Sunday, November 07, 2004

Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehn

No, I'm not leaving. And if you never watched "The Lawrence Welk Show" growing up, skip this post because it will be meaningless to you. Being born in the mid-60's to older parents, I had the pleasure of watching Lawrence Welk every Saturday night. ABC news had a feature on LW tonight, which got me reminiscing. There are woefully few photos on the internet of the LW show - I was looking for one of all the singers marching in red, white and blue suits and dresses. Where did they get all those suits and dresses?

Anyway, my strongest memories are of my then-teenage sister dissing several of the performers. She complained that Arthur Duncan, the token black tap-dancer, always did the same dance each week, every single time including the buck-and-wing. She was right. (edited to add: She tries to fool you by showing some sympathy to Mr. Duncan on her blog - believe me, it's belated). Also, Mr. Heartthrob, Tom Netherton, was called "Weepy Eyes" in our house because he got so emotional while he sang.

For my part, I couldn't stand Joe Feeney, the Irish Tenor. I dramatically left the room when he came on because I said his voice hurt my ears (sorry, Mr. Feeney - I was 7). I still don't enjoy tenors much. I also wasn't crazy about their "Champagne Lady," Norma Zimmer - what the heck is a "Champagne Lady?" I also remember the poor substitute for the Lennon sisters (who were off to find their fortunes by that time) - the Polish sisters. Ugh. They were 5 sisters singing "Beer Barrel Polka" each week. Michelle was the youngest, probably about 7 years old, and the camera always focused on her because she was so cute. She did her best to bat her eyes at the camera. I hated her.

Oh, and how 'bout Guy and Ralna? They apparently couldn't sing unless their arms were wrapped tightly around each other like conjoined twins. I heard they got divorced. And Anacane, who apparently didn't mind being referred to as "Our Little Mexican Girl" by Mr. Welk.

If you happen to catch it on cable, it's a good, albeit sometimes disturbing, watch - completely unintentionally camp and retro. You won't believe people at one time watched it seriously.

In Other News:

Did you know that the guy who sings the Louis-Armstrong-sound-alike Hoots the Owl on Sesame Street's "Put Down the Duckie" is the same guy who does the voice for Elmo??? That's what I call versatility. Seriously, that just blows me away.

Alanis Morissette is guesting on NBC's American Dream. At least they have her singing in a beatnik club instead of American Bandstand.

Anyone else addicted to "Desperate Housewives?" I find the one-note characters a little irritating at times, but I'm still intrigued. Any guesses on what the big secret is? And is the cute guy good or evil? I still think he's good, despite last week's meeting with Mr. Mafioso.


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