Monday, March 10, 2014

Victor Sen Yung, She Demons

She Demons. 1958 black and white. With Irish McCalla, a pin-up model turned actress who also played Sheena.

One of the stars is Victor Sen Yung who had played Charlie Chan's number two son. Perhaps best known as Hop Sing on Bonanaza.

In 1972, during a spate of airline hijackings for profit, Yung was shot in the back when the FBI stormed a plane being hijacked by a couple of Bulgarian immigrants who demanded $800,000 and to be taken to the USSR. They should have just given them the money and flown them to the USSR. The Soviets would have arrested them and everything would have been fine. One passenger and the two hijackers were killed and one other passenger was shot and wounded.

And if Victor Sen Yung hadn't stopped the bullet, it would have killed the child sitting next to him.

I learned about this when I saw Victor Sen Yung appear on To Tell The Truth. He and two other Asian guys stood there while they read an account of the hijacking and the fact that Yung was an actor who appeared on Bonanza among other things. A panel of celebrities then asked them questions so they could guess which of the three was the real Victor Sen Yung.

Which was a little weird. Victor and the others won money on the show according to how many panelists guessed the wrong person, but it must have been a bit painful for an actor working since the '30s that none of them recognized him.

TV was horrible in those days. There were only a few channels. I don't know how I should feel now about suffering through episodes of What's My Line and To Tell The Truth. Because of that, I could understand the joke in Woody Allen's Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask, where they had a game show called "What's My Perversion", but that was a high price to pay for a gag that wasn't that good in a movie that wasn't very good.

I didn't really think about it before, but it's sort of surprising that Woody Allen was familiar enough with What's My Line that he was able to do a spoof of it in a movie.

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