Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!

This is
'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Yes, I was supposed to have posted this 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' Results blog bit yesterday but I held off, desperately seeking one more vote. I was hoping maybe a late straggler might come in to change the final tally, but it didn't happen, so here is...

STMcC’s Vote On '2016, Oct. 15th: Battle Of The Bands'
(Or, 'River Kwai Vs. 'Andy Griffith' Vs. 'Monty Python')
And The Final Tally:

The Battle took place HERE, and I thought it was fun. I really enjoyed reading all of the comments you submitted with your votes. I thank you all. It was a good turnout and a good time.

Although I really dig all three of the tunes I used, anyone who knows me at all also knew without a doubt that my vote was going the 'The Fishin' Hole' -- The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS) theme. And that means we wound up with the following outcome:

'Bridge On The River Kwai March' = 5 votes

'The Fishin' Hole' = 10 votes

'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' = 10 votes.

My BOTB ties now go "UP TO ELEVEN".


From the time I was just a little kid about Opie's age, TAGS was my Pa's all-time favorite TV show, so our whole family were regular viewers of the show. It eventually became MY all-time favorite TV show, too.


By the time my ill-fated Hollywood career was (kinda-sorta) underway, I had already seen every TAGS episode "In Glorious Black & White" countless times.

Whenever I was working on a production, I always tried to add a little something extra to flesh-out the character I was supposed to be, even when I had no dialogue. I considered myself a genuine actor (Ha!) so I always wanted to add a spark of life to even the most inconsequential "silent bit".

Below is the TAGS episode 'GUEST OF HONOR' (Season 2, Episode 21, 2/26/1962).

At the 22:00 mark, the thief, Thomas A. Moody (played by the wonderful character actor Jay Novello), is caught red-handed with the goods. He just stands there astonished and repeatedly blinking, like he can't *blinking*-believe" he got caught!

On April 6, 1981, I appeared in the episode of M*A*S*H titled 'Blood Brothers' (Season 9, Episode 18) which featured guest actor Patrick Swayze. Although I had no lines, I was one of "Rizzo's Crap-Shooting Grease Monkeys" -- as Father Mulcahy called us without any "jocularity" in his voice.

The first time we're seen playing Craps and Colonel Potter tells us to knock it off, my back is to the camera and I have my Army cap on backwards.

At about the 5:00-minute mark in the episode, we "crap-shooting grease monkeys" get caught doing exactly what Colonel Potter had told us not to. And aside from wearing my cap backwards, I wanted to do a "Li'l Sumpin'" extra. I wanted to add a little touch just for my own amusement.

I remembered that 'Guest Of Honor' episode from TAGS, and how, when caught red-handed, Thomas A. Moody had stood there in *blinking*-astonishment, so as a personal nod to Jay Novello, I decided to emulate his bit in 'The Andy Griffith Show'.

I don't know if the following links to the M*A*S*H episode are really going to work or not. But if they do, you can see Yours Truly doing his best Thomas A. Moody. When Klinger and Father Mulcahy come upon us shooting Craps in the dark, I'm the second guy from the right -- the one wearing his cap backwards and who can't *blinking*-believe" he got caught!

DEBBIE D. found this first link which seems to work best of the three:




Again, my sincerest Thanks to everyone who took time to listen and vote. I hope you will all return again for my November 1st BOTB installment. It's another one that's a bit different and which I believe will also be kind of fun. (No whistling next time, I promise!)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. >>...so I always wanted to add a spark of life to even the most inconsequential "silent bit".

    As a multiple winner of the "Find STM in the MASH background" drinking game, I can attest to that.

    Father Jocularity's "story of two men" sermon "gets me" every time. I know you had asked me if I had seen you in that episode last month but my brain kept looping trying to remember. I thought I had seen every sighting of STM but I was drawing a blank even though that's one of my favorite episodes. I'll be on the look out next time. The local TV station is running the 1976 pre-Winchester episodes right now. Hope the royalty checks are still being forwarded to you.

    Sorry the Russians didn't influence the voting here as they were supposed to. I will see to their immediate execution.

    VladaSig Putin II

    1. PUTIN DOS ~
      Ha! Your commments ALWAYS entertain me in such an enjoyably entertainingly enjoyable way.

      Methinx Hellary's Russian hackers don't hack anywhere near as well as she does. How she got through the debates without "Wikileaking" all over the place (and in her diaper) is testament to her doctors who somehow managed to resurrect the dead. (And silly me thought only God and Christ could do that.)

      Oh, you're too modest. Not only are you a multiple winner of the "Find STM in the MASH background" drinking game, you are undefeated. I'll bet you could beat me at it 9 out of 10 times! :o)

      Yes, that was a nice piece of acting William Christopher did in that scene. I was the first person to hand him a Kleenex as soon as the director called "Cut! Print! Wrap! Mojitos!"

