Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Things past

As regular Back With Interest readers know, I find old television commercials evocative. (I discussed them here, here, here and here.) So I'm always delighted to run across a trove of them like this one on the X-Entertainment web site. It's a sickness, I realize, but what's better than the old spot for the Clapper? Clap on!

I found that site in the course of Googling Henry "The Fonz" Winkler, who I heard the other day in a compelling interview on "Fresh Air." Like many children of the 1970s, I adored Winkler on "Happy Days," and it was fascinating to hear him discuss Fonziemania, in which I participated wholeheartedly. (I named a hamster Fonzie during that period.)

Winkler was on the radio to promote his new CBS sitcom, "Out of Practice," which I checked out last night. I didn't hate it, which for me is saying something. (When it comes to sitcoms, I have high expectations.)

It was strange seeing Winkler on TV again. Thirty years later, the sight of him on the boob tube prompted long-dormant stirrings of Fonziemania. These were intensified by the presence on the show of Stockard Channing, who starred in the movie version of the 1950s-inspired musical Grease. That came out at the same time as "Happy Days" and plowed much the same ground.

All that was missing was Bowzer.

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