Lady Liberty. She’s a big and somewhat scary icon who may or may not be an evil visitor from another world. Say what? Read on to discover what that could possibly mean. The great thing about appearances by the Statue of Liberty on TV is that she is such an icon that she can appear in any number of guises. Or even not appear at all. Just don’t tell Hank Hill about that last bit.
Maybe my single most favorite appearance by the Statue of Liberty in all of TV history occurred on “Happy Days.” Doesn’t matter that “Happy Days” took place in Milwaukee. Doesn’t matter that the show never got anywhere near to doing a special from New York. The Statue of Liberty does make a memorable guest appearance with Richie, Potsie and the gang. And Lady Liberty’s guise in this particular instance arrives in the form of one of the great funny girls of the 1970s who should have been a much bigger star. Diana Canova guest starred in the creatively titled episode “Because She’s There” as a blind date for Richie Cunningham who turns out to be perfect with one exception: she’s about three inches taller than him. And making matters worse, she dressed for a costume party as the Statue of Liberty. Canova is pitch-perfect and the payoff at the end is that her torch comes in handy as a funnel for when the car runs out of gas.
The Wild Wild West
“Night of the Infernal Machine” is an episode of “The Wild, Wild West” that gives new meaning to the term anachronism in its highly evolved utilization of the Statue of Liberty. The entire episode revolves around the Statue of Liberty. An exploding cake at the center of the plot prominently involves the existence of the Statue of Liberty. Only one problem exists and that is the time frame of “The Wild Wild West” generally precedes the arrival of the Statue of Liberty by at least a decade. Maybe more. But then again, “The Wild Wild West” is precursor to Steampunk and introduced technological advancement that are far more anachronistic than using the Statue of Liberty as a plot device before her entire body arrived. So who gives a what, you know?
A TV-movie about the creation of the Statue of Liberty and the behind-the-scenes machinations that brought it from France to New York. Heck, you’ve got actors playing Boss Tweed, Ulysses S. Grant and Joseph Pulitzer. Best of all, you’ve got the guy who played the goofy dad on “ALF” playing Gustave Eiffel. Yeah, that’s right, Willie Tanner as the guy who built that great big tower in Paris and played a central role in creating the structural foundation for the Statue of Liberty.
David Copperfield v. the Statue of Liberty
Okay, I don’t know if the show is really called “David Copperfield v. the Statue of Liberty.” In fact, all’s I really know about this magic special is that Hank Hill hates magic in part because David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappeared. I’ve never seen Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear, but if he really does pull it off–and I see no reason why the show would have aired had he not–then it’s got to be a pretty spectacular illusion.