Television Q&A: Searching for a satirical soap opera | Entertainment

Rich Heldenfels Tribune News Service

You have questions. I have some answers – after a long visit to the entertainment vault.

Q: Here’s one for old memories: Many years ago, I remember a TV show, or series, set in an office setting before computers, where all the bosses were women, and the secretaries were men. The men endured the usual harassment – bottom patting, sexual innuendos and so on. Any info on this show?

Answer: You most likely remember “All That Glitters,” a satirical soap opera from Norman Lear which aired in syndication for a few months in 1977. The cast included Linda Gray, Eileen Brennan, Lois Nettleton and Gary Sandy. Cary O’Dell of TVParty.com noted that Lear’s success with another comedic soap, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” led to “All That Glitters,” but the latter did not draw an audience. O’Dell says the show was interesting, and pointed out in its social commentary, but still not succeed artistically. I remember watching it at the time and not staying with it.

Q: On Christmas Day a few years back, I heard Elvis Presley sing a holiday song with the chorus of “Why can’t every day be like Christmas?” I have looked on iTunes, Googled it, etc., but cannot find this song. Do you have any ideas?

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Answer: Let me dig deep into my own Elvis collection and … there’s “If Every Day Was Like Christmas,” written by Elvis’s friend Red West. First released in 1966, it has appeared on several Elvis Christmas collections over the years.

Q: Can you identify a song and the singer from 1950. It was called “Wanderin ‘” and I used to write to the only radio station we had and ask for it to be played. I have found other pieces with the same name but not my song.

Answer: You have been seeking a recording of “Wanderin ‘” by bandleader Sammy Kaye (whose catchphrase was “Swing and Sway With Sammy Kaye”), with vocals by Tony Alamo and the Kaye Choir. While there are other versions of the song, which goes back well before 1950, we were able to pin this down after you heard the Kaye recording on YouTube. There are various collections of Kaye recordings available.

Q: A good number of years ago we saw a movie with John Belushi called “Continental Divide.” We would love to see it again. Where should I look?

Answer: “Continental Divide,” from 1981, was an attempt to make Belushi a romantic-comedy star, in this case opposite Blair Brown. It was Belushi’s next-to-last screen role, followed only by “Neighbors” later in the same year. Online rental sites with the film include Amazon Prime Video and VUDU. It has also been released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Q: I’ve been trying to remember the name of a sitcom about convicts that came out about the same time as “Barney Miller.” The two shows were promoted as “Funny Cops, Funny Cons.” I don’t think the convicts show lasted a whole season.

Answer: That’s “On the Rocks,” which in the fall of 1975 was on immediately after “Barney Miller”; that show had premiered earlier in the same year. According to “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable Shows,” ABC promoted the lineup as “funny cops, and funny robbers.” As you remember, “Rocks” was not a success. Jose Perez, Hal Williams and Rick Hurst were among the stars; it was based on a British show called “Porridge.”

Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, PO Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or brenfels@gmail.com.

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