Interested in binging on an arresting (but forgotten) police series? All 1020 minutes spanning 39 episodes? Then mark July 20 on your must-get list; that’s the date Code 3: LA Sheriff’s Case Files hits the shelves.
In 1957, Hal Roach Studios and producer Ben Fox brought the fast-paced drama to television, starring Richard Travis as Sheriff George Barrett of the Los Angeles County Police Department, Denver Pyle as Sgt. Murchison and Fredd Wayne as Sgt. Bill Hollis.
Like its sister series Dragnet, Code 3 featured true crime cases–this time from the files of the search and rescue branch of the Los Angeles Police Department–always “changing the names to protect the innocent.” At the end of most of the broadcasts, the real-life Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Eugene W. Biscailuz, made an appearance to recap that night’s adventure.
Code 3 enjoyed a healthy run in television syndication and featured lots of guest stars. Instead of naming names, we are going to tease you by tossing out the names of other TV series from which the guests were imported . . . Star Trek, The Patty Duke Show, Bewitched, Gilligan’s Island, Mannix, Zorro and The Dukes of Hazard.
Oh, we do love Guy Branum. The openly gay man has written for The Mindy Project and Billy on the Street, as well The New York Times and Slate. We’ve seen him on Chelsea, Lately and is currently the host and star of Talk Show the Game Show on TruTV.
Welcome his debut book, My Life as a Goddess: A Memoir Through (Un)Popular Culture (Atria Books, $26). Branum always felt as if he were on the outside looking in, especially being gay and overweight. While other boys played outside, he stayed indoors reading Greek mythology. In this collection of personal essays, Branum writes about finding his way out of the darkness of his insular upbringing and finding himself as a stand-up comedian and TV show writer.
The book is about “the life I was supposed to lead as a sad, fat,
closeted bumpkin and my decision to be something thoroughly more fabulous,” Branum writes. “My life has not been practical, it has not been meaningful . . . but it has at least stayed interesting. Because a goddess’s job isn’t to be good, it’s to have compelling stories lyre players can tell about her at the courts of kings and princes.”
These essays read like a dance re-mix of Hillbilly Elegy and David Sedaris’ Naked—they’re really, really good. We pissed in our pants reading his trademark comic takes on pop culture phenomenon and sacred cows—from Bewitched to The Devil Wears Prada, Entourage to This is Us.
Others rave about the work:
- Tiffany Haddish: “Guy Branum is one the funniest men I know. He is Smart, Fast, Clever, and Funny! (As Fuck!!) Go ahead and buy his book Cuz….He Ready!”
- Billy Eicher: “Guy Branum not only makes you laugh out loud, his perspective is singular, genuinely ballsy, and essential.”
- Ali Wong: “Empowering, funny and so incredibly different than anything you’ve ever read.”
- Lindy West: “Guy Branum knows everything. A lot of people are funny, though few are as funny as Guy, but his intellectual curiosity and moral sure-footedness make him not just a comic but a lifeline. Long live our Patron Saint of Too Much.
- Jon Lovett “Generous and withering, hilarious and precisely observed, putting his incredible talent toward trying to understand what it means to feel apart from the world. I wish I could give this book to the fourteen year-old version of myself, who probably wouldn’t have appreciated how much he needed it. You’ll devour every story and be struck by how lucky we all are to have Guy’s gay voice. Just buy this fucking book you idiots.”