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SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3804 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2005 :  20:15:50  Show Profile
The Wild Wild West had several: James Lister, William Kenney, Al Onorato, and—the woman who behind the scenes did the most to keep the show on the air—Ethel Winant.

But now—you are the casting director. Play along with me.

A great character actor of that era and afterwards, John Fiedler, has recently died. For The New York Times obituary, follow this link:

His face was memorable (see the obit for a photo) but his high-pitched voice—used by Disney for Piglet in its Winnie-the Pooh cartoons—was unforgetable.

He never played a role in any of the 104 episodes of The Wild Wild West. But he was a very popular actor in that decade, and he could have. (Around the week that West and Artemus confronted "Montezuma's Hordes," on another channel Fiedler played a character on the original Star Trek that was exposed as—surprise!—Jack the Ripper.)

Question: What role in West would you have liked to have seen Mr. Fiedler play?

K Mills
SS novice field agent

849 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2005 :  10:11:58  Show Profile
Uh, what? It's 102 here in the shade, and my brain is fried but, the voice of Tigger, Paul Winchell, just died also. I'm really sad now.
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SS novice field agent

948 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2005 :  21:07:28  Show Profile  Visit AdorableBlue's Homepage
Yo, K! 102 there? Wow! And I thought 57 was bad.

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SS novice field agent

1393 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2005 :  08:23:57  Show Profile  Visit Redhead1617's Homepage
57?? Can I come visit??? 75 here, but humidity is the killer 50's is the perfect temperature

was out in Las Vegas a few weeks ago during a heat wave there & it hit 102, as long as I staid in the shade and hopped air-conditioned casino to air-conditioned casino I was okay


*sigh...where's MY Ross Martin?
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SS 1st assignment - desk job

356 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2005 :  17:32:36  Show Profile
I'm not sure I'd like to tamper with any of the existing casting choices, but if I had to replace someone with Mr. Fiedler I suggest that he might have played either Norber Plank (TNOT Fugitives) or Bosley Cranston (TNOT Camera). He might have given a very different twist to the charactor of Fabian Lavendor (TNOT Ready-Made Corpse), but I'd have hated to give up Caroll O'Connor.

Actually, I think it's too bad that Robert Bloch, writer of the Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold" which guest starred Mr. Fiedler, was never asked to write for www. Mr. Bloch was the author of "Psycho" which later became the Hitchcock movie of the same name. His ST ep was based on a short story he wrote. In my opnion, it could have been adapted to the WWW format just as well, but I imagine CBS would have judged it a fantasy, the kind of story that they tried to avoid.

I agree that it is interesting that Mr. Fiedler never appeared in www. There were many actors that appeared in both series and if the right role had come along, I imagine that he would have made a fine villain to annoy Jim and Artie.

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SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2005 :  20:13:14  Show Profile
Gee Elaine I wasn't thinking of him playing an existing role but a role that might have been. Guess I misunderstood the question

Would I make him a villain or a friend? He would be equally interesting as either. I think I would replace Pat Paulson with him. That definitely would improve that episode.
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SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3804 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2005 :  08:12:55  Show Profile
couldron: I think I would replace Pat Paulson with him. That definitely would improve that episode.

For this site's younger visitors, some historical perspective may be in order. Nowadays almost no one remembers Pat Paulsen. In the late 60s, however, he enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame as a member of the repertory company on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. This began as a conventional variety show but fast became a flashpoint for topical humor and satiric savagery of the Viet Nam war. Paulsen delivered weekly "editorials," mostly comic non-sequiturs, which became so popular that he (or his agent) was inspired to make a faux run for '68 presidential election on a lampooned platform. Anyway, hiring him to play Bosley Cranston in "The Night of the Camera" was one of the few genuine stunts that the producers pulled throughout the series' run, probably, for the benefit of an overtly comic episode, to take some of the initial edge off—and divert attention away from—Ross Martin's absence during the fourth season. John Fiedler was a much better actor, but he wasn't au courant. Paulsen was.

For a picture of Paulsen's "campaign poster," held by the man himself and Bob Conrad, consult page 216 of the Kesler Bible.

After months of growing nervousness and repeated warnings to the Brothers Smothers to lay off the political comments, in a fit of courage CBS cancelled their popular show. Does this sound familiar, especialy to fans of another late '60s CBS program?

Where was I? Oh, yes—my thread. I might have hired John Fiedler to play Gideon McCoy in "The Bars of Hell." Elisha Cook was fine, but Fiedler could play the little weasel with the best of them. Plus Cook had just been cast in "The Double-Edged Knife" for another minor role only a few months before.

Happy Fourth to all—
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