No, that's not me saying "Hello". Those are the call letters of my imaginary TV station.
[waits a beat for your reaction]
Oh, come on! You mean you've never thought about owning your own TV station, or about what you'd put on it for programming, or where it would broadcast from, or...
[waits another beat, then decides to go on despite the reaction]
Yes, I know. It's not a very common fantasy, but I thought you might have indulged in such a flight of fancy once or twice. Maybe I missed seeing your hand go up amid the fleeing crowd. In any case, I've actually gone so far as to make up a programming schedule.
OK, maybe that's slightly loony, but I assure you it's a fun way to waste an hour and less harmful than most drugs (although more fun to do if you're on them. Besides, there are a few thousand people who actually make their living doing this crap. Maybe if one of them dies, and his boss sees this...)
*** IMPORTANT NOTE ***
You should read all of this because it's part of a contest. I'm giving away something of actual value, and you'll have to read what's here in order to win it. I'll give the directions on how to enter at the end (but don't skip down there now because you'll just have to come back up here and read again, anyway, if you do.)
And now, since there's little I can do at this point to change your opinion concerning my sanity, here's the Monday - Friday programming schedule for:
WOOF-TV, Channel 29, Thornton, NH(with explanatory notes interspersed for those psychiatry students who will need the annotation for their class projects.)
5:22 - Test Pattern, Sign-On, National Anthem, Morning Prayer, PSA, Community Bulletin Board, PSA
(Yes, a test pattern. There is a disappointing lack of them these days, as everybody broadcasts 24 hours and nobody needs them. I like them, always have, and there will be three or four minutes of the one with the Indian chief on it every morning at 5:22 am.
I've always liked morning prayers, too, so there will be one. Since I plan on being the announcer for my station, I'll probably read it. I would have included a Farm & Market Report but, since I know nothing about how those economics work, it will have to be a Community Bulletin Board, instead. That's almost as good. I'll enjoy telling folks about church suppers and blood drives at the local library.)
5:30 - The Life Of Riley
(When I was very young, this was the first show that would air in Boston following the test pattern, national anthem, morning prayer, etc., so it will be the first show of the day on my station, too. This whole exercise is basically about me recreating my viewing habits from age 3 through age 25, and to give you some idea of the main reason why I am the way I am, and for you to therefore decide if TV is a good thing for your children or not.)
6:00 - Cap'n Jim's Morning Funhouse
(Guess who Cap'n Jim is? Yup. I'm going to be the kiddie show host. Scary, eh? And this will be a three-hour festival of Warner Brothers cartoons, Three Stooges shorts, Mack & Meyer, Laurel & Hardy, The Little Rascals, and maybe some Edgar Kennedy and Leon Errol for good measure. Just the thing to get the kids all hyper beyond belief before they head off to school!)
9:00 - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
(For the little ones who don't have to go to school. Since PBS stations hardly carry this wonderful show now, my station will. In perpetuity.)
9:30 - Leave It To Beaver (2 episodes)
(What else would you have following Fred Rogers? Most Embarrassing Porn Star Goofs & Blunders?)
10:30 - The Andy Griffith Show
(Likewise, what could possibly be better for continuing the wholesome-yet-funny theme?)
11:00 - The Beverly Hillbillies (2 episodes)
(Back in my days as a stoner, I used to get up around 11 and watch The Hillbillies. I always wanted there to be another episode after the first one. Now there will be.)
Noon - The Comedy Team Movie
(Gotta keep the laughs coming. This will be a showcase for The Marx Brothers, Abbott & Costello, Wheeler & Woolsey, The Ritz Brothers, The Bowery Boys, more Laurel & Hardy and The Three Stooges, and maybe a few Hope/Crosby road pictures, along with rarities from Rowan & Martin, Allen & Rossi, Clark & McCullough, and other lesser lights. It might get a rating of 0.3 some days, but I'll watch every one of them. I'm a sucker for comedy teams, even if they stink. I just love the mechanics of that particular art form, no matter how bad the material. If it's actually well-written and well-played, that's gravy! If the movie runs short, my favorite cartoon comedy team, Tom & Jerry, will fill the remaining time.)
2:00 - Dobie Gillis
(Great sitcom that will likely never see the light of day again in the real world, but will play forever on WOOF.)
2:30 - Gilligan's Island
(What better way to follow Maynard G. Krebs than with more Bob Denver?)
