Chasing Charlie’s Angels

Any guy my age was ushered into manhood by those three beautiful women also known as Charlie’s Angels. Whether you preferred the smart and sassy Kate Jackson, the elegance of Jaclyn Smith, or the sheer beauty of Farrah Fawcett, we all had a favorite.

I was a Jaclyn Smith fan myself. Unfortunately, they never made posters of her. No, those iconic posters were of Farrah. There were three of them and Spencer’s had t-shirts to match. I was probably too young, but somehow owned one of those t-shirts in the fourth grade. Two of my buddies and I even snuck them on school picture day. I’m sure our parents were thrilled when those proofs came home.

When Farrah left the show, I handled it better than most because she wasn’t my favorite angel. The other factor was that I remember taking an immediate shine to her replacement, Cheryl Ladd.

Like any youngster, I had dreams of being in the right place at the right time to help the ladies solve a case. Television shows run this fine line of reality for a child. I truly believed the day might come when I was walking down the street and their car would squeal to a stop in front of me. Each one would give a generous flip of their hair as they climbed from the car to approach me in slow motion.






Fast forward to my college years. Among the many jobs I held, I actually landed one that involved some degree of responsibility. I was a security guard for a five star hotel/resort. Actually, they called us Loss Prevention Officers, which looked way cooler on our name badges. This was one of the swankiest hotels in Lexington, so I did get to meet a handful of celebrities over the year I worked there.

I only got hired because I was willing to work the third shift a few nights a week. Working overnight demanded a good bit of schedule shuffling to get enough sleep for school, so I didn’t volunteer for very many extra shifts.

Until something odd happened…

I got called into Mr. Hebert’s office one night late in the week. He didn’t show up at the midnight turn of shifts unless something was wrong, so I feared the worst.

“Myers, I’ve got a special assignment for you,” he said with a wry grin while perched on the corner of his desk.

His tone made me instantly leery of his intent. I said nothing but waited for him to finish.

“This has to remain our secret. Can I trust you?”

Oh man, I was worried now. What was he going to make me do? I had no other option, so I agreed.

“At six a.m., I need you to be ready in the golf cart by the back entrance of the hotel. Someone will meet you there and need you to follow them as they jog the cart paths. Okay?”

It seemed harmless. I agreed, but dreaded finding out what this special assignment entailed.

He went home and left me to my duties – poking around the property, flirting with the front desk attendant, and generally lollygagging. When 6 a.m. arrived, I sat in the fully charged golf cart waiting when who should exit the hotel door but Cheryl Ladd – in town to film the miniseries Bluegrass! My dreaded assignment was to follow the beautiful Angel Kris Monroe around for 45 minutes. Um, terrible duty. She was every bit as beautiful as I’d imagined and very kind. I don’t think there was a drop of sweat on her when she finished, thanked me, and went on her way.

  * * * * * * *

Later that morning, when the daytime crew showed up, John sat on the same corner of his desk with a smarmy grin on his face.

“How was the night?” he asked.

“Peaceful,” I replied so as not to arouse suspicion.

Before I left he added, “I’m making next week’s schedule. What days are you available?”

I thought for a minute, studied the smile in his eyes and said, “I don’t have any early classes next week, I can work every night.”

“Excellent. The duty remains the same,” he said.

So I worked a full week of that tough job. I thought about skidding the cart to a stop somewhere and jumping out ready to fight crime with Ms. Monroe, but there was no need. Each morning was peacefully dull, yet somehow incredibly memorable to this young man.

The Laugh Track

When did they make the last truly funny show? Has there been anything funny created in two decades or are they simply repeating the same thirty minute plotlines with different characters? The real question is, are they still using the same crazy laugh track from I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith show?image

We are living with a baby monitor in the house once more. No baby (Thank God), but our patient is twelve and wants time alone with the ability to call mom with any whim that might cross her mind. Not that she would take advantage of the situation… No.

I digress.

The thing that is annoying about the baby monitor is hearing terrible programming while I’m sitting alone in the den. Worse yet, with the monitor in the kitchen on one side of me and the TV in the bedroom on the other, I get to hear the awfulness in stereo. The quality of TV these days seems to be atrocious. I’m only speaking of children’s shows in this case, but not much has piqued my interest since The Office went off the air. I do like Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, but neither are must-see for me.

imageSo I sit with the baby monitor blaring from the kitchen. It doesn’t pick up everything and the laugh track seems peculiarly loud. It sounds exactly like the ones from every mildly humorous sitcom I recall – Taxi, Fish, Welcome Back Kotter, etc. There were funny moments in those, but maybe six per episode. The laugh button was hit fifty times per show, which magnified the disparity between actual funny and forced funny. It seems they are still using the same track these days, only they hit it more often and forgot to put the six funny moments in the shows.


I was trying to build a list of shows I remember that were clever and funny enough to go without the laugh track. Here is what I came up with:





Everybody Loves Raymond

I Love Lucy

Andy Griffith

The Office

The Dick Van Dyke Show

It isn’t an exhaustive list, but my poor memory tires quickly. What would you add to my list?