Sea Hunt!

Today is the birthday of TV actor Lloyd Bridges in 1913. Bridges did a lot of different things in his 85 years on Earth, including a stint in the Coast Guard. But he was a favorite in my family for his role as expert frogman Mike Nelson on the 1960’s TV show Sea Hunt.

Because so much of the show was shot underwater, Bridges did voice-overs to describe large parts of the action. Of course there was lots of silent struggling with various people, sea creatures and obstacles (both natural and man-made). I became convinced if I ever went scuba diving, I was going to get trapped inside a shipwreck. Which is why I’ve never gone scuba diving.

To this day, nothing makes me hold my breath like watching actors who are pretending they can’t breathe.

Many of the episodes are available for viewing on You Tube.

Sea Hunt set the high water mark for our family viewing time. Even after its cancellation, every dramatic adventure series that came along was given a shorthand title that referenced this seminal classic, with which they were almost always unfavorably compared.

Star Trek was “Space Hunt.” Bonanza was “Horse Hunt”. The Avengers became “Spy Hunt.” The Fugitive, naturally, was “Guy Hunt.”

Lloyd Bridges and Jacques Cousteau convinced me at a young age that it is smart to take care of the world’s oceans – something I have attempted to do mostly be staying out of them.

What’s a favorite family entertainment from your childhood?

107 thoughts on “Sea Hunt!”

  1. i am a leave it to beaver fan. just last week i went to netflix to tune in and found they had taken it off the available to watch list. i was devastated.
    for years they had it on at 6am for two episodes every weekday morning on the oldies channel and when beaver got old enough to stop being a little kid they did a couple more shows thn started over with him being a little kid again. it was only on for 6 years or so from the time he was 8 or so until he was 14 or so but the time was well spent they made 40 episdes a year and 243 episodes in all. i love that show.
    not suprisoingly andy griffith and dick van dyke are among the favorites too.
    when i was a kid we had sunday popcorn nights with walt disney lawnrece welk and i thin it was dick van dyke. alfred hitchcock was too scary for my fragile 6 year old imagination. sea unt was one i watched but it didnt light me up like it did dale i was more a lone ranger superman kind of action kid.
    today tv sure is different . my kids dont watch it the way i did at all. maybe thats ok

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We had a popcorn night at our house as well. It was Friday night when a series called (I think) Epic Theater was on – movies about characters such as Hercules. Mom would lay a large old blanket on the floor in front of the TV and make a large bowl of popcorn with melted butter poured over it. It was also the one night we got to drink pop. My favorites were Orange Crush and Grape Crush.
    When my sisters and I were bit older, we learned (or in my case, tried to learn) how to polka with dad while watching Lawrence Welk on Sunday nights.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m still a fan of grape pop. Every time I go into a restaurant I ask for grape. They make a face and offer wine…? Or one time a waitress bought me grapefruit drink. No.
      Only a few restaurants offering grape pop. But I keep asking. I’m trying to create a buzz.

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    1. johnny qwest was action cartoons a new thing for action shows. race bannon and the bruggameires at the bus stop the morning after the episode the night before. what was the indain kids name and bandit the dog

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It wasn’t meant specifically for kids; It was meant as a family action/adventure show. Doug Wildey was FAR ahead of his time for design and animation. There’s a great 4-part documentary on Jonny Quest on Youtube…

          Liked by 1 person

      1. huh I don’t remember epic theater on Friday nights. I remember comedy and classics on Friday nights in the 60’s stealing away my Friday nights out. paul muni and dorthy lamore were no one elses idea of how to spend Friday nights but they were mine. I guess that went on into the early 70’s with john galos (Clancy the cop in morning tv) as the host. I had a new found respect for john galos at that point

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        1. I saw the Unbeliveable Uglies many times. Their hometown of Halstad, Minnesota was just north of us. Winston Fink was a favorite of mine.

