Mailbag: ‘Ramar’ remembered, ‘DWTS,’ ‘Mike & Molly’

By Rich Heldenfels
Beacon Journal popular culture writer

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Competitors from "Dancing with the Stars" cast from summer, 2005, competition include, left to right, in back; Louis Van Amstel, Trista Sutter, Joey McIntyre,Ashly Delgrosso, Charlotte Jorgensen and John O'Hurley. Middle; Evander Holyfield, Edyta Sliwinska. Front; Alex Mazo, Kelly Monaco, Jonathan Roberts and Rachel Hunter. (AP Photo/ABC,Bob D'amico)

You have questions. I have answers, if I can find them under this pile of torn wrapping paper.

Q: How come John O’Hurley is never mentioned on “Dancing With the Stars?” Didn’t he win the first season?

A: O’Hurley is not a former champion, He placed second to Kelly Monaco in the first season in the summer of 2005. Controversy ensued, not least because Monaco received three 10s for a dance with lots of awkward spots. (You can still see it on YouTube.) Beginning some screwy judging standards that continue to this day, judge Bruno Tonioli later said that he factored in the progress Monaco had made over the course of the show. Another judge, Len Goodman, felt he had to give Monaco a 10 because he had already given O’Hurley a 9, and he thought Monaco was better.

In any case, there was enough complaining about Monaco’s win that DWTS brought her and O’Hurley back for a dance-off special the following September, which O’Hurley won. That stunt was not a success and has not been repeated since.

I can’t say he has never been mentioned. An ABC rep said he has been in the audience occasionally and that there may have been a reference to him here and there. It also appears he has been seen in some archival footage.

Q: “Ramar of the Jungle” was a show probably in the ’50s, about two guys in the jungle. I believe they were doctors. They had a guide and I think he had a bird. I really liked the show, but I’ve never seen anything at all about it. I am 65 now, and have always wondered about this show.

A: According to the reference Total Television, Ramar of the Jungle was a syndicated show from the early ’50s. Jon Hall starred as Dr. Tom Reynolds, also known as Ramar, who helped people in the jungles of Kenya and India. Ray Montgomery played Ramar’s sidekick, Howard Ogden, and in some episodes Victor Millan was Zahir, Ramar’s guide. There are DVDs of some episodes; if your retailer does not have them, try an online vendor like Amazon.com.

By the way, Hall himself was a colorful character, first known for appearing in adventure films. Beacon Journal clips include a long account of a 1944 brawl at bandleader Tommy Dorsey’s house in which Hall was injured, And in 1947, Hall claimed that a plane he was in along with then-wife Frances Langford was shot down in California, possibly by a boy hunting rabbits; Hall later admitted that neither he nor Langford was on the plane.

After retiring from acting, he pursued a number of off-screen businesses. He died in 1979.

Q: Am I nuts or what? In May’s season finale of “Mike & Molly,” Molly announced she was pregnant. This season, no pregnancy. What gives?

A: It certainly seemed as if the show was building up to a Molly pregnancy — I, too, thought she was — since so much air time was devoted to her and Mike trying. But memory plays tricks. CBS said she was not pregnant, and I looked again at both the season finale and the episode before it to be sure.

In fact, in the next to last episode of the third season, a lot of attention is given to her frustration over not being pregnant. And the season finale deals with other issues, such as a tornado hitting Chicago. (You may recall that episode was even postponed 10 days to avoid airing too close to a devastating, real-life Oklahoma tornado.) And this season, the emphasis shifted from baby making to Molly’s writing ambitions.

MAILBAG CORRECTION; The print version of the Dec. 19 mailbag contained incorrect Roman numerals in one question, due to my mistake. The number for 1,164 is MCLXIV. The one for 1964 is MCMLXIV.

Do you have a question or comment for the mailbag? Write to the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com. Please mark the email or envelope with “mailbag.” Letters may be edited for publication. Please do not phone in questions. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.


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