Video Article

Minutiae Waltzers

The king and queen of TV trivia --

When it comes to the Fugitive TV show, it's impossible to stump Diane Albert. Dr. Richard Kimble's middle name? Easy: ''David.'' The date his wife Helen was murdered? ''It all depends on which episode you watch — Sept. 17 and 19, 1961, and Sept. 17, 1963, in different shows.'' And what does Albert think of the movie version? ''I haven't seen it,'' she says. ''I think it's blasphemous for anybody but David Janssen to play Richard Kimble.''

Able to reel off references to such vintage obscurities as I'm Dickens — He's Fenster and Rescue 8 quicker than Dustin Hoffman counts in Rain Man, Diane Albert, 38, and her husband Steve, 41, are (contrary to what Nick at Nite might have you believe) the true preservers of our television heritage. Out of their Massachusetts home — filled with hulky TV sets, 20 VCRs that have produced their inventory of 5,000 tapes, yellowing back issues of TV Guide, and autographed photos of such forgotten actors as Denny Miller (Wagon Train) — the Alberts publish The TV Collector, an 18-year-old, 40-page bimonthly with roughly 3,000 subscribers (P.O. Box 1088, Easton, Mass. 02334). Along with news and interviews of ''stars'' like Henry Darrow (High Chaparral) and Paul Burke (Twelve O'Clock High), the fanzine features classified ads through which TV nuts trade rare videos. ''Average people, when they get nostalgic for their youth, think of classic shows like The Brady Bunch or The Dick Van Dyke Show,'' Diane says. ''But most people don't remember a show that lasted 17 episodes like The Double Life of Henry Phyfe with Red Buttons. That's what makes us different.''

True. And there's another thing that makes them different: Not only won't they rent The Fugitive, but they practically never watch movies on video at all. ''We don't have time,'' she says. ''We have tapes back to 1979 from the first season of Hart to Hart that we haven't watched yet.''

Originally posted Mar 11, 1994 Published in issue #213 Mar 11, 1994 Order article reprints
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