Tuesday, November 01, 2011


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...)


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

Maynard & Dobie

(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?

(Ooh! Ooh! Francis!)

- 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

(One o' these days, Alice! One o' these days... Bang! Zoom!)

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.

Good luck!

(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.


Deb said...

So many classics, where to start? Loved Gilligan's Island, Mr. Ed, and The Beverly Hillbillies. Honorable mention to The Addams Family.

Deb said...

Somehow you missed I Love Lucy.

Suldog said...

Deb - I didn't miss Lucy. Although I truly like the show, a lot, and definitely appreciate Lucille Ball's abilities as a comedienne, the omission was a conscious one. I assume that Lucy will be playing somewhere else forever. She doesn't need my crummy TV station to keep her alive! She would have probably been on the weekend schedule, though :-)

Craig said...

What - no Beany & Cecil? One of the great cartoons of all time, and you just can't find it anywhere. . .

You hit all my favorites here, Sully - especially F Troop and The Addams Family. But I also loved Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith, Gilligan, the Stooges and Mr. Ed. . .

Suldog said...

Craig - Beany would be in the Saturday morning line-up!

Michelle H. said...

I know most of the shows, although most where going off the air during my childhood. The Outer Limits is a fav, and still on the air with new episodes.

BTW: where's the porn? And where's Laverne and Shirley? (you'll get the connection.)

lime said...

ok, if i were to have my own station my test pattern would have to be tie dye, for sure. not that you wanted to know but i had to state that...even though it;s probably obvious. i'd also have to include the smothers brother and laugh-in. weird insight into the mind of lime. as a young child i was allowed to watch smothers brothers, laugh-in, and love american style but the three stooges and lil rascals were forbidden because "they might put bad ideas in my head." so now you know why i am always questioning authority and have ...erm....a very earthy sense of humor shall we say.

ok...my favorite of your shows listed, that's a tough question...i'd have to break it down to 2 i guess. mr rogers because of his gentleness and enduring value and the addams family. that was on a channel we couldn't always get at home so it was a big treat when it worked and i could see it. i loved how gomez adored tish and how cool, smart, and in control she was. i also thought lurch was a scream.

i think i know which show you are giving away but can't name it since i've never seen an episode of in order to form an opinion of it.

Carolina said...

I'm far too young *cough* to remember these shows. Not living in the USA may have something to do with it too. But I do vaguely remember seeing some episodes of a couple of them. And I did like to watch The Adams Family rerun a couple of years ago. By the way, I'm not joining in the competition, but Good Luck to all the others.

And yes, you are quite unique in your idiocy. Lovely!

Hilary said...

My favourite of the ones you mentioned is The Dick Van Dyke show. If I were to have my own TV station, I would include December Bride and Pete and Gladys. I only remember them vaguely from my childhood but saw a few episodes of December Bride in rerun about 25 years ago and it was one of those timeless shows.. much like Dick Van Dyke.

Like, Michelle, I'm thinking I know which one you're giving away but I've never seen it so I'm hoping it goes to someone who loves it.

Jackie said...

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood....and your line up is exactly what we need more of, Jim. I watched all these programs except "I'm Dickens He's Fenster." I didn't see that one. But, I'll vote for Mr. Ed.

Suldog said...

Michelle - Hey! This is a family station! The porn will only air after midnight. As for Laverne & Shirley, great physical schtick, and I adore funny women, as you know, but it was just a victim of circumstance. It is another that would make the weekend schedule.

Lime - Lurch is my role model!

Carolina - Not being American, you are excused from having to understand my memories :-)

Hilary - Ooh! Pete & Gladys! That's one I totally forgot! Very funny show, and a fave of my childhood viewing (in reruns, I'm pretty sure.)

Jackie - If you liked all of the others, you'd love "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster"!

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

You didn't have my favorites up there... but that's because Fireman Frank and Captain Fortune were local to the SF Bay Area. They were the ones who introduced me to Laurel & Hardy, The three Stooges, Marx Brother, et al. I can remember listening to You Bet Your Life on radio at dinner time, before it was ever on TV.
BTW - I think I might add Dragnet (the original series) in just so the schedule would run to midnight.

messymimi said...

