Southern Brooklyn

Check Out This Video Of Don Rickles Strolling Through Midwood In 1968



A video has been going around the internets of a Kraft Music Hall program from August 9, 1968, hosted by legendary comic Don Rickles, and filmed entirely along Avenue M in Midwood around the subway station.

And that’s no surprise, it was an NBC program, and NBC Brooklyn Studios was once located at 1268 East 14th Street.

The video’s classic Rickles walking through classic Brooklyn: kids playing stickball, classic hot dogs, classic pickpockets – and classic businesses in the background (anyone remember Yen Fung Restaurant?).

Check it out!

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  1. Holy crap, besides the fact that it was a very interesting watch, can we talk about how many organizations would be up in arms over this today because it wasn’t “pc” enough? Don Rickles would be brought up on “bullying” charges for the way he talked to those kids. Love it.

  2. Thanks, Ned! A snippet, but certainly priceless, and seminal. Of a time, and an atmosphere, that no longer exists, around these parts! Indeed, a couple of blocks west of that filming, still lies the old NBC Studios, and right behind it’s claylike red brick fa├žade, still stands a couple of buildings, including the Water Tower, of the old Vitagraph Studios! The place where, essentially, Hollywood started, before heading to La La land! I had an acquaintance, who has eventually become a high ranking spin doctor in the media, who told me that she and a friend use to hang out around those Studios, as young girls, in the early 1960’s, and would see Sean Connery (most everyone’s favorite, James Bond!) walking along Avenue M. And they use to chase him up the block, yelling, Mr. Bond, Mr. Bond! (He was probably there doing auditions, for spots, still early, in his career)…And I’m sure a number of folks who read this thread, are aware that Sing Along With Mitch and the Cosby Show, among others, were filmed at those NBC Studios!!!

  3. Don’t forget “As the World Turns” which was there until the very end, I believe the cast used to eat at the Caravelle.

  4. You know, my favorite articles on SB are the ones like this. Another that comes to mind was the piece on the history of the Subway system that was done last year I think. Perhaps it was two years ago? Not sure.

    Think about a weekly ‘know your history’ column, Ned. It could focus on Brooklyn, but could be about anything in the city.

  5. Awesome! My takeaway? Notice how CLEAN Avenue M looked back then? And I love the cop threatening Don with a ticket if he didn’t pick up the paper he threw to the ground. Boy would that cop have a field day today.

    I’m too young to say I lived in that version of Brooklyn, but I went to Murrow and recognize the buildings and bus stop Don walks past at the end. Thanks for posting this!

  6. I didn’t even know there *was* a studio in Brooklyn, let alone around here. A regular history column would be a great idea.

  7. I grew up on east 15th street between avenue M & N and this video brought back some very sweet memories of my childhood in Brooklyn. I remember my mom taking me to Yen Fung for my first Chinese meal…the menu was limited by todays standards. I recall very exotic dishes like Chow Mein, and Chop Suey…no Szechuan back then. I saw “A Hard Days Night” featuring The Beatles at the Elm Theater and went to Paradise diner to share fries with my girlfriends. On occasion we went to see shows at NBC Studio. Hullabaloo was a big hit with the Rolling Stones, The Young Rascals, The Byrds, Chad and Jeremy, and Sonny and Cher. One afternoon we saw Fred Gwynne dressed as Fred Munster clomping along Avenue M! On another summer afternoon, I found myself gazing into the beautiful blue eyes of Maureen O’Hara. She gave me her autograph and I ran all the way home to give it to her most adoring fan, my mother. After the shows at NBC wrapped up, all the celebrities would eat at Bonapartes’ Italian restaurant or Cookies upscale diner on the Avenue. They also frequented The Celebrity Lounge for drinks and all their pictures hung along its’ walls. Great memories…Thanks from the Linares, Vaccaro and Levin family…

  8. I worked at Antelis pharmacy, which you can briefly see in this video…and Another World was filmed at NBC up until the late 90’s…I used to deliver cosmetics and stuff to them…

  9. Wasn’t, meaning it’s not there anymore, when in fact the NBC Studio building in actuality is still there, and is used from my understanding, for some productions, albeit much less newsworthy! I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the reasons it has been less used, is the profound demographic changes that have occurred in the immediate area. That is, there are a lot less Irving, Vito’s and Sid’s around, and a lot more Chaim’s, who have brought their Shetl mentalities with them, despite the disgraceful preponderance of BMW’s and Mercedes, driven by their supposedly, Orthodox Arab Syrian bretheren , who are clueless, and couldn’t care less, about the giants that once walked their streets!!!

  10. The building is still there, but I don’t think it is being used right now. A couple of years ago they filmed the HBO movie “Too Big to Fail” and some other things, but there haven’t been any filming vehicles or parking signs around for months. A few weeks ago, I saw the front door of the studio had a City Marshall seizure (?) notice on it.

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