There is more to enjoy at the Nostalgia Con than meeting Hollywood celebrities and shopping with vendors. The event room offers slide show seminars from historians, authors, professors and museum curators. Here, you will be treated to a variety of subjects including recent archival discoveries. You do not have to attend all of these events but we do recommend you take a moment and look over the schedule and plan to visit the seminar room during your visit. Some of these events are so popular that the room fills pretty quickly!
9:30 am, THE HISTORY OF LEE FALK'S "THE PHANTOM"
THE PHANTOM is a long-running comic strip first published by Lee Falk in February 1936. The main character, The Phantom, is a costumed crime-fighter who operates from the fictional African country of Bangalla. The character has been adapted for television, movies and video games. In 1966, King Features stated that THE PHANTOM was being published in 583 newspapers worldwide. At its peak, the strip was read by over 100 million people daily. Historian Pete Klaus will host this fascinating presentation about the history of the comic strip and how Lee Falk's creation continues in fandom today. Comic artist Keith Williams will also be participating in the panel since he worked on The Phantom comic strip for ten years.
11:00 a.m, BASEBALL AND POPULAR CULTURE
Author David Krell will discuss how the sport became a staple in our pop culture. Such topics that will be discussed are:
Advertisements (Joe DiMaggio for Bowery Savings Bank, Mr. Coffee)
The Dodgers on 1960s television (Mr. Ed, The Munsters)
Biographical films (The Winning Season, The Babe)
Bob Hope specials
12:00 noon, INTERVIEW WITH CHILD ACTORS
Karolyn Grimes and Darby Hinton will spotlight this hour by discussing their careers in Hollywood and how fame followed them beyond the spectacles they are now immortalized. Hosted by Bob Tevis.
3:30 pm, THE GOTHAM RADIO PLAYERS
The Gotham Radio Players specialize in performing re-enactments of “lost” radio scripts from the Golden Age of Radio, programs for which no recording exists and which have probably not been heard since their original broadcast more than 60 years ago. Among the shows the group recreated were episodes from the detective adventures of The Adventures of Sam Spade, Nick Carter, Master Detective, The Green Lama and The Amazing Mr. Malone. The Gotham Radio Players have presented romantic comedy from The First Nighter Program and On Stage, high adventure from Escape, and horror from The Witch’s Tale and Lights Out. This year the troupe will offer a "lost" 1947 episode of THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER, involving a mad scientist, an escaped killer on death row and time travel. Of all the "lost" episodes of the radio horror program, this might be one of the best and the reason we selected it for drama.
4:15 pm, KING KONG AS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE
Follow writer/historian Frank Dello Stritto as he sails on the Venture, traipses the jungles of Skull Island, and prowls the streets of Manhattan in search of unknown secrets about the 1933 classic.
5:30 pm, INTERVIEW WITH WEEKEND GUESTS
Television legends and movie icons will be the theme for a full hour with Tom Berenger, Loni Anderson and Loretta Swit. The actors will discuss how it feels to be a cultural icon for playing the roles they are well-remembered today, and will field questions from the audience. Hosted by Tom Doty.
6:30 pm, 60 YEARS OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE
Nicholas Parisi, author of ROD SERLING: HIS LIFE, WORK, AND IMAGINATION, traces the history of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, from Serling's earliest science fiction writing through Jordan Peele's 21st Century reboot of the classic series.
8:00 pm, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974)
Special screening of the Bond classic with our two weekend guests, Maud Adams and Britt Ekland. Since we have three actresses who played the female leads in James Bond movies, it seems fitting to have them together on stage to talk about filming with 007, their film careers and how Hollywood has changed over the decades. Maud Adams and Britt Ekland will be on stage to answer questions from the audience. Hosted by Mel Simons. Following the interview, in which Ekland and Adams will mention things to keep an eye out for in the movie, will be a special screening of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. James Bond is led to believe that he is targeted by the world's most expensive assassin while he attempts to recover sensitive solar cell technology that is being sold to the highest bidder.
9:00 am, BOB HOPE AND CAROL BURNETT: THE KING AND QUEEN OF TELEVISION COMEDY
Author Wesley Hyatt has written books about the television careers of Bob Hope and Carol Burnett, and will offer little-known insights about the history of these two beloved personalities in the medium along with rare photos and videos of their performances. Bob Hope would never commit to a weekly television program but under contract with NBC, began doing hour-long TV specials for the network beginning in April 1950. He was one of the first people to use cue cards and at the height of his career his specials were seen by 60 percent of the television audience. Carol Burnett was never afraid to play comedy to a wooden dummy with Paul Winchell during her earliest of television appearances, and rose to fame with a Tarzan yell, a contract role with Garry Moore and her hour-long Carol Burnett Show which debuted in September 1967 won a total of 23 Emmy awards.
10:00 am, THELMA TODD: A HAL ROACH GAL
The comic actress often referred to by the nickname "The Ice Cream Blonde," appeared in more than 100 feature films and comedy shorts between 1926 and 1935, and today is best remembered for her comedic roles in films such as Marx Bros' Monkey Business and Horse Feathers, and a number of Charley Chase comedy shorts. She co-starred with Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante in Speak Easily, and had roles in several Wheeler and Woolsey and Laurel & Hardy films, the last of which (The Bohemian Girl) featured her in a part that was truncated as a result of her suspicious death in 1935 at the age of 29. Her comedy shorts are now relished by fans of slapstick and author Garry Berman will explore her career both on and off screen, along with her comedic sidekicks, Zeus Pitts and Patsy Kelly.