3:00 - F Troop
(Larry Storch. Need I say more? If so, Forrest Tucker and Ken Berry!)
3:30 - The Addams Family
(Aside from this being a very funny show, Carolyn Jones was about the sexiest woman ever in a sitcom. Speak French to me, Tish!)
4:00 - The Three Stooges
(Yeah, I know. This makes, like, three timeslots with The Stooges featured. Too bad. This is my TV station. If you don't like it, get your own.)
5:00 - Mister Ed
(Suitably cartoonish and dumb enough to follow The Stooges, I think.)
5:30 - Burns & Allen
(Little known fact: George Burns was one of the investors in Mister Ed. Therefore, he gets to follow him. Also, he and Gracie were fantastically funny, and this show deserves better than to be lost forever. One of the plot devices had George watching the show on his own TV in the den and commenting upon the action. That alone is surreal enough to put it into my hall of fame.)
6:00 - You Bet Your Life (2 episodes)
(What better person for the family to eat dinner with from their TV trays than Groucho?)
7:00 - I'm Dickens, He's Fenster
(One of the all-time funniest shows ever to air on American TV, and if you don't want to take my word for it, take Stan Laurel's; he loved the show. It hasn't been seen on anyone's home screen in over 45 years. I will show it every damn night at 7:00. It starred John Astin [Gomez, in the previously-mentioned Addams Family] and Marty Ingels as two inept but loveable handymen. Great slapstick comedy, the 1960's successor to The Stooges and other greats. It was cancelled after only one season even though it was winning its timeslot when it went off the air. ABC had decided to cancel it earlier in its run, when it wasn't pulling the great ratings, and by the time they realized their mistake, John Astin had already signed to play Gomez in the other show.)
7:30 - Car 54, Where Are You?
8:00 - Sgt. Bilko
(Which was never the actual title of the show, even though that's what everybody called it. The show had two titles. When it first came on the air, it was called You'll Never Get Rich. After a short time, it was re-named The Phil Silvers Show. Doesn't matter. It is Bilko to those who love it, now and forever.)
8:30 - The Dick Van Dyke Show (2 episodes)
(Timeless comedy classic. Definitely worth watching back-to-back episodes.)
9:30 - Jack Benny
(Sadly, Benny is becoming less and less known as the years pass. The combination of his comedy style being of a nature that required patience in waiting for a big payoff, and of much of his best work having happened during a time when commercials for the sponsor [and sometimes cigarette ads, at that] were sometimes worked into the main body of the show, precluding rebroadcast by major American outlets, will likely leave him as one of those entertainers recalled very fondly by one generation and almost unknown by those succeeding. Never fear, though! He'll always have a spot on my imaginary TV station!
10:00 - The Outer Limits
(The only dramatic show on the schedule, for what it's worth. Truly thought-provoking sci-fi/fantasy/horror. Good show for 10pm when the night has quieted down a bit and the ghosts of conscience start floating about.)
11:00 - The Honeymooners
Thus ends the WOOF broadcast day (well, there'll be an evening prayer and the national anthem again, but you know what I mean.) I could give you a Saturday or Sunday schedule, too, but I'll wait until some other time when you've almost forgotten what a lunatic I am.
(Oh, one note of major importance: My TV station will NOT accept Christmas advertising before Thanksgiving. You probably knew that, but it never hurts to be clear.)
And now, here's the contest:
I am giving away a sixteen-episode DVD of one of the shows listed above. It will be brand new, shipped direct from the manufacturer, so even if for some strange reason you don't want it, you could still give it as a very nice present to the old-time TV fan in your life. Rules for the contest are simple:
1 - Leave a comment. In the body of the comment, tell me which of the above shows is your favorite. If you name the show whose DVD I'm giving away, you win!
(In case of a tie, I will do a random drawing of all those who named the same show. Therefore, if you wish to increase your chances of winning, it might pay to name one of the more obscure shows. Or it might not.)
2 - ONE comment (that is, ONE entry) per reader. If you leave more than one comment, I will use the FIRST comment as your entry. Feel free to talk about as many shows as you wish - the more, the merrier - but remember that you need to tell me which is the show you have as your entry!
3 - Deadline is Thursday, November 3rd, 4pm Eastern, United States.
(You'll need more than good luck, since the deadline for the contest is long gone. However, even though the contest is done, you can still have some of these wonderful shows. There are savings for most of these old shows through Target.)
Soon, with more better stuff.