Monday, May 18, 2009

Whatever Became of?

Do you ever wonder what the heck happened to some of the really popular stars/pitchmen of a few years ago?

Even more so, how could someone so huge, so universally well known, be virtually unknown in a few years?

Just for laughs, see how many of these huge media stars you ever heard of, or remember. They were huge in the 60's through the 90's. Using Google isn't fair.

Billy Blanks

Graham Kerr

Bill Cullen

Bert Convy

Susan Powter

Burt Mustin

Euell Gibbons

Scatman Crothers

Uncle Floyd

Sandy Becker


Marlon Perkins


Frank Lee MeiDere said...

Here's whom I remember:

Graham Kerr -- who was never the same once he found God and quit drinking.

Bill Cullen and Bert Convy -- but I can't remember what they pitched, although I seem to recall Cullen being with a game or talk show

Susan Powter -- Stop the Insanity!

Charo -- remember her mostly from talk shows (kind of like Totie Fields; never knew just what she did, but she was always fun to listen to)

Marlon Perkins -- Oh God, who could forget him? "And now we'll watch as Marlon wrestles with an enraged rhinoceros." The original Steve Irwin.

Scatman Cruthers -- I remember him, but not as a pitchman.

Coincidentally, today I was just trying to remember the name of the guy who used to shill for Timex watches.

Mr. Condescending said...

Well, I cant cheat and use google =(

Susan Powter made me laugh, but I cannot for the life of me think of why. It had to be funny though I know it was.

Also, I can't believe you forgot ron popeil! The pocket fisherman, the dehydrator, the spray hair tar, come on!

Da Old Man said...

@ Frank: John Cameron Swayze.

Chris said...

That was actually a lot of fun, kinda like what the casting call for Hollywood Squares musta been like. I knew all but a couple. Billy Blanks is the Taebo guy, right? And Graham Kerr . . . the Galloping Gourmet?

You should do this again sometime!

Chris said...

Okay, I just Googled Burt Mustin. And you know what? HE WAS IN AN EPISODE OF THE BRADY BUNCH! (Shameless plug: visit to read up on more Brady folklore).

He played the old guy who's dad was killed by Jesse James in the one where Bobby idolizes Jesse.

Marie said...

Tosh! I laugh in the face of Google. I know my useless shit.

But I don't know who Billy Blanks is.

Graham Kerr: loved the Australian wit.

Bill Cullen: To Tell the Truth and other game shows. Every time he came on the screen my grandmother said in her Irish brogue "He's lame, you know, poor man." But I never did find out what happened to him to make him lame. Maybe I better not laugh too hard at Google.

Bert Convy: Smarmy, minimal talent game show host and singer. He did a lot of stuff locally, therefore I know a little more about his personal life than I'd like. Died relatively young of a brain tumor.

Susan Powter: Diet guru, scary butch bleached blonde hair and demeanor.

Burt Mustin: Very elderly character actor in the fifties and sixties. I remember him on all kinds of sit-coms. A fireman on Leave it to Beaver?

Euell Gibbons: Outdoorsman pitched Grape Nuts. I think it was Grape Nuts?

Scatman Cruthers: Character actor of African descent. Was on Chico and the Man?

Uncle Floyd: Local entertainer, wears funny hat, real name Floyd Vivino. NJ 101.5 hired him years ago. I was the company nurse at the parent company the Asbury Park Press at the time, so I did his preplacement physical. He had very clean ears.

Sandy Becker: I LOVED Sandy Becker! I think he and Hugh Beaumont ran neck and neck for my first crush. I know, TMI. Watched Wonderama every weekend. Sonny Fox took over from Sandy Becker. When my husband was six, he went on Wonderama. Ended up getting the hook in disgrace because he was peeling layer after layer of clothes off, tie, jacket, dress shirt. His defense? It was hot under those lights.

Charo: Cootchie cootchie. Married to a band leader, Xavier Cougat. Celebrity, not talent.

Marlon Perkins: Animal Kingdom. Mutual of Omaha. The only thing on late Sunday afternoons.

