Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water


The water is snow on the roof and the smoke is coming out of the chimney. We are once again, for the fourth consecutive week, buried in Boston. I feel bad for people in the purple zone, with up to 24″ of new snow. We’re in the magenta zone, which is bad enough, with more than a foot added to the 4-5 feet we already have. The only upside is we won’t have to worry about a drought this summer, but the catch is the springtime melt will keep the sump pump busy.

So cold

7:30 on a Saturday night and I’m going to bed without any dinner. I wouldn’t be able to taste it anyway. Stupid cold.

Follow-up: And here it is, 5:30 AM on Sunday, and I’ve been up for nearly an hour. I”m still suffering, but less than I was last night. Today’s news is from Saugerties, New York, home of Joe Sinnott and family, and it was where Jimmy Fallon grew up. It was also where Jim Henson’s son John lived, who died there of a heart attack on Friday.

Mr. Lucky Strikes Out

Another one of my mother’s friends from her acting days was John Vivyan, who seemed to be headed for major success when Blake Edwards picked him to star in his TV series Mr. Lucky, for the 1959-60 season.


I heard Vivyan’s name a lot while growing up, but I don’t recall him ever visiting the family, like Vince Beck did. It wasn’t until much later that I figured out who he was. MeTV is currently running Mr. Lucky late on Sunday nights. Ross Martin, later Robert Conrad’s sidekick on The Wild, Wild West, played Vivyan’s sidekick.


In the era of cigarette advertising on TV, you’d think that Lucky Strike would have sponsored the show, and indeed the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. was a sponsor, along with Lever Brothers. The ratings for Mr. Lucky were very good, but then Brown & Williamson, or possibly Lever Bros., decided the gambling premise wasn’t respectable, and when they demanded that it be changed Blake Edwards handed the series over to journeyman director Jack Arnold, who is known for his 1950’s science fiction movies and for directing a lot of the “Gilligan’s Island” episodes. The advertiser meddling didn’t work out, CBS couldn’t find another primary sponsor, and Mr. Lucky was cancelled after only one season.

After Mr. Lucky, John Vivyan had mostly bit parts in TV shows. Today, if Mr. Lucky is remembered at all, it’s for its theme music by Henry Mancini.

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