Jack made many television appearances throughout the course of his career. Everyone remembers the big ones: Voyagers!, Cover-Up, Hotel and The Making of a Male Model. But there were quite a few more interviews, appearances on talk shows, game shows, etc. Thank God some forward thinking fans taped these spots on their own VCRs, otherwise these gems could've been lost forever. For many years, the only way to get these appearances was to order the tapes (and now DVDs) from Jack's official fanclub. Now, through the magic of the Internet, and YouTube, we can post them here for you to enjoy.
I'd still recommend buying a set from the fanclub, as they did an amazing job cleaning them up to the best of their ability, and put them together in one heck of a cool package. And, well, there is something to be said for watching these on a larger screen, like your TV. Sadly, they won't be in today's BlueRay quality (Can you imagine Jack in hi definition? Talk about a face made for HD!) At least not yet. But who knows? Maybe technology will one day be able to convert them for us.
In the meantime, treat yourself to the set from the fanclub. But do make sure to stop by here and watch them too. After all, who has a DVD player/TV at work? And darnit, sometimes you need a little Jack boost in the middle of your day!
Once again, I have to thank Voyagers! Guidebook and Bluecanvas for putting these up on YouTube, and allowing us to post them here for you to enjoy.
We also need to send up a great big thank you to Jack's fans from the 80s who taped these appearances for posterity.
Fantasy was a TV series that ran from 1982 - 1983. Taken from IMDb (and edited a bit by me):
"Fantasy" was all that the title implied: Ordinary people from all over the United States would write in to have their wishes granted on national television. Although some of the fantasies were downright fatuous, silly and at times contrived, "Fantasy" was definitely at its best when it focused on human interest stories, such as reuniting long-lost family members or friends and helping those who could not afford basic family needs."
Hosted by Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares), Leslie Uggams (Roots), and a different guest host each week. That's where Jack came in, he hosted for a week in 1983, and some of the segments he hosted were downright adorable.
In this first clip, a young girl writes in that she and her friends would like to work out with Jack, so Fantasy sets it up for her.
To me, this is Jack pretty much at his best. And I think we're watching Jack here, not Jon-Erik Hexum the star. We already know he loved kids, and I think he had a ball with this group of gals on the beach. The beginning is priceless, when he uses a Norwegian accent with Marshall. But then we get a segue into the beach session, and, well, you just have to see it for yourself. I love the soda part, and the leg lifts, and the way he confuses the girls with football plays. This video really shows how good Jack would've been in more comedy roles. I love this clip. One of my very favorites. And I have to make mention of his volleyball skills, as I was on the volleyball team myself in high school, and I have the messed up thumbs to prove it!
Voyager G. got us some wonderful screen caps of this Fantasy snippet. These adorable pics are to die for. Truly. So I have to share, and once again, I'm forever indebted to our girl. She's just fabulous. Just take a good look at these, and see if you don't agree:
Jack is so good, he can make something like this silly Gilligan beach hat look hot. Let's compare, shall we? Who wore it better?
Bob Denver was cute, but I have to give this one to Jack, of course.
What, did you expect something else? Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!
This is the part where Jack shows the girls how to toss a Frisbee to attract a cute guy on the beach. It's a good ploy, Jack, because I've used that very same stunt myself, with good results! So thanks for the tip!
There are simply no words needed with this photo, it's so damned adorable it can stand alone!
Inquiring minds want to know, were those mama's sunglasses?
Wow, did he really say Bruce Jenner? Boy, times sure have changed. It's not Bruce any longer, now she's Caitlyn Jenner. Bravo to Caitlyn for having the courage to come out as Transgender, and live life being true to herself. Just please don't make me watch any show pertaining to the Kardashians. Yuck.
In the second clip we have Real Life Soap Opera - Honeymoon Interruptions. A young woman wrote in for a second honeymoon for her brother and sister-in-law. It seems that the couple had married on the quick, in Las Vegas, with the groom's 15 year old sister along as a witness. The groom couldn't afford a second hotel for the teenager, who always seems to be underfoot. And, apparently, unable to take a hint that the couple wants to be alone. In the Real Life Soap Opera, Jack appears in the role of the groom, with Eve Plum (Jan in the Brady Bunch) as the bride and Justine Bateman (Mallory Keaton in Family Ties) as the annoying little sister. It's fun to watch the real life couple as they squirm and turn red watching their failed honeymoon acted out on live TV:
Alls well that ends well, Fantasy grants the couple a real honeymoon, so they win. And we do too, getting to watch Jack as he acts the part of the adoring groom. Did you just love the cocked eyebrow?
Thanks to Voyager G, we have the cocked eyebrow, ala Mac Harper.
Hey, works for me!
I also enjoyed seeing those cute little sock feet in bed. Can anyone tell if he's wearing those boots in this video? Anyone?
There is one more adorable clip that was aired during this week, Jack helps out a young woman who wants to get a modeling career. They do another beach scene, but it's done in the theme of the old beach movies from the 60's, Jack's character's name is Rip Tide, of all things. Sadly it isn't featured on YouTube for everyone to see, so if someone does decide to post it, please let me know and I'll feature it here.
Of course, you have to order the set from the fanclub, there are a lot more little clips from the show that are downright sweet. Jack giving out stuffed animals to children, giving away TVs (and boy, do those old sets bring back memories!) and playing whisper games to help contestants win all kinds of prizes. He really did a good job on this show, he would have made a great host on his own show if he decided to pursue that avenue. Well, heck, is there anything he couldn't do once he tried it?