Okay, i'll mention one, and a bit of trivia about it.

Did you know that the original idea for Scooby Doo was supposed to be a combination of "I Love A Mystery" and "The Life and Times of Dobie Gillis"?

Really. It was originally deemed too scary for kids, so the dog character was added to make it kid friendly. The name was chosen when the producer was listening to Sinatra, believe it or not.

You have a great line up, by the way.

Oh, and the crazy guy who sold my parents a house once had his own tv station broadcast from his home. He had the license for it and everything. It was a very small station, no one picked it up outside the neighborhood, but he had high hopes for it.

Craig said...

See, you've obviously done a more in-depth study of all this than I have. I remember seeing Sgt. Bilko and The Honeymooners when I was a kid, but they were probably syndicated reruns.

You've mentioned before that you're a big fan of the under-appreciated genius of Clark & McCullough, and of course, you've got me intrigued. And I never saw an episode of Dickens/Fenster, but if that's what you're pushin', I'm game. . .


And the heck of it is, you're younger than me. . .

Buck said...

You hit all the high points of teevee days in my young life, which includes young adult life (Addams Family), too. Speakin' o' young adult life... where's Rowan & Martin?

Although I never had a personal teevee station fantasy I HAVE had a personal RADIO station fantasy. Still do, kinda-sorta... which explains all the music I post.

Anonymous said...

Heh heh. For the record, I read through the entire post. I didn't skip any parts. hee hee

And I thought it was funny that you reminded us that on WOOF there would be no pre-Christmas advertising until after Thanksgiving. heh heh

I'm a Navy Brat and we lived in Iceland when I was 10-11 years old and they aired old tv shows and that's how I became acquainted with Dobie Gillis! I loved that show!

But Gilligan's Island was one of my faves.

hee hee

Suldog said...

Skip - Dragnet was one I thought about, for sure. It will probably make the weekend schedule

(I've said that about a lot of them, haven't I? Oh, well. Maybe I really will write out that weekend schedule sometime.)

Mimi said - "... the crazy guy who sold my parents a house once had his own tv station..."

Hmmmmmm. I think that might be a veiled comment on my own mental state. Thank you!

Craig - Oh, I think I saw almost all of these shows in re-run. However, when I become a fan of something, I usually try to dig up whatever background I can on it, so that explains... something, I guess.

Actually, the funniest thing about Clark & McCullough is that the glasses are drawn on. Take a close look at the photo again! Just like Groucho's mustache from the early Marx films - all greasepaint!

Suldog said...

Buck - I'd love to have a radio station (and it's probably a more doable goal) but it doesn't make as whacky a post.

Programming schedule:

Midnight to midnight - music.

(Well, sure, you could put on a talk show here and there, etc., but you know what I mean.)

Quirky - Iceland? That's truly interesting. Is most of their TV programming from other places, or is it mostly local stuff (I Love Fjalarssdotter? Father Knows Duty Free Liquor? The Hakarl Chef?)

Daryl said...

I love that test pattern, I remember it well ... Dickens, Fenster .. loved it, I forgot it was only one season. The BBC (and our own AMC) have the right idea .. short seasons of 6 episodes and then you wait for the return .. Jack Benny .. loved loved loved his slow burns and his Roch-est-er .. I got Toonman the Sid Caesar show a few year ago, if you ever want to borrow it ..

Brighton Pensioner said...

I think the Dick van Dyke Show might have been aired over this side of the pond but most fellow Englishmen will know none of the rest. Not having television as a youngster, I didn't even see D v D!

Unknown said...

I'm only 36, this is soooooo not fair.

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

I was a fan of most of these too. I can still appreciate The Andy Williams show with Barney and his one bullet.

I remember being entralled with the annoucer saying "There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture....." loved it.
( and Alfred Hitchcock)

Suldog said...

Daryl - Caesar was hilarious, of course. I'm a big Carl Reiner fan, too, so he's an added bonus with that stuff.

