Just when you thought it was safe to stop thinking in blocks of 100, the American Film Institute (AFI) is coming out with the 100 Funniest Films of All Time. This list, of course, follows on the heels of the 100 Greatest Films of All Time (winner: "Casablanca") and the 50 Greatest Actors and 50 Greatest Actresses of All Time (winners: Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn).
The results will be revealed Tuesday on "AFI's 100 Years - 100 Laughs," slated for 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Washington's WUSA, Channel 9. Baltimore's CBS affiliate, WJZ, Channel 13, will carry the Orioles game Tuesday night - even though there's been nothing funny about the O's this season - and won't air the AFI special until the following Sunday, June 18, beginning at 12:05 a.m.
The list will remain a closely guarded secret until airtime, if the AFI has anything to say about it. But among the safe bets are such disparate yuck-fests as "National Lampoon's Animal House," "A Night at the Opera," "Modern Times," "Bringing Up Baby," "Ghostbusters," "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (if it isn't in the Top 10, the list is rigged) and "Airplane!"
Of course, if the AFI voters really knew what they were doing, they'd have included John Travolta's recent turn as a dreadlocked alien nasty in "Battlefield Earth." Now that was a laugh riot!
Cartoon enthusiasts are in for a treat Sunday, as the Cartoon Network's weekly collection of rare and historic cartoons, "Toon- Heads," features a collection of animated shorts that have never before seen on TV. "The Lost Cartoons" special, airing from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., includes such fabled gems as:
"Bosko theTalk-ink Kid," the first-ever talking cartoon;
"Lady Play Your Mandolin," the first Merrie Melodies cartoon from Warner Bros. Studios;
"Private Snafu," a series of cartoons produced for the U.S. Army Signal Corps, whose hero, the bumbling Private Snafu, specialized in doing what a trained soldier shouldn't do if he wanted to stay alive. Many of the three-minute cartoons were written by Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss;
A World War II-era cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig urging audiences to buy Savings Bonds;
"Cryin' for the Carolines," one of a series of "Spooney Melodies" produced by Leon Schlesinger in the late '20s and early '30s. The series, which was abandoned when Schlesinger began work on Warner Bros.' Merrie Melodies in 1931, featured abstract designs accompanying arranged music.
"Three's a Crowd," a television pilot from animator Friz Freleng that combined animation and live action to chronicle the adventures of a cartoonist named Griff and his tiny cartoon alter ego, Philbert.
Watch government at work
Baltimore County government can now take its case directly to Comcast cable customers, thanks to Monday's introduction of Baltimore County Television (BCTV) on Comcast Channel 25.
On the air from weekdays from 5 a.m. to noon and 6 p.m. to midnight, the broadcast will include programming from the county police and fire departments, as well as the libraries and the departments of Aging and Health. Live MTA traffic reports are scheduled to air every 15 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Meetings of the County Council and the Office of Planning and Zoning will be taped and shown in their entirety.
NASA TV will be shown on Channel 25 when BCTV is off the air.
Man on the move
Baltimore native Steve Mosko was recently named president of Columbia Tri-Star Television Distribution, the group responsible for such syndicated programming as "V.I.P.," "Donny and Marie" and "Ricki Lake," as well as rerun packages of "Seinfeld" and "Mad About You."
Before leaving Charm City, Mosko had worked as an account executive at television stations WMAR and WBFF, as well as for WITH-AM radio.