Wednesday, December 22, 2010

THE MOD SQUAD BUST A PHARAOH (1969)




Before their appearance in American Graffiti many of the cast made guest appearances on popular TV shows.  A young, Bo Hopkins was one such person. The same year that he was featured in the Sam Peckinpah landmark western, THE WILD BUNCH, Bo Hopkins appeared in a first season episode of THE MOD SQUAD.  Originally broadcast on April 15, 1969, the episode was called, A SEAT BY THE WINDOW and featured 26-yr-old Bo as an unbalanced bus rider named Tom.

BACKGROUND: The year was 1969, the Age of Aquarius.  Short hair was out, long hair was in.  The world was a different place.  Nothing could contrast more with the kids in AMERICAN GRAFFITI than the hip young people portrayed in the MOD SQUAD TV series.  THE MOD SQUAD were three young outcasts (Michael Cole as Pete,
Clarence Williams III as Linc and Peggy Lipton as Julie), who had a run-in with the law.  All three were on probation when they were recruited by the police to form a special 'youth squad' to infiltrate the counter-culture crime world as undercover cops. Created and co-produced by the legendary TV mogul Aaron Spelling, the show had real street cred with three hip cops who walked the walk and talked the talk, "Groovy, brother," they didn't pack heat or bust their own. Each week the three of them, wearing love beads, would expose criminals who preyed upon youth. The series featured relevant themes such as narcotics, gangs, slum lords, and racists. Originally broadcast on Tuesday nights at 7:30, the show was a hit among young people and it received numerous Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations during its five season run (1968-73). If you want to learn more about this groovy show then you'll have to check out this webpage:


 The original TV GUIDE synopsis of the episode featuring Bo, A SEAT BY THE WINDOW brilliantly described the plot, "The squad splits up to hunt a knife-wielding killer who boarded one of three buses loaded with vacationing passengers. The only lead: the man they're hunting may be a blond."






A SEAT BY THE WINDOW
1.  At first Tom (Bo Hopkins) seems like just another one of the hippies on the bus wearing a vertically striped shirt, an Eisenhower jacket and strumming the guitar.   
 
2. The bus stops for lunch and Tom and Julie meet.
 

3. Unbeknownst to Julie, she is talking to the  infamous, "Bus Killer." Although he's obviously a few fries short of a McDonald's Happy Meal, he seems like a sweet guy with a Southern drawl
4. Looking admiringly at Julie, Tom uses his best pickup line telling her, "You know your some kinda girl: Pretty… and smart."
 




 5. Conflict arises when Tom tries to get gorgeous Julie alone so he can show her his hot buttered, deep fried, surprise. 












6. Julie thanks him but explains she brought a bag lunch.  When she tries to walk away Tom brandishes a knife and threatens her.






7. When Mike & Link arrive to save the damsel in distress, Tom holds Julie close & warns them to stay away or he will slice her neck
 

8.  Fortunately, when Tom is momentarily distracted by Links' cool Afro they are able to pull him off of Julie.  Although he is a killer, they realize he is mentally incompetent so they are gentle with him and will get him the help he needs.  Proving once again; the MOD SQUAD are truly the grooviest gang of fuzz who ever wore a badge.

-  TODAY  -

Four years after his role on The Mod Squad, the good-ol-boy, Bo Hopkins got the role of a lifetime (can you tell I'm biased) when he appeared in American Graffiti as Joe The Pharaoh.
He has had numerous recurring roles on TV shows such as "The Rockford Files" (!978-79), and"Dynasty" (1981-87) and is still in the business today.  He occasionally appears at car shows and other American Graffiti related Events.  If you'd like to keep up with Bo and find out where he is and where he'll be check out:  BOHOPKINS.NET .

Bo at the Annual Friends of El Faro Benefit Gala 9'24/2009.

Today Peggy Lipton is still acting and still an extremely attractive woman. She has had countless roles on both TV and film including "Twin Peaks" (1992) "Crash," (1999) and the recent romantic comedy, "When in Rome."  She has 2 daughters, from her marriage to Music Producer, Quincy Jones, who are both actors; Kidada Jones and Rashida Jones.  In 2005, Lipton published her memoir titled, "Breathing Out, " in which she disclosed she had a tryst with Beatle, Paul McCartney before she landed the role as Julie on The Mod Squad.

Peggy Lipton at the Gracie Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, CA 5/25/2010.



- FIN -


______________________________________________________________________

NOTES:

-Biography for Bo Hopkins.  Internet Movie Database.  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005019/  Retrieved 12/20/2010.
-Biography for Peggy Lipton. Internet  Movie Database.  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005152/bio.  Retrieved 12/22/2010.
-The Mod Squad DVD Season 1. (1969, 2007).  Paramount Home Entertainment. 
-The Mod Squad Unofficial Homepage.  http://www.chezgrae.com/modsquad/  Retrieved 12/20/2010.





2 comments:

  1. Great post Kipmeister. Bo Hopkins is such a great character actor. Kinda wish he'd made more films. Kinda the Jack Elam of that generation.
    Quick Bo story; I had to deliver a part for the Coupe to Rick Figari at the Cow Palace a few years ago and he had the stars around the cars signing autographs. I don't usually go in for that kind of thing but my Mom loves Bo Hopkins so I got in line to get a signed photo for her. I'm standing behind this gootch whose telling Bo how much he likes him but that he wasn't so good in this movie and could have done better in other movies. I couldn't believe someone could be so rude. I was just about to say something when Bo hands him his autograph and says in that very distinctive voice "Well...my Mama loves me". I laughed out load and the asshole in front of me turned and slinked away. Bo told me he gets all kinds.

    ReplyDelete