Brighton Pensioner - Shame some of these were never available for you folks. Of course, I've yet to see some of yours that I would love to see, such as Steptoe And Son and Til Death Us Do Part.

Andy - It doesn't matter how old you are! You have the same chance at winning as anyone else! Just name one of the shows - pick one you'd like to see! If it's the right one, you'll be in the running! Fair as fair can be, my friend!

Unknown said...

I'm Dickens, He's Fenster. It's on!

Suldog said...

Boomer - You of course mean Andy Griffith. It would have been a whole 'nother show with Barney Fife having a crooner singing Moon River for his boss!

Andy - See?

silly rabbit said...

I would be a faithful viewer! You have hit the nail on the head with so many of the shows I loved as a kid. I had to laugh when I saw "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" because I said to myself... What? No Car 54, Where Are You"... then I scrolled down and it was in the next time slot!
Soo0, please put "Car 54 Where Are You?" as my entry. It was a huge favorite of mine as a kid.
I think the only one you may have missed that I would put on my TV station would be "It's About Time."
Your imaginary TV station rocks!

Suldog said...

SR - You officially have "54" as your entry! "It's About Time", another Joe E. Ross vehicle, was considered, but relegated to the weekend schedule :-)

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

I actually feel as though I've been deprived. Many of the shows, though not all, were on at a time when I was allowed to watch because it was a school night. That was a hard and fast rule in our house and it was strictly enforced. I was allowed to watch on Friday and Saturday night as long as I was willing to watch what my folks wanted to see. I kept the door to my room open so I could hear what was on the television. I do remember watching Jack Benny and hearing it replayed on the radio. Oh, yeah! And I watched Amos 'n Andy and Beulah, which will most likely never see the light of day again... or Molly Goldberg, either.

Chris said...

Very tough call, here, Jim, but I do like the fact that Sam the Butcher showed up in the background of the Sgt. Bilko photo.

Let's narrow it down first, though. The only shows you listed that I watched regularly were Gilligan's Island, The Honeymooners,and the Andy Griffith Show. Andy is probably the best TV dad ever. I also loved F-Troop . . . "Where Indian fights are colorful sights and nobody takes a lickin'."


If I have to choose a favorite, I'm going to go with The Honeymooners. The "Helllloooo, Ball!" episode alone makes it number one on my list.

Chris said...

And hey . . . no game shows? I'd volunteer to host one if you like.

Suldog said...

Bzzzzzzt. What's You Bet Your Life? Chopped liver?

(However, should I decide to produce an original game show, you will most definitely be on the short list of those being considered for host!)

eileen said...

I vote Gilligan's Island! As a kid, I loved that show, plus Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.

Anonymous said...

If your station played here, I'd sit in front of my TV all day long. You listed most of my favorites. The one I would pick if I could have 16 seasons is Burns and Allen. I didn't discover it until it was on cable. My husband and I watched every episode we could!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Even in BritLand I have seen most of them - but hey! What about letting us see The Keystone Cops. Just love this one. I think your prize is The Marx Brothers which is definitely my fav.

Great idea about your TV show and I like the test card and the morning prayer and The National Anthem - of course you would have to play, "God save the Queen!" LOL

What about a feature on The stock market called, "Shocks and Stares".

Bill Yates said...

Jim, I'm glad to see you're broadcasting my all time favorite show, The Andy Griffith Show. And I'll watch every Three Stooges and Little Rascals, too. When you expand your broadcast empire to include radio, I'd like to suggest you broadcast Lum and Abner every day at noon.

Three Hundred Sixty Five said...

Oh, my. What a lineup! Although there are many I enjoy, because my sis and I were really crazy about horses, I have to say Mr. Ed. We loved that show...I had completely forgotten about Car 54 and Dobie Gillis (Maynard really had "Ken" hair, didn't he?). George Burns ~ he and Gracie were an incredible team, and we have nothing like it now. My whole family watched it regularly. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

stopsign said...

I too loved all the shows mentioned growing up. Andy Griffith was a favorite.

Sanford and Son also I thought was a funny one.

Clare Dunn said...

Put me down for "F Troop"!