Got any more?!

nonamedufus said...

How about this one? Mickey Dolenz. In the 60s he was a Monkee. But in the 50s he was Circus Boy. I don't know if he shilled anything but Lorne "Pa" Green did. Remember what it was? Alpo dog food.

Thinkinfyou said...

What ever did happen to Charo? She was the first Spanish person I think I ever saw. I wonder if she aged well?

ReformingGeek said...

OK. I can't believe this but the only one I truly know is Billy Blanks. I have some of his workouts.

He's a nut.

Unknown said...

Billy Blanks- TaiBo dude

Graham Kerr- chef dude

Bert Convy- Actor/game show host dude

Susan Powter- Scary exercise lady (dude?) :)

Euell Gibbons- Hollywood Squares dude?

Scatman Crothers- Dude killed with axe in the Shining (poor fellow)

Charo- Coochie Coochie lady/singer...

Marlon Perkins- Wildlife dude


Moooooog35 said...

Charo is alive and well living in my spank bank.

Unknown said...

I concur completely with Marie's assessment of Susan Powter, and I would thank you to never mention her name again. For she might come back.

Anonymous said...

Charo is a very accomplished guitarist.

Billy Blanks, Bert Mustin and Uncle Floyd - never heard of them, all the rest - oh, yeah.

Susan Powter - her message? Stop over-eating, exercise, and no you don't have a glandular problem. Rad!

Donnie said...

I remember them all. Is that good or bad? Bill Cullen? Game show host. Bert Convey died of pancreatic cancer back in the seventies I belive.
Who can forget Marlon Perkins wrestling anacondas is South America? Great stuff!! Hahahaha.
Charo "Coochee, coochee." Scatman as a soft shoe and Sanford and Son guest. Lot's of fun for sure.

Sandee said...

I remember most of these folks. I should at my age. What a great post. Made me smile.

Have a terrific day Crotchety. :)

Kathy said...

What a fun post! I know about half these people. I had a massive crush on Bert Convy from Tattle Tales. I can't believe my mom let me watch that show. I was probably 10 years old at the time. How I loved his dimples. {swoons}

Da Old Man said...

@ Mr Condescending: Ron is still around, still painting heads or making pasta or whatever it is he is busy doing

@ Chris: Burt Mustin was on every TV show at one time or another. He was the ultimate guest star that nobody knew.

@ Marie: Early in the 80's, Uncle Floyd developed a national presence. It lasted for about 3 weeks. Was in a couple of movies, and was on NBC. Then back to local stuff.

@ Nonamed: And Mickey was just on some country channel series.

@ Thinking: I doubt it.

@ Reforming: Just tell everyone you are too young to know the rest.

@ Jenn: Pretty good, but can't believe you don't know Uncle Floyd.

@ Moooooog: TMI

@ FishHawk: I'll try no to do so.

@ Grace: I can guarantee you'd know Burt Mustin if you saw his picture.

@ Don: Scatman, for a while, was on every show, too.

@ Sandee: Glad you liked it. It was fun writing it. Mrs helped cause she's old, too.

@ Kathy: It was fun remembering some of these people. And they used to be everywhere.

brokenteepee said...

*sigh* the publicist knew all except Burt Mustin and Sandy Becker.

She must have watched too much TV

Unknown said...

I only remember billy banks cause his taebo personally kicked my ass.

Marie said...

That was an awesome idea Joe. Let's do it again!! Thanks Mrs. C. as well. :)

Da Old Man said...

@ Pricilla: Believe me, the publicist has seen Burt Mustin. He had been on nearly every TV show of the 50's through the 70's.
Just saw him on Leave it to Beaver on TVLand a few weeks ago.

@ Stacie: How soon we forget.

@ Marie: I'll let her know. I'm working on something right now. I should be done in a few weeks.

feefifoto said...

Without cheating:

Billy Blanks -- no idea

Graham Kerr -- the Galloping Gourmet. He was funny.

Bill Cullen -- To Tell The Truth? I've Got a Secret?

