Saturday, January 8, 2022

WORLD OF GIANTS - Episode # 13 - "Off Beat" (1959)

This week's Saturday Night Special is extra special because it's about a special special agent! Why was he more special that any other special agent? It's because he was only six inches tall. "World Of Giants" was a TV show that was on for thirteen consecutive weeks in 1959, and then it was gone pretty much forever!
 According to Wikipedia, an American spy named Mel Hunter was on a covert mission when he got shrunk down to six inches in an accident. After that they used him as a special special agent.
Mel Hunter was played by Marshall (It! The Terror From Beyond Space) Thompson.
 I found two fairly crappy looking episodes of "World Of Giants" on youTube, good luck finding the other eleven. This is the last episode that was ironically titled "Off Beat," which was the same name as our public access TV show.
Look real close and you can see little Mel in the bottom right hand corner sitting behind his drum kit! Besides being a special agent for the government, Mel is also a big fan of jazz music. 

On the left is Arthur (Atomic Submarine) Franz as agent Bill Winters, whose job it is to carry around the valise that little Mel is in. On the right is Marcia (Hypnotic Eye) Henderson as Miss Brown. There's not a lot of explaining about the characters, and Miss Brown seemed like she was a regular, but she was only in three of the thirteen episodes.

This November 27, 1954 issue of TV Guide magazine featured Marcia on the cover with Peter Lawford because they were in a popular television show together called "Dear Phoebe."
Same smile........

Johnny Silver plays jazz musician Chuck Crescent, or the guy who is pretending to be Chuck Crescent. Being a big jazz buff, Mel smells something wrong with Chuck's performance in this club. It's good, but it's just too stiff. Johnny Silver was under five feet tall, and was in scores of TV shows in the 50's and 60's.

In the "Take What You Can Get Department," this is as good as this show looks on youTube, but it's a fun enough watch, so I think it's worth it.

Mel is very concerned, and there was something so weird about Chuck that he wants to go talk to an old musician friend of his who was Chuck's mentor, but there's just one thing, his friend doesn't know that he is now only six inches tall.

Mel's friend is jazz pianist Daddy "You're The Greatest" Dean as played by Bill Walker. I'm sure you've seen Bill's face before, because he has been entertaining us on some kind of screen from 1946 to 1987. Bill was in "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?," and he was also in "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte." He's also the only one out this whole great cast to ever be in a "Twilight Zone" episode, that being "The Masks."

Nobody is supposed to know about Mel's secret, but they tell Daddy Dean, and he can't believe his eyes. He has to agree to never tell anyone, and I guess that was pretty easy since this was the last episode!

Daddy Dean goes with Mel, and Bill, and Miss Brown to the club, and it doesn't take him any time at all to realize this is not the real Chuck. Daddy calls him on it, and all Hell breaks out!

Mel pops out of the briefcase an into the piano!

The fake Chuck decides to do some impromptu stuff after all, and almost gives Mel a big headache!

The music is swingin' hard through this whole show, and yet I couldn't find any credits for the musicians or the composer.

This is the cool logo they used when they came back from cutting to a commercial. Man, I'd love to see all of the episodes of this cool show in high definition, but alas, as far as I can tell, they're not available at all in any quality! Some things in the world just ain't right!

When I got all done here, I decided to see if I could find any videos of "W.O.G." available anywhere, and although I didn't come up with anything, I did find somebody selling some production stills on eBay, and even though it wasn't from this episode, this picture of Mel in a slot machine was just to good to not include it here.


TABONGA! said...

Always cool to see Marshall and Arthur together in anything.

kd said...

Yes, two actors often confused in an "either or" type of role. Like Hugh Marlowe and Richard Carlson, or Barbara Rush and Faith Domergue, or John Carradine and uh, John Carradine?

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