Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sentimental Journey to a Musical Office

About halfway through my childhood, we got a TV and a VCR. We didn't pick up any broadcast channels except for PBS every once in a very great while, were too far out for cable and for satellite, so VHS tapes were all we ever really watched. My dad had a tendency to periodically pick up bunches of budget movies--the sort that used to go on sale for fifty cents or a buck brand new. These days, budget movies seem to generally be recent films which didn't do well in theaters (and which should have been allowed to die quietly), but back then they were mostly old black and white movies and TV shows, copied to poor quality long play tapes without any restoration, and typically with lousy sound and picture quality. We saw shaky versions of old Tom Mix serials, the original Flash Gordon, old and mostly forgotten musicals like Born to Dance and Pot o' Gold, all sorts of James Cagney movies and Kirk Douglas movies and Bette Davis movies and Charles Boyer movies and...well, you get the idea.

One of our favorite tapes was a rather hacked together documentary about Ernie Kovacs' TV show, mostly highlights from the show: favorite skits and shorts. We eventually wore that sucker out, and for years I've thought back fondly on the bits and pieces, wishing I could revisit. For some reason, it never occurred to me to check YouTube.

Last night we were looking for a stapler, and my sister pulled out the pencil sharpener I have yet to find a home for and started whistling "Sentimental Journey." I knew exactly what she meant...I can't use a pencil sharpener without the same thing running through my head. We got to talking about that old tape and ended up on YouTube...lo and behold, you can find all *sorts* of Ernie Kovacs material on the web! This particular short is an old favorite, and (in my humble opinion), a must for those of us who love old office equipment, typewriters and otherwise.


James Watterson said...

I do the same thing with movies I saw as a kid. Tons of stuff from Disney movies and 80s Nickelodeon shows find their way into my head and I can't resist a quiet hum of the tune. Even some old video games like Super Metroid, or the winning tune from Final Fantasy 7 are permanently stuck in my head.

Olivander said...

Thanks for finding that. I loved Ernie Kovaks when I was a kid. The Nairobi Trio is still one of my favorite skits ever.

Elizabeth H. said...

The downside is that I've had "Sentimental Journey" stuck in my head for about four days now. I's a nice song and all, but I'm at the point where I feel like thumping my head repeatedly against a brick wall and yelling, "Make it stop!! MAKE IT STOP!!!"

I need to find a new sticky song.