Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Second Hundred Years

I stumbled upon a copy of America's Best TV Comics recently and snatched it up because it is relatively rare and features an original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four story.  This 1967 oddity was produced primarily by the ABC television network to promote their Saturday morning cartoon lineup, which featured Marvel properties like the FF and Spider-Man along with other cartoon classics like George of the Jungle and Casper, the Friendly Ghost.

The short stories were all fairly simplistic and rather pointless, but I'm sure they served their marketing purpose at the time.  What interested me more than the actual content of the book was some of the advertisements included promoting some of the network's prime time broadcasts.  These shows ranged from ones that are still fairly recognizable, like the Flying Nun (really?  Someone thought this was a good idea?) and the Adam West Batman show, to shows that I had never heard of before.  Of these, one stood out, and I scanned the ad to post below:

The Second Hundred Years, according to those cagey geniuses at the Internet Movie Database, as well as...well, this ad in front of you, is about a prospector who gets frozen in ice, only to be revived 67 years later, and - get this! - he has to ADJUST TO MODERN SOCIETY!  Holy crap, what a concept!

Okay, okay...I'll admit that this isn't the worst idea I've ever heard for a television show, and the concept of the man's son being older than he is is kind of funny...I guess.  What I don't get from the ad is this - why would you let your recently returned grandfather who has been obviously traumatized and absent from the world for two-thirds of a century carry a gun around the house?  And better yet, why would he just randomly decide to shoot the television?  You'd think that, rather than remarking that we're gonna have to teach grandpa about "modern miracles" (we apparently have low standards for how we define miracles), we might have given him the tour before we left him alone?  Absurdity, I tell you!

Monte Markham, who played both grandfather and grandson in this one-season series, has acted fairly regularly since 1966, but unless I'm mistaken, this show is STILL the most work he's done on any one production other than - get this - Baywatch.  A jack of all trades, it seems.


Jeff said...


Larry said...

Probably the first time this show has been talked about online since it was posted on IMDB, and that was only becasue of baywatch I bet. Was it weird to think Sally Field was hot as the Flying Nun?

Jeff said...

I'm hoping that the throngs of people desperate to talk about "The Second Hundred Years" will find this site via the Google search.

And I think Sally Field had aged very well. So no, although Gidget was just such a strange concept. "I'm a girl, and a midget!" How did they allow that to be on TV?