More About the MUSIC MACHINE

March 19, 2010

In my last post, I dreamed of what a variety show starring Joe Raposo would have been like.  I came up with a lot of good ideas, as evidenced by the replies from a couple of faithful readers.  I just can’t seem to let go of this idea, and I started to think about recurring characters that would have been featured in the comedy skits.

For Joe, there was no question.  One of Joe’s funniest character voices was a middle-aged woman with a German accent (see PONTOFFEL POCK, WHERE ARE YOU?, and listen for it).  So Joe’s recurring comic character would have been “Helga von Grunt”:  the world’s worst opera singer.  Just picture it:  Joe dressed up as a washed up opera singer, complete with the Viking helmet and braids (I was laughing as I came up with it, and I swear I heard Joe laughing as well).  Helga, of course, would have been clueless about her lack of talent, and would torture the other characters in the skits.  Heaven help anyone who pointed out the reality of Helga’s singing-she’d smack them around until they apologized.  I pictured that Luis Avalos would play her long-suffering butler-Seymour (Luis would be doing Peter Lorre of course-it’s one of his best character voices).

Luis would not be relegated to always playing Seymour.  Luis is also good with Groucho Marx.  I pictured a politician-type character for Luis that would be every bit Groucho.  Skip Hinnant would play his straight man-a junior political aide.  Plenty of guest star opportunities here.  Every once in a while, maybe Joe would have played the politicians brother-patterned either after Chico or Harpo, maybe both?  I like that idea.

Skip and Judy’s comic strength was in their ability to play an older married couple.  Their bits could have been a forerunner to THE GOLDEN GIRLS.  Skip and Judy’s old couple would have been old, but they would have been sharp as a tack.  Great opportunity here for cultural commentary and observation, no?

Paul Dooley and Marty Brill are the toughest ones for me to develop characters for.  I’m not really as familiar with their acting as I’d like.  Though I DO know that Marty can do a pretty darn good Mel Brooks German accent.  Maybe he could have had a character like Sid Caesar used to have on YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, where Marty could just riff on any science subject that lent itself to comedy.    Still don’t know what I’d do for Paul.  Maybe an everyman character for whom nothing goes right.  Worked for Jackie Gleason….

Didi Conn’s comic sensibility lies in her natural vocal timbre.  I like the idea of a child-like character for her (again, social commentary).  I wouldn’t create a ditzy character for her.  It worked for Goldie Hawn on LAUGH-IN, but at the time MUSIC MACHINE would have hit the airwaves, it would have bordered on insulting.  Yes, a child character wise beyond her years works here.  Judy would naturally play her mom (the straight woman role).

Of course, these are just thumbnail character sketches-it’s a blog, not WAR AND PEACE, after all.  But facts are facts.  The best variety shows of my childhood had some great recurring characters.  THE JOE RAPOSO MUSIC MACHINE would have had them too.



  1. More genuine talent in just THIS show than in all of today’s shows combined!

    • Ain’t it the truth:-)?

  2. Oh what a show that would have been. I agree so much with the above posters.

    Kids’ TV had an innocence that the corporate asses will never pick up on. They never do their homework. If you’ve ever seen a “NEW” Sesame Street episode, “ANAL” would be the proper term for it.

    I am an animator, right now studying in Burbank, and I hope one day to be working on something like SUNSHINE. A project to bring down the fourth wall and bring the magic back where it counts (no pun intended). If the chance ever came, I wouldn’t hesitate to join the team. With enough of us, we can turn the tide away from the horrible mess the new wave of media has made of children. Oh yeah, cookie monster and grover were always “good enough” for me. I hope to see even more of SUNSHINE AGAIN in the future.

    Your “neighbor”,
    Dave Ross

    Unlike the New Electric Company, Sunshine Again turned on the power with the right switch.

    • Dave, what a great comment! I wish you every success in your endeavor. I haven’t heard from Heather recently, as she has just started a new job, but I do know she is looking to get a second episode put together. And yes, I HAVE seen the train wreck that has become Elmo err Sesame Street, and the phoniness of the “new”Electric Company-shameful.

      If I can get my game show projects off the ground, I would definitely tap into you to do an animated sequence for at least one of them-make people think of WHEW! (I have a post about that you might enjoy)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: