Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ideal All Cracked Up! Charley Stevens

"A man is only as crazy as he seems,
we're movin' on to a life of silly dreams.
Most of us haven't a clue of which way's up,

That's why we're All Cracked Up!
All Cracked up!"


Who can forget that theme song and who can forget ABC's 1978 mid-season replacement sitcom, "All Cracked Up!" ...the show about a family that moves from the suburbs to the heart of Chicago so "Dad" can take on the new job of head doctor at a hospital for the mentally insane. This is only son, Charley Stevens who was played by actor Todd Rogers. In an effort to adapt to the new change in his life, Charley seems to become a bit wacky himself...pretending to become many different imaginary characters. It was always fun to see the "patients" on the show interact with Charley's different characters that he would pretend to be. I'm sure most people still remember the "grapefruit" episode to this day. A true classic.

In the Seventies, there was no shortage of toys from non-superhero or non-sci-fi tv shows. We saw toys released from such programs as Welcome Back Kotter, The Love Boat, Emergency, and even the Waltons. So, the figures from All Cracked Up might seem out of place on a child's toy shelf these days but were right at home in the climate of the 1970s. I knew at least 3 or 4 other kids that had figures from this show and that's a true testament to the popularity it enjoyed then. Other figures in the line included Charley's Dad (Dr. Stevens), Roy "Peanut Butter" McAllister (patient), and Satchel Geronimo (another patient).


This is Charley pretending to be the space cadet (no one said 70s show writers were original), Neemor.

This was probably the best choice for a figure over Charley's other characters like cowboy, Slim Bill or psychiatrist, Dr. Id. Science fiction was riding at an all-time high in the late 70s with properties like Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica in the public consciousness. Although Charley's Dr. Id character might have been more fitting considering the premise behind the sitcom, Charley's Neemor outfit is certainly more exciting than a white lab coat.



This particular figure is missing his blue plastic shovel. Charley would pretend that his shovel was all sorts of things and it was a constant in the show. As Neemor, Charley would pretend that his shovel was a laser gun. As Slim Bill, the shovel became a revolver. You get the idea.

Charley should come with his gray and blue spacesuit, two gray boots, and his blue shovel (not pictured).

"Who should I be today?"

6 comments:

  1. Did you make that show up?

    I never heard of it and Google hasn't either.

    Did I just fall victim to an April Fools day prank?

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  2. You don't remember this one? I'm shocked.

    Ol' "Peanut Butter" always being fooled by Charley's characters? Charley could walk into the lunch room as himself and Peanut Butter wouldn't give him the time of day. Charley throws on a lab coat and "pow," Peanut Butter treats him like a King.

    "Spare a quid, Dr. Id?"

    I got a little tired of that line but it was funny during the first few episodes.

    Good stuff.

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  3. Due to the overwhelming pressure of will-crushing apathy from readers, I'm going to come clean and reveal the true nature of this figure and post. It WAS an April Fools prank.

    This figure is actually a character named Loki from Filmation's 1978 show titled Space Academy. Apparently, these figures were Woolworth exclusives. In fact, I remember clearly that my brother bought this when we were with our Mom at Woolworths one day. It stands out in my memory since we rarely visited Woolworths. What a strange place for a figure exclusive.

    April Fools! ....I guess.

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  4. Thanks for coming clean.
    You're right there weren't any toys, but what a great show! The grapefruit episode was good, but my favorite was always the one where the whole family ended up in jail after getting caught smuggling stolen VonStieger paintings!
    All Cracked Up! Yes!

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. My parents wouldn't let me watch it because of the mature themes, but I remember one summer evening in 1978 when I stood on the sidewalk outside my neighbor's house and attempted to listen to their television.
    It was difficult to hear, because even though the front door was open and the volume was fairly high, the neighbors were fighting (over one of the husband's many affairs - talk about mature themes). Nevertheless, I can still remember laughing hysterically as Charley attempted to convince Dr. Stevens that Peanut Butter had actually scalped Satchel Geronimo. ("There's no way a butter knife is sharp enough to cut flesh, Charley." That's what Satchel thought, too, Dad!")
    Good times....
    Thanks for the memories, my friend!

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