Larry "Bud" Melman - The pseudonym of actor Calvert DeForest who
appeared in sight gags and silly sketches on NBC's LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID
LETTERMAN in the 1980s and 1990s. Larry "Bud" Melman was an "everyman"
character. He wore trademark black frame glasses and performed in send-ups of
such media celebrities as Roy Orbison, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Meatloaf and
in zany physical stunts like getting tied to a wire and sent crashing through a
Styrofoam model of the Berlin Wall. When David Letterman left NBC network for
his new program LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN on the CBS network in August of
1993, attorney's for NBC informed Letterman that he no longer could use the
Larry "Bud" Melman character because it was their "intellectual property." This
didn't stop Letterman from using DeForest on his new program, however. In one
sketch, David Letterman had a roving cameraman scan the sidewalks of New York
and there was Calvert DeForest standing innocently on cue to the amusement of
millions. Another sketch found Calvert standing outside the TV studio telling
the time to David Letterman from a large overhead clock. The charm of the
DeForest character was that he just wasn't trying to act. What you saw, was what
you got (People Weekly 1/17/94 p. 86-88). "
Last Electric Knight, The - The half-hour police comedy drama
SIDEKICKS/ABC/1986-87 featured Ernie Reyes, Jr. as Ernie Lee, an adopted 10
year-old boy from the fictional country of Patasan living with a disorganized
bachelor plainclothes police officer, Sgt. Jake Rizzo (Gil Gerard) in Los
Angeles. Ernie, (a.k.a. "The Last Electric Knight") inherited mysterious powers
from his grandfather (Keye Luke) who arranged his grandson adoption before his
death. When Ernie felt the need for advice he closed his eyes and meditated (via
flashbacks) on the sage wisdom imparted to him by his grandfather while in his
homeland. When a group of street thugs harassed a young couple in the park. the
pint-sized Ernie intervened and laid-waste to the entire bunch with his
karate-kicking abilities. Afterwards he commented "Every picnic has its ant."
The series was based on the TV-movie The Last Electric Knight (1986)
produced for THE DISNEY SUNDAY MOVIE.
Lawman, The See -
Fast Gun From Texas
Lead Bottom See -
Liberal Bill - Leonard Rosen hosted the prime time game show WHAT'S YOUR
BID/ABC/DUM/1953 where he was called "Liberal Bill." The program was an on-air
auction which allowed the studio audience to bid (with their own money) on cars,
mink coats and special items donated/owned by celebrities. All proceeds raised
from the auction went to charity.
Library Cop, The See -BOOKS:"The Tropic of Cancer"
Lifeguard - Code name of a longhaired, bearded, handicapped FBI operative
(Jim Byrnes) who worked for the Organized Crime Bureau on the police drama
WISEGUY/CBS/1987-90. Sitting in his wheelchair (lost both legs) in a room filled
with swirling tape recorders, and computer terminals with access to all sorts of
government information, "Lifeguard" was the lifeline between other undercover
agents working in the field as members of organized crime. Agent No. 4587 Vinnie
Terranova (Ken Wahl) reported via telephone (555-2610) to Lifeguard when he
needed to contact or transmit vital information to his superiors. Selected words
from the "Styles" section of the daily newspaper were used for further
verification to ensure Lifeguard was actually talking to an authorized federal
agent. Lifeguard was also called "Uncle Mike."
Lightnin' - Lightnin' was the nickname of the slow-moving janitor who
worked at the Harlem fraternal organization "The Mystic Knights of the Sea" on
the all-black sitcom AMOS 'N' ANDY/CBS/1951-53. Freeman Gosden (a white actor)
had supplied the voice for Lightnin' during on radio. Horace Stewart (a.k.a.
"Nick O'Demus") played the role when the program came to television.
Lightning Force - Elite group of anti-terrorist soldiers on the action
adventure LIGHTNING FORCE/SYN/1991-92. The Lightning Force was established by an
International Oversight Committee for Anti-Terrorism and comprised the best of
the IOCAT collective strike forces. Operating out of the Pacific Northwest, the
team members included David Stratton as Lt. Winston Churchill Staples,
Engineer/Demolition Expert/Medical Officer from the Canadian 7th Field
Regiment-"I blow 'em up, I sew 'em up"; Marc Gomes as Colonel Zaid Abdul Rahmad,
an Egyptian Military Intelligence officer skilled in languages, and
negotiations; Guylaine St. Onge as Joan Marie Jacard, a French female pilot,
computer specialist and assassin (selective termination); Wings Hauser as US
Army officer Lt. Colonel Matthew Alan Coltraine, the team leader. The group
named itself Lightning Force in memory of their original team leader US Army
Lieutenant Mike "Lightning" Rodney who was killed on their first mission.
According to a party story told by Colonel Coltraine, Rodney's nickname began
when he got drunk, climbed to the top of a roof in the rain storm and got struck
by lightning while clutching a lightning rod. TRIVIA NOTE: "Call Me Lightning"
was a song written by Pete Townsend in the United Kingdom.
