Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time Travel and "It's About Time"

Like most red blooded American kids, I watched a lot of television in the sixties. But now I don’t care what the temperature is. That was a joke. A bad joke, a corny joke but it was a joke nonetheless. Along with Sherman and Peabody, and The Time Tunnel, It’s About Time helped me develop an interest in the concept of time travel. It’s About Time also helped me develop my bad or corny sense of humor.

I actually owned a copy the coloring book you see in this posting.

Unless you're an American Baby Boomer, you probably never had the chance to see It’s About Time. As far as I know, the network ran twenty-six episodes and that the end of it. No reruns.

Here’s the series in a nutshell. Two astronauts, Hector and Mac blast off from Cape Canaveral, break the time barrier and find themselves in prehistoric times where they meet a gorgeous female genie. Ok, the beautiful genie was a whole ‘nother show. They do befriend a cave couple, Gronk and Shadd. According to my Sunday morning net research, Shadd was originally named Shagg. This was before the network censors realized the British have a pretty colorful meaning for the word, shag. Back to the meat and potatoes, the astronauts live with a group of cave people until they find the copper they need to launch their space capsule. They return to 1966, where they realize Grogg and Shadd have stowed away in the capsule. The last seven episodes focus on Mac and Hector as they to hide their cave friends from NASA.

The show was created by Sherwood Schwartz, the mastermind of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. I found an eight minute clip of It’s About Time on You tube. Watching the clip was an exercise in time travel back to a Sunday night in 1966. It was also a hoot. The background music is quite similar to The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island. One of the Astronauts sounds and acts an awful lot like Gilligan and Schwartz used a lot of the same props Gilligan’s Island and It’s About Time.

In this particular episode, the astronauts find themselves tied up and on trial because Mac snapped a photograph of the boss. The cave people call their chief boss and speak English – caveman English, but English nonetheless.

One of the cavemen waves the photograph and says, “Prisoners evil spirits. Try to hurt boss with wicked magic.”

Sounding just like Gilligan, Hector says, “What’s he kicking about? It’s in focus. The background looks nice.”

How come people stopped saying what’s he kicking about?

Then Mac, sounding an awful lot like the skipper, says, “What’s he kicking about? To these people, a photograph is black magic.”

Hector comes back with, “It’s in color.”

Corny jokes are a good thing. I propose we all try to crack at least one corny joke each day. While we’re at it, let’s try to say “What’s he kicking about?”at least once a day too.


It's about time, it's about space,
About two men in the strangest place.
It's about time, it's about flight -
Traveling faster than the speed of light.
This is the tale of the brave crew
As through the barrier of time they flew.
Past a fighting minuteman, Past an armored knight,
Past a Roman warrior, To this ancient site.
It's about caves, cavemen too,
About a time when the earth was new.
Wait'll they see what is in sight!
Is it good luck or is it good night?
It's about two astronauts, it's about their fate,
It's about a woman and her prehistoric mate.
It's about time, it's about space,

About two men in the strangest place.
They will be here right on this spot
No matter if they like it or not.
How will they live in this primitive state?
Will help ever come before it is too late?
Will they ever get away?
Watch each week and see!
Will they be returning to the 20th Century?
It's about time for our goodbyes
To all these prehistoric gals and guys.


7:00-7:30 Lassie
7:30-8:00 It's About Time
8:00-9:00 The Ed Sullivan Show
9:00-10:00 The Garry Moore Show
10:00-10:30 Candid Camera
10:30-11:00 What's My Line