Written By: Greg Howell - Mar• 24•18

ICONIC COLLECTIBLES! Vintage TV-Themed Lunch Boxes

Written By: Greg Howell - Mar• 24•18

Launched in the early 1950’s, TV-themed lunch boxes trickled slowly into school lunchrooms for a few years. Early boxes featured Tom Corbett – Space Cadet, Howdy Doody, Disney, Roy Rogers, and Hopalong Cassidy. By the 1960’s, however, going to school carrying your lunch AND your favorite TV show in the same hand was exceptionally cool. Lunch boxes during these decades sum up the most popular kids shows on TV.

These days, a well cared for lunch box can fetch top dollars. The average collectible lunch box will run $25 -$50. Many are priced in the $100-$500 range, and some, run in the thousands of dollars. At first glance, there seems to be little rhyme or reason regarding the highest-priced collectible boxes. Ultimately, collecting comes down to supply and demand. Boxes, such as the Bullwinkle series, The Waltons, Star Trek, and the earliest themed boxes from the 1950’s bring the most money at auctions and in antique stores.

A comprehensive collection like represented in this video would cost a buyer $20,000 or more!


Written By: Greg Howell - Mar• 14•18

Barney Miller, “Hash,” The 12th Gets Stoned, December 30, 1976

Written By: Greg Howell - Feb• 27•18

Barney Miller, Hash, pot browniesWritten by Tom Reeder and directed by Noam Pitlik, this third season Barney Miller episode titled “Hash” is one of the most beloved of all the sitcoms from the 1970’s. Reeder’s script brilliantly keeps the brownies’ ingredients secret for half of the episode, allowing for the viewer to grasp the details of the plot as it unfolds. Savvy viewers likely noticed Wojo’s suspicious behavior and squinty eyes, brilliantly played by Max Gail, from the very beginning; but, by the time Sgt. Nick Yemana is proclaiming that he can hear Harris’ eyes blink “Squish Squish” half way through the episode, all is very clear. Greenwich Village’s 12th precinct is stoned!

Even funnier, Harris, played by Ron Glass, grins his way through the show with a knowing daze, even as he grabs additional brownies like it is found money. Harris recognizes his condition long before Barney Miller does. It is Miller that breaks the news to Barney that the brownies are loaded with hashish and the culprit to the morning’s strange conduct by Fish, Yemana, Wojo, and possibly Officer Carl Levitt. Tom Reeder’s script hysterically indicates that anyone in the office but Barney and Officer Frank Slater maybe high as a kite, yet nutty Slater seems more stoned than anybody!

The brilliant script is filled with subtle political observations, and all ends with a promise for all to forget everything that happened. Wojo sincerely remembers nothing, but viewers will remember all about this episode for decades and decades to come.

1976 was Barney Miller‘s breakout year. After landing in the bottom ten for the first season, and struggling through its second year, the third season climbed into the national Top Twenty and secured 6 Emmy Award nominations.


Watch the entire episode on YouTube HERE:

Greatest (Creepy) Iconography: Vintage Studio Logos

Written By: Greg Howell - Feb• 24•18

It has been often documented by children of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. The total fear of seeing the closing studio logos on television after their favorite shows would deliver a queasy dread.  Many have retold of their screams at the sight of the nightmarish Screen Gems logo, even tales of running from the room or hiding behind large chairs. There is no question, most of those vintage graphics are unforgettable, if not suspiciously ominous and threatening!

One can only surmise the rationale behind the creation of these animated identifications. Viewers that did not run from the room as though they were being chased by demons likely sat transfixed, nearly hypnotized, by the booming, echoing musical cues as snakelike symbols were drawn on screen.

Did these all start with MGM’s Leo the Lion? Did each studio feel it necessary to out-evil each previous studio bumper in a frightening desire to capture an audiences’ attention? Was it a subliminal threat against copyright violation? WHY? WHY? WHY? Well, likely only the devil himself knows the answer. There is no question about it, however, those vintage studio logos all share responsibility for the therapy of many adults today!