11:00 am, PUBLISHING IN A WORLD OF NOSTALGIA
James Rosin, actor and author, will provide insight concerning classic TV series. Jim wrote a number of books documenting the history of television classics including Route 66, Wagon Train, Adventures in Paradise, Peyton Place, The Invaders, Naked City, The Streets of San Francisco and Quincy, M.E. Jim will also provide insight on working as an actor/writer in episodic television based on his ten-year stint in Hollywood, and the making of all the TV series he wrote books about. Q&A session provided.
12 noon, 1950s SPACE ROCKETS
by Mike Turco.
Details to be announced.
1:00 p.m., OLD-TIME RADIO TRY-OUTS
Try your hand at playing a role on stage with script, sound effects and microphones. Open to anyone who attends the tryouts at 12:30 p.m. Win the role and you get to perform on stage!
3:30 p.m., OLD-TIME RADIO RE-ENACTMENT
TO BE ANNOUNCED
4:15 pm, CHARITY AUCTION FOR THE ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL
Have a few things about the house that you want to get rid of? Bring it to the convention on Friday and put them on the auction tables. All items will be accepted and every dollar raised during the sale of the auction items will help benefit children with treatable cancer. Bring your checkbook because you can make payment out to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, should you bid on items. (Please consult a CPA regarding tax deductions.) This year we are asking people NOT to donate audio cassettes or VHS videos, since no one is bidding on them during the auction. Thank you!
5:30 pm, INTERVIEW WITH THREE INFLUENTIAL WOMEN
Spike Barkin will host what is sure to be a fascinating celebrity panel with three beautiful women -- each of whom broke ground in Hollywood. Tatum O'Neal is the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award, which she won in 1974 at the age of ten for her performance as Addie Loggins in PAPER MOON (1973). Nancy Kwan is a Hong Kong-born American actress who played a pivotal role in the acceptance of actors of Asian ancestry in major Hollywood film roles. In 1960 and 1961, she starred in The World of Suzie Wong and Flower Drum Song. The second film was distinguished for being the "first big-budget American film" with an all–Asian cast. Anne Helm was considered by many as the Ann-Margret of television with her numerous guest appearances via sexpot roles. Just watch her in the ROUTE 66 episode this weekend in the movie room and you can easily understand why people compare her to Ann-Margret.
7:00 pm, THE TOMB OF LIGEIA
Weekend guest Elizabeth Shepherd will be on stage to launch her new audio CD recording of Ligeia and other Edgar Allan Poe stories. Elizabeth will be doing an abbreviated live reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s Ligeia on stage.
8:00 pm, WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
Special screening of the 1961 musical, co-starring our weekend guests, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris, who will talk about their careers before the movie begins. That means you will get a behind-the-scenes look at the movie and trivia to watch out for before you watch the film. Hosted by Mel Simons. West Side Story tells of two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy. Released on October 18, 1961, the film received high praise from critics and viewers, and became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won ten, including Best Picture, becoming the record holder for the most wins for a musical. In 1997 the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States' Library of Congress and selected for the National Film Registry.
9:30 am, 13 NOTES ABOUT "THE WHISTLER"
Researchers Joe Webb and Karl Schadow have been digging through the archives to unearth information about the popular radio mystery program that spawned a series of motion-pictures (starring Richard Dix) and a short-lived television program. The signature opening, 13 notes to a whistled tune, aired over CBS radio from 1942 to 1955, originating from radio stations in Hollywood, Chicago and New York. Here you will learn some trivia never documented before about the program. Did you know in the 1990 film The Two Jakes, set in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, the opening narrative of The Whistler can be heard on the car radio as private detective J.J. Gittes (played by Jack Nicholson) cruises the streets?
10:30 am, THE FUNNIEST DECADE: AMERICAN COMEDIANS OF THE 1930s
Details to be announced. Hosted by Garry Berman.
12 noon, METRO WASHINGTON OLD-TIME RADIO CLUB
The MWOTRC salutes the 70th Anniversary of DRAGNET with a half-hour presentation on the life and career of JACK WEBB, followed by a dramatization of one of the most highly-sought "lost" DRAGNET episodes: "The Big Cop." There'll also be an old-time radio quiz with prizes!
1:30 pm, A HISTORY OF DRAGNET
Author Michael Hayde will discuss the history of Jack Webb's radio and TV series, DRAGNET, perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history. The series gave audience members a feel for the danger and heroism of police work. The show's cultural impact is such that after seven decades, elements of DRAGNET are familiar to those who have never seen or heard the program. The program premiered on June 3, 1949. This year marks the 70th anniversary so it seems fitting that we take an hour and revisit the program.
7:00 pm, SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER BANQUET
All you can eat buffet with live stage entertainment! Tickets always sell out for this event. This is a great way to close out the weekend. Details of this year’s entertainment to be announced. A great way to close the weekend of excitement. The dinner banquet is the only event that requires a separate fee and is not included with general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance, sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Which is why we recommend you purchase your tickets in advance.)