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Matt Weinstock -- February 6, 1959

February 6, 2009 |  4:00 pm

Wrong Number

Matt_weinstockd Tonight as usual TV addicts will turn on a program titled "77 Sunset Strip," a private eye action thriller featuring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Roger Smith, Edward Byrnes, beautiful girls in deep trouble and a reverberating and contagious theme song.

The address 77 Sunset Strip is a phony. There's no such number. It has no significance except it sounded good when the program was put together.

However, the office front used in the drama is authentic. It is the office of the Mary Webb Davis modeling agency, 8532 Sunset Blvd., next to Dino's Lodge, also featured in the series. Of course, facsimiles of the office front, the parking lot and Dino's have been built on a Warner Bros. sound stage. This is what people see on TV.

BUT THIS TOUCH of realism has had a strange effect. Life is not the same around the agency -- which furnishes models for film commercials, fashion shows and photographic ads -- since the program became popular. Incidentally, it has been there for 12 years.

Mail keeps coming there for Zimbalist, and tourists tie up traffic stopping for a look and to snap pictures of the office front. As a result, Otis Jenkins, the cleanup man, works twice as hard polishing the brass on the door.

One other thing, Mary Webb Davis hasn't mentioned it to the gang at Warner Bros., but the handle of the door in the studio replica is on the wrong side.

* *

Lincoln_cent A NEW LINCOLN cent will be put in circulation on Abe's birthday, next Thursday. A few are out already. Lincoln's head is the same as on the others, but the reverse or "tails" side will have a design of the Lincoln Memorial.

And before people become befuddled as they usually are by new coins or any rumors about them, Genghis Cohen, Hollywood numismatist, passes along the information that they aren't fakes, they aren't rare, they aren't going to be recalled, and coin dealers are not about to pay premium prices for them.

By the way, the proper word is cent, not penny, a colloquialism, but people have never bought it.
* *

STOP THE presses! A National Geographic news bulletin, which came in the mail, sates, "The male pipefish, like its relative the seahorse, incubates its young in a blood pouch into which the female has deposited the eggs. Understandably, for many years, the males were thought to be females. Even after the sexes were distinguished in 1831, a controversy over the matter raged for decades."

A moment of silence, everyone, to pity the poor pipefish.

* *

THE PUBLIC PRINTS -- Tom and Helen Ferril's weekly Rocky Mountain Herald of Denver has a town-naming game going. Recent creations: Dirty, Wash.; Tomato, Kan.; Five, Minn.; Kiss, Me.;Yernamis, Md.; Hittor, Miss.; and Feeling, Ill. . . . As you may have read, Hedy Lamarr and her estranged husband, Howard Lee, are exchanging legal insults. Meanwhile, back at Aspen, Colo., where ski lodges are springing up like jacks-in-the-box (it isn't mushroom country), Lee's luxurious new Villa Lamarr, Time magazine reports, is being called Hedy's Beddies.

* *

1959_0206_7th_sealLAST ROUNDUP
When a horse to heaven is consigned
It is bound to leave its whoas behind.

* *
WHILE WE'RE on this animal kick, Gene Coughlin, an incorrigible pixie, wishes to unleash the following on the world:

The only one who knows if a giraffe has halitosis
Is another giraffe who wants to rub noses.

* *

AT RANDOM -- FM station KNOB refers to programs featuring vocalists as Tonsil Time . . . To Judge David W. Williams' charge that gambling laws were being enforced mostly against Negroes, Chief Parker expressed surprise that "one possessed of judicial temperament" would say such a thing. My, my, look who's talking about judicial temperament.