I would have gone with Dick Van Dyke, but I have many of those already.

Another one for your Saturday Schedule: "Lost In Space"! Dang show cracked me up! I know, I'm loonier than you...

Excellent trip down memory lane...thx!.

xoxoxo, cd

Jeni said...

First off, with respect to your frequent comments about your own sanity (or insanity) I read someplace (or heard this) that people who make comments about not being totally sane are actually the sane ones because those who are insane believe they are sane. So, looks like you and I both qualify then as technically being sane -well, most of the time anyway.
Now, I loved your line-up! Only show on it I have never seen was the Dexter one -never even heard of it before but then, when I was growing up we only got one station here and it was mostly snow too so viewing wasn't the best. You didn't list my all-time favorite program though -Red Skelton -but of those you did put on your schedule, if I were to choose, I'd have to choose Burns and Allen or Jack Benny -with Dick Van Dyke close behind. Many of the shows you listed I only got to watch when we went to Pittsburgh to visit my uncle and his family. Much better tv selections down there, ya know! (And Mr. Rogers didn't come into my life until I had kids of my own.)

Jeni said...

Hmmm. I'm back! Mainly to make a correction as I realized when I was closing out your post that the show I was actually referring to that I wasn't familiar with was the I'm Dickens, He's Fenster -not "Dexter" as I stated. Guess I am getting an advanced case of dyslexia along with early Alzheimer's in my dotage, aren't I?

Craig said...

I realized that I forgot to mention The Beverly Hillbillies earlier. I still get a chuckle from the time, a few years back, when I finally popped in the DVD for The Grapes of Wrath, and my jaw hit the floor as I slowly realized that Hillbillies was a spoof of Grapes. . .

And. . . where's Hogan's Heroes? That might've been my absolute favorite show. We had a group of guys who would watch Hogan every day, in college. . . and Rocky & Bullwinkle. . .

I know. . . the weekend. . .

Anonymous said...

I love the Dobie Gillis show! I've always been sorry that it won't/can't be rerun, for whatever reasons.

I was totally smitten with Maynard G. Krebs. I wanted to run away to California and have a boyfriend just like him. I never did do that -- *sigh* -- although it's probably just as well. :-)

I would totally watch your wonderful imaginary TV station, except for Sgt. Bilko, whose grin was kind of scary-looking to me.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Gotta ditto Deb- my fave isn't on the list since Lucy isn't included!

3GKnight said...

Ha! That's awesome. Not to make you feel old...but I've only heard of about half of those shows.

I'll go with Outer Limits. Spoooooky!

Anonymous said...

I made it in the nick of time!
Leave It To Beaver was a favorite. The parents were always fair and sensible. And Wally was a cutie. :)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Before I get any further I had to say that "Blood drives at the local library" has taken on a whole new meaning in this Twitlight era...made me chuckle.

And now, to finish reading...brb

Okay here's the part where I'm a product of my own generation, I've seen maybe 3 of these shows, maybe 3 times lol. No worries though, when I come back to Boston for Thanksgiving I can just tune into WOOF and see what I've been missing.

As a Gen-X side note though, the thing you said about Benny working in commercials/product/etc is one of the reasons I watch the show Psych, they have references to all sorts of insanity worked into the script and yet it really just flows. (I'm not entering though, as you can see its well after 4PM & I did that on purpose :-)

Good luck to everyone!

Anonymous said...

what a great idea! Now I have to try this myself and create a whole day's worth of programming on a fantasy channel.

I share your taste in a lot of the shows you picked, such as the 3 stooges, mr. ed, addams family, outer limits, leave it to beaver and many others. Virtually all of my favorite TV shows are from the 1960s even though I wasn't born until 1962 and probably watched only 2 or 3 of the ones on my list during their original airings.

Favorite shows: Dark Shadows, Twilight Zone, Bonanza, Alfred Hitchcock Presents/Hour, Lost in Space, Mister Ed, The Addams Family, The Munsters, The Outer Limits, Gunsmoke, My 3 Sons, Gilligan's Island, Leave it to Beaver ...

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the blog post.Thanks Again. Cool.