Car Stars on TV
Published in The American Poetry Review Volume 42 No. 3
The first car to be a real star on a TV series was Norm Grabowski’s “Kookie T”on 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964). Driven on the show by “Kookie” Kookson III, it was part of ABC’s semi-successful attempt to launch a teen idol in the form of Edd Byrnes. (Grabowski received almost as much media coverage as Byrnes.) A car jockey in the parking lot next to the detective agency, Kookie was known for his comb and for uttering words never spoken by any self-respecting teenager, “like she’s the ginchiest, man.” The car was the reason to watch 77 Sunset Strip even if its appearance lasted only a few seconds. It was enough to prove to the rest of the country that such fantastic cars actually existed in Southern California. It was that amazing.