October 16th, 2008

krazy koati

They're never seen alone, so they're known as a couple

Neal Hefti has died. That may not signify much unless you know that he's the person who wrote the theme for the Adam West version of Batman, and now you can't get his composition out of your head. I don't have any deeper thoughts about him, just the respect for a person who could compose such a catchy tune and who applied that talent for the forces of good. (According to his obituary the Batman theme was his ``most difficult piece'' and he ``threw away more music paper on this thing than any other song''.) I imagine he's somewhat resented by the hardcore Batman fanboys for helping give Batman a public image so fun and likeable that it took decades of time and several Joel Schumacher movies to crush that reputation. He also wrote the theme for The Odd Couple, and did background music for the TV show version.

Also recently dead is Jack Narz, perhaps an even more obscure figure. He was a game show host and in fact hosted Dotto, the infamous game show whose fixing first set off the quiz show scandal. Somehow he evaded the scandal on his show and went on to replace the host on Top Dollar, the replacement to Dotto, and in later years hosted Concentration, Beat The Clock, and for one month the Bill Cullen version of The Price Is Right. I suppose this is just following the rule that the results of scandals shouldn't really make perfect sense. Narz was the older brother of Tom Kennedy, host of Name That Tune and Password Plus and the 1980s nighttime The Price Is Right, and was also the brother-in-law of Bill Cullen, who hosted every game show ever including --- wait for it --- The Price Is Right.

No grander thoughts here; just, noting people whose work I know.

Trivia: The quiz show Dotto had contestants connect up to fifty dots to draw a famous face. Each unused dot was worth $20 to the winning contestant. Source: Quiz Craze, Thomas A DeLong.

Currently Reading: Indian Wars, Robert M Utley, Wilcomb E Washburn.