First TV crushes last forever


I can’t imagine life without TV. From time to time, I still hear people somewhat snippily say, “I don’t even own a TV,” but please. That’s just dumb.

I’m preaching to the choir, of course, since people who don’t like TV tend not to hang out at But the new Hot 100 (results coming soon!), which is always led by our favorite women on TV, has me thinking about TV crushes. So, when I saw a recent article at Vulture —”Who Was Your First TV Crush?” — I took it as a sign.

My answer(s), as expected, are quite different from Vulture author Matt Seitz (although his reasoning is excellent). I rarely think about Ginger or Mary Ann unless I have enough beer in me to start singing TV theme songs. (Together now, “Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful ship…” Sorry.) And I had to Google his other crush, Jan Smithers‘ character Bailey Quarters from WKRP in Cincinnati. Sorry Bailey fans.

But I know my own first TV crush immediately: Miss Nancy on Romper Room.

Not my Miss Nancy, but somebody’s

At least I think her name was Miss Nancy. I was four, so some things are kind of fuzzy. Like Miss Nancy’s sweater. I have an image in my head of a buxom brunette in a wooly sweater who made me feel funny whenever she looked at me. And I know she looked at me, even though she never called my name when she looked through the Magic Mirror. If she had, I probably wouldn’t be here today. I feel a little faint just thinking about it.

Since I’m a little vague on details about my first crush, here’s the first one I can remember clearly.

Photo: CBS Archives via Getty Images

Carol Burnett was, for years, my Saturday night date. In fact, my mother once got irritated with me for turning down a date with a “nice boy” because I didn’t want to miss The Carol Burnett Show. Carol was smart, talented and willing to do anything for a laugh. When I found out that she was painfully shy (like me) off camera, I loved her even more. I even went way out on a limb to audition for a Once Upon a Mattress revue when I found out she had done the lead.

I have a feeling Carol would’ve made the Hot 100 list, because she’s just the kind of woman we love. And she’ll always be hot to me. In fact, a couple of years ago, she was in town for a book signing and I went to see her. When I got to the table, I couldn’t speak. Good thing she’s shy, too.

Now you know my secret, so it’s your turn. Who was your first TV crush?

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