Actress Agnes Moorehead would have celebrated her 113th birthday today, December 6. Moorehead, of course, played Endora on Bewitched, as well as many other roles over the course of a career that spanned more than three decades. Some memorable roles were Velma in Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, and the woman who battles miniature intruders in the Twilight Zone episode “The Invaders.”
Below, it’s Endora’s birthday as well, and her daughter Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) is going to surprise her with a Kodak Instamatic camera. (Darn! That’s what I was going to get her.)
Though initially underwhelmed by the gift — after all, what need would she have for such a device — Endora ultimately concedes, “These poor mortals are getting rather clever.” Taking pictures with the Kodak Instamatic Camera is easier than witchcraft!
Samantha: I just bought the most marvelous birthday present for Mother.
[Endora pops in]
Endora: Did you, darling? How nice. What is it?
Samatha: It was supposed to be a surprise.
Endora: [Sees gift.] A camera? Whatever for? I can always conjure up pictures if I want to without all that fuss.
Samantha: Well that’s why I chose it. There is no fuss with a Kodak Instamatic Camera!
Bewitched Kodak commercial (1968)
November 30 is National Mousse Day.
Mousse is a divine dessert made from egg whites and cream. Did you know that “mousse” is the French word for “foam”? It’s a fitting name for this light, fluffy, and decadent confection!
Chocolate mousse was a specialty in French restaurants during the 1800s, but now it can be found in restaurants and households worldwide. Popular variations include different kinds of chocolate, nut, and fruit flavors.
“George Orwell saw 1984 as a time in which freedom was no longer held by the average citizen. L’Oreal, on the other hand, saw 1984 as the perfect moment in time to introduced Free Hold, the first successful hair mousse,” says Yahoo Voices.
Another great thing from the 1980s: Dallas. It premiered in 1978, but it had the ’80s zeitgeist, and it ran throughout that decade. Below, Dallas star Victoria Principal, who played Pam Ewing, appears in a commercial for Jhirmack mousse.
What makes my mousse different from your mousse?
It’s new Jhirmack mousse, and it lets me be wild! Sexy. Or sophisticated.
Jhirmack mousse commercial with Victoria Principal (1985)
Was styling mousse just something that Pam Ewing dreamed, like the entire ninth season of Dallas? No, it’s real, and you can find it in stores today. So put some in your hair, get yourself a nice, fluffy chocolate mousse for dessert, and have a happy National Mousse Day!
“The Hunt,” in 30 seconds, The Waltons (Oct. 5, 1972)
In this episode, 16-year-old John Boy tries to prove his manhood by shooting a turkey. But when the time comes, he can’t bring himself to do it. Is he a coward? No, he shows his bravery when his father is attacked by a bear. Then everyone says goodnight. Watch the whole thing in 30 seconds!
Sadly, they have omitted my favorite line: Mama, wanting John Boy to opt out of the hunt, declares, “There are already enough Walton men banging away at turkeys!”
Join the fun as this cloying family reminiscent of Father Knows Best butter-bakes their turkey. Because “even more than your guests, your family deserves real butter!” Throughout this strange commercial, they refer to the turkey as “he” while they spread butter all over “him” and talk about how plump and juicy he will be.
Annoying Girl: Mommy? Why do we put put butter all over the turkey?
Mother: To keep him from drying out.
Girl: Then put butter on the drumstick too!
Mother: Lots of butter makes him golden brown.
Girl: Gosh, I’ll bet he’s going to be good! [picks at uncooked turkey]
Mother: Ahhh! Wait ’til he’s done, dear!
Turkey and butter Thanksgiving, American Dairy Association (1956)
According to Wikipedia, “Sardines are a common type of fish consumed by humans, as sardines are rich in nutrients. They are commonly served in cans, but fresh sardines are often grilled, pickled or smoked…The term sardine was first used in English during the early 15th century, and may come from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, around which sardines were once abundant.”
I think sardines are gross, and I wouldn’t eat them under any circumstances. But then I’ve never been pregnant, like Lucy was when she poured sardines over pistachio ice cream and hot fudge to satisfy a 4 a.m. craving. See it at 01:05 below.
Lucy eats sardines, “Ricky Has Labor Pains,” I Love Lucy (Jan. 5, 1953)
Here’s some trivia from Ultimate I Love Lucy Wiki:
For the end scene, the pistachio ice cream with hot fudge is really mashed potatoes with gravy. The sardines were real, though. Lucille Ball was utterly disgusted by sardines, but she ate them for the sake of the episode’s comedy. As soon as the director yelled “cut” at the end of the scene, Lucy ran off-stage and threw up from the repulsive sardines.
Of course, these pregnancy cravings took place at a time when no one was allowed to use the word “pregnant” on TV to refer to Lucy’s condition. Nor, I imagine, were they allowed to say “preggers,” “knocked up,” “up the duff,” “bun in the oven,” or “bat in the cave.” Here’s more about the whole I Love Lucy pregnancy controversy.
Lucy might have been onto something with the sardines. According to this article in the Daily Mail, a study showed that “mothers-to-be who tucked into oily fish like tuna, sardines and salmon produced infants who scored better in various tests of skill and intelligence.”
Okay, this is a re-post, but is it my fault that there are two National Gingerbread Days? It’s observed on June 5 and November 21. Why two different days? I dunno, maybe it depends on your religion. In fairness, one of them should be changed to National Mary Ann-bread Day.
In the video below, someone makes gingerbread cake alongside an autographed photo of Tina Louise, Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. I love it! It’s like something I would do, if I weren’t afraid to use my oven.
And by coincidence, the signature reads, “To Michael, All the best, Tina Louise.” How perfect is that for Michael’s TV Tray?
Making the Ginger Cake with “Ginger”
For a while in the ’60s and ’70s, it was practically a law in Hollywood that every tomboy role had to go to Jodie Foster. Then the law was amended to include Kristy McNichol.
In the video below, see Jodie on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father as “Joey,” a tomboy and bully who keeps beating Eddie up. In fact, she knocks out one of his teeth.
At the suggestion of Mr. Eddie’s Father, Mrs. Livingston tries to teach Joey how to be subservient to men, explaining that this is how it is in Japan.
“Oh?” says Joey. “I’m glad I’m not Japanese.”
“If you try, I think you will find joy in serving the men,” says Mrs. Livingston.
Um, I wouldn’t count on it, Mrs. L.
Jodie Foster in “Bully for You,” The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (November 5, 1969)
November 19 is National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day. And for most people, the first carbonated beverage with caffeine that comes to mind is Coke.
In 1971, Coca Cola used the idea of world peace to sell their product, assembling a bunch of idealistic-looking young people on a hillside in Rome. Ironically, they are lip-syncing the song about teaching the world to sing. Read the full story behind the commercial here.
Coca Cola commercial, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” (1971)
By coincidence, November 19 is World Toilet Day, which is fitting, since Coke is a diuretic.
- National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day (CDKitchen.com)
To celebrate this holiday, About.com suggests you bake bread, visit a bakery, or “set up a dramatic play area depicting a bakery.”
I think I’ll do the last one and invite all my friends to come re-enact the homemade bread scene from I Love Lucy. That’s the episode where Ricky and Fred bet that Lucy and Ethel can’t function without the modern conveniences of the 1950s, so the wives set out prove that they can live like people did in the 1890s. While Ethel churns butter, Lucy bakes bread. However, Lucy uses way too much yeast, which results in a gigantic loaf of bread that pins Lucy as it emerges from the oven. (See it below at 02:43.)
Lucy bakes bread in “Pioneer Women,” I Love Lucy (March 31, 1952)
The 8-foot-long loaf of bread was real rye bread made specially for the show by a local bakery. Originally, the script said to use a piece of fake bread, but Lucy insisted on it being real to make the humor more authentic and believeable. So, the real monster loaf was baked, and at the end of the show, all of the audience and cast/crew members were invited to eat the bread.
Next, if we’re not too tired from all that baking and eating, we’ll close our Homemade Bread Day pageant by singing a song by Bread.
Bread, “If” (1971)