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DougC
12-12-1999, 08:07 AM
- - - A co-worker and I were discussing TV stars that smoked on the air. Somebody mentioned Johnny Fever, and both of us seemed to remember scenes where he had an unlit cigarette in his mouth, as if to create the impression that his character smoked, but nobody remembered him actually smoking on the air. Which may have been that the actor who played him didn't really smoke, and didn't want to do it just for the show. Anyway, did Johnny smoke? - MC

Torgo
12-12-1999, 03:01 PM
Big WKRP fan here and I can't recall ever seeing Johnny smoke. He may have had an innocent toothpick hanging out of his mouth, but never a butt (not even an unlit one). There were, however, veiled references to some of his <ahem> recreational indulgences.



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"My hovercraft is full of eels."

J. Alora
12-12-1999, 04:07 PM
Ed Asner smoked on TV.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
12-12-1999, 05:39 PM
Howard Hesseman (sp?) did indeed smoke IRL, and maybe still does--but I don't ever recall seeing him do it on "WKRP"--almost certainly on some other program, but not that one.

He always seemed to play a "Johnny Fever" type character, sorta out "on the edge," so it's possible you saw him in a similar role.

That's still not to say that it never happened on "WKRP." I just don't remember it.

(In interviews, Frank "Herb" Bonner in describing the other cast members said that Howard Hesseman is "Johnny Fever," and Richard Sanders is "Les Nessman.")

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
12-12-1999, 05:40 PM
BTW, I was a big WKRP fan, too. I really liked "Bailey." :D

Random
12-12-1999, 06:07 PM
Yes, Bailey over Jennifer any day (or night).

AzRaek
12-12-1999, 07:42 PM
Smoking Nazis? Don't you mean the Phone Cops?


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John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. That's my name too.
Wait, no it isn't.

Doug Bowe
12-12-1999, 10:00 PM
When TV got SC (Smoker Correct) didn't Telly Savalas go from a cigarette to a Tootsie Pop?

tomndebb
12-12-1999, 10:33 PM
Telly Savalas had his Toosie Pop at least 10 years prior to any SC tendencies on TV. There was still a lot of smoking through the 1970's. The Tootsie Pop deal was part of the character definition from the beginning of the series.

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Tom~

Philosophocles
03-14-2003, 03:15 AM
I don't recall any Nazis on WKRP. The closest they ever came was that episode with the Jerry Falwell-type who wanted to censor everything.

Mr. Blue Sky
03-14-2003, 06:15 AM
Robert Blake was seen on many talk shows with an unlit cigarette. It was his way of dealing with quiting.

Arken
03-14-2003, 07:04 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Blue Sky
Robert Blake was seen on many talk shows with an unlit cigarette. It was his way of dealing with quiting.

Sounds like it didin't work to calm his nerves too well... ;)

TelcontarStorm
03-14-2003, 07:40 AM
Johnny Carson used to puff quite a bit., as did a few of his guests. Most often it was back in the days of B&W TVs.

David Letterman still does (he's usually putting down the cigar when break is over) but you still see the smoke rising from the ashtray. IMO he does this on purpose as it is late at night and it's a great way to get on the executives nerves.

Scumpup
03-14-2003, 07:48 AM
On "The David Suskind Show" the interviews used to take place in the midst of great clouds of cigarette smoke.

SirRay
03-14-2003, 07:52 AM
I know (having seen the TVLand series re-runs) that Jim Rockford (James Garner) definitely smoked on Rockford Files, even quite late in the series (up to 1978/1979, I believe - it ended early 1980).

Psifireus
03-14-2003, 07:59 AM
I believe there was an episode where Fever had a cigarette in hand, if not in mouth.

It seems like it was the episode where Bailey and he went to get the pictures some sleazeball had conned Jennifer into modeling for...

Anyway, I have a few tapes of old episodes, I'll check it out.

WKRP is my favorite show of all time!

KneadToKnow
03-14-2003, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by tomndebb
Telly Savalas had his Toosie Pop at least 10 years prior to any SC tendencies on TV. There was still a lot of smoking through the 1970's. The Tootsie Pop deal was part of the character definition from the beginning of the series.IIRC, the back story on this was that the character had quit smoking and was using this as a replacement therapy.

Shoeless
03-14-2003, 08:55 AM
I seem to recall Maxwell Smart lighting up fairly often on "Get Smart".

Skammer
03-14-2003, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by TelcontarStorm
David Letterman still does (he's usually putting down the cigar when break is over) but you still see the smoke rising from the ashtray. IMO he does this on purpose as it is late at night and it's a great way to get on the executives nerves.