Just Men was a short-lived (13 episodes) 1983 game show on NBC daytime, hosted by Betty White. Two female contestant were asked questions about the lifestyles of seven male celebrities in the studio. The contestants could get clues from the men to aid in answering the question. Correct answers earned the women keys that could be used in the bonus round. The player with the most keys won, and if one of the keys started the ignition to a car, the contestant won that car.
I found that description on IMDb as well. I had to use their summary, because I can't for the life of me understand the premise of this show. Seriously, my husband and I sat through one and a half episodes before he got up from his chair and said, "That's enough for me, I've got better things to do." Good thing he said it, too, because I'd already fallen asleep and had started to drool. There was a reason this show didn't last, it was very hard to follow the premise of it.
Jack's episodes aired the week of January 10, 1983, and he was accompanied by Fernando Allende (Flamingo Road), George Brett (KC Royals baseball), Tony Danza (Taxi, Who's the Boss?), Jack Jones (sang The Love Boat theme and other TV work), David Mason (Producer) and Brant von Hoffmann (Police Academy). Um, yeah. I know Tony Danza and Jack Jones. I had to look on IMDB to see who the others were.
Now Jack was as adorable as ever in the show, in the scattered few moments he is featured in the half hour episodes. And there are some gems in those moments, one of my favorites is when he has to tell of a time he was naked in public. Now that's something I'd pay good money to see! Yowsa!
Someone found a photo from the show, and what do you know? There's Jack in the back row, on the right (looking bored, I might add!)
What's sad is that whoever titled this page probably had no idea who Jack was.
Also from IMDb:
Despite the show's relative obscurity and short life, hostess Betty White won the 1983 Daytime Emmy for Best Game Show Host, the first and only woman to ever win the honor. Despite being a perennial game show celebrity, this was the only game show she ever hosted.
Bluecanvas combined Jack's moments into a video on YouTube, take a peek and see if you like it. If you want to see the entire episodes, check with Jack's fanclub, they have them on DVD. And if anyone can explain the darned show to me, well, I'd certainly appreciate it!
Jack was a guest on the Merv Griffin show twice, first in 1983, right after The Making of a Male Model aired. He's wearing those luscious black leather pants from the movie, and a matching black leather tie, how very 80s is that? LOL! Here he talks about the odd jobs he did before becoming famous: answering Charles Bronson's phone, rug cleaning services and driving a taxi. Can you imagine hailing a cab and hearing that deep, velvet voice ask you where you want to go?
With Jack driving, the answer is always, "Wherever you want to take me, blue eyes!"
He was so sweet and fresh faced here, you can see he's still eager and all the fame is still pretty new. He's not as polished here, as he is in the second appearance with Merv.
My favorite line? When Merv says, "What is that name, Jon-Erik Hexum?"
And Jack, quick with a comeback, says simply, "Mine."
Jack's second appearance on Merv Griffin aired in 1984, when he was promoting his new show Cover Up. This is my very favorite TV interview, and when you see it, you'll see why. He's more polished this time, in comparison with the last visit, so much more the star here. I love the whole citizen's arrest story he tells, but my favorite bit is when he talks about his new home that he bought in foreclosure. How is it furnished? "It's not...just yet." And what's in the fridge, besides the old lemon that is now wrinkled? "That, a couple of beer cans, and some ketchup.......I don't remember where that came from. It sort of sits there." Remember now, the house is not dirty, "It's in disarray."
Gotta ask: did anyone catch the moment when Merv is not paying attention to what Jack is saying? Jack talks about how Richard Anderson plays their boss on the show. "The old Oscar," Jack says. And Merv answers, "Isn't that too bad."
Um, what? Listen, Merv? You're supposed to be paying attention to your guests. It's part of the job. And really, we all know you were swooning along with the rest of us, those eyes make me forget what I was saying too, but come on. You're on TV. Pull yourself together, man!
At the end of the interview, they play the opening credits of Cover Up. Just a word to the wise: mute the video before the screeching starts. Trust me on that one. Do it at about 7:44. You'll thank me later for that.
My son loves Cover Up's opening montage. He thinks Jack's the man, for eating pork and beans with a hunting knife!
This interview is extra special, Jack is being interviewed by his cousin, Eric Paulsen. And we get a peek at his Burbank house, and that fabulous Chevy of his. And, don't miss that impressive dive he does!
I know a few of the gals love this interview with Regis Philben. Although Jack is adorable here, as usual, and you have to give him props for buffering Regis' intrusive questions, on a whole I'm not took keen on this one. Regis is, well, Regis here, being obnoxious. And he hammers away at Jack about the rumored affair between he and Joan Collins, to the point that Jack even seems to be gritting his teeth in the end to get through it. "All I know is I didn't go out with the lady!" Regis spends the entire interview interrupting Jack, cutting him off, and doing everything else BUT let Jack do what he came there to do: promote The Bear and make a darned smoothie.
The interview takes a turn for the absolute worst when Regis talks about Jack shaving his armpits for hygienic reasons. Could he be any more unprofessional? I watch this clip and I seriously wonder how he lasted as long as he has on TV. I guess it's safe to say I'm not particularly a fan. But, Jack shines, as Jack always does, despite Regis' lame attempts to embarrass him.
I always wonder if this picture was taken that same day. Especially with the way that Jack seems to be covering the armpit and laughing. Well, if it is, he was sure a good sport about it all. Wouldn't you agree?
Oh, and the Alabama Banana Flyer is delicious. Stop by our Cooking with Jack page for the recipe!