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  2. I can't find you. I keep looking at that five minute mark, but you're too quick for me. I also have a headache. That's my excuse. I'll have to look again later. Now my son keeps whistling the theme from MASH.


    1. Well, it starts more at the 5:07 mark, and the camera keeps returning to the group of us and holds on us. Impossible to miss, really... unless one has a headache.

      Ironically, I was NEVER a MASH fan, but that theme music is one of my very favorites EVER. It's right there with MOONLIGHTING and WKRP IN CINCINNATI.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. Not a MASH fan? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

    3. Yeah. An A-list case of it, huh?

      ~ D-FensDogG

  3. I have to look it up on YouTube because the link kept stopping and not moving forward. I know this episode well so I have to see this when I get the chance. Glad your fav won and this was tough because I like all 3.

    1. BIRGIT ~
      I don't think it's at YouTube, but no matter. Just a Fun Fact in closing a fun Battle.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  4. I was a bit concerned about opening either of those links as I was getting weird messages and I didn't want to risk anything about my computer. But I did watch the part of that TAGS show.

    What an outcome. I wonder what would have happened without that spoiler candidate in the running. I'll bet the TAGS would have won..

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. LEE ~
      That's peculiar about the "weird messages", because the links worked for me, except that I had a buffering problem with one of them. But no messages, and I ran a couple of different virus scans afterwards and the results were totally clean.

      Yeah, I liked the idea of having three memorable whistling songs in my BOTW. But with my 20/20 hindsight, I see that had I not included RIVER KWAI, that was 5 votes that would have gone to TAGS or MONTY. And 5 being an odd number, it means I would have had a winner and not a tie. Oh, well. It's BOTB and no one knows nuttin' 'til it's too late to fix it.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  5. HA! As you noticed on my battle, a last minute vote saved a tie. Or at least, it stopped me from casting my vote to break the tie.
    That's precious you were on MASH and gave your all to the bit part you did have.
    What else have you ever appeared on?

    1. JEFFY ~
      Ties feel like a waste of time. When I put a lot of thought and work into a BOTB, I wanna have a winner for my trouble (even if the winner isn't the song I personally prefer).

      Well, I was on MASH for the last 5 years of its run. Made a fair amount of money from that show, praise God! I also still get small residual checks for something I did on 'HILL STREET BLUES'.

      But I worked on literally countless shows from 1977-1983 or '84. No dialogue in this one, but I can easily find myself in a (bad) horror movie called 'THE FURY' with Kirk Douglas and Amy Irving. Also, the Al Pacino movie 'AND JUSTICE FOR ALL'. I'm briefly in a Thanksgiving Day scene at the old folks' home (I think). No lines in that either, however.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    1. "​If you were to come back as an animal, what sort of animal would you be?"

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      ~ D-FensDogG

  7. I think this was a really interesting and fun botb.

    As you know, for some reason I suspected that you were collaborating with someone else on a "playoff" battle, where the other person might have held a contest using perhaps the theme from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," "Don't Worry Be Happy," and "What a Day for a Daydream"... or something similar. Woulda coulda shoulda, but you'd have maybe ended up with a winner ultimately rather than a tie.

    1. Oooh!... I hate that second one. But 'TG,TB,ATU'... Hmmm... Hmmm..., I say.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  8. Hi, Stephen; Nice to know Monty Python got equal billing. ☺ I only ever watched TAGS sporadically, many years later as reruns, but I know it had a huge fan base. How cool to be acquainted with a bonafide Hollywood actor! Your link wanted me to download something, so I chose my own preferred site for TV online viewing: http://watchtvlinks.sx/episode/m.a.s.h_s9_e18, which brought me to: http://streamin.to/3mb3alnd46zp These work great, as long as you have some kind of AdBlocker software installed, otherwise, you might get confusing popups. Anyway, you had the cutest puppy-dog expression on your face! Definitely a standout performance. MASH and Hill Street Blues were favourite shows, so I must have viewed all of your scenes at one time or another. You were in "And Justice For All"? That's one of my favourite movies!! Definitely going to check that out. Sounds like you had a pretty good career going.

    1. Sorry I'm a shade late in replying, DEBBIE, but your comment really made me laugh.

      "Puppy-dog expression"... I NEVER thought of it that way, but I believe you're right. I was so young then that I could manage "puppy-dog" without even trying. HA!

      Yes, if you were a really big MASH fan then you have seen and heard me many times. There were several times when I was featured as an injured and recovering patient. (Well, one time I did NOT recover, but I did die "in time" to save another soldier's life.)

      I always got a kick out of continuity errors that NO ONE other than me would notice. Like, in one shot I'd be lying in a bed in Post-Op, and in the very next scene I'm in line for chow in the Mess Tent. Quick recovery! [:o)

      Thanks for providing that URL. It seems to work very well -- much better'n the ones I found -- so I'm going to add it to the body of this blog bit. Thanks again, DEBBIE!

      ~ Stephen


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