One of the bloopers on NBC's "More TV Censored Bloopers," at 9 tonight on Channel 4, was in fact censored for broadcast. It's a clip from the 1957 Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood, with Mickey Rooney coming face-to-face, or rather face-to-chest, with Jayne Mansfield.
Censored out of the clip is Ronald Reagan, the emcee who introduced Rooney from the stage and who ad-libbed after the scene was played out, "Andy Hardy grows up." According to a spokesman for producer Lee Miller in Los Angeles, the White House refused permission for any Reagan flubs, presumably including some from the Warner Bros. days, to be included in the program.
One can hardly blame Reagan, since this Dick Clark Production is a slack and tattered one, serving to emphasize yet again what a cheap outfit NBC is. The collection of fluffed lines and outtakes from movies, TV shows and news broadcasts, a sequel to a high-rated special that aired last May, is padded out with gratuitous guest appearances by Morgan Fairchild, plugging the NBC series "Flamingo Road," and Rock Hudson, plugging his upcoming NBC series, "The Devlin Connection."
Worse, producer-director Miller has edited the clips so as to whack most of the fun out of them. We hardly ever get to see the jolly aftermath of a screw-up; instead Miller rushes to freeze-frame, the first refuge of a cluck. A thick coating of sweetened laughter and hysterical applause was poured over the whole show; its waxy yellow buildup is all but impenetrable.
Among those seen in clips are Fred (Mister) Rogers wrestling with a pup tent; Don Rickles getting a dark pie in the face; a very young Tom Snyder falling off a chair; and John Gielgud doing his deathbed scene from "Arthur" with a fly on his nose. Jimmy Carter again acclaims that great Democrat "Hubert Horatio Hornblower Humphrey" and Gerald R. Ford slides down a stairway.
Among all the ill-assorted and badly arranged clips of fumbles and bumbles (including one from another Dick Clark special, "Whatever Became of," that was on ABC a few weeks ago), only two are really hilarious, both of them from some city's local kiddie shows. In one, a fireman is supposed to douse a flaming hoop that steadfastly continues to burn, while a woman dressed as a woodland sprite tries to stay in character and keep from screaming.
In the other, a gang of puppets is doing the usual cute puppety chitchat when a bunny rabbit's head falls off and casually clunks to the ground. True, there have been TV specials that offered fewer than two good laughs, but as a wise man once said, the best bloopers are dirty, and can't be shown on television anyway.