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  3. As one of the older people commenting on the blog, my family entertainment experiences go back to the days when radio shows were popular and many homes, including my family home, didn’t have TV. On weekend nights my family sat at the kitchen table and listened to our favorite shows including: Jack Benny; Our Miss Brooks; Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy; and Amos and Andy. There were also some radio shows that I listen to during the week after school by myself such as: Sargent Peston; Sky King; and Hop Along Cassidy

    Some of the radio shows moved on to become TV shows. I saw some of those shows that moved from radio to TV at the homes of some of my friends who had TVs before my parents brought one into our home. When we finally got a TV, The Ed Sullivan Show was one the biggest family favorites.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Some good memories there, Jim. Like you, I enjoyed many shows on radio. Critics say nasty things about the racism of Amos ‘n Andy. I loved the show on radio and was shocked to later learn that the characters I found so funny were black.

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    2. I remember not some but all those shows from tv.
      amos and andy were white guys on the radio but they needed to find black guys for the tv show. I remember that baritone saying something about the kingfish because I had an uncle named kingfish too (from Duluth) I loved sky king and hopalong Cassidy watched our miss brooks and jack benny edgar bergan and sgt preston were on but I didn’t like em. good memories

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  4. My parents had one big hobby – tennis. Those of you who know my mom know that this is still her big hobby; don’t get in between Nonny and her tennis. When my sister and I were younger, going to the tennis courts two or three times a week with my folks was pretty typical. They would play for an hour or so, then my sister and I would each get about 15 minutes each with them, if we wanted. My sister didn’t care much so usually it was just me. While my folks played, we had time to run around, play tag or even read. Most of the time we had the family dog (Princess the Wonder Dog). So while technically we didn’t spent most of the time “together”, these definitely felt like family outings to us.

    Then there were the Wonderful World of Color, Bonanza, Man From Uncle, Mission Impossible Sunday nights, starting at 6!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As my ex used to say, I have a million hours of Tivo in my head. Right, so narrow this down to -childhood,- ok. The only show I got to stay up ‘late’ (after 9:00pm) to watch was The Carol Burnett Show. After school was usually home to watch reruns of The Monkees. Saturday mornings were usually dedicated to Bugs Bunny/Road Runner and the first year (specifically) of Super Friends. Ted Knight was a stunningly good announcer but he was only around for the first season. Oh, and another childhood favorite of mine that was only around for one season was the computerized detective show, Search (which, amazingly, is now out on DVD).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When we got our TV the first show I fell in love with was a now obscure thing called Mr. Peepers starring Wally Cox as a high school teacher. Gentle humor. Not long afterward our family regularly watched I Love Lucy. Episodes we roared at in the Fifties are still enjoyed as classics of American comedy, but we saw them when they were run for the first time.

    I was too busy running around outdoors to waste time on TV when I was a teen. The only show I remember making an effort to see was the slyly funny Maverick series.

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      1. According to Wikipedia, and who can doubt Wikipedia, Cox’s and Brando’s ashes were mixed and scattered together in Death Valley and Tahiti.

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  7. We certainly watched TV but I don’t think of it as a family entertainment. The first thing that comes to mind is card games – Hearts, I Doubt It and Oh Hell.
    One special meal tradition that I think I’ve mentioned before was Cocoa Suppers – cocoa and cinnamon toast eaten IN THE LIVING ROOM. This was probably a bigger deal than for most people because, until I was a teen, the TV was in my parents’ bedroom, never in the living room (later in the expanded kitchen/family room). So eating in front of the TV was minimal.
    EXCEPT when we kids were sick, we got to spend our sick days IN my parents’ bed watching TV and drinking the only soft drinks we ever had other than at my grandmother’s – in order to get us to consume fluids.
    My favorite was Pal – a flat orange drink – – I’ve never been a fan of carbonation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Orange Crush only came into the house when one of us was sick!

      There were two special meals at my house – and both of them we only had when my dad wasn’t home for dinner (he used to travel for work when I was younger). The first was “breakfast for dinner” – usually waffles or pancakes. My dad had an aversion to traditional breakfast foods at dinner time. I’m not sure why, but could have been a throwback to his impoverished childhood – maybe he ate too much cereal for dinner as a kid.

