Place Intro
Burns, Schreiber, and the Doodletown Pipers gussy up their place.

Our Place was an hour-long variety show for CBS that Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber hosted in 1967. As a summer replacement for the Smothers Brothers, it aired from July 2 to September 3. The show was very well-promoted and earned cover photo status on several regional television guides including TV Weekly from Toronto's Telegram, Boston's Sunday Herald Traveler TV Magazine, and TV Channels from the Detroit Free Press.

Place Magazines
Our Place featured in regional television magazines.
Cover status was a bit Schreiber-heavy (no pun).

Music and dancing was provided by the Doodletown Pipers, a syrupy sweet group of young singers and one of Homer Simpson's all-time favorite music acts ("Look at these records: Jim Nabors, Glen Campbell, the Doodletown Pipers. Now look at her records. They stink!"). They were a bit on the sappy side. The theme song actually included the line "it's a doodletown dream come true."

Doodletown Dreams
Burns and Schreiber looking a little more
two-dimensional than usual. Schreiber is
cutting Doodletown Piper dolls.
Taken from a transparency.

Jim Henson showcased some of his early Muppets, the most regular member of the Our Place cast being Rowlf the talking dog. He actually co-hosted the show with B&S. Talk about a big break for Rowlf! Our Place kicked open the door for the mutt who'd later find greater fame in a 1970s series featuring him and his other Muppet pals. Burns, of course, would be head writer for the first season of The Muppet Show. Maybe he helped get Rowlf the gig
(ha ha, that was mildly amusing). Anyway, Rowlf was cute but his bits in this episode were silly rather than funny. Another Muppet, a conductor with a balloon for a head, was cooler.

Each episode featured a guest, Carol Burnett receiving the honor in the debut which aired Sunday, July 2, 1967 @ 9:00pm EDT. Other guests included Arthur Godfrey, Woody Allen, Cyril Ritchard (of Peter Pan Captain Hook fame), the Smothers Brothers (keeping an eye on their time slot), Dick Shawn (who played a hippie Hitler in The Producers with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder), and Joel Gray (Tony Award-winning star of Cabaret). The executive producer was Bob Precht who produced The Ed Sullivan Show and was also Sullivan's son-in-law. Bill Angelos and Buz Kohan wrote and produced the show and John Moffitt was the director.

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett was Burns' and
Schreiber's first guest in Our Place.

Although Our Place only made ten episodes, it was not a flop. According to Frank Judge of the Sunday Herald Traveler, lightning struck twice for CBS. The Smothers Brothers was a surprise success for the network, being renewed despite going up against powerhouse Bonanza in its time slot, and Our Place, its summer replacement, proved it could also hold its own as a regular series. CBS, however, already locked in its fall line-up and Burns and Schreiber had prior individual commitments, so the show never had a second season.

The following is the only episode of Our Place that I've seen available on the cyber market. The special guest was Dick Shawn. Although the copy I have is in black & white, the show originally aired in color.

Original Airdate: July 23, 1967

Schreiber's got a million of 'em.

The opening had Burns and Schreiber doing their trademark taxicab routine. They used this format to introduce the show (Burns: "Take me to our place," Schreiber: "What, you're moving in now?"). They also took a not too subtle stab at NBC. Schreiber imitated what he thought was the three-tone advertisement for CBS, but it was actually the one used by NBC. Burns, looking irritated, challenged his driver, "Are you kidding? No, where is that?" Then Schreiber remembered the correct three tones including the "Bdlbdlbdlbdleer Color!" tag at the end.

Burns: Yeah, that's it. Yeah, that's what you call your Big Eye, the Big Eye, you know what I mean?"
Schreiber: Yeah.
B: Huh?
S: Eye.
B: Huh?
S: Eye.
B: Huh?
S: Eye-yi-yi.

Ironically, Burns and Schreiber hosted a Fall Preview promotional film for NBC called Two In A Taxi that was aired in September 1966.

Song and Dance Men
A couple of song and dance men.
Song and 
Dance Men
Who are you callin' the dance, bud?

Play it again
Play it again, Sam or whoever.

"I'm the SONG."
Song and 
Dance Men
Burns is the song AND the dance.

In Burns' and Schreiber's second bit, they came out in vaudeville costumes to perform in "Max and Charlie Songs and Dance." Burns was Charlie and, in singing the opening verse, "In us you see a couple of song and dance men," Charlie insisted he was the song and Max was the dance. After some arguing, Max asked that the cue cards be shown. When they started again, Charlie sang with emphasis "I'm the song" and when it was time to sing "and I'm the dance," Max did not sing anything [apparently it was not on the cue card]. I actually didn't quite get this sketch, but they were both so cute at the end of it that it made me smile anyway.

They lift you up just to knock you down.
That's show business.

In the third sketch, Burns was sitting on a bench weeping. Schreiber strolled out with a guitar, sat on a bench next to Burns and started to play and whistle. As the tempo of the music picked up, Burns's mood did as well and he started clapping his hands to the music. Schreiber slowed down the tempo and Burns started getting depressed again. When Schreiber left, Burns was weeping as he was at the beginning of the sketch (now if they only had speed metal back in those days...).

Hostility never looked so good.

More Hostility
And More Hostility
Trying to get Herbert's attention.

And Yet More Hostility
Hostility Meets His Match
"The Man from Hostility" gets an up close
and personal look at what's on the menu.

Burns' and Schreiber's next sketch was entitled "The Absurd Theatre Players Present 'The Man From Hostility.'" Burns entered a diner run by counterman/fry cook Herbert (Schreiber). From the moment he first walked in, Burns was a posh, aristocratic wanna-be, and total jerk who leveled abuse upon abuse on Schreiber both verbally and physically by throwing condiments at him (the props were just imagined). Burns received his comeuppance in the forms of an imaginary grease trap and garbage bin over the head and a swirl of rancid whipping cream to the face for dessert. "The Man from Hostility" paid his bill--including an amusement charge--and left stating he would return for Herbert's next shift. Herbert ended the scene by telling the audience that his jerk customer was a "nice guy."

I host a variety show with kids who like
to call themselves "Doodletown Pipers" and
all I get is a balloon from a puppet dog.

Burns gives a "salute to Cole Porter."

Everybody's a critic.

The closing segment had more insipid, vomit-inducing singing by the Doodletown Pipers. At one point, you can spot Avery Schreiber in the background looking very bored which is actually more entertaining than the music. Mercifully, the music stopped to show Jack Burns behind the piano. He announced he will give a salute to Cole Porter and did so,...literally. The Doodlers seemed disappointed for some reason.

Doodletown Dreams
Living the Doodletown dream:
If Burns was pretending to play the piano here,
it would probably look more believable if he
kept his hands on the keys....Just kidding.

Up and away
Up, Up and Away!
OK, there was a purpose to those balloons after all.



Check out other Burns and Schreiber pages:

Burns and Schreiber on The Flip Wilson Show

Burns & Schreiber on The Hollywood Palace

Burns and Schreiber on Vinyl

Click Jack Burns to start reading a two-part biography

And check out Jack Burns when he guest hosted Saturday Night Live!!!


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