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Old 03-18-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
catlover79
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Biggrin 1976 interview with John Schuck (Holmes & Yoyo)!!!!

I found an old book via Amazon, published in mid-1976, called TV Talk 2, by Peggy Herz. It was published by Scholastic, so I think it was aimed towards younger readers. But it is still a fun read, and interesting to see what these sitcom stars of the time had to say. Here's all who was interviewed:

1. Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman)
2. Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley)
3. Gregory Sierra and Hal Linden (Barney Miller)
4. Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time)
5. Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul (Starsky & Hutch)
6. Gabe Kaplan, John Travolta, Ron Palillo and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (Welcome Back, Kotter)
7. Devon Scott (The Tony Randall Show)
8. John Schuck (Holmes & Yoyo)

I will transcribe each interview and paste it on the respective show pages - hope everyone enjoys!!
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:42 PM   #2
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Thanks Monika. It sounds like a great read. I remember Holmes & Yoyo. I loved that show. I think I was the only one that did though.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:44 AM   #3
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Default Peggy Herz...

...wrote a number of Scholastic books about current TV celebrities (primarily aimed at junior high readers) during the '70s, including "TV Talk 1". This particular volume was actually issued in the fall of '76 {"HOLMES & YOYO" and "THE TONY RANDALL SHOW" didn't premiere until then**, as the new series featuring her subjects were just getting under way...

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Old 03-19-2011, 03:46 AM   #4
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I'm going to transcribe the John Schuck interview tomorrow. It's a great one, too!! Very humorous and sweet.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:31 PM   #5
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Thumbs up John Schuck Plays a Robot Cop

"John Schuck plays a what?" I asked.
"A robot policeman, in Holmes and YOYO," answered an ABC publicist.
Well, I thought, I guess that's one way to outdo Kojak and Columbo. After all, they are mere human beings.
"Would you like to interview him?"
"A robot?" I asked hesitantly. "What's he like?"
"He's very nice."
How could I resist? I've interviewed Kojak and Columbo - why not a robot named YOYO?

John Schuck also happens to be Sgt. Charles Enright in NBC's McMillan & Wife - so I had no trouble recognizing him when he walked in for our interview. He wasn't even wired up to his computer, in fact!

YOYO, I learned, is a robot with an electronic, computerized system. It is a very advanced system, but sometimes things go wrong, causing all kinds of problems for YOYO and his partner, Holmes.

"YOYO behaves like a human being," John explained. "There's no attempt to act mechanical in behavior. He's been programmed to be good at what he does - and that's police detective work. He has no amazing physical attributes. He's not a man of tremendous strength. He's not superior in that way. He has a photographic memory, he speaks many languages, he can do imitations very well. He can be hurt as any machine can be hurt. He can be broken - like a TV set with a picture and no sound.

"In terms of literature and humor," John pointed out, "monsters are something we've always identified with. That's basically what YOYO is. We love machines. We love gadgets. We love dolls we cam take apart and put together again. We're fascinated with circuitry."

John loves playing roles in two different TV series, he said. He's a policeman in both - but there's quite a difference between the two!

John has been acting for some time. I was born in Boston, but I spent most of my young life in Buffalo, New York," he said. "My father was an English professor at Buffalo State. He taught the romantics - Byron, Keats, and so on. He was a wonderful teacher. But at one point we lived in New Jersey." John smiled.

"We had an album of Oklahoma. I used to sing along with it. I loved it. On my 5th birthday, my parents took me into NYC to see Oklahoma on the stage. We sat in the front row and I sang along there, too. It was wonderful. That experience stuck with me. A year later our class sang in assembly. We finished singing, the people clapped, and they had to pull me off the stage. I think I probably wanted to be an actor from then on. I really loved the theater. I was in many school plays."

He loved drama, but he wasn't the greatest student in the school. "In my teens I was really a bad student, in fact," he admitted. "I politicked my way through school. I ended up with a low B average. I was back in Buffalo recently," he added. "It was fascinating to see my junior high and high school. The schools have changed so much. Kids can arrange their own schedules now, and that's exciting to see.

"I went to Denison University in Granville, Ohio," John said, "where I graduated with majors in theater, philosophy, and English. At Denison we had our own summer theater. In 11 weeks, we did 10 plays. Oklahoma was the first musical I did in college," he laughed. He hadn't even forgotten the words, he discovered!

After graduation, he appeared at the Cleveland Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Woodstock Playhouse in New York, and the Buffalo State Arena Theatre. "The whole regional movement was very popular at that time," John said. "It was great. Here I was 23 and 24 playing a wide variety of roles, gaining wonderful experience, and improving my craft."

He was appearing at a theater in San Francisco when movie producer Robert Altman came to a performance. "We took an instant dislike to each other," John recalled. "He thought my acting was arrogant - and it was. I thought he was weird. We talked some. Five weeks later he called and offered me the role of the dentist in the movie M*A*S*H. That film changed so many lives, including mine. Altman saw something in me that he thought would make the part work. The whole thing was absurd but we did make it work.

"I'm a great believer that things happen if you're open," John continued. "Everything that has happened to me has seemed natural. You just have to prepare yourself so you'll be ready when things do happen. I consider myself fortunate. There is so little employment for actors."

John has also rediscovered another love. "I always loved music and musicals," he said enthusiastically, "but I could never finish the songs. I didn't have the range. So I stopped singing. Then three years ago I met a voice teacher - and I discovered I have a monstrous operatic baritone!" He smiled happily. "A whole new aspect of life has opened for me," he said. "I'd love to do opera or give recitals. I did sing with an orchestra in Buffalo and 1,500 people came! A woman in Florida called and asked me to do Carmen. I don't know if I will but it would be very exciting!"

