Friday, April 23, 2021

Fri-Yay: Netflix's New Jamie Foxx Sitcom Has Potential But Not Quite There Yet; Remembering Felix Silla of The Addams Family and James Hampton of F Troop

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

Dad Stop Embarrassing Me

by Vincent

Last week, Netflix premiered Jamie Foxx's new sitcom Dad Stop Embarrasing Me, the latest in a line of big stars taking their comedy stylings to Netflix. Netflix is somewhat lacking in new comedy content as of late - although there was the excellent Never Have I Ever last year, overall the streamer hasn't had a good, reliable sitcom in a while. Dad Stop Embarrasing Me has some potential, and it's a comforting enough classic multi-camera sitcom, but it's also somewhat lacking, mostly due to the way it repeats generic sitcom premises without much in the way of originality.

The show revolves around a tragic circumstance. Brian (Foxx's character) has to become a single parent of his teenage daughter Sasha after the unexpected passing of their mother. Like many sitcoms that started with a similarly sad premise, the show doesn't spend too much time on the serious side of the situation and instead plays up the laughs - which is totally fine, but the laughs aren't as plentiful as you'd hope from a sitcom. The best part of the show is the relationship between Brian and Sasha, and if the show gets renewed, its best path to being a reliable comedy would be to hone in on that relationship. The relationship at the center of the show being so strong is promising - the show just needs to work out its kinks and joke issues. As of now, it's not a hugely encouraging reversal of Netflix's comedy drought as of late, but it does at least have some potential.


Felix Silla

Italian-born American actor and stuntman Felix Silla, who played Cousin Itt on The Addams Family, has died. He died on April 16 from pancreatic cancer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Silla was 84.

Felix Silla

Silla appeared in the recurring role of Cousin Itt on 17 episodes of the 1964-1966 ABC sitcom The Addams Family. Cousin Itt was Gomez's (John Astin) cousin. The costumed character was composed entirely of floor-length hair accompanied by a bowler hat and sunglasses. He speaks in rapid, unintelligible gibberish that only the family can understand. The voice was provided by studio sound engineer Anthony Magro. Roger Arroyo appeared in two additional episodes as Cousin Itt. The cast included Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Blossom Rock, Ken Weatherwax, Lisa Loring and Ted Cassidy.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Grindl, Petticoat Junction, The Monkees, Bewitched, Mork & Mindy (uncredited) and Married with Children. He played the Polka Dotted Horse and various characters on the 1969 NBC children's series H.R. Pufnstuf, which was created by Sid and Marty Krofft. He appeared as Colonel Poom on the 1971-1973 ABC Sid and Marty Krofft series Lidsville.

Felix Silla - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Silla was responsible for the physical performance of the robot Twiki on the 1979-1981 NBC science fiction adventure series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Twiki's voice was mainly voiced by Mel Blanc, with Bob Elyea being a temporary replacement in 1981.

Some of his drama guest appearances included Bonanza, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Night Gallery (uncredited), Battlestar Galactica (uncredited) and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Silla played one of the hang glider Ewoks in the film Return of the Jedi (1983). Some of his other film credits as an actor or stuntman included The Towering Inferno (1974), The Hindenburg (1975), The Black Bird (1975), Spaceballs (1987) and Batman Returns (1992).

Survivors include his wife, Sue, whom he married in 1965, and their children, Bonnie and Michael.

Mr. Silla did a fine job playing the beloved hairy Cousin Itt. He should have been in more episodes. We thank him for the laughs and entertainment he brought us. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our The Addams Family message board. View photos in our galleries.

MeTV will air The Addams Family weeknights at 6:00pm starting Monday, May 3.

James Hampton

Actor, director and screenwriter James Hampton, who starred as Private Hannibal Shirley Dobbs on F Troop, has died. He died of complications from Parkinson's disease on April 7 at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Hampton was 84.

James Hampton - F Troop

Hampton starred as Private Hannibal Shirley Dobbs on the 1965-1967 ABC sitcom F Troop. Private Hannibal Shirley Dobbs was F Troop's inept bugler, originally from New Orleans, who can only play "Yankee Doodle" and "Dixie" with regularity. The series also starred Ken Berry, Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Melody Patterson, Frank de Kova, Don Diamond, Bob Steele and Joe Brooks.

He appeared as Leroy B. Simpson, the handyman at the ranch, on the CBS sitcom The Doris Day Show. Hampton was a regular the first season (1968-1969) before appearing in one episode in season two and one episode in season three. The cast in the first season included Doris Day, Denver Pyle, Fran Ryan, Philip Brown, Todd Starke and Naomi Stevens.

Maggie

Hampton starred as Len Weston on the short-lived 1981-1982 ABC sitcom Maggie. Len Weston was the husband of Maggie Weston (Miriam Flynn). He was vice principal of schools in Dayton, Ohio. The series also starred Doris Roberts, Judith-Marie Bergan, Margie Impert, Billy Jacoby (also known as Billy Jayne) and Christian Jacobs.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Who's the Boss?, Punky Brewster, She's the Sheriff, Mama's Family, Full House, Perfect Strangers, Newhart, Get a Life, Evening Shade, The Hogan Family, Hearts Afire, Hope and Gloria and Fired Up.

