Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fred Gwynne as Davy Crockett? Strange but True.

c
Comments on Friday's tribute to Fess Parker led to a list of other film and television Crocketts. To everyone's surprise (including mine) the list included Fred Gwynne.

My source for Gwynne-as-Crockett was Ed Andreychuk's 2005 book American Frontiersman on Film and Television. The other frontiersmen featured in the book are Jim Bowie, Daniel Boone, Sam Houston, Jim Bridger and Kit Carson.

Gwynne pops up in a discussion of the CBS show You Are There, which evolved from the radio show of the same name. Andreychuk notes that they first aired a TV version of the Alamo battle in 1953, but lists none of the players. Then, he says:

"You Are There returned as a weekly series in September 1971, and it ran until May 13, 1973. Once more Cronkite was the host, with Vern Diamond producing. The color episode "The Siege of the Alamo" aired on October 9, 1971. Fred Gwynne (of television's Car 54, Where Are You? and The Munsters) played Davy Crockett in this later episode."

The revamped show, he says, aired on Saturday afternoons and was geared for children.

Well, it appears Mr. Andreychuk knew what he was talking about. I found the proof on YouTube. Gwynne as Crockett is seen only at the beginning of this clip, but is listed in the credits at the end.

4 comments:

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Did I hear Walter say the Mexicans lost 8,000 troops at the Alamo? That sounds about 10 times the actual number. Nevertheless, this is an amazing find. I watched YAT a few times as a lid. I recall vividly the episodes of Hannibal's final battle with Rome and the Battle of Gettysburg. Well done productions.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

A kid. I wasn't a lid, I was a kid. Now I am an adult who doesn't proofread.

R. T. said...

I am delighted by your recent posting. One of my fondest TV memories is YOU ARE THERE, a program to which I was strangely addicted when I was a child; it even influenced my childhood plans to become a historian (which, alas, did not happen because of the Vietnam era's selective service intervention on my life's game plan). I remember making my own YOU ARE THERE presentations as class projects in grade school and junior high; the teachers must have thought I was a child with a one track mind. Thank you for sharing the incredible video. And, much to my surprise, it is in "living color," too!

R.T. said...

Somebody make oakleyses STOP.