Tonight's Wild and Wacky Wednesday presentation is another episode of "Burke's Law." This one was Episode 11, from Season 01, and it's a fun one!
Click HERE, and you can get a good feel for how good just one element, the music, was on this show!
This episode was titled "Who Killed Purity Mather?" and was once again, suggested by my good friend Lord Litter in Berlin, and the coolest thing is, you can watch right it here for free courtesy of the Internet Archive. Now if you just happen to want to throw them five or ten bucks, it's always greatly appreciated, and officially a donation to charity, so feel free to do so!
This is the aforementioned Purity Mather as played by Enid Jaynes. Most of Enid's 18 credits were in TV westerns like "Johnny Ringo" "The Rifleman," and "Have Gun - Will Travel."
Purity Mather is a witch, and apparently there are a lot of people who wish she was dead!
Like this person who shows up in the middle of Purity's ceremony, throws acid in her face, and sets the place on fire!
Amos Burke is in the middle of nice evening with a beautiful woman named Sugar, which brings me to the main thing about this show. It's just chock full of wacky characters played by a grand assortment of actors and actresses. Sugar was played by the marvelous Mary Ann Mobley, in one of her first appearances anywhere. Mary Ann would go on to be in four more episodes of "Burke's Law" as four different characters.
Burke's main man, sidekick, and driver Henry, delivers a special delivery record that just arrived. Leon (City Beneath The Sea) Lontoc played Henry in 64 of the 81 episodes of "Burke's Law."
Everybody should know what a record player is, but probably most people under the age of 40 don't know why this record player has an extended spindle on it. That was so you could put a stack of records on, and they would drop one at a time after they each played. While it might of seemed like a good idea at the time, this concept is probably responsible for the devastation of more records than anything, especially on the outer ring that was constantly in contact with the record above it and the record below it. Add a little dust, and it's every record collector's nightmare.
The record came from Purity Mather, and explains that she is going to be murdered. It's accompanied by a short list of people who she claims might be responsible for her untimely death, and instantly gives Burke a list of suspects. Too bad, but Burke has to say good night to Sugar!
The only recognizable thing on Purity's badly scarred and burnt body is this mark!
Now it's time to bring in this phenomenal cast of characters, start with Telly (Kojak) Savalas with hair, as Fakir George O'Shea. Sorry, but I can't talk about Telly Savalas without at least mentioning his daughter Ariana, who performs with Post Modern Jukebox on a regular basis, because for as cool as Telly is, that's how Hot Ariana is!!
Next up is Charlie (Bringing Up Baby) Ruggles as slightly weird creeper I.A. Bugg, and his lady of the night friend named Girl Girl, as played by Nancy (Jason And The Argonauts) Kovack. From 1949 to 1952, Charlie had his own TV show called what else but "The Ruggles." Mr. Bugg hires Girl Girl to scream as he chases her around, so she lets out a little scream every time he says anything. They are quite the couple!
For obvious reasons, Nancy was featured in one of my posts titled "25 Good Reasons To Watch Olde Movies." She is hilarious in this role as Girl Girl.
Couldn't leave out this marquee shot of the Studio City Theatre. Too bad that there's not really a movie called "The Creature That Ate NY," but I guess we just have to be happy with "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago!"
The next suspect on the list is Count Carlo Szipesti, a real life vampire making an appearance at the opening of the movie. The Count is played by Marlon Brando's best buddy, the always funny Wally Cox!
Just using Wally Cox as a vampire is hilarious unto itself, but then have him be parked in front of the threatre in his hearse/camper home, and there's no way you're going to go wrong!
As the patrons of the theatre stare in his window, the Count makes menacing faces at them, before offering Burke, what else but a Bloody Mary of course. Burke declines for some reason!
Next stop is a nudist colony. It might not seem that risky or risque by today's standards, but to imply that people were naked on a 1963 TV show was almost unheard of. For goodness sake, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore were still sleeping in separate beds on The "Dick Van Dyke" TV show!
Rina Jacobs is yet another suspect as played by Janet Blair. Janet was Lynn Arthur in "The Outer Limits" episode "Tourist Attraction."
Last but not least on the list of wild and wacky suspects The Captain and Detective Tilson have to interview, is glorious Gloria (Sunset Blvd) Swanson, as a totally nutty woman named Venus Hekate Walsh, who envisions herself to really be Venus, The Goddess Of Love.
In the end, Sugar breaks the bad news to Amos Burke that she's getting married to an Orthodontist the upcoming Wednesday, so she has to break their date on Thursday, and he responds with "How about Saturday?" and she says "Okay."
"Burke's Law" is almost the perfect program. It has all the campy humor and all-star casts like the "Batman" TV series, but it's serious enough to take real, and it's a marriage made in heaven for lovers of 60's pop culture.