en Osmond, the actor who played neighborhood wiseguy Eddie Haskell on the old Leave It to Beaver television series, died on Monday.
It’s a sad day for smartasses everywhere, losing a trailblazer in our field.
Ken Osmond, by the way, in his adult life went on to become a motorcycle cop in Los Angeles. True story.
Leave It to Beaver ran from 1957 to 1963 and I’m sure continues to live on in reruns on some obscure TV network somewhere. Osmond joined the LAPD in 1970, seven years after the series ended, growing a mustache in hopes of getting anonymity from average LA citizens, if there is such a thing as an average LA citizen.
Another true story: In 1980, Osmond was hit by five bullets while in a foot chase with a suspected car thief. His bullet proof vest protected him from four of the bullets, with the fifth ricocheting off his belt buckle (that was a close one, Mrs. Cleaver).
He applied for a disability pension in 1984 but was initially denied. An appeals court judge four years later overturned the denial and awarded Osmond a lifetime pension, and he retired from the police force.
Also passing away in recent days? Comedic actor Fred Willard, who died last week at the age of 86. You probably remember him from shining moments he played in roles in everything like the hit movie Anchorman to regular appearances on the comedy series Modern Family. And many, many other things. As one Hollywood publication described it: “He leaves behind a long legacy of work that was vastly improved by his seemingly effortless wit and talent for playing lovable, clueless doofs.”
I’ll remember Willard most for his role in the fake talk show Fernwood 2 Night. Most of you likely don’t remember that one.
Fernwood 2 Night was a dry humor, off the wall series that parodied real talk shows, complete with a stage band. It was kind of a mockumentary, if you will.
Fernwood 2 Night was only on the air for three or four months but it was a nightly show, so there were 65 total episodes. It built a cult-like following. Count me among the members of the cult. I was in my early teens when Fernwood 2 Night was telecast weeknights from July of 1977 to September of 1977. On the show, Willard served as the sidekick of Martin Mull on a talk show set in the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio.
Fernwood 2 Night featured content you might expect from a small town, locally produced television talk show. The subtle sarcasm and the chemistry between Mull and Willard is something that stuck with me.
Little known fact? Fernwood 2 Night was an inspiration behind the development of our Landmark Live videocasts that began in 2017.
You can check out some of the old Fernwood 2 Night episodes on YouTube. Search it.
You might think I’ve forgotten about Love Notes from Nan, which we teased here in Between the Lines a few weeks back. This just in: I haven’t.
Love Notes From Nan will be a compilation of actual emails sent by Parkville Mayor Nan Johnston in which she rants and raves and does things like push the ethical envelope. Well, that’s not exactly correct. She doesn’t just push the ethical envelope. She rips that thing to shreds.
It’s a highly anticipated series–I know this from your emails and texts and random comments on the street. After initially thinking I would include the emails here in the printed newspaper, when I went to format many of Nan’s emails for publication I soon realized it would be a space eater. It would take up too much of our weekly room for other topics here in Between the Lines. Also, you’ll learn that the easily-triggered Parkville mayor at times has a bit of a potty mouth, so a few of the emails wouldn’t be fitting in a family friendly environment.
Love Notes From Nan will be appearing on our new web site at plattecountylandmark.com. Look for a link coming as early as later this week. First entry is an email from Nan that is rich with irony.
City Hall in Platte City will be back open to the general public on June 1, city officials have said.
Parkville City Hall, we assume, will reopen sometime. But at Parkville, we should interpret the phrase “City Hall is open” very loosely, if you know what I’m saying.
Notable Kansas City TV weatherman Gary Lezak said this week that Memorial Day weekend is historically the wettest weekend of the year in this area. Will that pattern continue in 2020?
No Memorial Day service in Platte City this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Lezak points out Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a wet one, let us not forget there have been some very warm Memorial Day services in Platte City in recent years. On multiple occasions we’ve seen brave Boy Scouts steadily holding the flags in the bright sun go down for the count. No worries this year.
(Find Foley watching grainy videos of Fernwood 2 Night on YouTube or discover him on Twitter @ivanfoley or find him posting love notes at plattecountylandmark.com)