He later worked as a director for a number of sitcoms. His directing credits included Evening Shade (16 episodes), Hearts Afire (6 episodes), Kirk, Hudson Street, Boston Common (8 episodes), Grace Under Fire (4 episodes), Sister, Sister (9 episodes), The Tony Danza Show (2 episodes), Rude Awakening, Smart Guy (8 episodes), Katie Joplin, Linc's (3 episodes) and Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane (3 episodes).

Some of his drama guest appearances included Dr. Kildare, Death Valley Days, Gunsmkoke, Rawhide, The F.B.I., Mannix, The Rockford Files, The Dukes of Hazzard, Boone, The Greatest American Hero, Matt Houston, Simon & Simon, Murder, She Wrote and Melrose Place.

James Hampton - Teen Wolf

He starred as Caretaker in The Longest Yard (1974). He played Harold Howard, the father of Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) in Teen Wolf (1985). He voiced Harold Howard on the 1986-1987 animated Teen Wolf series. In 1987, he returned as Uncle Harold Howard in the sequel Teen Wolf Too. Some of his other film credits included Hawmps! (1976), The Cat from Outer Space (1978), The China Syndrome (1979), Condorman (1981), Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988) and Sling Blade (1996).

Survivors include his wife, Mary Deese, sons Jim and Frank and daughter Andrea, and three grandchildren.

Mr. Hampton was very funny and memorable on F Troop. He was a solid and dependable character actor who made a great sidekick. We thank him for the enterainment he brought us during his long career. He will be sorely missed.

Share your memories on our F Troop message board. View photos in our galleries.

Anne Beatts

Comedy writer Anne Beatts, who worked on Saturday Night Live and was the creator of Square Pegs, has died. She died on April 7 at her home in West Hollywood, California. Ms. Beatts was 74.

Beatts worked as a writer on Saturday Night Live from 1975 to 1980. She received five Emmy nominations, winning once in 1976 for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series.

Square Pegs

She created the 1982-1983 CBS sitcom Square Pegs. The series follows Patty Greene (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Lauren Hutchinson (Amy Linker), two awkward teenage girls desperate to fit in at Weemawee High School. Beatts appeared in two episodes as Miss Rezucha. The series also starred Merritt Butrick, John Femia, Tracy Nelson, Jami Gertz, Claudette Wells, Jon Caliri, Basil Hoffman, Steven Peterman and Caitlin Adams.

Beatts was a producer for the first season (1987-1988) of the NBC sitcom A Different World. Her other sitcom writing credits included Murphy Brown and Committed (2 episodes).

She was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on May 7, 2009.

She is survived by her daughter, Jaylene Beatts.

We thank Ms. Beatts for bringing us the cult-favorite Square Pegs. It's worth checking out on DVD if you've never watched it before. She will be deeply missed.

Discuss Square Pegs on our message board. View photos in our galleries.

Walter Olkewicz

Character actor Walter Olkewicz, who appeared as Dougie Boudreau on Grace Under Fire, has died. He died after a long illness on April 6 in Reseda, California. Mr. Olkewicz was 72.

The Last Resort

Olkewicz starred as Zach Comstock on the short-lived 1979-1980 CBS sitcom The Last Resort. The series centered on a group of college students working in a hotel kitchen. It also starred Larry Breeding, Stephanie Faracy, Zane Lasky, Ray Underwood, Dorothy Konrad, John Fujioka and Robert Costanzo.

Walter Olkewicz - Grace Under Fire

He appeared as Dougie Boudreau on the ABC sitcom Grace Under Fire from 1993 to 1996. Dougie Boudreau was a crew worker at the local oil refinery. He was a regular for the first season before recurring in the second and third seasons. The cast included Brett Butler, Dave Thomas, Julie White (1993-1997), Casey Sander, Jon Paul Steuer (1993-1996), Sam Horrigan (1996-1998), Kaitlin Cullum, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Peggy Rea (1995-1998), Charles Hallahan (1993-1994), Don "D.C." Curry (1997-1998) and Lauren Tom (1997-1998).

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Alice, Barney Miller (2 episodes), It's a Living, Taxi (2 episodes), Cheers, The Love Boat, Making the Grade, The Duck Factory, Newhart, 227, Designing Women, Family Ties, Married with Children, Mr. Belvedere, Who's the Boss?, Night Court, Seinfeld and Dharma & Greg.

Olkewicz starred as Marko in the short-lived 1983 CBS adventure series Wizards and Warriors. He played Harmon Shain in the short-lived 1984 NBC detective drama Partners in Crime. Some of his drama guest appearances included The Rockford Files, Hart to Hart, Trapper John, M.D., The A-Team, Riptide, Hardcastle and McCormick, Falcon Crest, Moonlighting, L.A. Law, ER and Twin Peaks.

