Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On Call, Vol. 2, No. 3 - From the St. Eligius Pension Department... "Bye Bye Bernie": Mayor Oseransky Retires

From On Call, the Official Newsletter of the St. Elsewhere Appreciation Club, volume 2, number 3, December 1998.

Honoree Bernard Oseransky (left) with the legendary
Steve Allen
Back in August, the "Mayor of Studio Center" retired, and was subsequently roasted at a surprise party which took place on the Radford lot. Old friends and new ones alike showed up in person or via videotape to honor Bernie Oseransky for his 42-year television career, which included being the Executive in Charge of Production on St. Elsewhere. ON CALL was in attendance to chronicle what proved to be a memorable Saturday afternoon. First, a sampling of comments from guests as they arrived.

IRV ATKINS ... "When Bernie got out of the service, we gave him a job on House Party as an usher. He was a damn good usher (laughs)."

ON CALL ... "Was Bernie a better usher or Production Executive?"

IRV ATKINS ... "I don't know. That's a toss-up (laughs)."

RAY SAVOY ... "I met Bernie when we were 15 or 16 years old, and we got out of the service at the same time, and we became ushers at CBS at the same time, around January 1956. And we've stayed friends ever since, miraculously, because he's really a jerk (laughs)."

ON CALL ... "What was Bernie's worst moment as an usher?"

RAY SAVOY ... "Probably fitting into the uniform. He was very overweight in those days, and he split a couple of pairs of pants. Then they found that Jackie Gleason had some old slacks, and Bernie wore those. And from then on, it solved the problem."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On Call, Vol. 2, No. 3 - Holiday Greetings from St. Eligius!

From On Call: The Official Newsletter of the St. Elsewhere Appreciation Club, volume 2, number 3, December 1998.

This is the time of year when we give thanks for our blessings, and share special moments with loved ones. And so it is appropriate that we dedicate this issue of ON CALL to the entire St. Elsewhere "family". Included is a complete directory of the talented and dedicated folks who had a hand in making St. Elsewhere mean so much to so many. Privately, they will each tell you that working on the show was just a job (albeit an enjoyable one), and that they really didn't consider their efforts to be anything extraordinary. But, over they years, St. Elsewhere has impacted millions of lives, and that IS extraordinary.

In this issue we also salute two special family members, one recently retired, the other at the height of his career, both of whom woked behind the scenes to maintain the quality of Television's All Time Best Drama.

So get comfortable in your night shirt, stocking cap, and fake antlers, and share this issue with someone you love.

Originally produced by Longworth Communications.

Monday, December 2, 2013

99th Birthday Greetings to Norman Lloyd

David E's Fablog presents videos and photos in honor of Norman Lloyd's 99th birthday.

Photo: graphics8.nytimes.com
The St. Elsewhere Experience would like to extend belated birthday greetings to legendary actor Norman Lloyd, who played St. Elsewhere's Dr. Daniel Auschlander and celebrated his 99th birthday on November 8. Dr. Auschlander may have passed away in the series finale, but Lloyd is alive and well and still one of the greatest story-tellers around. And still working.

David E's Fablog has compiled videos and photos of the near-centurian thespian in the post "Norman Lloyd is 99", whose career reads like a history of Hollywood. There's a clip from Dead Poets Society, a two-and-a-half-hour interview in two parts, and a clip from his turn as a Hitchcock villain in Saboteur. Check it out!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

St. Elsewhere Emmy Winners - Ed Flanders, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, 1983

A video clip featuring Ed Flanders' Emmy-winning performance from St. Elsewhere's first season.

I'll be getting back to the St. Elsewhere Appreciation Club newsletters soon, but I'm inspired to edit together clips again, and this time around we feature St. Elsewhere's other Emmy winner from the show's inaugural season--the late, great Ed Flanders, who received his third Emmy for his portrayal of hospital administrator Dr. Donald Westphall.

Dr. Westphall (Ed Flanders) stands up to Mr. O'Connor
(Dick O'Neill), local violent bigot.
I don't actually know for sure that this is the episode for which he was nominated; I'm actually judging by the selection of clips they chose for the fifth-season clip show, "Good Vibrations", which seemed to pay particular attention to the Emmy-winning episodes. Regardless, this episode always stands out to me as one of my favorite Westphall moments--where Donald really kicks some ass. Not literally, but he certainly would have...

These scenes are from the episode, "Monday, Tuesday, Sven's Day", which concluded a two-episode story arc about patient Kevin O'Connor (David Elliott), a high-school student who is admitted to the hospital with severe injuries from a beating. He and his older brother (Michael Madsen), claim that they were beaten by a group of black teens, and the incident touches off a wave of racial violence between local black and white youths.

However, guilt overwhelms the young O'Connor, who confesses that the story had been fabricated to protect their father (Dick O'Neill), a bigot who beat his son after learning that his progeny had befriended a young black girl at his integrated high school. When Westphall learns what happened, he knows he has no legal recourse to prevent the teenager from remaining under his father's care.

So when the elder O'Connor confronts Westphall about interfering in his family's business, Donald doesn't hold back. Here's Emmy-winner Ed Flanders, David Morse, David Elliott, Christina Pickles, William Daniels, Michael Madsen and Dick O'Neill in "Monday, Tuesday, Sven's Day".

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