“Sailors plan for safety. For escape. For survival. Sailors rely on plans, on strategies that have worked before. Trust me. Most mariners are conservative. We stick to the tried and true. The familiar." -- Randall Peffer, "Listen to the Dead"

Quiz: Do You Know Your Baby Boomer TV Shows?

      Take this quiz and find out (answers below): 

1.  Who played Perry Mason, the defense attorney on TV who invariably proved his client innocent, from 1957 to 1966?
 a) Earle Stanley Gardner   b) Raymond Burr   c) William Hopper   d) Raymond Massey

2) What's the longest running western on TV?
a) Gunsmoke  b) Bonanza  c) Wagon Train  d) Rawhide   

3)  Where did Rob and Laura live on The Dick Van Dyke Show?
a) New London, Ct.         b) New Holland, Pa.         c) New Rochelle, NY         d) New Brunswick, NJ

4)  Who played Dr. Kildare, the medical intern who set female hearts aflutter from 1961 - 1966?
a) Vince Edwards   b) Bob Newhart   c) Robert Young   d) Richard Chamberlain

5) Who as a young comedian was a writer for Candid Camera?
a) Woody Allen    b) Dick Cavett    c) Regis Philbin    d) Jerry Seinfeld

6) When did the Beatles first appear on the Ed Sullivan Show?
a) Jan. 20, 1962    b) Sept. 22, 1963    c) Feb. 9, 1964    d) May 24, 1964

7) Who never appeared on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the iconic comedy that ran from 1967 - 1973?
a) Tiny Tim       b) Rod Serling       c) Richard Nixon       d) Bill Cosby  

8) Laverne & Shirley (1976-83) was one of several shows to develop out of the groundbreaking All in the Family (1968-79). Who played Shirley?
a) Penny Marshall    b) Valerie Harper    c) Cindy Williams    d) Suzanne Somers

9) Where did Fonzie live?
a) In back of Arnold's   b) In the Cunningham's garage   c) In the Cunningham's basement   d) In his own apartment

10) How many kids did the Waltons have?  
a) 2     b) 4     c) 6     d) 8

11) Where did Mary Richards live in the Mary Tyler Moore show?
a) Washington, D.C.        b) San Francisco        c) Minneapolis      d) Milwaukee

12) Who played the mom on The Brady Bunch for its entire run from 1969 - 1974?
a) Shirley Jones      b) Florence Henderson      c) Shelley Long       d) Shelley Winters  

13) The final episode of M*A*S*H was by some measures the most-watched TV program of all time. When did it air?
a) March 15, 1984  b) Dec. 7, 1983  c) Feb. 28, 1983   d) Nov. 23, 1981

14) Who shot J. R. in the final episode of the 1979-1980 season?
a) Kristin Shepard    b) Bobby Ewing    c) Sue Ellen Ewing    d) Clayton Farlow

15) Who was not an original Charlie's Angel?
a) Farrah Fawcett     b) Jaclyn Smith     c) Cameron Diaz     d) Kate Jackson 

Bonus Question:  What series was named the greatest TV show of all time by TV Guide?
a) All in the Family    b) The Honeymooners    c) I Love Lucy    d) Seinfeld


     These shows were not necessarily by or about Baby Boomers. Many of our parents watched some of these same programs. Back when the networks reigned supreme, and TV channels were not so scattered and specialized, we all sat down and watched many of the shows together.

     I know that people like me, who are getting older, typically think things were better back then. But, really, wasn't Dick Van Dyke, or All in the Family or The Waltons more wholesome, more relevant and more entertaining than Two and a Half Men, or Honey Boo Boo?

     Anyway, let's look back . . . and answer the questions about those old shows.

     1)  Earle Stanley Gardner, a practicing lawyer and prolific novelist, created the character of the famous defense attorney. William Hopper played Perry Mason's trusty private detective Paul Drake. But it was the incomparable Raymond Burr who won two Emmys playing Perry Mason (and who also went on to star as a wheelchair-bound detective in Ironside, from 1967 to 1975).

     2)  Bonanza, 1959 - 1973, was branded the second-longest running western. The longest was Gunsmoke, starring James Arness, which rode the airways from 1955 to 1975.

     3)  Rob and Laura Petrie, and their son Richie, lived in the suburb of New Rochelle, NY.

     4)  Vince Edwards was Ben Casey. It was Richard Chamberlain who played the impeccably handsome Dr. Kildare. He later went on to mini-series fame in Centennial and The Thorn Birds, and devoted much of his time to stage acting. Ironically, in his 2003 memoir Shattered Love, the former heartthrob revealed that he was gay.

     5)  Dick Cavett wrote for Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. Regis Philbin wrote for his own local talk show in San Diego, only because he had no budget for writers. It was Woody Allen who worked for Candid Camera, as well as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show, before going on to standup comedy and his storied movie career.  

     6)  Ed Sullivan happened to be passing through London's Heathrow airport in 1963 when he saw the crowd's reaction to the Beatles, who were arriving from a gig in Sweden. He signed the group for three consecutive shows in America, beginning with their live performance on Sunday night, February 9, 1964.

     7)  Everybody who was anybody at the time appeared on Laugh-In, from Tiny Tim to Richard Nixon, from Bing Crosby to Flip Wilson. But the record shows no appearance by Bill Cosby, who may have been too busy doing standup comedy, making movies and studying for an education degree at the University of Massachusetts.

     8)  Laverne & Shirley took over top TV ratings from All in the Family in 1977, starring Penny Marshall as Laverne DeFazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney.

     9)  Fonzie, of Happy Days, used the men's room at Arnold's as his "office," but he lived in a room over the Cunningham's garage. However, he did rent his own apartment in the last season of the show, so give yourself full credit if that was your answer.

     10) A trick question? Actually, I made a mistake. John Boy was the oldest Walton child, born in 1916. Then Jason, Mary Ellen, Ben, Erin, Jim-Bob, and the youngest was Elizabeth. Oops, count 'em. That's seven.

     11)  Mary Tyler Moore moved from New Rochelle, NY, in The Dick Van Dyke Show, to Minneapolis, MN, for the Mary Tyler Moore show. In real life, she was born in Brooklyn, grew up in California, and currently lives in Manhattan, where she is active in diabetes issues and animal rights.

     12)  Shirley Jones was the mom in The Partridge Family. Shelley Long played the mom in the much-maligned Brady Bunch Movie in 1995. It was Florence Henderson who starred as the mom in the hit TV show.

     13)  M*A*S*H (which stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) said its final goodbye on February 28, 1983.

     14)  In the final scene of Dallas in the 1979-80 season, J. R. was shot twice by an unseen assailant. The next episode, called Who Done It? aired on November 21,1980, and revealed that sister-in-law and mistress Kristin Shepard (played by Mary Crosby) shot him in a fit of anger. The episode ranks second only to the M*A*S*H finale as the most-watched TV program of all time. 

     15)  Cameron Diaz played one of Charlie's Angels in the 2000 movie, and in the 2003 sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. But she was not in the original TV series which aired from 1976 - 1981.

     Bonus Question)  TV Guide rated Seinfeld the greatest TV show of all time. Number 2 was I Love Lucy, No. 3 was the Honeymooners and No. 4 was All in the Family. See cbsnews for a complete list of the top 50.


sammy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sammy said...

Great story you got here. I enjoyed reading the articles especially on the Bill Cosby part.

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Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but Lavern and Shirley was an offshoot of Happy Days, not All in the Family. Just sayin'.

Savoring Sixty said...

I love the quizzes you post! Such fun!

fiftyfifty said...

fun quiz!

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