Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The 'Young Marrieds' Odyssey, Part One by Greg Dziawer

Ben exits the Nude A Go Go in Ed Wood's The Young Marrieds.

Loser of the Week

Sportscaster Stu Nahan
I remember Stu Nahan (1926-2007) as one of the color commentators in the Rocky films. Not yet in my teens, I don't think it occurred to me that Stu Nahan was essentially playing himself. For the better part of 30 years, from the 1970s through the '90s, Stu was a sports anchor in the Los Angeles television market. Early on, he appears to have had a bad week in the local press, the very same week that Ed Wood and crew were shooting the exterior location of the strip club in The Young Marrieds.

In this week's Ed Wood Wednesdays, we're taking a trip down La Cienega Blvd in West Hollywood, circa spring 1971.

I'm sure many of you noticed the two moments in The Young Marrieds when Ben exits the strip club, and quickly rushing by behind him as the camera follows him, we see a sign on the building. The club, as identified by Joe Blevins previously here at Ed Wood Wednesdays, is the Nude A Go Go. We can make out part of the sign to the right of the entrance in the first shot of Ben exiting, and the sign to the left of the door reads:

LOSER OF THE WEEK
STU NAHAN
AND HIS COMPUTER

Not sure what this meant exactly, I inferred it might have something to do with Stu having made a sports prediction (or predictions) with a computer, obviously novel at the time. The prediction(s) must have been wrong, and were likely regarding an LA team, as the proprietors of the Nude A Go Go saw fit to dub Stu their Loser of the Week. Incidentally, the sign also listed Fidel Castro and Richard Nixon among its losers of the week. But what was this all about?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The day Mary Worth and Mark Trail switched places!

Writing comics is easy and fun!

Sometimes, it doesn't take much to transform a mediocre or poor comic strip into a great one. The elements are all there; they just have to be properly arranged for maximum effect. Take Mark Trail and Mary Worth. Currently, both of these long-running serialized strips are mired in very slow-moving, creaky storylines with little appeal to newcomers. The title character of Mark Trail, a nature writer and adventurer, has apparently stumbled onto some kind of crime ring while on his way to study ferrets. Some no-goodniks have kidnapped a very passive blonde woman for reasons that remain unclear. Meanwhile, the heroine of Mary Worth, a sixtyish advice columnist, is taking a cruise with her much younger friend, Toby, and might wind up interfering in the lives of strangers while on the boat.

Ho-hum, right? Pretty standard fare for both series.

What I did with these strips is simply swap the dialogue. Now, both comics are more intriguing. Mark Trail seems to be complicit in a human trafficking operation, while Mary has lost all interest in "helping" others. It's called playing against type, and it works like gangbusters.

For comparison, the originals are here and here.