"Weekend," the NBC News Magazine show, has been bounced around so much in the schedule this season that its producers must be getting NBC-sick. On Sunday night at 10 on Channel 4, it at last comes to rest in a "permanent" time solt, and does it with another first-rate buffet of factual delights.
By far the best sequence on the program is the third and last, a visit with Glynn "Scotty" Wolfe, cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most-often-married man, at his ramshackle home in the little town of Blythe, Calif. Never was a town so ironically named -- there appears nothing even remotely blithe about it -- and never was a randy old dandy so giddily guilt-free as the 70-year-old Wolfe, who announces proudly that he intends to get married again, this time to a 17-year-old "angel," on Ground Hog Day.
"The right words at the right place at the right time and you got 'em," Wolfe explains. "This is as close to heaven as I can get." Producer Bill Hill punctuates Wolfe's whacky reverie with footage of him trying to list all 22 -- by rough count -- of his wives, so we catch him saying things like, "and nine was Beverly -- no, Shirley."
But the brilliance of this sequence is the way it turns, so subtly as to be almost imperceptible, from tipsy discourse into singularly ghastly nightmare. There's more to this than one man's bizarre notion of Utopia; Hill has recorded a little whisper of Americana and the roaring echos that surround it as well.
Oher segments on the program include an opening report on the $30-billion-a-year employe theft industry ("If you're going to come out shead, why say no?" notes one in-house thief) and cohost Lloyd Dobyns' visit to the Taj Mahal, a good idea that goes nowhere.
The "Weekend" pieces may not require more legwork than goes into the hard-hitting bombast of "60 Minutes," but they probably involve more brainwork, both in the production and in the consumption. Whether Sundaynight viewers will be in the mood for a dish of veal peccata sonaoon after being plastered with a big fat pizza pie remains to be seen; but there's nothing on the regular schedule of which NBC can be prouder than it can of "Weekend."