This weekend Nick at Nite's TV Land Tour rolls into Chris-Town. And given the opportunity, the cable network would probably like to tout the traveling museum as "more fun than a barrel of Monkees." Unfortunately, The Monkees is one of the few Sixties-era sitcoms that doesn't air on the five-year-old network.
Not to worry. Thanks to a TV schedule heavily larded with classic comedy series, the Nick tour still manages to make hands-on hay with oldies-but-goodies like Green Acres. Would you expect anything less from the nutzoid network that once pre-empted all its nighttime programming for a solid week to present 140 episodes of The Donna Reed Show, billed as "The Seven-Day DonnaThon"? These are, after all, the very same folks who combed their archives to present a "Hairstyles of the Rich and Famous" night (Mr. Ed buys a beauty salon, Donna dyes her hair) and who commemorated one of last year's most horrific crimes by rebroadcasting old episodes of shows featuring cop-slapping retrobate Zsa Zsa Gabor. Okay, so the Nick at Nite TV Land Tour (October 19 through 21 at the 19th Avenue and Bethany Home mall) isn't the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This is the place to find Mr. Ed, not Mr. Edward R. Murrow.
Instead, the Chris-Town curious will thrill to attractions like the Tune-O-Rama, a TV-shaped soundbooth where visitors can record their own versions of Green Acres, The Patty Duke Show, Dobie Gillis and other sitcom themes. Down the mall, you'll marvel at a trio of fake living rooms, representing the three ages of TV Man, from the dawn of the Fifties Philco Bilko to a Sensible Sixties blond-wood cabinet to a molded-plastic model hailed as "a Seventies singles' most dependable date."
Over at the sitcom stable, the kids will yakety-yak with Mr. Ed, while Mom drools over the fashion history of TV loungewear. ("Careful there, Sport!" warns a tag attached to a prickly polyester prong that passed for a shirt collar in the Brady Bunch Era. "You wouldn't want to put somebody's eye out!")
There's also a gallery of nut-stalgia including Bewitched paperdolls, a Lawrence Welk recording of the My Three Sons theme and even a Lassie dog-training kit. (Quicksand not included).
Hey, Mr. Wilson! Is that who I think it is up by the animated My Three Sons lawn sculpture? You betcha!
And if you're feeling your oats, you can catch Alan Young on the TV Land mainstage Saturday.