Friday, April 3, 2020

The All-New Adventures of Herbie, The Love Bug

****Editor's Note (written on my 16th consecutive day of "self-isolating" at home):

As some of you might have noticed by now, I usually publish only one post per month (and on rare occasions, two). I just got in the habit of doing that years ago and it's what works for me. I do work on some of my posts pretty far in advance. They are usually a work in progress and I am often adding things to them and tweaking them, before they ever get published.

This post was already written and pretty much ready to go, but it wasn't set to publish for several months from now. I thought I would bump it up to an earlier date, because of the current situation with so many people at home, either "sheltering in place" or "self-quarantining." This particular post has multiple videos to watch, for anyone who is looking for something to keep themselves and/or their loved ones occupied.

I would like to thank you in advance, for reading my post. And if you read my blog regularly, thank you so much for "following" it. I appreciate all of you! Please stay at home, if you are able to. Please be safe! And please stay well! -TokyoMagic!

In 1982, the Walt Disney Studios produced a "limited-run" television series (only 5 episodes), based on it's successful Herbie/The Love Bug movies. The TV series reunited the titular Volkswagen, with Dean Jones, who starred in two of those previous movies.

Here is the Wednesday night listing for the premiere episode of the All-New Adventures Of Herbie, The Love Bug, from the March 13, 1982 issue of TV Guide.

Let's take a look at what else was on TV that week! On Saturday night, Walt Disney was airing the 1964 film, The Moon-Spinners, starring Hayley Mills. This was the fifth, of six films that Hayley Mills did for Disney (not counting her three Parent Trap sequels, which were all made-for-TV movies).

T.J. Hooker, starring William Shatner and Adrian Zmed, was also debuting that night.

On Monday, Carol Burnett was starring in a TV special, featuring her "Eunice" character from The Carol Burnett Show. The success of this special, led to the series, Mama's Family, one year later.

Later in the week, an 18 year-old Rob Lowe was playing a 16 year-old, in the ABC "After School Special," School Boy Father. This was seven years, before he sang and danced with Snow White at the Academy Awards.

The Facts of Life was in it's third season, and Jack Klugman and Tony Randall where together again on television (just not in the same show).

KCET was airing a "Making Of" special, for the soon-to-be-released film version of the Broadway musical, Annie.

Police Squad was a TV series, from the creators of the film, Airplane. The series was cancelled after only 6 episodes, but it led to the creation of the successful The Naked Gun films, 6 years later.

The 1981 film, S.O.B., was available to "rent" on videocassette. This was the movie in which Julie Andrews says, "I'm going to show my boobies!" and then actually does it!

Here is the cover story article on actor, John Ritter:

The back cover of this issue featured an ad for cigarettes. I guess they wanted us to believe that smoking would lead to all sorts of "adult" fun and hijinks....instead of disease and death.

By the some point, all five of the All-New Adventures Of Herbie episodes re-aired on The Disney Channel and they are all available on YouTube. I'm including a link to each episode, below. I also just happened to have the 1982 TV Guide listings for each episode, so I've included those as well.

Dean Jones sang the show's theme song, "Herbie, My Best Friend." If you would like to watch just the show's opening credits and theme song, here it is:


Episode 1 - "Herbie The Matchmaker" (Produced by Disney child star, Kevin Corcoran - Originally aired on March 17, 1982.)

Here again, is that ad and listing from the March 13, 1982 issue of TV Guide:


Episode 2 - "Herbie to the Rescue" (Originally aired on March 24, 1982.)

Here's an advertisement and the listing from the March 20, 1982 issue of TV Guide:


Episode 3 - "My House is Your House" (Originally aired March 31, 1982.)

The listing from the March 27, 1982 issue of TV Guide (there were no special ads for the remaining episodes):


Episode 4 - "Herbie, The Best Man" (Originally aired April 7, 1982.)

The listing from the April 3, 1982 issue of TV Guide:


Episode 5 - "Calling Dr. Herbie" (Originally aired April 14, 1982.)

The listing from the April 10, 1982 issue of TV Guide:


K. Martinez said...

Nice opening to your post.

I had no idea Disney did a limited run television series based on Herbie, the Love Bug. I'll have to watch those episodes later.

I liked the first two movies "The Love Bug" and "Herbie Rides Again" but after that is was kind of stretching it. I thought "Herbie Goes Bananas" was groan-worthy. And then there's "Herbie Fully Loaded". It's ironic with a title like that it starred Lindsey Lohan.

Watched T.J. Hooker once and that was enough for me.

I was a major fan of Mama's Family. Little did we know that later Aunt Fran (Rue McClanahan) and Ellen Harper (Betty White) would move from Raytown to Miami.

Then there's Tom Brokaw. I met him in person once when at the Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Love all the TV Guide pages. They bring back a flood of TV memories.

