Pic of the Day: “Beach Blanket Bingo” revisited

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of William Asher‘s Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)! And how we do that around here is by revisiting that pool-cue-slinging ne’er-do-well, South Dakota Slim. Slim has just been overcome by a cloud of chalk dust thoughtlessly propelled into the air by Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck).

Beach Blanket BingoBingo was the fourth in Asher’s beach opus quintet, which also includes Beach Party (1963), Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), which includes Slim’s first appearance, and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965). We’ve just discovered that Asher first directed Timothy in an episode of Invitation Playhouse: Mind Over Murder entitled “The Last Act,” first airing on May 14, 1952. It’s at the top of my list of lost Careyana.

In Search Of, Redux

Yesterday we received the exciting news that Season 3 of CHiPS has finally been released on DVD. That means that we will soon have Timothy’s episode “Kidnap” in our hot little hands and will be posting screencaps ASAP.  So in that spirit, I’ve decided to repost an edited version of this post from last year that details all of Timothy’s work that I have yet to discover. I have removed the CHiPS episode and added a couple of new entries. As always, your help in obtaining these is more than welcome. Here we go…


As awesome as it would have been for Timothy to have shown up in an episode of that Leonard Nimoy-hosted “mysterious mysteries” series, this post isn’t about that. Instead, as mentioned yesterday, I’m going to list Timothy’s film and television appearances that I have yet to acquire on DVD. I have a want list up for most of these over at ioffer.com, but just in case any of you lovely people have any leads on where one might get ahold of “collector to collector” copies of these, I thought I would present them here. So, in chronological order, let’s start our search:

1. Chevron Theatre: “The Survey Man” (1952)

A brand-new addition to Tim’s IMDb page, although his presence in it is listed as “unconfirmed.” Season 1, episode 16; directed by the great Norman Lloyd. First broadcast on April 18, 1952, which would make this his earliest recorded performance on record, if indeed he is in it.

2. Invitation Playhouse: Mind Over Murder: “The Last Act” (1952)

Here’s another new one that has appeared on Tim’s IMDb page since I made the original post a year ago. Directed by William Asher, who later directed Tim in the Beach Party films. Additional cast includes Gene Roth, veteran of several Bert I. Gordon films, and former silent star Claire Windsor.

Gang Busters

3. Gang Busters: “The Tri-State Gang” (1952)

My hubby wrote about this one here a while back. It hasn’t been added to Tim’s IMDb page, but it really should be as its existence is well documented. A two-parter from season 1, first airing on November 9 and November 27, 1952. It’s out there somewhere.

Death Valley Days

4. Death Valley Days: “Cynthy’s Dream Dress” (1953)

Season 1, episode 9. This is another recent addition. It was first broadcast on March 3, 1953. Ed Wood stalwart Lyle Talbot is in it too!

Cowboy in Africa

5. Cowboy in Africa: “The Red Hand of Michael O’Neill” (1968)

Season 1, episode 19; first broadcast on February 5, 1968. Portraying Tim’s daughter is Bonnie Beecher, who later became Mrs. Wavy Gravy!

The Outsider

6. The Outsider: “For Members Only” (1968)

Pilot episode of the series, first airing on September 18, 1968. Star Darren McGavin met his future wife Kathie Browne while filming this episode.

The Name of the Game

7. The Name of the Game: “Aquarius Descending” (1970)

Season 3, episode 13. The second of two episodes of the series in which Tim appears, this one was first broadcast on December 11, 1970. He plays a character who goes by the intriguing name of “Desert Rat.”


8. Toma: “A Funeral for Max Fabian” (1974)

Season 1, episode 13; first broadcast on February 22, 1974. It’s listed as “A Funeral for Max Berlin” on IMDb, but numerous other sources list it as “Max Fabian” (oddly enough, the name of the put-upon theatrical producer portrayed by Gregory Ratoff in All About Eve [1950]), so I’m going with that. Based on the real-life adventures of undercover cop David Toma, the series was retooled after one season and became Baretta, after star Tony Musante refused to sign on for another season. Which leads us to…


9. Baretta: “The Marker” (1978)

Season 4, episode 16; first broadcast on February 16, 1978. The last of Tim’s four appearances in the series. From reading the brief plot synopses found around the internet, I have a feeling Tim’s character is particularly heinous in this one.

Hollywood Knight/MidKnight RiderHollywood Knight/Hard Knocks

10. Hard Knocks (1979)

This one’s a puzzle.  It’s been released under several titles, including Hollywood Knight, Mid’Knight Rider, Mid-Knight Rider and Mid Night Man. An online version can be found here (Warning: The first part of the film is NSFW). It’s not very good, and I sat through the whole thing – no Timothy to be seen. So either there’s a version out there with him in it, or there’s another film by that name with him in it. Not a clue.

And there you have it! Man, that took forever. Thanks, everyone!

Video of the Week: “Beach Blanket Bingo”

The kind folks over at Movieclips.com have added several clips from Timothy’s films to YouTube, so today before the summer’s over, we present one of South Dakota Slim’s defining moments from William Asher‘s Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).

Having very strong second thoughts about their plan to get rid of the annoyingly perky Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) are Rat Pack gals Puss (Alberta Nelson) and Boots (Myrna Ross). Slim, however, is having the time of his life. Enjoy the insanity, bubbies!

