TV 77 Sunset Strip (ABC 1958-1964 with Efrem Zimbalist Jr and Edd Byrnes) Published 4 years ago on November 3, 2015 Stuart Bailey, the character around whom “77 Sunset Strip” was built, first appeared in a 1940s novel by Roy Huggins called The Double Take. Filmed from Huggins’s own adaptation, it became I Love Trouble (Columbia, 1948, directed by S. Sylvan Simon). Franchot Tone starred. The first pilot film for the TV series was released to theaters outside the United States under the title Girl on the Run. It was not shown in the United States because Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., as Ivy League Ph.D. turned private eye Stuart Bailey, had as his co-star an actor named Edd Byrnes, who played psychopathic Mob hit man Kenneth Smiley, who spoke his own variation on beatnik speech and combed his hair with panache. Byrnes scored so well with preview audiences that Warner Bros. didn’t want to use him up as a one-shot killer. Richard L. Bare directed. A Bailey novelette by Huggins had been adapted for television as an episode of “Conflict” on ABC in 1956. Zimbalist starred. In 1958, ABC and Warner Bros. launched “77 Sunset Strip” as TV’s first hour-long private eye show. Realizing that this would be a big load for one actor to carry, producers gave Bailey (Zimbalist) a partner, Jeff Spencer, a former government agent and non-practicing attorney. Roger Smith, a young protege of James Cagney, got the part. Jacqueline Beer played Suzanne Fabray, the French-accented switchboard operator at the title address; for comic relief there was Louis Quinn as racetrack character Roscoe. And then there was Kookie. Kenneth Smiley had been given a soul transplant and reemerged as Gerald Lloyd Kookson III, the parking lot attendant at Dino’s, the restaurant next door. Kookie was an aspiring private eye, constantly looking for ways to help Jeff or Stu. Two things happened in the first season. Huggins’s hope for a straight private eye series close in spirit to his prose about Bailey was dashed, and Kookie became a phenomenon. There was even a hit Kookie record. Kids tried to talk like him (people still say “piling up z’s” to mean sleep). Comb sales skyrocketed. Kookie, as he might put it himself, was the ginchiest. And the show was a big hit. That was when it became perhaps the most ripped-off formula in TV history. The fact that it was the show’s own production company and network doing the ripping was of no concern. Hawaiian Eye, Surfside Six, “Bourbon Street Beat,” “The Islanders,” and The Roaring Twenties all had the two leads, the hopeful, the clown, and the girl. And when one show bit the dust, they just threw the most popular character into another show. Richard Long as “Bourbon Street” refugee Rex Randolph did a season as an employee on “Sunset Strip.” There were frequent crossovers, as well. Scripts were recycled from show to show, and frequently within shows. Logic and even sanity were thrown to the winds. In one episode, without explanation, Kookie turned up as a rickshaw driver in Hong Kong. Byrnes, meantime, was sick of combing his hair for a living and walked off the show. He was brought back as yet another member of the firm, a full-fledged detective at last. He was replaced in the parking lot by Robert Logan as J. R. Hale. His gimmick was using initials which he always had to explain. In fact, by 1963 the whole mess had become too confusing for everybody, and a new regime at Warner Bros. (headed by Jack Webb) wiped the slate clean. William Conrad (later to star as TV’s Cannon) was brought in as producer. Out went everything but the title and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Kookie, the finger-snapping theme song, and even the building itself, were gone. “77 Sunset Strip” was now represented by Los Angeles’s atmospheric Bradbury Building, and Stuart Bailey, as he had in Huggins’s original concept, worked alone. The show left the air at the end of the 1963-1964 season. production details USA / ABC – Warner / 205×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 1958-1964 Creator: Roy Huggins / Music: Mack David, Jerry Livingston cast EFREM ZIMBALIST JR as Stuart Bailey ROGER SMITH as Jeff Spencer (1958-63) EDD BYRNES as Gerald Lloyd Kookson III (aka Kookie) (1958-63) LOUIS QUINN as Roscoe (1958-63) JACQUELINE BEER as Suzanne Fabray (1958-63) BYRON KEITH as Lt Gilmore (1959-63) RICHARD LONG as Rex Randolph (1960-61) ROBERT LOGAN as J.R. Hale (1961-63) JOAN STALEY as Hannah (1963-64) ABCCrime And MysteryEdd ByrnesEfrem Zimbalist JrRoy Huggins Advertisement advertisement and this just in Episodes22 mins ago Big Texas Fix: Dream House (S1EP7 DIY Sat 25 May 2019) Dream House: Michael and Ashley stumble upon a pre-1900s Victorian home after doing some curbside dumpster diving, so they hit... Episodes22 mins ago Beachfront Bargain Hunt: Renovation – A Forever Home in Isle of Palms (S4EP8 HGTV Sat 25 May 2019) A Forever Home in Isle of Palms: A couple has made the decision to purchase a property in Cape San... Episodes22 mins ago Murder Decoded: Prowling Wolf (S1EP8 ID Sat 25 May 2019) Reports of shots fired at an apartment complex lead police to discover the bodies of a single mother and two... Episodes22 mins ago The Son: Hot Oil (S2EP5 AMC Sat 25 May 2019) Hot Oil: In 1852, Young Eli is forced hide a deadly secret; in 1916, Maria’s return brings devastating consequences for... Episodes22 mins ago Ransom: Story for Another Day (Season 3 Finale CBS Sat 25 May 2019) Story for Another Day: When Cynthia (Karen LeBlanc) and her younger brother, Tyler (Emmanuel Kabongo), are abducted by a criminal... search EPISODES Episodes22 mins ago From Friend to Fiancé (Hallmark Sat 25 May 2019, Jocelyn Hudon, Ryan Paevey) Jess Parks (Hudon) has a good job, great friends and a cool apartment in the city. She has it all,... Episodes22 mins ago Murdoch Mysteries: Annabella Cinderella (S12EP11 Ovation Sat 25 May 2019) Annabella Cinderella: Crabtree and John are transporting a convicted axe murderer to prison when she escapes to exact revenge on... Episodes22 mins ago Murdoch Mysteries: Six of the Best (S12EP12 Ovation Sat 25 May 2019) Six of the Best: Murdoch’s distressing childhood memories are evoked while investigating the death of an orphan under the care... advertisement MOVIES Movies2 months ago Bird Box | 2018 | Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make... Movies2 months ago LelleBelle | 2010 | Anna Raadsveld, Benja Bruijning 19-year old Belle practices playing the violin diligently, but is unable to impart her music with a sensitive undertone. Her... Movies2 months ago Roma | Netflix 2018 | Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira In 1970s Mexico City, two domestic workers help a mother of four while her husband is away for an extended... mytvtonight mytvtonight devoted to all things film and tv.