Thanks, TokyoMagic! Always a joy to visit your blog. :-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I actually didn't remember this Herbie series, but stumbled across it while going through old issues of TV Guide

I agree with you about the Herbie Movies. "Herbie Goes Bananas" really was the pits! I never saw the "Fully Loaded" reboot, but I remember seeing a large billboard/poster for it in one of the shops at DCA and thought the film was given a pretty unfortunate title!

It's interesting that Rue McClanahan and Betty White worked together in "Mama's Family," but also that Rue McClanahan and Bea Arthur had previously worked together in "Maude." It made the Golden Girls have a very familiar feeling to it, cast-wise, even if they were playing different characters.

Thank you so much, for the kind words!

Major Pepperidge said...

Whatever happened to Joyce DeWitt? She was so cute. Show biz is a b**ch I guess. I never knew that there was a “Love Bug” TV series, or if I did I forgot about it. I was going to ask if this was always supposed to be a limited run series, and then saw that you said that very thing! Reading: I should try it.

I actually went and saw the original “Love Bug” in the theaters, but it must have been a re-release because I’m sure I didn’t see it in 1968. Looking at Wikipedia, I had no idea that the Herbie movie was the third highest grosser of that year, behind “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Funny Girl”. Amazing!

Do you have a lot of old TV guides? I know you like to show all the fun ads for various shows and TV movies, I can see the appeal. Maybe you have a “TV Guide room”, just shelf after shelf, with careful climate control, and you only handle them with white gloves (and a top hat for some reason).

I remember those Hayley Mills “Parent Trap” sequels, but never watched them; are they terrible, or just exactly what you would expect? I hope they paid Hayley with a truck full of money!

S.O.B., I finally saw “that scene”, and somehow it wasn’t as shocking or thrilling as I had hoped. Nothing against Julie Andrews, who is awesome.

What do you have against cigarettes? They have smooth flavor that never irritates, and I look very cool smoking them. I see no down side! Do you have a sailboat? I didn’t think so! Case closed.

I’m not sure I can gather the strength to watch those 5 episodes of “The All-New Adventures of Herbie”, but I may give at least one a shot and hopefully my eyes won’t start spontaneously bleeding.


"Lou and Sue" said...

I saw Herbie The Love Bug at the show, when it first came out, with my grandma. Great memories of time I spent with her, having fun and "bumming around" - as she would say.

I also read through all those TV guide pages . . . there wasn't much great on the TV, in those days. I recall the 60's and early to mid-70's being the best TV years. Just my opinion.

I love the old ads in the TV guide! In the "Salem Spirit" boat picture ad - that is NOT a flattering picture of that girl - she has a beautiful face and smile, but her "flabby" thigh 'steals the show.' In the "Raleigh Lights" ad, they forgot to list: yellow teeth, black lungs, smell of dirty ash trays, stench of stale smoke breath, etc. I'm so glad that smoking is becoming a thing of the past . . .

Thank you, TokyoMagic! for this fun post!


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I always liked Joyce DeWitt! I hope she made enough from that show and didn't make any bad investment choices and that she is "comfortable" today. I saw her on a "Three's Company" reunion show some years back. Miss Sommers wasn't at that reunion, but then I saw Joyce DeWitt on a talk show of hers (I think it was on cable...or maybe it was an internet-only type of show?). It was the first time the two had talked in decades and I seem to remember that Joyce DeWitt forgave her for everything that she done to her and John Ritter, back in the day.

As for the original film, "The Love Bug," I think I saw it for the first time on "The Wonderful World of Disney." Although my brother and I had the LP from 1969, with the story from the movie and it also included a picture book. Now I can't remember if the LP had actual audio from the movie, or if it was someone telling the story. I had that LP out not too long ago and was photographing it, but I didn't play the record. I'll have to post that LP here, in the future.

I actually saved all of the TV guides that my mom purchased weekly at the grocery store, from 1977 through about 1985. But then I also save old greasy pizza boxes and Big Mac containers.....oh and used paper napkins! Actually, I just kind of knew that the TV guides were going to be a neat little "time capsule" someday, so that is why I held onto them. At some point, when the collection got too big, I moved them all to the garage. The years of heat out in the garage has made the pages somewhat delicate, but at this point I'm not too worried about them. I'd rather scan them and share them here, than worry about whether or not the pages are going to come out while scanning them.

The "Parent Trap" sequels were not anywhere near as good as the original, but I suppose they were watchable. I just like Haley Mills so much, so I enjoyed them. But they were definitely a product of the later Disney era. All of them were made under the "Eisner Reign of Terror," and I think he might have even introduced one or more of them at the beginning. Remember when he used to do that? I used to cringe and think to myself, sorry Mr. Eisner, you are NO Walt Disney!

I actually saw S.O.B in the theater, when it was originally release. I haven't seen it since then, but I do remember being a little shocked at the time, that Mary Poppins and Fraulein Maria would do such a thing!

