Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where I would eat if I lived in a TV. Pt. 1

Diner's have a long history with television. And I have a long history with television. So today I am going to write about one of my favorite tv show diners-
Mel's Diner (not THE Mel's Diner in Los Angeles which will be the subject of a future review)

Mel's Diner was the main vocation location for the sitcom "Alice". It was owned and operated by the cantankerous Mel (played by Vic Tayback). Mel's was a truck stop diner in Arizona which saw a parade of wacky characters over the show's nine year run. 9 years! Holy crap! Andy Richter can't even squeeze out a full season and Alice got my whole childhood! (My childhood ended at 10 when I found my dad's stash of Playboys. True story! Thanks to Hef's view of womanhood, I didn't know girls had openings down there for like 4 years.)

For me, "Alice" was that show that came on TBS after Andy Griffith, which I hated except for Barney Fife, and before "Good Times" which I loved, except for Florida Evans, she was soooo preachy. I'd largely tune "Alice" out and focus on my GI Joes or "He-Mans", but as soon as I'd hear that deep, gruff grizzly bear voice of Vic Tayback, I'd perk right up. Mel typifies how I want every diner cook to look. Vaguely fifty-ish, an ex-Marine probably, a cigar hanging from his lips and most importantly, a little white stocking cap.
Look at that guy! He's gonna go pave the hurt road that leads to your house!

Mel was a meanie with a heart choked by cholesterol but plated in gold. He might have been quick to temper with his sassy waitress' ("Kiss my grits!" was known to send him into a gamma-rage) but as evidenced in the series finale (upon selling the diner, Mel gave each waitress 5,000 dollars) he always took care of his girls. He's like me, really.
Vic will be recognizable to geeks from his part as Krako on the classic Star Trek episode "A Piece of the Action" and by girls in their later20s/early30s as one of the vengeful husbands in "Loverboy" with Patrick Dempsey.

Watch some episodes of "Alice" right now thanks to AOL Video. Why am I not getting paid for all these awesome plugs!

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