Mr. Olkewicz was a good character actor. He was a familiar face in many TV series over the years. We thank him for the laughs and entertainment he brought us. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our Grace Under Fire message board. View photos in our galleries.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, August 16

What We Do in the Shadows - "Pine Barrens" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Nandor and Lazslo air out their differences on a hunting trip at an isolated cabin; Nadja has a girls' night; Guillermo reconnects with his family for the first time in 12 years.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 15)

Tuesday, August 16

  • Bob Odenkirk (The Larry Sanders Show) - Catch Bob on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Al Franken (LateLine) - Al guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi is a musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Murray Bartlett (Physical/Looking) - Murray is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Vanessa Bayer (I Love That for You) - Vanessa will be on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Amanda Peet (Brockmire/Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Fleabag/Married/Go On) - Brett appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kyle Richards (Down to Earth) - Kyle is a guest on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She guest hosts a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night) - Rebel will be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sterling K. Brown (Starved) - Sterling talks about Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) - Jodie is a guest on E!'s Daily Pop at 11am.
  • Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland/Big Day/Jake in Progress/Just Shoot Me!) - Wendie talks about her new movie Mack & Rita on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Melba Moore (Melba) - Melba will be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 9:40am.
  • Suraj Sharma (How I Met Your Father) - Suraj appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April-August)

Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release) The Neighborhood - Season Four The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three

04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/13 - The Donna Reed Show - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Time Life)
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / Season Two
07/19 - The Neighborhood - Season Four
07/19 - Reno 911! - The Hunt for QAnon (Blu-ray) (DVD)
07/26 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three / Season Four
08/16 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. - Canada)
08/16 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

08/16 - Nexstar Media Group to Acquire The CW Network; Tubi Orders Breaking Bear, New Animated Comedy
08/15 - Abbott Elementary Summer School Marathon on ABC; Freevee's High School Premieres in October
08/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 15, 2022)
08/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Game Shows Moving to Primetime Emmys; Ring Doorbell Viral Video Show in the Works
08/12 - Apple TV+ Renews Physical for Season 3; Lifetime Orders It's a Wonderful Lifetime and Ripped from the Headlines Titles for Fall & Winter
08/11 - Hallmark Original Series Sets Cast; Remembering Pat Carroll, Roger E. Mosley and Vin Scully
08/10 - Cobra Kai Returns Sept. 9 on Netflix; Marlon Wayans Gets Starz Comedy
08/09 - COZI TV Celebrates Emergency! 50th Anniversary with Documentary; Kaley Cuoco Heads to Peacock for Comedic Thriller Series
08/08 - FETV Acquires Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Disney+ Orders 2nd Season of Robin Roberts Talk Show
08/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 8, 2022)
08/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Everybody Still Hates Chris Animated Series in the Works; HBO Max and Discovery+ Merging Into One
08/05 - Disney+ Series Premiere Dates, Includes Dancing with the Stars; Hallmark Orders New Original Drama
08/04 - NBC Moving Days of Our Lives to Peacock, Replacing with News Show; Selena + Chef Returns on HBO Max
08/03 - FX's Atlanta Final Season Launches Sept. 15; Elisabeth Moss Gets New Hulu Series
08/02 - Showtime Orders Comedy Pilot Titled Mason; NBC Renews Weakest Link Revival for Season 3
08/01 - HBO's Los Espookys Returns in September; Good Grief Is Back on IFC
07/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 1, 2022)
07/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Max Headroom Reboot in Works at AMC Networks; Jeopardy! to Continue Dual Host Plan
07/29 - HBO Max and Hulu to Share Streaming Rights to Abbott Elementary; Reboot Gets Premiere Date
07/28 - ABC to Present Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter; Remembering Tony Dow of Leave it to Beaver and Paul Sorvino
07/27 - The Orville Coming to Disney+ and Continues on Hulu; Retta Continues Partnership with HGTV
07/26 - Mythic Quest Returns for 10 Episodes in Fall; Patton Oswalt's Netflix Comedy Special We All Scream Premieres September 20
07/25 - American Dad! Returns Labor Day on TBS; Krapopolis Gets Special Nov. 27 Preview on Fox
07/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 25, 2022)
07/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Abbott Elementary Given Full Second Season; Preview of New Beavis and Butt-Head Episode
07/22 - Ghosts Dives Into the Metaverse with a Game; Jo Koy Gets 4th Netflix Special; Remembering Rebecca Balding of Soap
07/21 - South Park's 25th Anniversary Concert Event; FETV's Historic June Numbers
07/20 - Hulu's This Fool Premieres August 12; Mo'Nique Gets Netflix Comedy Special
07/19 - Apple TV+ Comedy Central Park Returns in September; Leah Remini Game Show Is Back on Aug. 1
07/18 - Paramount+ Revives Criminal Minds; AMC Network Sizzling in August with Hot Originals
07/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 18, 2022)
07/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Beavis and Butt-Head Premiere Date Set; TBS Abruptly Cancels Chad Hours Before Season Premiere