Stu Bailey and Jeff Spencer were the wisecracking, womanizing private detective heroes of this Warner Brothers drama. Stu and Jeff worked out of an office located at 77 Sunset Strip in Los ...
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Stuart Bailey, his prisoner and four others survive a plane crash and are washed ashore on an isolated island. Exploring their haven, Bailey learns to his horror that within 48 hours, it might turn ...
Jeff recounts how he took in struggling nerd Stu as junior partner, after Jeff rescued a beauty from a kidnapping plus nabbed a car ring single-handed, after bow-tied, all-thumbs Stu botched the car ...
Mike Nelson is a S.C.U.B.A. diver in the days when it was still very new. He works alone, and the plot was mostly carried through his voice-over narrations. These gave the show a flavor of ... See full summary »
Set against the beautiful tropical landscape of Honolulu, Hawaii, this series centered around the cases of Hawaiian Eye Private Investigations and the two handsome, slick, tough-guy ... See full summary »
Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (five-card draw) is ... See full summary »
Stu Bailey and Jeff Spencer were the wisecracking, womanizing private detective heroes of this Warner Brothers drama. Stu and Jeff worked out of an office located at 77 Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California, right next door to a snazzy restaurant where Kookie worked as a valet. The finger-snapping, slang-talking Kookie occasionally helped Stu and Jeff with their cases, and eventually became a full-fledged member of the detective agency. Rex Randolph and J.R. Hale also joined the firm, and Suzanne was their leggy secretary.Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sponsors included Anacin aspirin, Certs breath mints "with the golden drop of Retsyn", and Salem cigarettes. See more »
77 Sunset Boulevard is actually a bridge over the 101 Freeway. Further, the opening sequence shows the Sunset Tower Hotel in the distance, which would place them in the 8000 block of Sunset. See more »
Although at the time it was on the air 77 Sunset Strip was primarily known as the vehicle that launched Edd Byrnes into short lived teen idol stardom. Looking back however 77 Sunset Strip set a pattern of Warner Brothers television detectives, it spun so many copycat shows.
At 77 Sunset Boulevard was quartered the private detective firm of Bailey and Spencer. Stu Bailey and Jeff Spencer were played by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Roger Smith. These two guys did not take their detectives cues from rumpled private eyes like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe. With their stylish clothes and hipster rat pack style dialog, Zimbalist and Smith were the new style private eyes for the Fifties.
These guys were good, but what really made the show a success was the presence of Edd Byrnes playing one Gerald Lloyd Kookson, III AKA Kookie. Second to Elvis Presley, Byrnes was the first teen idol I was cognizant of in my youth. He talked as hip as Zimbalist and Smith and he had the most carefully groomed hair on television. Kookie was never without his comb and in fact he and the comb spawned a hit record of the time, Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb. In fact his character name became a slang term for strange, still used among folks in my age bracket. Byrnes was a parking lot attendant and he was always getting vehicles for the stars.
Eventually the guys actually made Kookie a detective in the firm and a new teen idol Robert Logan was hired as J.R. Logan however never took off the way Kookie did.
There is one constant in show business. If something succeeds, copy it to death. Warner Brothers put out Surfside Six, Hawaiian Eye, Bourbon Street Beat and a few others as did other producers trying to imitate them. During the late Eisenhower and Kennedy years, television was inundated with hip private eyes. None of them had the success of the original. Zimbalist and Smith guest starred on some of these other shows and they in turn had visiting detectives as well. In fact Richard Long who co-starred in Bourbon Street Beat after that show was canceled, Long and his character Rex Randolph moved from New Orleans to Los Angeles to get taken into the Bailey-Spencer firm.
After five seasons ABC canceled 77 Sunset Strip. Roger Smith was developing the health problems that forced him to leave acting and CBS picked up the show and promptly fired everyone else, except Zimbalist. From the hip Stu Bailey, Zimbalist became Stu the cynic. He was now an international secret agent and man of mystery.
The first five shows were appropriately entitled Five. It was possibly the first mini-series ever. Some 25 guest stars appeared in a five part show that was not bad in and of itself, but it certainly shocked those who expected what they were used to. 77 Sunset Strip didn't last long after that and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. joined The FBI next season.
Still as a pioneering show of sorts, 77 Sunset Strip has an honored place in TV Land memories.
By the way, the end of that Kookie song had Byrnes telling some girl she was the 'ginchiest'. To this day I don't know what that means.
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