      The second was tuna salad. My dad liked fish in general but did not like tuna. So usually on a warm summer evening when he wasn’t home for dinner, my mom would make tuna salad and serve it scooped into a hollowed out tomato. The smell of tuna can still take me back to those dinners!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The reference to tuna reminds me: Sunday dinner for us was served between noon and 1PM – after church. It was usually meat, potatoes, vegetable, etc. Mom didn’t want to cook at suppertime and we were usually still full from “dinner”, so for many years our Sunday supper was canned tuna fish mixed with Miracle Whip sandwiches. Once in a while mom tried to mix in pickle relish but I refused to eat it that way.

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  8. People today grew up with TV in a way I did not. Few people now realize how awful most early TV was. As a kid I regarded TV as something a dull person might do as a last resort. I went to college feeling contempt and pity for those guys who could spend hours and hours in front of a TV. I was nearly 30 when I owned my first TV, and that was a gift, something my dead grandfather had owned, not something I bought.

    There was a popular joke when I was a young man. People would predictably and loudly claim they “never” watched TV. And then they’d rush on to describe their favorite series in such detail that you knew they never missed a show in that series.

    For me, a show that marked a big change was the Upstairs, Downstairs series on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater. For almost the first time in my life there was a series I liked well enough to watch regularly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judging by how much I remember of early television, I must have been (and perhaps still am) a very dull person indeed. My memories go back to shows like ” I Married Joan” and “Our Miss Brooks” as well as “Mr. Peepers”. Carried over from radio, along with “Our Miss Brooks” was “Boston Blackie”. Sure the kids shows were awful and even bizarre (watch a clip of “Andy’s Gang” on YouTube sometime), but compared to what? I remember “Crusader Rabbit” and “Rootie Kazootie” and “Winky Dink” and a whole string of cowboy shows on Saturday mornings.
      About the only “destination TV” for my family where we would all watch together with popcorn was “The World of Disney” and the televised productions of “Peter Pan” with Mary Martin and Cyril Richard.
      I think the show that made the deepest impression on me personally was “Science Fiction Theatre”, introduced each week by Truman Bradley, who had been a well-known radio voice. In each introduction, surrounded by an early ’50s concept of cutting edge laboratory equipment, Bradley would demonstrate some surprising scientific phenomenon and that would figure into the plot of that night’s story. Episodes from Science Fiction Theatre are also available on YouTube.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. My family got a TV when I was around 8 or so. We didn’t watch Sat. morning cartoons or anything after school. In fact, some of the most boring times in my childhood was the rare times when we visited my grandparents in Wichita where time outside was limited – they lived in an apartment – and we watched more TV than we ever did at home. Captain Kangaroo bored me silly. When at home, we spent as much time as possible outdoors. Wandering around, gardening, sledding in the winter, climbing trees… that was our main entertainment. I watched more TV as I got older (teens), but still not much compared to other kids. I always felt clueless when other kids talked about their favorite shows.

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  10. I remember watching Jack Paar and johnny Carson with my mom at night when i was a preschooler. She kept me up late to spend time with her since she was away from home teaching all day. My dad only watched ball games on the TV.

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  11. Saturday morning kid radio: Big John and Sparky.
    Theme song: Teddy Bear’s Picnic.
    Sort of a puppet show on radio. When Big John had a cold, everybody else on the show had a cold.
    Otherwise all the radio stuff Steve and Jim mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My FAVORITE family entertainment was living in the trailer those three summers – saw more of each other then than any other time of my life. https://trailbaboon.com/2015/07/29/the-trailer-court/
    Then in winter I remember all of us going ice skating sometimes – once we did this after supper and walked probably a mile to get to the rink – the moon was out (as well as the lights at the rink) and a boy I liked from school was there, too – it was like magic.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. So many of my memories of family together are centered on TV. We were plagued by poor reception for many years, so we took turns holding the rabbit ears, which were wrapped in tin foil, at a certain position to get the best reception. We also had to place icecube trays on top of the set to cool the tubes down. Burn out was a frequent problem with our Silvania

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  14. Rocky and Bullwinkle was always a favorite. It was in prime time, at least for awhile, and appealed to adults and well as children, with its cold war villains. I also remember many of the shows mentioned above, especially Dick Van Dyke and Ed Sullivan. Some of the Disney shows. The Monkees.

