did Shields and Yarnell ever get a show?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by DaleClark, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Bexley, Ohio
    the variety show thing was really big in the mid 70's. Especially after the success of Sonny and Cher. I just never got how Shields and Yarnell were ever approved for a show. Mines? Also, the Starland Vocal Band got a show as well.

    The networks were really throwing darts back then

    Sorry Shields and Yarnell wasn't happening for me back then
  2. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    Yeah variety shows were so big that a lot of bizarre shows were introduced. Kind of like talk shows in the 90s. I mean, a Chevy Chase talk show seemed pretty odd to me too. Now its reality shows and in the past, sitcoms.
  3. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    They got it so that one day, in the future,
    Lela on "Futurama" could say:
    "Shields are at MAXIMUM YARNELL!"
  4. dewey02

    dewey02 Forum Resident

    The mid-South.
    I agree.
    In every decade, there have been some very good TV shows and a lot of terrible ones.
    The copycat syndrome is and always has been alive. It isn't just confined to endless copycat movies.
    In the 1950s, 60s right up until today.
    Talk shows, comedy shows, variety shows and more recently, (reboots of stupid game shows, reality shows, etc.)
    Looking back on today from the perspective of 20+ years on, I'm sure much of what is currently on TV will have the same "How did this get on TV?" questions being asked.
    MarkTheShark and Damien DiAngelo like this.
  5. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Bexley, Ohio
    True. Look at all of the American Idol copycats
    driverdrummer and dewey02 like this.
  6. Scope J

    Scope J Forum Resident

    Wow! i've not seen those names in yonks!
    seed_drill and Christobal like this.
  7. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    CBS was really good at this. Summer months it really didn't matter what you threw up on the screen to them. What did matter, was keeping those variety-show crews working. So, they cut the big stars loose for a few months, sign anything named "Shecky" for 10 weeks, and keep the cameramen's checks rollin' in. I can only remember The Tom Hansen Dancers now, but every show had a dance crew and a, "The ____ _____ Singers", and many weeks they'd make up stupid, brain-dead songs just to get the dancers to run around in a circle, run up to the camera in pairs, then hoist a girl on their shoulders...and save a bundle on performance rights for not having to play a hit. And whatever writers who'd been scripting the same show at Television City for decades, churned-out sketches and momologues by the pound, no bad idea wasted. Everybody gets paid, everybody keeps their SAG/AFTRA insurance.

    So yeah, in those days even reality shows looked innovative.
  8. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Detroit Mi USA
    I LIKED Shields and Yarnell as an act, but the summer replacement show was a mistake. The only thing I remember is "The Klinkers". But what did anyone expect from a mime act?
    Even worse was their role in Return to Wild Wild West as Paul Williams robot henchmen.
    Aftermath likes this.
  9. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Who knows except it was just a different world then. I mean Mummenschanz used to be on TV all the time, like on the Muppet Show for example. That would never get on network TV today. Not that they were really the same as Shields and Yarnel, especially since they were actually sort of good. But still. Different time.

    Also it seemed like everybody got to have a variety show back then even if you were barely known. Remember Pink Lady and Jeff?
    utopiarun likes this.
  10. MYKE

    MYKE Here For The Classifieds

    Vaguely had a memory when I saw the names, so I looked them up, TV show was the summer of 1977 ? First apartment, first promotion at my job, longer hours, lots of partying, no wonder I never saw it.
    Me and most of America. :laugh:
  11. Alan G.

    Alan G. Forum Resident

    I remember seeing Shields and Yarnell as street performers in San Francisco's Union Square a couple times, in the late '60s or early '70s. Quite amusing. But I will agree, their show didn't work.
    jamesmaya likes this.
  12. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    All I could think of while reading your post was SCTV and the Juul Haalmeyer dancers.

  13. Avenging Robot

    Avenging Robot Forum Resident

    It's the Joan Rivers disease, what works in small doses fails epically in larger ones...
    seed_drill, Thwacko and Alan G. like this.
  14. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Current operator of the Freedonia peanut stand

    Variety shows were extremely popular back then. Does anyone remember Kelly Monteith?
    *Sigh* The world was a very different place in 1977.
  15. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    I thought their show was entertaining and I liked it a lot. Then again, I was twelve years old...

  16. Commander Lucius Emery

    Commander Lucius Emery Forum Resident

    Hey man, it was the seventies. Aaron Spelling always admitted he pitched "Fantasy Island" as a joke. The most successful variety show ever was hosted by a stone faced hot tempered newspaper columnist with no entertaining talent and a tendency to butcher names. Even George Lucas thought "Star Wars" might gross what a Disney film.did: $20 million

    Throw it against the war and see what sticks
  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I once got to do some recording sessions with The Starland Vocal band in 1979-1980, who by that time were doing radio commercial jingles. One of them told me their lowest point was their manager talking them into doing a 6-week CBS summer variety show, which they said was an awful, awful experience. I think sometimes, money gets thrown around, people get kind of hoodwinked into getting involved with something they aren't really suited for, and it turns into a disaster.

    My old pal Mark Evanier has told many stories about being the head writer on Pink Lady & Jeff (often cited as the worst TV variety show of all time), but the reality is that NBC had some kind of holding deal with Jeff Altman -- who was (and is) a very talented comedian -- and they had to make a show with him or risk having to give him a huge payment as a settlement, At the last minute, they threw him in with this Japanese female singing duo, and it was one of the biggest trainwrecks in TV history. But Mark reminds me he got a ton of work out of that, including about ten years of writing specials for Sid & Marty Krofft. And apparently the show was a lot of fun to do, even if it wound up on many critics' "all-time worst" lists.
  18. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

  19. Thwacko

    Thwacko Forum Resident

    Fort Mill, SC
    Whoa! You know Mark Evanier?
  20. Ken E.

    Ken E. Forum Resident

    New Providence NJ
    Robert Shields was discovered by Marcel Marceau and studied under him at his school in Paris for a short time - no mean feat. I was in college and working F/T in '77, no time for TV then - or now.
  21. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    The late Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer did a long interview years ago where he went into their summer series. He said the network wanted their voices, but not so much their comedy ideas. So half the comedy stuff reflected their ideas and half was written by older yuckster writers old enough to be their fathers. He said some of the skits were embarrassing. But they got away with other skits by saying that it was just part of their stage show. Incidentally, their summer show was the first TV appearance of that guy named Bob Marley.
    zebop, driverdrummer and Randon Ton like this.
  22. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

  23. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Yeah, I've known Mark here in LA for 40 years. Good guy, possibly the single smartest man I know.
    Thwacko likes this.
  24. pdenny

    pdenny Blow up your TV

    :eek: Juul Haalmeyer: THE MOVIE

    BILLONEEG Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    I thought the same way about Pink Lady.

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