I thought Letterman quit smoking after his bypass operation a few years ago. I could easily be wrong about that; or perhaps he only quit for a while.

nineiron
03-14-2003, 09:27 AM
That's one of the greatest things about "TV Land," which I don't get in my area but have seen before. On the older game shows, the celebrity panels are always seen smoking cigarettes as they played. That would certainly not go over well these days.

bibliophage
03-14-2003, 09:52 AM
Since this is about television, I'll move this thread to Cafe Society.

bibliophage
moderator GQ

Isaac Cashman
03-14-2003, 12:36 PM
Well there was a "News Radio" which centered on the city dictat of a No Somoking office.

Foolonthehill
03-14-2003, 12:51 PM
Having grown up in the 50's; everybody smoked.
I was in a commercial for Kent cigarettes, (for TV), when I was 12 yrs. old. I wasn't smoking in it; me and a friend were kids on a merry-go-round, as a young handsome couple enjoyed a local Fair, while smoking Kents.
Every TV show had smokers. Everybodys house had the smoking lamp lit, even folks who did not smoke. We smoked as teenagers at Church.
Different era.

Motorgirl
03-14-2003, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by psifireus


Anyway, I have a few tapes of old episodes, I'll check it out.

WKRP is my favorite show of all time!

If you have a tape of the one with the "Godless Tornados" watch it for me. That's the episode I remember best. WKRP was an incredible show. Wish it was in syndication around here...

Nametag
03-14-2003, 01:54 PM
Actually, I remember some scenes from Kojak wherein Telly Savalas would switch from cigarette to lollipop depending on who he was talking to (e.g., he'd interrogate a suspect while smoking a cigarette, then go back to his office, unwrap a Tootsie-Pop, and smooth his captain's ruffled feathers).

blowero
03-14-2003, 02:20 PM
The thing I remember about Johnnie Fever was that he was always drinking coffee.

Mmmm....Bailey....

Rilchiam
03-15-2003, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by psifireus
I believe there was an episode where Fever had a cigarette in hand, if not in mouth.

It seems like it was the episode where Bailey and he went to get the pictures some sleazeball had conned Jennifer into modeling for...

Nitpick: The sleazeball didn't even "con" her into posing. He hired her to wear a very modest swimsuit for a travel ad, then took photos through a one-way mirror in her dressing room.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-16-2003, 01:11 AM
Andy Griffith used to smoke once in a while. I think he even rolled his own. At least I think he was rolling cigarettes.

JThunder
03-16-2003, 01:27 AM
Bailey was smokin'!

Lynn Bodoni
03-16-2003, 09:45 AM
In the old "Perry Mason" shows, just about everyone smoked...but these are OLD shows. And damn, Raymond Burr was hot! Both as a young man and as an older gent.

JThunder
03-16-2003, 10:59 AM
Raymond Burr? Eh. He was no Bailey.

Skywatcher
03-16-2003, 12:22 PM
William B. Davis quit smoking prior to being cast on "The X-Files" so a substitute had to be used for CSM. There is no tobacco in those cigarettes.

On "Match Game", Richard Dawson sometimes had a cigarette and Charles Nelson Reilly was usually seen with a pipe.

shempi
04-13-2008, 09:29 AM
What about the king of smoking on tv - Tom Snyder of The Tomorrow Show.

RealityChuck
04-13-2008, 09:55 AM
What about the king of smoking on tv - Tom Snyder of The Tomorrow Show.Hah! Edward R. Murrow could chain smoke Snyder under the table.

TWDuke
04-13-2008, 10:08 AM
Tobacco-free herbal cigarettes are frequently used on TV, in movies, and on stage for the sake of not only the smoker but of the other cast and crew (and audience, in the case of live theater). Even a casual smoker can get a little tired of inhaling tobacco smoke take after take after take, and I've seen at least one non-smoker throw up after taking a few puffs for the sake of a scene - a big, burly guy too.

There's another option for theater: a fake cigarette that's basically a plastic tube filled with talcum powder. One end is red and glittery and from several feet away looks like it's glowing. The tricky part is remembering to blow instead of suck (shut up). One advantage is that you don't have risk scaring away any audience members by warning them that there will be smoke during the performance.

I Love Lucy, like many other old shows, frequently had characters light up and smoke. One famous gag involved Lucy wearing a fake nose and accidentally lighting it instead of her cigarette. A Philip Morris ad appears prominently in the background of at least one scene. (I don't remember the episode, but Ricky and Fred were seated at a lunch counter.)

Speaking of Freds, Winston (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZvHiiWFbBU) sponsored the Flintstones.

Sam Stone
04-13-2008, 12:57 PM
Having grown up in the 50's; everybody smoked.
I was in a commercial for Kent cigarettes, (for TV), when I was 12 yrs. old. I wasn't smoking in it; me and a friend were kids on a merry-go-round, as a young handsome couple enjoyed a local Fair, while smoking Kents.
Every TV show had smokers. Everybodys house had the smoking lamp lit, even folks who did not smoke. We smoked as teenagers at Church.
Different era.