Little Buddy See - "Buddy"
Little Buttercup - The pet name of bus driver Ralph Kramden (Jackie
Gleason) given to him by his wife, Alice (Audrey Meadows) when they were first
married on the sitcom THE HONEYMOONERS/CBS/1955-56. When Ralph told his best
friend, Ed Norton (Art Carney) about his pet name "Buttercup," Norton remarked
"She used to call you little old Buttercup? Ha! Ha! You used to be a little cup
of butter, now you're a tub of Lard!" See also - "Bunny"
Little Engine See - "Combustible
Little Lady - Helicopter pilot Jo Anne Santini (Michele Scarabelli) was
referred to as "Little Lady" by The Company, an espionage division of the United
States government on the aviation adventure AIRWOLF/USA/1987-88. TRIVIA NOTE:
"The Lady" was the nickname of the temperamental engine on the schooner Tiki on
ADVENTURES IN PARADISE/ABC/1959-62.
Little Old Winemaker - In the 1960s, Italian Swiss Colony wine producers
chose a sweet little old man (Ludwig Stossel) dressed in an Alpine hat and
lederhosen to be their TV spokesperson for their fine line of quality wines. His
favorite closing phrase was "That little old winemaker...Me!" His voice was
performed by Jim Backus.
Little One - Term of endearment used by Lwaxana Troi (Majel Barrett) when
referring to her daughter Deanna Troi on the sci-fi adventure STAR TREK: THE
NEXT GENERATION/SYN/1987-94. Deanna (Marina Sirtis), now fully grown, and a "big
girl" got irritated when her mother call her "Little One." Lwaxana bore the
exulted title "Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx,
Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed."
Little Queen of the Soap Operas, The - Childhood nickname of actress Anne
Francis, the star of the detective drama HONEY WEST/ABC/1965-66. Anne Francis
became a child star on radio at the age of seven and soon earned the sobriquet
"The Little Queen of the Soap Operas." Before that, her cover girl face graced a
series of short stories in Redbook Magazine (drawn by William Reuswig)
and Mortimer Wilson later modeled his "Angel Face" character after her in the
Saturday Evening Post. At the age of twelve she made her Broadway debut in
"Lady in the Dark"; then starred on the radio series WHEN A GIRL MARRIES; and
later appeared in a number of films including Summer Holiday (1948), A
Lion in the Streets (1953), Susan Slept Here (1954), Bad Day at
Bad Rock (1955), Forbidden Planet (1956), Brainstorm (1965),
Funny Girl (1968), and the miniseries Poor Little Rich Girl
(1986). Fans of the fantasy series THE TWILIGHT ZONE will remember Anne Francis
for her role in the now classic episode "The After Hours" about a woman who
discovered she was actually a department store mannequin. See also -
"Siren of the Soaps"
Little Rascals, The - Talented troupe of young performers starring in a
series of 221 movie shorts entitled The Our Gang Comedies produced by Hal
Roach and M-G-M Studios from 1922-44. When these films were later released to
television in 1954, they were re-titled The Little Rascals (because the
rights to the "Our Gang" title was acquired by M-G-M). Over the twenty years of
production some 200 child actors starred in the "Our Gang" films. They included
George "Spanky" McFarland; Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer; Darla Hood; Matthew "Stymie"
Beard; Allen "Farina" Hoskins; Mickey Gubitosi (later to be known a Robert
Blake); Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas; Darwood K. "Waldo" Smith; Baby Patsy; Jackie
"Toughie" Davis; Walton "Wally" Albright Jr.; Dickie Moore; Eugene "Porky" Lee;
"Froggy" Laughlin; Jackie Cooper; Chubby Chaney; Wheezer Hutchins; Mary Kornman;
Dorothy "Echo" De Borba; Johnny Downs; Harry Spear; Mary Ann Jackson; Scotty
Beckett; Jean Darling; Jackie Condon; Tommy "Butch" Bond; Mickey Daniels; Jay R.
Smith; Scooter Lowry; Janet Burston; Shirley Jean Richert; Eugene "Pineapple"
Jackson; Mickey McQuire (a.k.a. "Mickey Rooney"); Peggy Eames; John Beradino;
Nanette Fabray; Sherwood Bailey; Richie Van; Joe "Wheezer" Cobb; Ernie "Sunshine
Sammy" Morrison; and, of course, Petie, the dog. In 1979 the NBC network made a
series of 30-minute cartoon specials featuring Spanky, Alfalfa, Porky, Stymie
and their black-eyed pooch, Petie; and cartoon series THE LITTLE
RASCALS/ABC/1982-84 continued the tales of these young children. See also
- "Buckwheat" and "Spanky"
Little Sure Shot - The nickname of Annie Oakley, allegedly given to her
by Sitting Bull. On the children's western adventure ANNIE OAKLEY/SYN/1952-56,
Gail Davis starred as Annie Oakley a sharp-shooting rancher who lived with her
kid brother Tagg (Jimmy Hawkins) in her hometown of Diablo. The real Annie
Oakley (1859-1926) traveled around the world and gave exhibitions of her
sharp-shooting skills to such dignitaries as Kaiser Wilhelm II (who allowed her
to shot a cigarette from his mouth).
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