Thursday, June 26, 2014
This episode isn't about Michael Landon. It's about Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry, for cryin' out loud. But Landon comes up, and we'd like to expand on his inclusion here, as promised in the actual episode. Landon's earliest work of note is, of course, the cult classic, I Was a Teenage Werewolf. This is only of passing interest in the discussion you will hear in the podcast, as your host, Pete Mesling, is more concerned with certain similarities in approach between Landon and Gervais than he is in Landon's early film work. But horror is never far from Pete's mind, and so here's the story of one of his favorite Michael Landon appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. (For those of you who are too young to know about the enormous impact that Johnny Carson had on American television for three decades, do yourself the favor of checking out Mark Malkoff's brillant Carson Podcast.)
"Landon's appearances on Carson were always great television. Whether he was on during the era of Little House on the Prairie or Highway to Heaven, it was always fun to see how different he was on The Tonight Show than he was on either of those programs. Sometimes irreverent, often hilarious, he proved that there was far more to him than meets the eye. But there was one particular night when Johnny decided to poke fun at Landon's less-than-estimable start in the business: the lead role in a low-budget werewolf picture. Landon become very serious and was quick to respond that he loves horror films and is very proud of his work in I Was a Teenage Werewolf. That's the paraphrased version, anyway, culled from the decaying chambers of my aging brain. I'm sticking to it. There's probably a clip of the exchange out there in YouTube Land somewhere. Go forth and discover."
Good advice, Pete. In fact, there's some additional discovering to be done if you haven't listened to the latest installment of The Bare Knuckle Podcast yet. So what are you waiting for? Tune in to learn where The Bare Knuckle stands on Ricky Gervais's new series, Derek, as well as Stephen Fry's documentary, Wagner and Me. You just never know where this ship of fools is going to drop anchor. Hey, might be a good reason to subscribe! You wouldn't want to miss a single scintillating moment, after all.
Posted by Pete Mesling