Sunday, October 01, 2006

Why The Hell Isn't Lobo On DVD?

There once was a TV series called B.J. AND THE BEAR. It was about a handsome young truck driver named B.J. (Greg Evigan) who hauled his rig across the country accompanied by his pet monkey named Bear. No, I'm not kidding. Occasionally popping up to hassle B.J. was a corrupt Southern sheriff named Elroy P. Lobo, who was portrayed by the great veteran character actor Claude Akins, who was usually cast as heavies.

During this time, NBC was notorious for having the worst ratings in television, obviously because they were airing shows about monkey semi drivers. Someone must have decided that the Lobo character was appealing, and Akins was given a one-hour spinoff series titled THE MISADVENTURES OF SHERIFF LOBO. The title character's lawlessness was toned down somewhat so that Lobo was now basically a money-hungry schemer. Mills Watson, who almost always played sleazy bad guys, was cast as comic-relief bumbling deputy Perkins, and fresh-faced Brian Kerwin came in to play honest, naive deputy Hawkins.

SHERIFF LOBO might have been silly, but it did have a fun opening title sequence. Frankie Laine (RAWHIDE) belts out the theme, which was probably written by Stu Phillips.



I haven't seen any SHERIFF LOBOs since they originally aired over two full seasons from 1979-1981, but how can you resist episode titles like "Dean Martin and the Moonshiners," "Who's the Sexiest Girl in the World?", "The Roller Disco Karate Kaper," and "Airsick--1981?"

10 comments:

Tolemite said...

to Mills Watson, i have to say "Put down that gigantic cotton candy!"

Hal said...

Indeed, why the hell not? :-)

I saw LOBO on a station out of Denver on satellite in the late 1980's; they were rerunning two hour-long episodes back to back each Sunday night.

The reason I point out the hour-long part is that during a brief syndication period, they had actually cut LOBO into half hours.

I think the show might have had a chance at running another season or so if they'd kept the original premise for season two. At the beginning of the second and final season, Lobo and his two deputies were promoted and asked to work in Atlanta due to Orly's low crime rate (low because Sheriff Lobo usually never bothered to file the paperwork).

Based on the episodes I saw, Season One was silly, but fun because of the cast...it was no more silly than the DUKES OF HAZZARD. Season Two, on the other hand, was even sillier and if I remember right, only 13 episodes were produced in season two.

Not sure if I taped any of those late 1980's reruns. I sure should have, since I knew even then it was rare to see these in their hour-long state.

Hal said...

Oh, and also they changed this great title sequence, and opening theme song, for Season Two! Season Two opened with Akins, Watson and Kerwin looking around Atlanta, sightseeing to the tune of a seriously sung version of "Georgia on my Mind"!

Why you would change a great title sequence and song is beyond me.

Ken Begg said...

Sorry, I'm holding out for a deluxe box set of Enos, the Dukes of Hazzard spin-off.

Marty McKee said...

Oh, yes, I well remember ENOS. In fact, I liked ENOS better than DUKES. Wednesday night, 7pm, CBS. "Buckle up now," Enos said in the opening titles, just before another massive pileup.

Hollywood trashed a lot of cars during the '70s and early '80s.

Hal said...

I remember ENOS too, Buddy-ro! :) I think we're more likely to get LOBO than ENOS. But hey, if the complete run of the DUKES can come out, including the disastrous 1982-83 Coy and Vance season, why not?

Marty McKee said...

Is THE DUKES cartoon series on DVD yet?

Anonymous said...

Mister, we could use a man like Sherriff Lobo again...

Ken Begg said...

And the Winner is the catagory of Damning with Faint Praise, is: Marty McKee, with: "Oh, yes, I well remember ENOS. In fact, I liked ENOS better than DUKES [of Hazzard]."

By the way, I always assumed that the reason the Duke Boys never got caught is that they were actually Boss Hogg's unsuspecting tools. Imagine what the tax base of Hazzard County must have been like to pay for the dozens of cop cars wrecked chasing the Dukes every year. Why was this allowed to continue? Easy. Boss Hogg was the one selling them the cars, and was skimming millions off the top while the Duke Boys drove around fashioning themselves as rebels.

Hal said...

Between Hazzard County and Orly County, Georgians were probably paying some pretty mean taxes in those days, that's for sure.