WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Dog lovers: could there be a better month than August to salute our canine companions? After all, August 10 is the day poor Rin Tin Tin died, and it’s the day Snoopy celebrates his birthday, in a 1968 Peanuts strip. Two weeks later, on August 26, it’s National Dog Day, according to the Animal Miracle Foundation & Network. To celebrate the dog days of summer, we’ve unleashed Jeopardy!’s Ken Jennings, who will correct some of man’s worst misconceptions about man’s best friend.

 

The Debunker: How Often Did Lassie Have to Rescue Timmy from a Well?

Comedians have often poked fun at the remarkable communication skills of TV’s heroic collie, Lassie. Despite not speaking English or having opposable thumbs, Lassie is always able to get help appropriate to the specific evil has befallen her master. In the traditional version of this joke, a few quick barks from Lassie are enough for owners to get the picture: “What’s that? Timmy fell down a well?”

“wuf”

Little Timmy Martin wasn’t Lassie’s original owner on CBS. That was Jeff Miller, played by child star Tommy Rettig in the show’s first three seasons. But when Rettig was able to get out of his TV contract, in 1957, he was replaced by the younger, cuter, equally accident-prone Timmy. Jon Provost, who played the role, titled his 2007 memoir Timmy’s in the Well—but in the book, he points out what might seem unbelievable to us now: Timmy never once, in the show’s 571 episodes, fell in a well!

Now, Timmy did manage to fall in the following (a partial list): two lakes, a gap between two railroad cars, two abandoned mines, quicksand, and a badger hole. Damn, that kid spent a lot of time falling into things. But he seemed to have no problem with wells. His great-uncle Petrie did fall into a well once, in season 4’s “The Crow”, and his adoptive dad Paul almost fell in a well in season 10’s “The Crow,” but Timmy seems to have avoided the family curse regarding groundwater. Not Lassie herself, however! Embarrassingly, the usually sure-footed collie fell into a well in the season 17 two-parter “For the Love of Lassie.” “What’s that, Timmy? Lassie fell down a well? You’re kidding me! Get the camera, this is going to be our Christmas card photo this year.”

Quick Quiz: Quick Quiz: Lassie is the fourth-longest running scripted show in U.S. prime time history. What still-running show is in first place by a wide margin?

Ken Jennings is the author of six books, most recently his Junior Genius Guides, Because I Said So!, and Maphead. He's also the proud owner of an underwhelming Bag o' Crap. Follow him at ken-jennings.com or on Twitter as @KenJennings.

camfaux13


quality posts: 0 Private Messages camfaux13

Easy one. The Simpsons.

critter42


quality posts: 0 Private Messages critter42

If you go by years, the Simpsons (and since you said it's still on, I have to assume that is the criteria you're using. HOWEVER, if you go by EPISODES, it's actually Gunsmoke - Simpsons still have ~80 or so episodes to go to catch Gunsmoke

dtjohns16


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dtjohns16
critter42 wrote:If you go by years, the Simpsons (and since you said it's still on, I have to assume that is the criteria you're using. HOWEVER, if you go by EPISODES, it's actually Gunsmoke - Simpsons still have ~80 or so episodes to go to catch Gunsmoke



Alas, you're both wrong -- it's WWE's Monday Night RAW, the longest running weekly episodic program in television history. Over 1100 episodes every week since 1993. Rasslin' number one!

Woody1150


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Woody1150
dtjohns16 wrote:Alas, you're both wrong -- it's WWE's Monday Night RAW, the longest running weekly episodic program in television history. Over 1100 episodes every week since 1993. Rasslin' number one!



This is true... I just don't know for sure if it would count as a "scripted show". I mean, they always claim that it's "sports entertainment".

If you're going purely by number of episodes of any show still running, according to Wikipedia, it would be some PBS show:

Washington Week with 2,000 episodes and still going.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1

is the hallmark hall of fame not considered a scripted show? wikipedia says it's been running for 60+ years.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
Woody1150 wrote:
If you're going purely by number of episodes of any show still running, according to Wikipedia, it would be some PBS show:

Washington Week with 2,000 episodes and still going.



what about larry king live, with over 6,000?

edit: oops, you said "still running"

Woody1150


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Woody1150
no1 wrote:is the hallmark hall of fame not considered a scripted show? wikipedia says it's been running for 60+ years.



It also says, "The longest-running primetime series in the history of television."

Woody1150


quality posts: 7 Private Messages Woody1150
no1 wrote:what about larry king live, with over 6,000?



It's not on anymore since Larry retired in 2010.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
Woody1150 wrote:It's not on anymore since Larry retired in 2010.



what?!? next you'll be telling me a black man was elected president!

dtungsten


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dtungsten

The Timmy who fell down a well was from the Simpsons, and was fictional within that context.

pilegirl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pilegirl

I think it's the Simpsons.

What the heck is Monday Night RAW anyway?? It sounds undercooked.

But don't listen to me. Apparently I've never had a quality post in my life.

ItsBob2112


quality posts: 6 Private Messages ItsBob2112

any chance it's one or more of those daytime soaps?

Wooter to blame for sellout: ItsBob2112

remo28


quality posts: 20 Private Messages remo28
ItsBob2112 wrote:any chance it's one or more of those daytime soaps?



Good idea, but how many of those are still on? Many have been cancelled, so the only one I can think of is Days of our Lives.

I was thinking news shows, like 60 minutes.

caramelarrow


quality posts: 14 Private Messages caramelarrow

If animation counts as a scripted series then The Simpsons is the longest running, if not, then it's Law & Order.

Note to my beautiful collie-boy: I miss you and love you always, rest in peace.

07/11/14

cappo


quality posts: 34 Private Messages cappo
ItsBob2112 wrote:any chance it's one or more of those daytime soaps?



I'd say there's no chance a Daytime soap is the longest running Prime Time show.


daveinwarshington


quality posts: 22 Private Messages daveinwarshington

Sardinicus


quality posts: 10 Private Messages Sardinicus
His great-uncle Petrie did fall into a well once, in season 4’s “The Crow”, and his adoptive dad Paul almost fell in a well in season 10’s “The Crow,”



I guess with 571 episodes, they had to re-use some titles.

slugraduate


quality posts: 0 Private Messages slugraduate

Hmm.