1965: Mad’s Jack Davis depicts NBC’s lineup

Artist Jack Davis was one of William M. Gaines’s “gang of idiots” who was a major to Mad magazine. But he often did other art jobs as well.

One came in 1965, when David did a giant, “Where’s Waldo?” style drawing of the stars of NBC’s 1965-66 television lineup for TV Guide. There’s a TV spy connection to this, of course, because it includes Robert Culp and Bill Cosby of I Spy and Robert Vaughn and David McCallum of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Think you can spot them? Well, just CLICK RIGHT HERE.

UPDATE: Sorry about that, chief! We didn’t note that Don Adams as Maxwell Smart and Barbara Feldon as Agent 99 from Get Smart are in the Jack Davis drawing.

Dubious statements about 007 movies over the years

5a. “The story here is a goodie and far easier to follow than GoldenEye that’s for sure. Who knew what the f*** that was all about? Those scenes about finding the key. . .Excuse me! The premise here is wonderful and I used what little clout I have to ensure this Bond is more character-driven so I actually have something meaty to act…”

Pierce Brosnan in 1997, discussing the virtues of Tomorrow Never Dies.

5b. “The press tour for that film was 22 countries. When I did it I knew the movie wasn’t up to speed; it wasn’t as good as GoldenEye and you have to bang the drum loudly to get the attention.”

Pierce Brosnan in 2010, looking back on Tomorrow Never Dies with something less than fondness.

4. “The books are not popular.”

Michael G. Wilson in 1989 talking about John Gardner’s 007 continuation novels and why they would not be the basis of films.

While sales would fall off later, Gardner’s first novel, Licensed Renewed, had been a best seller. If you read the full interview linked here, Wilson comments how many more people see a movie than read a novel. That’s true, but it’s also true of Ian Fleming’s original novels (at least before the movies started coming out in 1962). This one isn’t so much dubious as nitpicking, granted. But there seems to have been a bit of a chill between the movie makers and Fleming’s literary heirs for decades. We’re guessing this statement was a way of deflecting further questions about that.

3. “But 2 days on the closed set of Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th Bond film scheduled to open stateside Dec. 19, reveal some subtle, progressive changes in the formula.

“First, the Bond girls become women with substance.

“Hatcher’s character has defied the odds and had a meaningful relationship with Bond, while Hong Kong martial arts maven Michelle Yeoh plays agent Wai Lin, capable of laying out 5 bad guys in a single scene.”

USA Today reporter Marco R. della Cava in a July 23, 1997 article describing Tomorrow Never Dies.

In the newspaper biz, they used to have clip files. That’s all digitized now but there were means in 1997 to do a little research that would have revealed that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (28 years earlier) included a love story that included an acclaimed actress (Diana Rigg) playing Bond’s love interest who (briefly) marries him. A little more digging would have revealed that The Spy Who Loved Me (20 years earlier) featured a Russian woman agent as Bond’s love interest. Agent XXX was described as 007’s “equal in every way” by that film’s director, Lewis Gilbert during filming of that 1977 movie (a clip of which is seen in Inside The Spy Who Loved Me documentary).

Not to pick on USA Today, but this sort of thing has become a cliche that seems to get used everytime a Bond movie gets filmed. In any case, if you want to read the entire USA Today story, CLICK HERE and scroll down.

2. “It’s the best we’ve had in terms of construction — a beginning, middle and end. It’s good, it’s a very good script.”

Sean Connery in 1971, describing the script of Diamonds Are Forever. (As seen in the documentary Inside Diamonds Are Forever)

For many fans, Connery remains The Man when it comes to all things Bond. But this comment apparently also shows he likes jokey stuff that some of these same 007 fans say they abhor. Even if you agree with the actor’s tastes, it’s not like the script for Diamonds is glitch free. How did the fake diamonds (Shady Tree says they were glass) survive the incineration of the casket containing the body of Peter Franks? And if you’ve ever seen the Sammy Davis Jr. scene that got cut from the film, the question is why was that in the script to begin with?

1. “It’s not science fiction, in fact, it’s science fact.”

Albert R. Broccoli, describing Moonraker.

Warning, this is nitpicking. You can’t hear explosions in outer space, like you do in Moonraker, or lots of other movies with scenes in space. Truth be told, once you get past Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s hard to find a science fiction movie that really sought to stick close to science. Still, when you go out on the limb…