Posts Tagged ‘Television’

Broadcasting Recall

September 24, 2017

It was 1954, television’s golden age, and I was working as assistant to the lead property master at the now-defunct Dumont network. Aside from Captain Video and Studio 57, our main project was a fledgling game show called Blow Out The Candles. The premise was pretty elementary: three contestants vied for the chance to have their very own birthday party, complete with cake and ice cream. The questions were pretty simplistic (“Who created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse?”), but it was a bona fide hit for three weeks during the summer. 

One night, however, the lead prop guy, Buster “Crabby” Stunton, got stinkin’ blind drunk and fell onto the birthday cake we were gonna use in the prize sequence. Well, we didn’t have any others baked and the studio chef had already clocked out for the day and all nearby bakeries were closed. So, we made up our own, a “faux” cake, out of plywood and caulk and painted it with white chrome matte. It looked beautiful and no one would have been the wiser had not the emcee, on a spur of the moment lark, tried to take a bite right out of the upper tier. He broke two teeth. On live television.

Crabby and I got our heads handed to us by the producers and we never worked network television again. Last I heard, Crabby lived in a tent Phoenix where he spends his days taking pot shots at iguana with a pellet gun. Compared to my lot, that’s a bloody paradise.

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If Wishes Were Hippies

August 4, 2017

There was a time when everything was groovy and people thought it was a nifty idea to encourage kids to grow up to be redwood trees. Many people were high and most of them were full of themselves and lava lamps and love beads and waterbeds were used without irony in this magical time. This was the 1970s, an era that gave us the SuperFriends and H. R. Pufnstuf and Hong Kong Phooey and stream of consciousness fare like this – Make A Wish. Seriously, this was a show. For children. And it was wonderful!

June 7 Trivia Rankings

June 8, 2017

What an awesome night of trivia, Quizlings! Thanks to everyone who came out to play – and get ice cream. (“Come for the trivia! Stay for the dairy goodness!”) We talked about TV moms and Golden Buzzers and some long-lived veterans. Plus there was this incredible Google Map:

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Now here are this week’s team rankings. How’d you do?

Chrises And The Wonder Women 68
We Need Brownies. We Expect Brownies. 67
If Only Wonder Woman Had Beaten Captain Underpants In November 67
Team Name On The Big Board 66
Free Mini-Fridge, First Come First Served 66
We Brought Our Good Luck Charm 62
The Baby Boomers Killed All Our Bees 61
Hey, I Just Met You And This Crazy But Here’s My Number So Comey Maybe 60
Wonder Women 60
Happy Anniversary, Kara And Darrin 59
Spiral City Heroes 57
On Average, Humans Have One Testicle 56
Combovers And Comey 56
ABC U N Hell 53
Sic Semper Anus 51
Our Bologna Has A First First Name It’s D-O-N-A-L-D 48
Honey Badgers Don’t Care 48
Teresa Maybe, Maybe Not 47
Dr. Know 47
Where’s Murph? 46
No No, That Means You’re #1 44
At Least We Tried 36
We Don’t Know Anything, We Just Like Beer 35

People I Hate #31 (In A Series)

May 13, 2016

Who: The guy at work with a “Kill Your TV” bumper sticker on his car 

Why I Hate Him: We work at a freakin’ TV STATION!! Besides, I have a general distaste for the type of pretentious d-bag who thinks it’s intellectual to not watch TV and to boast about it to those who do. Sure, a lot of television is crap. But as broadcast pioneer Edward R. Murrow once said, “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate, yes, and even it can inspire; but it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it’s nothing but wires and lights in a box.” To consider a tool useless because most people use it as a blunt instrument – and for no other reason than to feel superior – is as unevolved as the amino acids created in the Miller-Urey experiment of 1953. And, FYI, I learned about THAT from television!

How I justify it: I don’t need to. This one’s a gimme. In fact, everyone should hate this bozo. Join me! My hatred is pure, sublime. Come over to the dark side with me..

April 13 Trivia Rankings

April 13, 2016

More trivia fun again this week, Quizlings! Thanks to everyone who came to play (even those who got there late, Casey).

If you missed it, we met some TV neighbors, laughed at the human brain and learned Sparky knows nothing about alcohol (it’s true). Also – ice cream may be in our future.

Now, here are the team rankings for the week…

Kobe Retires, LA Yawns 68
Positronic Dream Team 67
People Are Sitting Outside – Where’s My Ice Cream? 67
Finding Inky 65
A Good Walk Spoiled 65
Down From Philly For A Night With Sparky 64
The Quizlings Strike Back 62
Death, Taxes and Trivia 61
Alfred Butts Club 59
Kobe Wan Kenobi 59
Ban Pre-shredded Cheese – Make America Grate Again! 59
4 The Team Name 59
Shoot! 53
Barack Paper Scissors 52
The Periodic Table Dancers 44
Our Casey Is Always Late (Again) 38 (joined late)
The HB2 Bombers 33

Gumby Or Not Gumby

November 28, 2015

I was watching TV earlier and Gumby came on. You know: Gumby of Gumby and Pokey. The Art Clokey guys. Anyway, the episode was entitled “Trapped On The Moon” and it started out with Gumby’s dad looking through a telescope. The first words out his mouth were “Yep. He’s on the moon. I’ll have to go get him.” 

Damn. That’s some big brass ones off Clokey. I mean, forget backstory, forget exposition, forget all your story elements that are crafted by literary masters to forge a creative piece of fiction. No! Clokey kicks off the action from word go with “He’s on the moon and I have to go get him.” We don’t need to know that Gumby is an impish lad who’s prone to far-flung, high-flying adventures. We don’t need to know that he’s probably used his clayboy body to fashion a rocket and escape Earth’s gravity for outer space action. No! All we need to know is that Papa Gumby has accessed the situation in as matter-of-fact a manner as he can muster and is ready to get the job done in full kick-butt fashion!!!  Boom! 

“He’s on the moon!  I’m gonna go get ‘im!” Wham! Bring it on, Gumby!!!! Man. 

Gotta love that little clay son of a bitch.

If Wishes Were Hippies

January 18, 2015

There was a time when everything was groovy and people thought it was a nifty idea to encourage kids to grow up to be redwood trees. Many people were high and most of them were full of themselves and lava lamps and love beads and waterbeds were used without irony in this magical time. This was the 1970s, an era that gave us the SuperFriends and H. R. Pufnstuf and Hong Kong Phooey and stream of consciousness fare like this – Make A Wish. Seriously, this was a show for children. And it was wonderful!