We just bought an old cigarette holder and lighter combination as a decoration (we don't smoke). These were common in the 50's and 60's - a little vase-like china ornament designed to hold a bunch of cigarettes, and a matching lighter. People had these on their coffee tables so they could reach out and grab a smoke at any time (as could guests). As you say, it was a different era. We bought the ornaments just to remind us of a world long gone.

Qwisp
04-13-2008, 01:30 PM
Having grown up in the 50's; everybody smoked.
I was in a commercial for Kent cigarettes, (for TV), when I was 12 yrs. old. I wasn't smoking in it; me and a friend were kids on a merry-go-round, as a young handsome couple enjoyed a local Fair, while smoking Kents.
Every TV show had smokers. Everybodys house had the smoking lamp lit, even folks who did not smoke. We smoked as teenagers at Church.
Different era.

What's a smoking lamp?

ZebraShaSha
04-13-2008, 01:32 PM
What's a smoking lamp?

Here. (http://www.rdrop.com/~half/Personal/Gallery/LavaLamp.jpg)

TWDuke
04-13-2008, 01:40 PM
I couldn't track down the I Love Lucy episode I was thinking of (yes, I have been working on other things in the last 3 1/2 hours too), but I did find these vintage opening titles and end credits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYkrN1E_FWA).

Wow. That's not the way I remember them.

OttoDaFe
04-13-2008, 04:24 PM
What's a smoking lamp?Before matches were invented, the smoking lamp on a ship was the device (something like a lantern) where sailors could light their pipes. During stormy weather the smoking light would be extinguished for safety, hence the announcements "the smoking lamp is out" and "the smoking lamp is lit" which persisted in the USN right up to the point when it was extinguished permanently.

Spoons
04-13-2008, 04:29 PM
The thing I remember about Johnnie Fever was that he was always drinking coffee.I don't recall Johnny smoking on the show, but I do recall him claiming that free coffee was a constitutional right.

Contrapuntal
04-13-2008, 04:32 PM
Yes, Bailey over Jennifer any day (or night).As long as there's room for me in there.

PharmBoy
04-13-2008, 04:54 PM
I seem to recall Maxwell Smart lighting up fairly often on "Get Smart".

Absolutely. If you notice , he always smokes twice - clearly a product placement deal...

Anyway, it ended up killing him.

astro
04-13-2008, 05:12 PM
On "The David Suskind Show" the interviews used to take place in the midst of great clouds of cigarette smoke.

It was so thick it was like they had a fog machine in the studio.

lobotomyboy63
04-13-2008, 05:15 PM
Back to the OP, I don't recall Johnny ever smoking a cig (tobacco or otherwise) on-camera. But there may be episodes I haven't seen.

@Motorgirl: See if you have Amerlife on your cable. I think they rerun it from time to time.

Scubaqueen
04-14-2008, 02:26 PM
Absolutely. If you notice , he always smokes twice - clearly a product placement deal...

Anyway, it ended up killing him.

and carson and snyder, IIRC.

Swallowed My Cellphone
04-14-2008, 03:43 PM
I think I remember an episode of Columbo where he was smoking on a PLANE. I remember when I was a kid, it was always a big deal if we were travelling with my cousin's family because her dad insisted on taking "smoking flight". There were little ashtrays in the armrests of the seats.

Now if I'm travlling out of town and I go to a restaurant, I think it's really bizarre if the host/ess asks "Smoking or non-smoking?"

Don Draper
04-14-2008, 05:17 PM
Here's a 1950s Philip Morris ad (http://youtube.com/watch?v=TzTGxY7gTCg) featuring Lucy & Desi in a very un-PC spot ("See how easy it is to please your man?") and a spot with Flintstones (http://youtube.com/watch?v=yJt2L7riSLE&feature=related) with more sexism. Funny that cigarettes were pitched mainly as a MAN's thing.

kunilou
04-14-2008, 07:17 PM
I think I remember an episode of Columbo where he was smoking on a PLANE. I remember when I was a kid, it was always a big deal if we were travelling with my cousin's family because her dad insisted on taking "smoking flight". There were little ashtrays in the armrests of the seats.

Now if I'm travlling out of town and I go to a restaurant, I think it's really bizarre if the host/ess asks "Smoking or non-smoking?"

Whippersnapper. I remember when the "stewardess" passed out complimentary packs of cigarets before each flight.

Morbo
04-14-2008, 07:28 PM
And I remember reading this thread 9 years ago when I was still a lurker.

eleanorigby
04-14-2008, 08:49 PM
Rob Petrie smoked upon occasion on The Dick van Dyke Show.

I think some characters smoked on Mary Tyler Moore and on Rhoda. SNL also had smokers (perhaps not cigs, though).