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iii'1,, esular 1 Loae Lut'y watchers have seen the name Bill f,ay' niher a thousand times-he directed three

firll seasons



. 'i of the show. He's since directed or produced such TV lrts as Alice, The Patty Duke Show, Bewitched (with then-wife
Elizabeth Montgomery), and Dinah Shore's many talk shows; he was also executive producer of the recently cancelled



Kay O'Bien seies.
Somewhere amidst all that, Asher found time to create a quintessentially'60s phenomenon: the Frankie-and-Annette beach movie. "I made Beafi Party (1963) as a sort of broadstroke satire of youth movies," Asher remembers. He followed with L9M's Muscle Beail Partu and Bikini,Beach. Then, for reasons Asher doesn't completely remember, he de cided to cast Buster Keaton-the genius behind The General, Thz Naaigator, and other silent classics-in the next one. "I always loved Buster Keaton," says Asher. "I thought, what a wonderfrrl person to look on and react to these young kids and to view them as the audience might, to shake his head at thek crazy antics." After over 20 years of alcoholism and a terrible decline, Keaton had been rediscovered by film buffs. In 1964, the 68-year-old legend did a comic turn in an Annette Funicello fhck, Pajarna Parfi, wlttch led to his memorable moments in Asher's 1965 Beail Blanket Bingo and, How

to Stuff a Wild Bikini. "He loved it," Asher enthuses. "He would bring me bits and routines. He'd say, 'How about this?' and it would just be this wonderful, inventive stuff. "A lot of the audience seemed to be seeing Buster for the first time, " says Asher. "Once the kids in the cast became aware of who he was, they all respected him and were crazy about him. And the other comics who came in-Paul Lynde, Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett-they hit it off with him great." Keaton appeared in only three more movies after that, and 1966. For all their campy silliness, Asher's two films with Keaton give us one last look at one of the best that ever was. Lovece