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13

FRIDAY

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Stiff, never-married middle-aged man who lives alone, carries a gun, and openly despises anyone who dares live outside “decent” society—sounds like trouble a-brewing. In fact, that’s TV detective Joe Friday, still a hero to the LAPD. If Friday was a freaky dude, so was his creator: stiff, hard-drinking, thrice-married Jack Webb. A graduate of the Richard Nixon School of Drama, Webb gave his Dragnet scripts, on radio and TV, all the passion of actual police reports. And yet he was also a lover of jazz and a husband to sultry chanteuse Julie London. He even released two LPs, including You’re My Girl: Romantic Reflections by Jack Webb. B-movie queen Mamie Van Doren has some insight on Webb’s idea of “romance.” According to the story she told Salon.com, Van Doren and Webb were set up on a date, during which he fed her “a rather potent Mickey.” The next thing she knew, she was “tied spread-eagle on a bed and ‘Sergeant Joe Friday was humping me with a wild look in his eyes.’” Discuss this when the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club hosts Michael J. Hayde, author of My Name’s Friday: The Unauthorized but True Story of Dragnet and the Films of Jack Webb, at 7:30 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 2217 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Free. (301) 474-5709. (Dave Nuttycombe)