I have to be honest with you. I haven't watched any of the 5 episodes of the new Herbie! I found the ads in the TV guide first. Then I looked on YouTube, to see if by any chance, the episodes were on there. I figured I would watch them before this got posted, but as I mentioned, I bumped this post up, time-wise. Maybe I'll watch them in the coming days...or weeks...or months, of "self-isolating." It's not like I'm really doing much of anything else with my time!

Now, I have to go find a light for the cigarette that I've been holding in my mouth, the entire time I was typing this reply! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, my grandmother took me to see "Herbie Rides Again," when it first came out! I have great memories of hanging out with my grandmother, too. And she would often take us to the latest Disney releases and re-releases. First, she would take us to Sav-On Drug Store and let us pick out some candy bars. Then she would "smuggle" them into the movie theater in her purse! She always bought an U-NO Bar for herself!

Oh, wow! You are right about that not being a flattering photo for the lady in the Salem cigarette ad. I didn't even notice her thighs! I wonder if she had a nice long career in modeling, and where she is today? If she actually used the product in that ad, then perhaps she's no longer with us....or maybe she is, but now she sounds just like Lucille Ball in "Mame"!

The Retro Dad said...

What great memories. I vaguely remember the Herbie Series, but always thought my memory was playing tricks on me. Thanks so much for filling in the blanks!!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Retro Dad, welcome back! I didn't really remember this series, either. It kind of, sort of sounded familiar....but I know I didn't watch it back in 1982. There was also an "Apple Dumpling Gang" TV movie, just a couple months earlier and that led to a TV series about a year later, but I don't remember watching those, either:

I'm glad that I was able to "fill in some blanks" for you! I hope you and your family are staying safe and staying well!

Chuck said...

TM!, I remember seeing The Love Bug on TV in the late '70s, but I know I was familiar with the Herbie character before that, probably because of the marketing blitz that surrounded Herbie Rides Again. The only one I saw in the theater was Herbie Goes Bananas, which I really enjoyed as an 11-year-old. I still have my childhood copies of the novelizations of the original four Herbie movies that I bought through the Scholastic Book Club.

I think I saw about 10 minutes of The Moon-Spinners on TWWoD. It looked good, but I came in too late to understand what was going on and made the conscious decision to step away and save it for a later viewing when I could see the whole show. I still haven't had that later viewing. When I went looking for it on Disney+ a few weeks ago, it wasn't there, nor was In Search of the Castaways. We wants our Hayley Mills!

I watched every episode of Police Squad with my parents on its original run. The reason it was cancelled by brilliant network execs? "The audience has to pay too much attention to the show to get the jokes." Yes - why on Earth would you ever want audiences to focus on your programming?

I want to read what President Reagan had to say about leaks, boycotts, and news bias. It would be interesting to compare to today's media environment.

I'm (fortunately) still working (from home), so I don't know when I'll have time get to watching any of these Herbie episodes, but I look forward to it. First, though, I'll have to convince my wife to watch The Love Bug with me. She refused to watch Candleshoe with me, and it took me almost two months to get her to watch The Cat From Outer Space, but once that happened, the floodgates kind of opened.

Since then we've seen That Darn Cat and Escape to Witch Mountain, and she independently pulled out her DVD of The Watcher In the Woods while I was working, so there's hope. I've still never seen The Million Dollar Duck, and I'd like to fix that. At last check, no Happiest Millionaire, so it may be a while before that bucket list item gets checked off.

Stay safe and healthy, my friend!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I also saw "Herbie Goes Bananas" in the theater! I didn't have any of the novelizations, but I did have the comic book version of "Herbie Rides Again" (which I posted last year) and "Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo, which I will probably post some time in the future.

I definitely recommend "The Moon Spinners"! Hayley Mills is the best!

I also watched all 6 episodes of "Police Squad" when it originally aired and now I have them all on DVD. I think I heard that part about it being canceled because viewers had to actually pay attention while watching it.

So your wife is slowly getting into the Disney movies? "That Darn Cat!" is another one of my favorites, along with "The Million Dollar Duck"! I like Sandy Duncan just as much as I like Hayley Mills and Lesley Ann Warren! They can do no wrong, in my book!

I hope you and your family are staying safe and well!

Pokey said...

Hi, THe Love Bug, I saw it in theatres at 8, but, with all due respect Major Pepperidge, you're a LITTLE off on Herbie release:It was 1969.. Tokyo, Hayley Mills IS the best, and agre on her once final Disney film, TDC, and Police Squad.

TokyoMagic! said...

Pokey, the Major was correct. The Love Bug was released in December of 1968. It was a limited release, which was expanded to more theaters a few months later.

I'm glad to hear that someone else likes Hayley Mills, The Moon Spinners, and That Darn Cat!. Oh, and Police Squad, too!

Thanks for commenting!