TJGS Episode 12: The One Where Judy Gets Touched...A Lot

By episode 12 the edict was out.  Judy was not to touch her guests.  People who saw her being so affectionate thought it made her look nervous and didn't like Judy kissing her female guests on the cheek in greeting.  Of course, this is ridiculous, and I for one never thought that the affection Judy displayed indicated that she was nervous, but that she was attempting to calm the nerves of others.  At any rate, Judy later commented how funny it was that on the episode where she worked so hard not to touch the guest stars, they were reaching out to touch her. 

Garland had gotten very close to Zina over the week's time and was thrilled to have Vic Damone as a guest star as she was a great admirer of his talent.  He would appear on the show twice more, and each time they would perform a wonderful medley of Broadway hits.  They started of with a medley from Porgy and Bess that is really pretty wonderful.  They look so comfortable and the notes!  The notes are so passionate and full and vibrant.

The highlight of the show, to my mind, was not actually filmed in the same week.  It was taped much earlier and inserted into this week.  It's the "Tea For Two" segment with George Jessel.  Jessel had been a gigantic name in show business back in the thirties, and Judy makes sure he has the chance to have all the focus again.  She's so obviously delighted to have him with her, so gracious to him.  And for his part, he's still very quick witted and funny.  He does most of the talking, which I frankly think is nice.  I know Judy's a great story teller, and yet, these segments could have done a lot more to highlight and lift up the guest star than they do.  This is the best "Tea" segment ever (just ignore Goerge's story of how he named Judy.  Yes, he gave her the last name Garland, but Judy had named herself).  And Judy sings an amazing snippet of "Bill" that I wish she'd sung as a complete number.  Still, tossed off like this makes it seem so natural and conversational.  It packed a lot of power.

This is definitely not a notable episode, but it is pleasant, and quite funny to hear Vic Damone sing "And oh the towering feeling!" as he stands high on fork lift, which is then lowered to the ground by a little blonde pigtailed girl.  Talk about literal...