My Favorite Joyces

As you might expect, when I turn the TV on these days it's to watch shows (via Netflix) from around the 1970s... current TV just doesn't do it for ol' Gilligan. I've tried shows like American Idol, Desperate Housewives and Dancing with the Stars, but I tend to vomit in my mouth then black out half way through. I enjoy a lot of contemporary movies, it's the current TV I find to be... well, I think Kindertrauma said it best:

...nearly unwatchable, soul-destroying slip and slide ride into an endless abyss that will have you scrambling to piece together not only your will to live, but your tattered faith in humanity.

Of course, Kindertrauma was not referring to television, but rather a horror film (Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door), but I think it applies here.

Anyway, I'm taking the long way around to saying that you'd do well to turn off the cable and turn on Tony Orlando and Dawn's variety show. You won't find a better more likeable entertainer than Orlando, and a more talented singing duo than Dawn. Watching it recently, I was amazed at how well Orlando worked a crowd, how skilled and versatile they were as performers, and... how much I liked Joyce.

Orlando was the flamboyant crowd pleaser, Telma Hopkins was sassy (many may remember her from Gimme a Break), and Joyce Vincent Wilson was just quiet and nice. I liked Joyce, and still do. Her peaceful easy attitude, winning smile, and beautiful voice sooth me. This world needs more Joyce. If I were Obama, I'd fire Hillary and hire Joyce... what foreign despot, no matter how hardened and cruel, could resist the warm and cozy Joyce? Kim Jong-il will be singing "Candida" after two minutes with m'lady Joyce.

Joyce #2 is, of course, Ms. DeWitt.

Working alongside one of the top sex symbols of the 70s, DeWitt's contributions to Three's Company are often overlooked. But for every Ginger, you need a Mary-Ann - a girl-next-door to balance out the bombshell.

She maybe wasn't a comic genius like Ritter, but she held her own. She was likeable, often funny in a self-deprecating way, and really was quite a good actress. I think the whole Three's Company experience left a bad taste in her mouth for a while, and she dropped off the face of the earth following the show's cancellation. She might've gone on to bigger and better things had she given it a shot.

And Joyce #3 is the mysterious Mrs. Drake.

There are only ten known copies of the Joyce album in existence, making this album the holy grail of bizarre LP collectors. I could go on and on about my sick infatuation with Joyce, and my obsession with finding her true identity, but I'll just point you to a previous post instead. In the meantime you can listen to a song from her album here... the voice of an angel.


  1. Man, you're doing some furious shit here. I love it!

  2. Love your first two choices--er--Joyces! I wish they'd make more TOaD DVDs, 'cause I've about worn the first set out. You nailed all that was great about my favorite variety-show trio!

    And I don't care how many blondes they let traipse through that apartment, they didn't hold a lava lamp to my Janet!

  3. gentlebear- Quite a compliment coming from the renowned ursine millionare!

    groovy agent- How have I missed your cool blog? Great stuff going on over there- it's been added to my sidebar.

  4. Hey Gil. Awesome post! I miss the tv of my youth. I watch very little modern tv. I just can't stand it. It makes me want to puke. I love all those shows I grew up with, plus the shows that were off by the time I was born but I would see in syndication. That was real tv.

  5. I second that vote for Joyce DeWitt!

  6. I love Tony Orlando and Dawn, and Joyce Vincent is my favorite of the three. She's a nice lady and a great singer.

  7. Those first two Joyces are my faves too. I also liked Dr. Joyce Brothers, who always added a touch of class and some sardonic humor to every game show she was on.

  8. Thanks a LOT, Gilligan (for the add!)

  9. Sorry, I'm a little late to the Joyce celebration, but I would like to nominate Dick's sister JOYCE VAN PATTEN -- she was everywhere on the '70s!

  10. http://recordoobscura.blogspot.com.au/2009/07/for-people-who-dont-hear-music-anymore.html

    Same Joyce as the last pic.

    The LP you pictured is ALL OVER Ebay (well, I saw one, for not much money) and I'm sure you could find it on Musicstack too.

    Joyce Landorf, Christian speaker, singer, radio show host!

  11. And , I will mention the lovely Joyce Bullifant !! Not only was she on " The Mary Tyler Moore Show ," and " Big John , Little John , " but she was also ALMOST Mrs. Carol Brady in the Brady Bunch !!