(Photo: Ed ‘Kookie’ Byrnes and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in ’77 Sunset Strip.’ Source: MeTV)
The seminal 77 Sunset Strip, TV’s first hour-long weekly detective series and one of Warner Bros’ pioneering small-screen triumphs, can be binged this weekend via free over-the-air channel Decades.
The 42-episode marathon starts at 1 pm ET Saturday with the first episode from season four, and ends at 6 am ET Monday with the first episode from season five. Yes, the math is correct — 77 Sunset Strip’s fourth season contained a whopping 41 hour-long episodes!
Although starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Roger Smith as L.A.-based private eyes, 77 Sunset Strip is perhaps remembered most for the breakout cultural phenomenon of Kookie, played by Ed Byrnes. As noted by Wikipedia, Kookie was a continually hair-combing, hotrod-driving, hipster-talking parking valet turned protégé PI. At the height of Kookie’s fame, Byrnes and Connie Stevens scored a top ten record with “Kookie, Kookie—Lend Me Your Comb.” Here’s a live performance, followed by a Dick Clark-led interview:
77 Sunset Strip itself featured a very popular, finger-snapping theme song that spawned a best-selling record album:
The series, which spurred several similar Warner Bros. detective shows set in different locales (i.e., Hawaiian Eye [with the aforementioned Connie Stevens] in Honolulu, Bourbon Street Beat in New Orleans, Surfside Six in Miami) ran on ABC for 206 episodes over six seasons from 1958 to 1964.
You can also watch MeTV free with an antenna hooked up to your TV set. For the channel number in your area, check MeTV.com/wheretowatch.
(This is an updated version of a previously published article.)
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