Pic of the Day: “Bikini Beach” revisited

It’s the first day of summer, so let’s go to Bikini Beach (1964)! Or, we could just stay in and play pool with South Dakota Slim and his pals The Teenage Werewolf Monster (Val Warren), J.D. (Andy Romano), Puss (Alberta Nelson), and Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck).

Bikini Beach

Fellow Brooklyn boy Lembeck made Von Zipper an unforgettable presence in pretty much all of the William Asher/Don Weis-directed beach party movies of the 1960s. He paid his dues on the stage and in supporting roles in many military comedies of the 50s before hitting the big time on The Phil Silvers Show. His son Michael is an accomplished film and television actor and director, and his daughter Helaine is the artistic director of the Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop. Harvey passed away of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 58. His gravestone reads “He Loved – He Laughed – He Lives”.

Quote of the Week

Previously unbeknownst to us, Romeo Carey, upon his first visit to the [Dead Flowers] exhibition in Philadelphia, revealed the origin of one of Timothy Carey’s signature “dances,” first devised for the camera in Bayou (1957, directed by Harold Daniels, re-released in 1961 as Poor White Trash), and revisited in other noteworthy Carey performances such as Beach Blanket Bingo (1965, William Asher) and The World’s Greatest Sinner. Arriving in New Orleans to shoot Poor White Trash, Carey apparently asked a cab driver for a recommendation as to where he might learn a distinctive Cajun dance. He was promptly driven to Leon Prima‘s 500 Club on Bourbon Street, where he witnessed The Cat Girl [Lilly Christine], considered the most publicized Burlesque performer of her time, and rendered the experience into one of his most characteristically eccentric performances.

Lia Gangitano, “Afterword and Acknowledgements,” from Dead Flowers (Participant Press/VoxPopuli, 2011)

Artwork by Scott Ewalt

Artwork by Scott Ewalt from the Dead Flowers exhibition at Vox Populi, Philadelphia, 2010

Timothy’s Bayou dance, with music by Honeyboy Slim and the Bad Habits

Pic of the Day: “Beach Blanket Bingo” revisited

Spring is finally here, so naturally we immediately start thinking about summer. In that spirit, here is another look at the late William Asher‘s Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). South Dakota Slim has just been bonked on the head by a mysterious assailant, causing him to forget that he was just about to slice Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) in half with a buzz saw. He decides he must become her knight in shining armor instead.

Beach Blanket Bingo

Don’t think too hard about it; it’s a Frankie and Annette beach party movie, you know!

Pic of the Day: “The Adventure of Caesar’s Last Sleep” revisited

We continue our death scene theme with “The Adventure of Caesar’s Last Sleep,” the episode of the short-lived Ellery Queen detective series that first aired on March 14, 1976. Timothy’s hired hit man Jay Bonner bites the dust, but not before declaring his innocence in the death of mobster Ralph Caesar (Jan Murray).

The Adventure of Caesar's Last Sleep - 1976

This episode was directed by fellow Brooklynite Richard Michaels, who was partially responsible for the break-up of the marriage of William Asher (who brought Tim’s South Dakota Slim to the screen in two beach party movies in the Sixties) and Elizabeth Montgomery. He directed Montgomery in several episodes of the eighth season of Bewitched, and they ended up having an affair. They moved in together after their respective divorces, but the relationship only lasted two and a half years.

Pic of the Day: “Bikini Beach” revisited

As winter approaches, what better place to revisit than the beach? Bikini Beach (1964), directed by William Asher, marked the first of Timothy’s two appearances as South Dakota Slim. Slim is a very strange pool player with (as we discovered the following year in his next outing, Beach Blanket Bingo, also directed by Asher) some very strange hobbies. Here he is asking the Teenage Werewolf Monster in the pool parlor (Val Warren) if he’d be up for a game during the next full moon.

Warren had won first prize that year in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine’s horror make-up contest (second prize went to a young man named Rick Baker). He got to wear his prize-winning werewolf make-up in the film (and appear with Tim – pretty sweet deal if you ask me). He was a talented writer, illustrator, and sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast. He passed away in 2011.

Happy Birthday, Buster Keaton!

One of the greatest film geniuses who ever lived, Buster Keaton, was born this day in Piqua (and that’s pronounced pick-way, and I know because I’ve been there), Kansas, in 1895. I had to work hard to get this screen cap, because everybody is moving so fast, but here it is. Timothy and Buster on screen together in William Asher‘s Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), as a confused Linda Evans looks on.

Tim was a big fan of silent movies. I like to think he got a chance to talk with Buster about Hollywood’s golden days during the making of this film. Happy birthday anniversary to the Great Stone Face.

William Asher 1921 – 2012

We learned yesterday of the death of veteran film and television director William Asher at age 90. He directed Timothy in Bikini Beach (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), bringing South Dakota Slim to teenage audiences everywhere. Here, in the latter film, Slim is hatching a plot with Boots (Myrna Ross) and Puss (Alberta Nelson) to get rid of the annoyingly perky Sugar Kane (Linda Evans). “Leave it to ol’ Slim. I got ideas, and they’re all vile, baby!”

Classic television just wouldn’t have been the same without Asher’s myriad contributions. Rest well, sir, and thanks.