I've been fighting the urge to say "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." With the arrest of actor
Robert Blake, this is the perfect time to re-watch the TV ad for his 1975 series Baretta.
"My name is Baretta. I'm the heat."
Tony Baretta is movin' up town.
"The wheels of justice, they work a little bit slow, but they work!"
But he's still the baddest cop on the block.
"I didn't come here to take no jive from you or anybody else!"
And everybody knows it....
"Now I'm telling you I'll get the job done."
The theme to Baretta was one of the coolest TV theme songs ever,
sung by Sammy Davis Jr. If you've never heard it,
(And please don't confuse it with Andy Griffith warbling the spiritual
His Eye is On the Sparrow.)
As long as we're playing this game, the lyrics to Baretta's theme are eerily prescient, too...
Don't go to bed, with no price on your head, no. Don't do it.
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, no. Don't do it....
Don't roll the dice if you can't pay the price. No, don't do it.
Don't run your feet down no dead end street. No, don't do it.
Don't do me dirt, or you're gonna get hurt. No, don't do it.
Don't run away, till you hear what I say. No, don't do it...
Ain't gonna fight with no thief in the night.
I'm gonna go where the cold wind don't blow....
Back in real life, Blake's wife was shot nearly a year ago.
If you're interested in what the actor's been doing during that long, reclusive year, the L.A. Times has the answer.