John's life is on an upswing now and I asked him if he had any advice for young people whose lives and careers weren't yet formed. "I think it would be to learn to say yes to yourself," he replied eagerly. "We all fail. We all hurt at times. There are two kinds of hurt - dirty hurt and clean hurt. Dirty hurt is when you've been injured by experience and you allow it to have an adverse effect on you. Clean hurt is feeling, 'Well, I've been through that, I'm ready to go on.' I think many people say no to themselves," he emphasized. "Doing that gradually kills your impulses to do things.

"I went through a difficult period when I was in junior and senior high school," he revealed. "My family was supportive, but I felt a communications gap. I was painfully shy so I was late coming to dating. I really didn't date until college. I was a good ballroom dancer. Then Chubby Checker came along and I didn't know how to do the twist! For a long time I think I used the theater to hide in."

John is often asked to talk to groups of young people. "In my talks I keep emphasizing that one of the most horrible things that can happen in Hollywood or in the legitimate theater is that people lose a sense of who they are. They begin to believe the flattery. I know many people now who have noo sense of who they are. I'm determined that that won't happen to me."

So far, it has not happened. John is very aware of who and what he is, as he quickly demonstrated.

"I love acting," he said. "It's important to me that during an interview I say things that I mean and feel. I try to make everything meaningful. I'm not good at promoting myself. I consider myself average. I have no extraordinary hobbies or gifts. I've been late growing up. I'd like to get married.* I'm patriotic, but not overly so. I'm a thinking and feeling person. I'm very suspicious of compliments. The whole material ethic is to be avoided." He stopped for breath and continued:

"Creativity is something that starts inside you. Whether you like to act or paint or whatever, you can do it as an avocation and get fulfillment from it."

One thing John isn't, and that's a robot! He bubbles over with enthusiasm and enjoyment, in fact!

"I bought a small house last year," he said. "It has a swimming pool and a deck area. The whole house leads to the outside. I like to keep it like an open house situation so my family and friends can come in. My door is always open. I like to cook, though I cook fairly simple things. I love all types of food. More and more of my friends are not in show business. I don't like many people in my business. I find them selfish. They work hard, but there is so much more to life than films and theater. Many of them lack a certain vitality.

"I find great joy in everything I do," John explained. "I love to laugh and I'm getting good at laughing at myself. I love sailing. I had a boat, but I sold it when I bought the house. I play a little tennis. I'm an avid reader. I read everything! And I love music, of course. I think the assault of hard rock is over. We're not as angry as we were 10 years ago. I think we're going to start laughing again and have more plays in which people like each other. I think that's going to be necessary for our survival."

In two series, John is doing his best to make people laugh and like each other. No robot could have been put together with a more finely tuned sense of himself or the world around him. There are some things computers just can't do!



*John did get married - his first marriage lasted from 1979-83 and ended in divorce. He has been wed to his second wife since 1990. He is still involved in musical theater - playing Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Benjamin Franklin in 1776, and Buffalo Bill Cody in Annie Get Your Gun.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:41 PM   #6
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Thanks so much Monika. John sounds like a great guy. I actually could relate to some of what he had to say. I first started to watch him on McMillan & Wife. He was great on that show. Holmes & Yoyo was very funny. It had a Get Smart type of comedy. It's too bad it didn't last long.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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No problem! He struck me as a very sweet and humble man in this interview. I'm going to see if I can find an address to write to him.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:22 PM   #8
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I always liked Schuck and my mom did too. He was very smart on game shows like the $10,000 Pyramid. All I remember about this show is that it didn't last long at all, like maybe six weeks, and it was the butt of a lot of Johnny Carson jokes.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:05 PM   #9
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It's interesting that Sonny related Holmes and Yoyo to Get Smart since I always thought of Yoyo as being similar to Hymie the Robot from Get Smart! John Schuck seems like a humble, intelligent, and down to earth person.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:02 PM   #10
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Biggrin My family and I love John Schuck

I hope you see this. I was going to email you, but I'll try this first.

I'm not sure when it was when I first heard about him, but it was probably sometime in the 1990's because my family and I would watch McMillan and Wife together. I think it was A&E that was running that show with Columbo, Delvecchio, McCloud and others. My mom thought he looked like her brother-in-law, Ray. She'd always say that whenever he came on, and we'd laugh. He's a big guy like he was (he died in September of 2017). I think he's a big teddy bear of a guy.

Enjoyed the interview you did with him. I never knew that he was a stage actor as well (we could never travel anywhere to see any shows).

I've been trying to find Holmes and Yoyo, but haven't had any success, not even with the online collectors I do business with. I've seen the two English language episodes on youtube and just fell in love with Yoyo! The only dvd set that exists is a French language version sold on Amazon, but not dubbed and/or subtitled. I tried to contact Universal Home Video/Pictures about it, but they said that it wasn't one of their shows. About an hour ago, I contacted the one in France; I hope it goes through.

I'd love to see the Room 222 episode called, The Fuzz that Grooved. He played a friendly cop that the kids loved, but "the powers that be" don't because he is too light with the kids. I'm getting McMillan and Wife, The New Odd Couple, and Munsters Today soon. I remember he and Lee Meriwether were on The Hollywood Squares at about the time the show aired. John Davidson asked them, "What is a shuck?" and Lee said, "That thing that's nibbling on my neck right now!"
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Getting off the subject a little here, I'm getting the sitcom, Love, Sidney next week through an online collector. It's the 1980's show about a gay man named Sidney Schorr, played by Tony Randall, another actor my family and I adored. My dad told me about it and I wanted to see it. Some episodes were played after he died in 2004. I guess *that* one will never be officially released on dvd, either, at least not in the US. That really makes me mad. Most of my dvd collection is either bootlegged from collectors or taped from TV.
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