This was one TV-show reunion that had it all: A celebration of “The Love Boat” with the show’s original cast, plus the man who sang the show’s famous theme song on-hand to sing it again, live and in-person.
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It was an over-the-top reunion extravaganza, seen Tuesday afternoon on “The Talk” on CBS — featuring the show’s co-hosts costumed as characters from the show, plus at least one guest, entertainer Charo, who for many of us, is the walking, talking epitome of 1970s television.
The ostensible reason for the get-together: “Captain” Gavin MacLeod’s new book titled “This is Your Captain Speaking,” his memoir of his life in movies and TV, including his most iconic role as Merrill Stubing, captain of “The Love Boat” from 1977 to 1986.
MacLeod, 82, is out promoting the book, which was released last month. On Tuesday, he got a little help from “Love Boat” co-stars Bernie Kopell (“Dr. Bricker”), Ted Lange (“Isaac Washington”), Fred Grandy (“Burl ‘Gopher’ Smith”), Lauren Tewes (“Julie McCoy”) and Jill Whelan (“Vicki Stubing”).
They all showed up at “The Talk” in L.A., where they were serenaded by none other than singer Jack Jones, 75, who sang the show’s famous theme song on the show, and did so again on Tuesday.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the cast members were complimented indeed as the “Talk” co-hosts came costumed as various “Love Boat” characters, including Julie Chen in “bald” headpiece as Capt. Stubing himself.
Gavin MacLeod took centerstage before he was joined by his former co-stars. He talked about his book and his career to the “Talk” co-hosts, who interviewed him while costumed as “Love Boat” characters — although he himself was not.
Eventually, all of the cast members joined their Captain on-stage to reminisce about the heyday of “The Love Boat.”
“The Love Boat” became famous for its guest-stars — often personalities from the stage and screen who weren’t usually seen on TV. And then again, there were stars such as Charo, who was ubiquitous on the variety shows and talk shows of the era. As a matter of fact, she guest-starred on “The Love Boat” eight times — which made it very appropriate for her to show up as a “surprise” guest on “The Talk’s” “Love Boat” reunion on Tuesday.