Monday, August 13, 2007

Der Mervyn

I can't remember who it was I heard refer to Merv Griffin as 'Der Mervyn' (à la Bing Crosby's Sobriquet 'Der Bingle'). I'm pretty sure it must've been T.S., it sounds very much like his humor. Whoever it was it stuck hard in my noodle and would always give me a personal chuckle anytime I got the chance to use it (or more likely 'think it'). W/ Merv's passing, I did a few Google searches for 'Der Mervyn' and came up completely empty handed. So it's either something I hallucinated (which I never rule out anymore) or I'm the only one that found it funny enough to remember? Either way I wanted to do my little part to honor 'Der Mervyn'

Well now both titans T.S. (Tom Snyder) and Merv are only broadcasting in eternity. Somehow Merv's passing fully closes the door on my childhood, who's greatest thrill was being home from school which meant watching seventies daytime television that I was too young to fully understand. I have to admit that Merv and Mike Douglas are pretty much interchangeable in my memory either way I very much enjoyed both of them. Dinah Shore was my very favorite but that may be selective miss-memory? There were of course the game shows, "Match game" being my favorite and of the syndicated sitcoms the ones that stick out in my memory are the weirder ones; "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", "Nanny and the Professor" (really not that weird, more "Huh?") the weird crown has to go to what was my favorite when I was very young (god only knows why?) "Love American Style", what the hell was that?

It's not like I ever post anyway (and I'll always use any excuse not to) but I was trying to avoid the 'dead people' posts unless I really had a fondness for the person or of course (what trumps all of my reasonings) the mood was right (like this post). I had actually started to write something about Antonioni and Bergman's deaths but like many (MANY!) other posts it never went anywhere. I think it was mainly finding out that Tom Snyder had also died a few days earlier and I didn't feel right talking up the two great directors and leaving T.S. (who was almost like a friend, in that weird television way) in the background? As 'Dead People' posts go Rosie O'donell did Merv right in her recent post. I think it really captures his Merv-ness, reading it though gives me that lower gut poopy feeling that I would get being in that situation. So really all of this nonsense is b/c (maybe?) Tom Snyder said something that struck me funny some time back in the 90's and in a small way i wanted to keep it alive . . . if this can be called living!?!


Richard said...

perhaps, I am just being nostalgic, but wasn't the mainstream culture more interesting back then?

It is hard to imagine a show like My World and Welcome to It airing today, although, to be fair, it didn't air that long back then, either.

If you want to engage in a peculiar exercise, ponder the latent sexuality in shows like Nanny and the Professor, The Courtship of Eddie's Father and, especially, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

The conscious necessity of exorcising any indications of a mature sexual identity for the adult characters in these types of shows accidentally? deliberately? created the opposite, the sense that there was a private sexual world that the audience could imagine for itself

P. S. agree with you about Merv and Mike, although, I preferred Mike

tom nihilist said...

Re. mainstream culture pre mid-eighties (or so?), of course it was more interesting b/c it wasn't geared so fully to fifteen year olds (and from what I can tell sociopathic fifteen year olds at that!).

Teenagers have become the America's greatest colony and to get their all powerful dollars she whores herself out in any way she can, it seems!

"My World and Welcome to It' is way before my time, I have no recollection of it, sounds interesting though. B/c they never re-ran it I would've had no chance to see w/ any semblance of consciousness.

As for the psychosexual implications of 'Nanny . . .', 'Courtship . . .' & 'The Ghost . . . ' again I have to plead youth (which is always a pleasure!). I have very vague memories of those shows to say the least. I remember enjoying more the theme songs for 'Nanny' and 'Courtship' more than I actually remember watching them and as for 'The Ghost and Mrs. Muir' I'm sure I enjoyed that b/c the ghost was a british sea captain! but really haven't they always put up these fractured families for our perusal? I've never really thought about it beyond acknowledging it though?

Yeah as for Mike over Merv I'd have to chose Mike as well. Merv always struck me as a bit of a buffoon-y blowhard (which of course can be enjoyable to watch). My post was really more in honor of Tom Snyder and his schoolteacheresque humor. Which being the child of a schoolteacher I have a great fondness for!