Listen up, Hippies! Joe Friday’s Talking!
The greatest TV show of all time was “Dragnet.” Especially in its later incarnation, in the late 1960s, when straight-laced cops Joe Friday and Bill Gannon encountered all sorts of hippies and freaks on the mean streets of L.A. Jack Webb, the star, producer and head writer, was a pretty good actor and his Sgt. Friday character was great – there has never been anyone else like him on TV. Everybody’s favorite episode is “The LSD Story,” from 1967, which features a character called the “Blue Boy.”
When I was a reporter at the Port Arthur News in the late 1970s-early 1980s this guy used to call up and claim he was former child actor Roger Mobley. He was some kind of policeman in Beaumont, a Vietnam veteran and a born-again Christian. I knew he was in some “Dragnet” episodes but all he wanted to talk about was Jesus so I never could really be sure it was really the actor (it probably was). Anyway, you’d think maybe this kid found Jesus after having a bad trip or something – or maybe he was on the set when Jack Webb delivered this stern lecture:
Man, I still love “Dragnet.”