This show was originally a summer replacement series in 1977 and was an unexpected hit. Hoping that it would still be popular, CBS decided to make it a spring replacement series. When it started again in January 1978 it was up against Laverne and Shirley, then the #1 show in the country. The show was canceled two months later. See more »
Variety show starring the 1970s husband-and-wife mime duo Robert Shields & Lorene Yarnell
I hate mimes...the standard white-faced, pretensions-to-high-art mimes that we all imagine when we think of mimes. But what Shields & Yarnell were doing was more like old-style physical comedy...and I love old-style physical comedy.
They were offered their own weekly variety show after attracting attention with some very successful guest-spots on shows like "The Sonny & Cher Show" and "The Muppet Show". Although their variety series only lasted a year, it was nominated for an Emmy.
Their "Clinkers" robot characters inspired the Moonwalk and the Robot dance moves. These sketches are still fascinating to watch, because the duo really does move exactly as though they were machines, with servos instead of joints. The illusion is made even more complete by the glassy stares and a total lack of blinking---a feat which requires tremendous muscular control and reflex suppression.
Robert Shields is now a very successful artist, who sells his artwork and a DVD compilation of Shields & Yarnell material and TV news items about the team. Although divorced, he and Lorene still perform together. In fact, they will be starting a nationwide tour in December of 2006.
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