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Friday, October 24, 2014

"Now You See It, Now You Don't"

NOTE:  This is the entry that I had intended to post yesterday before all hell broke loose in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday morning - well, with a couple of patchwork edits, of course.  Enjoy.

As I mentioned last week, I thought that I would use today's TUBE TALK THURSDAY FRIDAY entry to go back through the world of sitcoms of yore and talk about Halloween themed episodes of said shows.  Sometimes some of the funniest episodes of a sitcom series are the ones that are based around holidays - especially Halloween.

So, what sitcom will we be talking about this week?  Well, I'll give you a hint.  It's one of these thirteen.

Remember how last week, I talked about seeing a video for sale at my workplace that featured thirteen of the most memorable Halloween themed episodes ever aired?  I bought it.  What the heck, it was only six bucks, right?

Well, in today's blog, we're going to be talking about one of these shows.  In fact, this collection of Halloween episodes will feature the only two part episode on this collection.

And it will feature the adventures of George and Weezie Jefferson who finally got a piece of the pie in their deluxe apartment in the sky.

Now, for its time, "The Jeffersons" were considered ground-breaking, and it set a lot of records for its day.  The show - a spin-off of "All in the Family" - lasted for eleven seasons and 253 episodes, which makes it one of the longest running sitcoms in American history.  And for what it was worth, almost every single episode of "The Jeffersons" was comedic genius. 

Now, certainly watching older episodes of "The Jeffersons" now, some of the humour and jokes were obviously written at a different time (the original series ran from 1975-1985), so anyone watching the show now may not be aware of some of the pop culture references that were dropped in each episode.  But the show still holds up today, in large part due to the amazing chemistry that Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford shared with each other.  A great feat, especially since Isabel Sanford was almost two decades older than Sherman Hemsley!

Alas, both actors who played George and Weezie are now deceased.  But the 253 episodes that they filmed together will forever live on.

Today, we'll be focusing on two.

The two-part episode "Now You See It, Now You Don't" aired on October 21 and October 28, 1979.  Obviously I hadn't been born yet to watch it when it originally aired.  But now that I have seen both episodes, I thought they were great.

So, the story behind these two episodes is like this.  The Jeffersons are getting ready to go to a costume party along with their neighbours Helen and Tom Willis (Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover), and Harry Bentley (Paul Benedict).  The Jeffersons' housekeeper Florence (Marla Gibbs) would also be in attendance at the party.

All six people decided to go as famous movie stars of the past.  George dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, Wheezy dressed up as Mae West, Florence donned a Harpo Marx costume, Tom and Helen wore Laurel and Hardy costumes, and Harry dressed up as some British comedian that I really have never heard of.  But at least I was in good company because nobody else knew who he was supposed to be either!

Anyway, in what initially starts off being a B-plot in the episode, Harry has brought a telescope with him so that he could use the Jefferson's balcony to get a close up view of a particular star in the sky.  But a curious Weezy gets the urge to take a peek through the telescope lens herself after George uses the telescope to spy on a woman doing aerobics in a bikini!  I suppose some incident had to trigger it.

But when Weezy looked through the telescope lens, she was completely shocked at what she saw.  In a building across town, she claimed that she saw someone dressed in a bunny costume killing someone else!  Of course, when Weezy tried to tell everyone else what she saw, everyone else thought that she had lost her mind.  But seeing how shaken she was over the whole incident, Harry agreed to escort her to the bar where the costume party was being held. 

Of course, this leads to a hysterical scene in which Harry tries to tackle another man in a bunny costume before Weezy steps in and says "he's not the one".  But unbeknownst to everyone involved, the real bunny killer was in the bar the whole time.  And he overheard Weezy saying that she witnessed him killing someone in a building across town!  And he waited in his bunny costume for the right opportunity to silence the woman in the Mae West costume.

And, well...why don't you just click below for the full episode?  Remember, it's probably only on here for a limited time so enjoy it while you can.  Each word links to one of the parts of the episode.  Click them in order to watch the whole show.


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