Today is the birthday of Tim Considine (b. 1940).
Why is HE here today? My friends, people like him are the very reason this blog exists! I discovered a serendipitous synchronicity when I stumbled across his biography, a cross-generational connection that ties the now and the us to the then and the them.
When I was a kid I knew Considine from 20 year old episodes of the Mickey Mouse Club they used to run on local television. (The ’70s being majorly overshadowed by ’50s nostalgia). Considine starred in two regular series they ran on the program, The Hardy Boys (one of countless filmed versions of the popular book series), and Spin and Marty, about a couple of teenagers’ adventures on a dude ranch. Both of these shows within a show had an interesting format; the episodes were only 15 minutes long, a good model perhaps for web tv. I really loved both of these shows; I recall re-enacting episodes on the playground.
Considine had also starred in the 1959 Disney movie The Shaggy Dog — although like everyone my age, I only knew the 1976 sequel The Shaggy D.A. I’m sure I didn’t discover The Shaggy Dog until well after that. Apparently, he was also the oldest son in My Three Sons during its first five years, although in my area they only re-ran the later ones, when the equation had gone from Mike-Robby-Chip to Robby-Chip-Ernie, the oldest son mysteriously vanishing off the face of the earth never to be heard from again.
So that’s Tim Considine. He was like the All-American boy. Look at that crew cut and striped shirt! Like most young actors, Considine hit a brick wall in his career as an adult. One of his last roles was The Soldier Who Gets Slapped by George C. Scott in Patton.
So what’s the Lightning Bolt! Well, it’s a doozy for show biz buffs. In No Applause and in this blogpost and this one I wrote about the epic battle for supremacy by Pacific Northwest vaudeville managers Alexander Pantages and John Considine of the Sullivan and Considine Circuit. The hilarious outcome of that long-running feud was that Pantages’ daughter married Considine’s son. Tim Considine is one of the products of that marriage. This is exactly what it would look like if you rewrote Rome and Juliet with a happy ending. Anyway, I thought that was pretty amazing — this particular history isn’t so ancient, and I love stories that bring that home.
Here’s a clip from that show I loved so much as a kid, Spin and Marty:
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc