Last evening, for the first time in thirty-three years, I had the pleasure of watching the special 'Good Evening, Captain', which I first saw when it aired ONCE, on August 21, 1981 at 8 p.m. on CBS. I hadn't seen it since then, so I couldn't remember much about it, but it was well worth the waiting time. Many celebrities (including an uncredited Gary Collins) appear to celebrate the Captain's anniversary (actually twenty-seven years....). Jean Stapleton appears as 'Doris W. Pruitt', the Captain's biggest fan, in a four part sketch that describes her lifelong fascination with our hero's broadcasts....allegedly watching from the first broadcast to the then-current episode. Jean and Mike Farrell duet in a number of songs, with Jean performing a heartfelt rendition of 'Turn Around'. The Magic Carpet Band presents a live-action version of a few stories written by children and delights the audience with a song. Barbara Mandrell hosts a segment looking at how dolls have evolved through the years, and the Captain himself (in a supermarket setting) talks about how the family unit and times have changed. Series regulars Hugh Brannum and Gus Allegretti (along with the Captain) sing 'Stick Together. Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit are also on hand (pun intended)....Perhaps the highlight of the special is the segment in which the Captain sings a salute to many guests who appeared on the series from 1970-1979, featuring color videotape clips of 45 performers, including Gale Gordon as 'Niles Nasty', Margaret Hamilton, Mr. Rogers, Doug Henning and Andy Williams. I also enjoyed seeing the original commercials, many of which I remembered from that time. Although not officially available, it is nice to know that it survives, and in nice video and audio condition.
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