Monday, December 26, 2005


Tonight is the last night for the broadcast of 'Monday Night Football' on ABC. Next season, it'll be sliding over to ESPN. And to celebrate the end of its 36 year run with the Alphabet network, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith will be returning for tonight's finale. (I wouldn't put it past Howard Cosell to rise from the dead to be there as well.)

Some people might not realize what a great impact MNF had on the sport and on Television itself. And it propelled its three big stars to a stardom usually reserved for major movie stars. It even spawned a television movie about the actual show, 'Monday Night Mayhem'.

If it wasn't so powerful in its time, do you think Howard Cosell would ever have been given a chance to host his own variety show?

Its three stars, and Keith Jackson who was the play-by-play announcer in its first year, all went on to use their celebrity in beefing up their credits in the League of Themselves.

Actually, Don Meredith's credits in that regard are pretty non-existent save for variety show appearances. But he certainly has quite a roster of characters in Toobworld including cops on 'Police Story' and as Banjo Hackett.

Howard Cosell
Fighting Back (1980) (TV) .... Himself
"Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell" (1975) TV Series .... Himself
The Connection (1973) (TV) .... Himself
The 500 Pound Jerk (1973) (TV) .... Himself

"The Fall Guy" in episode: "Win One for the Gipper" (episode # 2.10) 5 January 1983
"The Odd Couple" playing "Himself" in episode: "Your Mother Wears Army Boots" (episode # 5.15) 16 January 1975
"The Odd Couple" playing "Himself" in episode: "Big Month" (episode # 3.2) 22 September 1972
"The Partridge Family" playing "Reporter" in episode: "Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?" (episode # 2.6) 22 October 1971

Frank Gifford
"Spin City" playing "Himself" in episode: "An Affair to Remember" (episode # 1.17) 18 February 1997
"Coach" playing "Himself"
in episode: "You Win Some, You Lose Some" (episode # 9.8) 18 December 1996
in episode: "The Tight End" (episode # 8.13) 19 December 1995
in episode: "The Day I Met Frank Gifford" (episode # 7.20) 28 February 1995
"The Adventures of Pete & Pete" playing "Himself" in episode: "Rangeboy"
"Life Goes On" playing "Himself" in episode: "Corky Witnesses a Crime" (episode # 1.9) 26 November 1989
"Webster" playing "Himself" in episode: "You Can't Go Home Again" (episode # 2.7) 9 November 1984
"The San Pedro Beach Bums" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Shortest Yard" (episode # 1.2) 26 September 1977
"The Six Million Dollar Man" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Bionic Boy: Part 1" (episode # 4.7) 7 November 1976

[This next show is before 'MNF', but I wanted to include it, to show that 'Hazel' can now link to Toobworld via Gifford.]
"Hazel" in episode: "Hazel and the Halfback" (episode # 3.15) 26 December 1963

Keith Jackson
"Coach" playing "Himself" in episode: "If Keith Jackson Calls, I'll Be at My Therapist's" (episode # 2.5) 19 December 1989


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