Recently, I heard a reference to “Köchel” (pronounced—and I thought spelled as—“Kirschel,” which caused me to spend a lot of time searching for the wrong person online).

Anyway, for the 99% of us who don’t know, Köchel (per Wikipedia) was a “musicologist, writer, composer, botanist and publisher. He is best known for cataloguing the works of Mozart and originating the “K” numbers by which they are known (K for Köchel).”

I love Mozart, so I’m familiar with Köchel. But when I heard “Köchel” the other day, my mind heard “Herschel,” and the only person I know of with that name is Herschel Bernardi.

herschel-bernardi.jpg <Herschel Bernardi>

Much like hearing about Scooby Doo’s creator’s death caused me to start going “ruh-roah” whenever I make a mistake now, hearing the name Köchel {remember: think “Kirschel”} now makes me think of Herschel, and THAT makes me think of Herschel Bernardi.

All I could remember about him was that he was on the tv show “Room 222.” Unfortunately, he was not really on that show. I think I must’ve mixed him up with Michael Constantine from Rm. 222, who played the principal named “Bernie.” Talk about a jumbled memory bank!

room222.jpg <Cast of “Room 222”> 

The only tv show I could find for him was one called “Arnie,” which aired 1970-72. Embarassingly, that must be what formed my “memory” of him, although I have NO recollection of it. That show, as I’m sure you know, also starred Sue Ann Langdon (who?). Her name is frighteningly familiar, although I could be confusing her with “Sue Ann” on Mary Tyler Moore.

 herschel-bernardi2.jpg <from the “Arnie” era>

So here, is a brief summary of the real Herschel Bernardi, whose career is complete fiction in my mind, but which really encompassed much more than what follows here:

-He was in the Broadway version of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

-Was in the movie “Irma la Douce” with Shirley McLaine (haven’t seen).

-He was in the tv show, “Peter Gunn” (also unseen).

-He was the voice of several “guest” characters on “The Flintstones.”

-Finally, he was also the original voice of “Charlie the Tuna” for Starkist.

He died in 1986, but he’ll always be the guy from “Room 222” to me.

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