Friday, January 26, 2007

Quest for Fernwood

Anyone remember the 1970s comedy, "Fernwood 2Night"? I sure do.;summary

I have vivid memories of being 14 years old and watching the show in Southern California each weeknight at 11 p.m. on KTTV channel 11. I'd gotten hooked on "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (Norman Lear's soap opera parody) and continued watching when "Fernwood" took over the time slot as a summer replacement. OK I admit it. I was a weird 14-year-old.

But what a show it was! Martin Mull was hilarious as sleazy, self-absorbed Barth Gimble (twin brother of the deceased Garth Gimble from MH2). And Fred Willard as his dimwitted second banana, Jerry Hubbard, was pure comedy gold. Jim Varney, Kenneth Mars, and Bill Kirchenbauer made regular appearances as local characters, and Tom Waits even guested once as himself.

I only saw the show during its initial run, but it's really stayed with me. After recently trading for the complete run of "WKRP in Cincinnati" on DVD (another comedy classic), I started on a new mission: the complete "Fernwood 2Night" (and "America 2Night," the "spin-off" in which Barth and Jerry moved the show to Alta Coma, California, "the unfinished furniture capital of the world") .

So far I've found a source for about 48 episodes of "Fernwood," which, as of this writing, I've yet to see. I have a few leads on a complete set, and I hope those pan out.

In related news, "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" is coming to DVD, with the first disc releasing this spring.

I feel 14 again!

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