Velvet Fog, The - Early in his singing career, Mel Torme was given the
nickname "The Velvet Fog." His smooth vocal delivery was heard on many
television programs in TVs golden days including: PAUL WHITEMAN'S GOODYEAR
REVUE/ABC/1949-52 (Guest); TV'S TOP TUNES/CBS/1951-55 (Regular); SUMMERTIME
U.S.A./CBS/1953 (Regular); THE NAT "KING" COLE SHOW/NBC/1956-57 (Guest); and THE
JUDY GARLAND SHOW/CBS/1963-64 (Musical Advisor). In 1971 he hosted a nostalgic
documentary series IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR/ABC/1971 with news, fashion and songs
from the years 1919-1964. Mel Torme was also a recurring character (and running
gag) on the sitcom NIGHT COURT/NBC/1984-91 that featured a New York night court
judge named Harry T. Stone (Harry Anderson) who idolized Mel's crooning style.
Venus Flytrap - The sitcom WKRP IN CINCINNATI/CBS/1978-82 featured the
hip, black disc jockey, Gordon Sims (Tim Reid), a former school teacher who
worked the night shift at radio station WKRP. His on-air alter-ego was "Venus
Flytrap" who used gongs, incense and soft jazz as his signature. His nickname
"Venus Flytrap" was indirectly derived from the fact that Gordon was a Libra and
his ruling planet was Venus. Andy Travis (Gary Sandy), the station programming
director suggested Venus Rising as his on-air nickname, but it was accidentally
changed to Venus Flytrap. Before coming to Cincinnati, Gordon was a part-time
disc jockey in the City of New Orleans. He called himself "The Duke of Funk."
TRIVIA NOTE: Bill Maher on POLITICALLY INCORRECT/ABC/1997 discussed stories of
wives who lure women to try to tempt their husbands to cheat and remarked "We
call it a penis flytrap."
Video Rangers, The - See
Virginian, The - During the 1880s a mysterious man known only as the
"Virginian" (James Drury) drifted into Shiloh Ranch near Medicine Bow, Wyoming
and soon became the foreman of the ranch owned by Judge Henry Garth (Lee J.
Cobb). THE VIRGINIAN/NBC/1961-72 was the first 90-minute western series produced
for television. Years later during a cameo appearance on the stuntman adventure
FALL GUY/ABC/1981-86, James Drury dressed again as the mysterious stranger was
asked for his name. He responded "I'm the Virginian." The series was based on
the 1902 western novel "The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains" written by Owen
Wister about cowboys in Wyoming The novel was filled with bad men, poker games,
pistol duels and introduced the classic phrase "When you say that, Smile." In
the 1929 movie adaptation starring Gary Cooper, the Virginian said "Smile when
you say that!"
Voice of Canada, The - Canadian born actor Lorne Greene possessed a rich
distinctive voice that earned him the nickname of the Voice of Canada (and the
"Voice of Doom" when he read bad news) while he was a radio commentator in
Canada during World War II. He is perhaps best known for his role as the
silvered-hair Ben Cartwright, the patriarch of a family of three sons who
operated the sprawling Ponderosa Ranch on the western adventure
BONANZA/NBC/1959-73. Lorne Greene died on September 11, 1987 at the age of
seventy-two. TRIVIA NOTE: In December 1964 his western ballad "Ringo" reached
number one on the pop charts.
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