    There were few choices, so those of us who grew up in Dale’s era mostly remember the same shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Boris Badenov was voiced by an old time radio actor named Paul Frees. His voice is so distinctive you can always pick it out in old radio detective shows.

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  15. We had a game (somewhat based on poker) called Rummy Royal – that was a frequent family game. There were others that would get trotted out, too – but that one sticks in my head in particular as all four of us could play it at the same time and it was more fun than Chinese checkers or Parcheesi. Mom wasn’t great at the bidding part, but I could sometimes beat out my big brother, and that was sweet (beating Mom was easier). TV together was things like The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights, Ellery Queen (big brother was better at solving the mysteries than me), and Mary Tyler Moore. I remember thinking that I was finally getting “old enough” when I was able to stay up to watch Bob Newhart after Mary on Saturday nights. Whee!

    Outdoors mostly involved non-motorized water related things, specifically swimming at Lake Harriet and ice skating in the winter time. Mom loved both and Dad was a willing participant. I learned how to skate on a small rink my dad made flooding the front yard. There was a park a few blocks away with a great sledding hill and a good rink (with a warming house) – kids still slide on that hill and skate at that rink. The little beach we went to has been allowed to go back to non-beach (it quit being maintained as a beach when I was a teenager) and I am a little sad that Saturday afternoons at Lake Harriet didn’t settle in with my husband and daughter as a thing to do…ah well.

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  16. Well, I thought I had posted this but I apparently didn’t, so excuse me if I am repeating myself. I had hoped to have a productive long weekend, but seeing as how I have a fever of 100°, I think I will spend at least some of the weekend staying in bed and writing blog posts. Just call me Eloise.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. OT – I was rather heartbroken to hear on Thursday that Alan Rickman died. I have VHS copies of three of his movies – Galaxy Quest, Sense and Sensibility, and Truly Madly Deeply – and I was thinking this might be a nice weekend to stay in and have a mini- film festival. I don’t have a fever like Renee, but I find myself with an unusually empty calendar for the next two days.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. One could spend an entire long weekend watching his films (too many to list but including Die Hard, the Harry Potter series, Sense and Sensibility) and TV series (Barchester Chronicles). Such a tragic loss.

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    1. I first encountered Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply. For those who haven’t seen it, it is a fascinating film. It was written as a showcase for Juliet Stevenson’s acting talent. Rickman, her co-star, easily holds his own with her. He was good in every role I’ve seen him do, but that is the one by which I’ll remember him. What a voice!

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  18. This scene always makes me weep. Juliet Stevenson’s character is utterly despondent when her lover, Alan Rickman, dies. Her grief is so deep it actually bring him back to her . . . although he is dead. This scene shows his return. And that is actually Rickman playing the cello here. He was talented.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep, sure. He did take cello lessons in preparation for the part in order to learn bowing technique, but a professional cellist did the left hand.

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      1. Nah – she’s not a drinker – says she doesn’t like the taste. (That’s the nice version; she actually said she thinks those of us who do drink are stupid.)

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Happy B-day to YA. Mine turns 21 in April. Be happy yours wants to go out with you. Mine wouldn’t want me anywhere near her, but I better send a present, she tells me.

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    1. You’re doing better than I was when I was sick, Renee. I had good intentions of writing a guest post, but as the sickness dragged on, I couldn’t rouse myself enough to do it. And now that I’m feeling somewhat better, I can’t remember what I was going to write about. Naturally. I’m sure it was absolutely brilliant (ha!) and now I will never remember it.

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  19. Shoot. I had a second post ready to go, then I realized that we would be in violation of big-time copyright laws, so I had to trash it. 😦

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