Bert Convy -- Pictionary, or something like it

Susan Powter -- Exercise? Really short white hair

Burt Mustin -- not a clue

Euell Gibbons -- "Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible."

Scatman Crothers -- remember him, but I don't know from where

Uncle Floyd -- nope

Sandy Becker -- nope

Charo -- coochie coochie

Marlon Perkins -- Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom; also director of the St. Louis Zoo

Remember Joe Isuzu?

Lin said...

Without looking I got 7, but after I read some of the answers, I got 8. Not bad. I think this just dates me if I say I got them all.

Lola said...

Billy Blanks - ??

Graham Kerr - The galloping gourmet.

Bill Cullen - He was the host of several game shows.

Bert Convy - Another game show host.

Susan Powter - Stop the Insanity weight loss guru who is trying to make a comeback. She has her own website/vlog now and a newsletter. Also, a lesbian. (Big surprise, huh?)

Burt Mustin - ??

Euell Gibbons - Grape Nuts

Scatman Crothers - Actor, tap dancer, on Sanford & Son.

Uncle Floyd - Floyd the barber from Mayberry RFD?

Sandy Becker - ???

Charo - Coochie coochie. Was a semi regular on The Love Boat.

Marlon Perkins - Wildlife/fishing show. Mutual of Omaha.

Christopher Jones said...

Didn't Billy Blanks try the MMA thing? I thought he would have done it, if only to help sell some more of whatever exercise routine he came up with.

If he ended up losing a bunch of fights, that wouldn't move units.

Chelle Blögger said...

That was fun and now I miss the good old days, even though I only knew less than half of them off of the top of my head!

So I cheated, and Googled, and now I know...

...the rest of the story.


The Self-Deprechaun said...

Billy banks was great except i put that tae-bo video in with the box of other exercise equipment that did not work.

A New Yorker said...

Stop the insanity PULEASE!

Jen said...

I remember 7 of them. Susan Powter has found new life on the internet, she is a big friend of Rosie and that's enough for me to stay away.

Da Old Man said...

@ Feefifoto: Not bad. Joe Isuzu was aka David Leisure.

@ Lin: Or that you have an excellent memory. With TV Land and Game Show Network, a lot of the old stars are still on a lot.

@ Lola: Sandy Becker was on Wonderama and some other kid shows back in the day. You have to Google Burt Mustin. I'm positive you'll recognize him, then.

@ CB: I only remember the Tae Bo

@ Offended: How very Paul Harvey of you.

@ Self: I got a lot of those

@ Lauren: Ok

@ Jen: Reason enough for me.

Winky Twinky said...

Well, for sure I knew some of them right away: Bert Convey, Bill Cullen (married to Betty White?) Charo, and Scatman (oh, he was fun to watch)... I think my memories of the 70's, tv and otherwise, is better than what's going on now.. uh oh -- is that early onset Alzheimers?...

Unknown said...

I remember 9 of them without using Goggle or Ask. Long time ago folks.

Malcolm said...

I remember them all except for Uncle Floyd and Sandy Becker. I'm always amazed at how the names of some of the stars from the not so distant past (for example, Joey Heatherton, George Kirby, Mason Reese, and Sarah Purcell) would barely register with people under the age of 30.

A Valdese Blogger said...

Funny, I was just thinking about ol' Bill Cullen.

Da Old Man said...

@ Winky: Allen Ludden was married to Betty White. He was the guy on Password.

@ Sherry: Some were a while ago. But they were everywhere.

@ Sandy may have been too local.

@ Malcolm: Floyd was big for a few minutes. He was in a few movies (Good Morning Viet Nam and Crazy People)
and had a show very briefly on NBC

@ Valdese: He used to be on TV all the time. Now I catch him on reruns of some old game shows

Michiganderlady said... the only one I have heard of was the Stop the Insanity lady. :(

Anonymous said...

I remember watching a Bob Hope special and this was his joke, paraphrased, "A martian landed on Euell Gibbons head yesterday and he ate it." I suppose that was funny considering how awful Grape Nuts were when they first came out...