Did Billy Bob Thornton and John Wayne Play the Same Character?

Dear Incredible: A friend and I were talking about movie trivia the other day and he said that John Wayne and Billy Bob Thornton have played the same character in a movie. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it is! Can you help? – R.E., Las Vegas

Dear R.E.: Davy Crockett.

Thornton played Crockett in the 2004 film “The Alamo,” and Wayne played the same role in the 1960 film of the same name.

An “Animal House” TV Series? Yes

Dear David: We were recently watching “Animal House” and I remarked that it was also made into a TV series. No one believed me! Please tell them my memory is still functioning. – R.W., Rochester, NY

Dear R.W.: Kids, pull your chairs up reeeal close to the simulated pot-bellied stove with the virtual fire burning inside while the olllllld storyteller tells you the tale about the three “Animal House” sitcoms that came and went waaaay back in the winter of ’79.

We used to light our candles and sit around the TV in those days, and on January 18, 1979 we saw the “authorized” sitcom version of “Animal House,” called “Delta House.” It had several actors from the movie, including John Vernon as Dean Wormer, Stephen Furst as Flounder and Bruce McGill as D-Day. Also in the cast was a young starlet named – Michelle Pfeiffer!

“Delta House” ran until that April on ABC. The CBS entry into the ripoff sweepstakes was “Co-Ed Fever,” which began and ended on February 4, 1979, since nobody watched it. And the NBC entry was called “Brothers and Sisters,” which featured Chris Lemmon and Mary Crosby, and went away in the spring of 1979 as well.

See how learning can be fun, kids?


“Nytol Will Help You Get Your Zs”

Dear Incredible Inman: Please help settle a between between my wife and me. We both remember a TV commercial jingle about a product that will “help you get your Zs.” However, she believes it was Nyquil, and I say it was Nytol. Can you tell us which product used the jingle? – C.U., Louisville

Dear C.U.: Nytol.

The spot aired in the late 1980s, and the N in Nytol turned sideways into a little Z and then cloned itself in order to alphanumerically simulate restful slumber.

Jake Gyllenhaal Was in “City Slickers”

Dear Dave: Was that a young Jake Gyllenhaal I saw as one of the children in “City Slickers”? Also, I recently saw the film “Jesus Christ Superstar” and could not figure out where the outdoor scenes were filmed. Do you know where this film was made? Thanks bunches! – H.H., Louisville

Dear H.H.: Good catch – Gyllenhaal played one of Billy Crystal’s sons in that 1991 film.

And “Jesus Christ Superstar” was filmed in Israel.

All About “Here Come the Brides”

Dear Mr. Inman: As a young man I loved the TV show “Here Come the Brides.” But all I remember now is that it had Bobby Sherman and an awesome theme song. Can you fill in the details? – G.W.N., via e-mail

Dear G.W.N.: “Here Come the Brides” ran on ABC from 1968-70, and its theme song, “In Seattle,” was a hit for Perry Como in the late 1960s.

The show was set in 1880s Seattle, where the Bolt brothers – Jason (Robert Brown), Joshua (David Soul) and Jeremy (Bobby Sherman) – were running a timber company. But the local lumberjacks desired female company, so the Bolts sailed to New Bedford, Massachusetts and came back with a bunch of prospective brides for the men. The Bolts were in hock to lumber tycoon Aaron Stempel, who financed the expedition, and if any of the women decided to return to the east, the Bolt boys would forfeit their company to Stempel.

Before you could say “knothole,” Jeremy fell in love with Candy Pruitt (Bridget Hanley), adding to the romantic drama. And local bar owner Lottie (Joan Blondell) kept a close eye on everything. The supporting cast also included Candy’s best friend Biddie (Susan Tolsky) and Clancy (Henry Beckman), the
captain of a ship that never seemed to go anywhere.

Is That Martin Scorsese’s Brother in That Sensodyne Commercial?

Dear David: The dentist in a commercial for Sensodyne toothpaste is named Dr. Frank Scorsese. He bears a strong resemblance to director Martin Scorsese. Are they related? – H.Z., Louisville

Dear H.Z.: They are indeed – Frank and Martin are brothers.

Imagine their childhood fights – Frank would always want to play dentist and Marty would always want to play let’s pull the civilized façade off of social institutions and show the greed and squalor underneath.

“Nerak” Was in “Watcher in the Woods”

Dear David: I saw a movie about 25 years ago about a group of kids who went into a building that had a big bell inside and they were doing an initiation of some kind and a girl vanished. Then years later a group of kids were visiting that town on a school bus and a girl wrote “Nerak” on the bus window (Karen spelled backwards) and the girl’s mom, who was standing outside of the bus saw the name “Karen,” which was the name of her daughter who had vanished. They decided to do another initiation and her daughter reappeared looking the same way she did when she vanished. Do you know the name of the movie and if it’s available on video or DVD so that I can watch it again? – H.G., via e-mail

Dear H.G.: That’s the 1980 film “Watcher in the Woods,” with Bette Davis, Lynn Holly Johnson and David McCallum.

It’s on video and DVD.

A Robot Cop Was in “Holmes and Yoyo”

David: I recall a television show from the early to mid-1970s about a pair of detectives, one of which was a robot. Is my memory playing tricks on me or am I actually recalling a real show from the ‘70s? – Mark, via e-mail

Dear Mark: It was real, all right – whether it was any good is another story.

It was “Holmes and Yoyo,” and it ran on ABC in 1976. Richard B. Shull played police Det. Holmes, whose new partner was a robot called Yoyo, played by John Schuck. The partnership lasted about three weeks, when the boys were stopped in their tracks by a criminal force known as “low ratings.”

Walls Lined With Razor Blades? “Tales From the Crypt”

Dear Incredible: When I was in high school in the late 1970s there was a movie/TV show about a man who eventually “got his” in the basement of a house. All the lights were out and there were razor blades all along the walls so that whenever he lost his balance or tried to find his way he got cut up. I think it might have been part of a three-part movie. I may be mixing up several different movies but this one is driving me crazy. Can you please help? – Tammy, New Albany, IN

Dear Tammy: What you saw was the 1972 film “Tales From the Crypt,” a collection of short stories tied together with Sir Ralph Richardson as the Crypt Keeper. The story to which you refer is called “Blind Alleys,” about a corrupt man who runs a school for the blind and keeps the funds for himself until the students decide to strike back by going without shaving for three years. Nigel Patrick plays the bad guy.

“Treasure Isle” Was a Florida-Based Game Show

Dear David Inman: It’s driving me crazy trying to remember the name of a daytime game show I watched in the 1960s. It took place outdoors and if the contestants answered correctly, they could paddle out in a raft to a sandy “island” and dig for treasure. What was the name and host of that game show? – R.M., via e-mail

Dear R.M.: To quote the show’s theme song:

It’s Treasure Isle from Florida!
On sunny Palm Beach shores!
You search for treasure on Treasure Isle
Find it – the treasure is yours!

Picture those lyrics sung to a tune by a knockoff of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and you’ve got the opening to “Treasure Isle,” which ran on ABC from 1967-68. The show was hosted by John Bartholomew Tucker and was taped at the Colonnades Beach Hotel in Palm Springs, with Treasure Isle in a lagoon.
Contestants got their chance to paddle out when they fit giant puzzle pieces together.