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Brains and brawn

agree-variety best

American women don't like the news on TV according to the latest American TV survey, a slightly different type done

by the University of California to establish TV tastes.

MERICAN men like

. the news, but appar ently don't get much

chance to watch it because their wives are not eager to learn what has hap pened during the day.

This is interesting for Aus tralians because a survey taken here some time ago showed it was the woman of the house who controlled the TV set here ?but not a man missed the news, although he did miss out on many documentaries.

A huge number of television set owners were questioned in all income groups and from a[l educational levels. Here are the other findings of this

survey:

Westerns appeal to white

collar and semi-skilled workers.

Workers below the semi

skilled category prefer general light entertainment and sen

sational news.

Unskilled workers particu larly enjoy variety pro

grammes.

White. - collar workers and college graduates like any good drama series.

Older and less-educated women prefer quiz and par ticipation shows.

Younger and lower-educa tion groups prefer mysteries.

' Older people use TV for information and education sooner than entertainment.

And, to finish up with, a general blanket finding is that comedy and variety are en joyed by viewers of all ages,

education, and both sexes.

*

JN the past few weeks Chan

nel 7 has shown a number

of '"spectaculars," that over

worked word that means some

thing special in TV jargon. There's been the regular Bob Hope show, the much-adver tised Stan Freberg hour, and a Bob Dyer super show.

Most ballyhooed and the most waited for of them all was the Stan Freberg show.

I'll guarantiee there were more televiewers poised wait ing for the Freberg spectacular than there have been for any new show for a long time.

They didn't' stay poised for long, from what I hear. Per sonally, I stuck it out to the end, waiting for it to start.

Didn't start

It never did, to'tny mind.

Whimsy with a capital "W" was the keynot.', with Mr. Fre berg climbing in and out of Television Land, and finding signposts which said "Com mercial Here," "Lavish Open ing," "Pull string for commer cial," and so on.

Like all Freberg fans, I was waiting for the star to do some of nis rock-'em-in-the-aisles, satires, but he didn't.

His friend Orville arrived from :he moon and gave a good 10 minutes, but that was all telev i wers saw of Mr. Fre berg's vr v special talents.

He starred in a parody of a Western, but Western paro dies are figuring so regular!) lately on Australian live variety shows that they have to be very distinguished to keep the attention. This one wasn't.

The Frcbcrg show was a big TV disappointment. I'd

rate it as lowest of the three

spectaculars, the Bob Hope show at the top, and sandwich the local product, Bob Dyer,

in the middle.

His show got away to a quick start with no messing around with anything fanc\. His co-star was Graham Ken nedy, Melbourne's TV pheno

menon. He had far too little

scope for such an accom plished artist.

I'd like to have seen more of Panda, too.

Perhaps I should say sim'plv that there was too much Dyer, but it was a good show, any

way.

Bob Hope at his interna tional best can't be beaten, but sometimes the local American flavor means Australians miss out on some of the humor.

Thinking over all the variety shows, local and overseas, I'd nominate the Friday night Bobby Limb Late Show on Channel 9 at 10 p.m. as con sistently good Australian en tertainment. It's always good for a laugh, and it has a cer tain scrambled spontaneity

about it that I like.

*

"yyHEN "The Rifleman"

(Channel 7, Tuesdays, 7.30 p.m.) gave a charity pic nic on his ranch the other night, I was amazed at the number of inquiries asking

By NAN MUSGROVE

what the sign "Covered Dish Picnic, -Gents two dollars"

meant.

It's exactly the same as an Australian bush function run

on the "Ladies a plate, Gents 5/-" line, and means that ladies bring a plate of food for admission and the men pay

hard cash.

Being brought up in the country does add to your edu

cation.

* *

T/HERE'S no need to tell

fans of the Perry Mason Show to be sure and watch

Channel 9 on Tuesdays at 8.30, but there's such a special one coming up next week, June 30, "The Case of the Jaded Joker," that I feel I must be a spruiker for it.

The "Jaded Joker" is none othrr than Frankie Laine mak ing his straight acting debut as Danny Ross, a TV come dian who has been dropped by his sponsor.

Frankie doesn't sing a note

from start to finish.

I RA.\KIL LAl\L, far right, photographed with, from left, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra ich n they sang together for a special TV benefit, and, according to critics, "sounded awful." Franhie makes his straight acting debut in the Perry Mason show next week. (See story.) He doesn't sing a note.

Famous jazz musician Bobby Troup plays the role of Buzzy, a beatnik musician, and also composed the theme and inci dental music for this episode. He plays it on piano, and it's very cool jazz.

Beatniks are a fascinating phenomenon, and if you're not quite certain what they are, and many televiewers aren't, I'm sure you'll find out about them in this.

In the courtroom scene Buzzy tells what a beatnik is and why he is one.

The beatniks are all mixed

up jn the murder, and much of the film is actually photo graphed in a genuine beatnik joint in Los Angeles called

'The Purple Wall."

Beatnik haunt

Mr. Paul Drake, telling Perry about it, says: "It's a regular beat joint ? no lights, no liquor, no laughs, full of beats who sit round hating

themselves."

As if this isn't enough for one night, there's also Mary La Roche, who washed that man . right out of her hair throughout the run of "South Pacific" in Australia, and movie stars Tom Drake and Martha Vickers.

See what I mean? Don't miss it.

* *

fJ,HE problems of identifica

tion with TV characters really struck home with me the other night when I saw Lieut. Tragg himself playing the role of a parson in an old, old movie, "Good Sam."

Even' time 1 saw hint'in

pulpit I expected one of

congregation to unmask him as a masquerading detective I

feel more now for these ch r

acter actors, although I'm si,re Perry Mason couldn't get on without Lieut. Tragg.

"JJAMLET," ABC - TV's

first live presentation of Shakespeare, was two hours of engrossing TV.

I'm no culture vulture. A Shakespeare play, live or . nj other way, brought back to ne the smell of a schoolroom, and the laborious paraphrasing of "good metaphors" for exat is; it didn't mean pleasure. Si il was duty, laced with curiosity, that made me watch.

After the first 10 minn B

or so there was no duty. It was just pleasure and won derful entertainment.

Even if you didn't like

Shakespeare, any televiewer: would appreciate the notable

production and camera work.1

My favorite characters w re William Job's Hamlet, Geof frey King's Polonius, Fr. nk Taylor's Horatio, and Delia Williams' Ophelia, after she went mad. She was a hard md unsympathetic Ophelia when she was sane. I also liked Georgie Sterling's Queen Gertrude, about which I'vt heard many arguments.

Good fight

Owen Weingott's Laertes was good, but my sptvial praise for him is for the fight, one that looked real and sounded real, too. It was so real that he even got a credit line for arranging it.

It was a most satisfying night of TV. And no one can

say the ABC isn't thoughtful ? they even provided a 1^

minute coffee-break.

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