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 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #058 - 09/21/1997


SUNFUN's look at TV and Radio...

Hi, Channel Surfers!
     As many of you know, I used to be an engineer at a TV
station here in Milwaukee.  It isn't all that glamorous in real
life, but working on the news every night does give you an inside
view on how the news shows are put together.  Because TV news is
such a high pressure business, some pretty funny things happen,
too.  Sometime, I'll tell you about the night the remote truck
caught fire while we were on the air.  
     All broadcasters have had that sickening feeling of dead air
closing in when they have time to fill and nothing to say. 
Thirty seconds can seem like the rest of your life when you have
run out of words.  That helps to explain how many of the dumbest
things get said on TV and radio.
     Top ratings this week to: Beth Butler, Paul Roser, Jerry
Taff, Sylvia He, Dean Maytag, Eva Lu and Cheong Chu-Ling.  I
appreciate your contributions to the Funnies always!  OK -
remotes in hand and we're off to TV land...
     Have a great week,


     If it weren't for electricity we'd all be watching
     television by candlelight.
                              -- George Gobel


     One night in the early '80's, WISN-TV in Milwaukee planned
to do the entire sports segment of the 10PM news from a bowling
competition.  There were just two problems with this: it was very
noisy at the location and the sports anchor that night was an ex-
baseball player who wasn't the world's most reliable broadcaster.
     When the time came for sports, they cut to the remote camera
just in time to hear the sports anchor announce to the world, "I
can't hear anything on this thing!"  He never did start talking,
but just mumbled at the camera looking confused.  People five
miles away could have heard the director yelling, "CUE! ...
     Fortunately, news anchor Jerry Taff stepped in to read the
sports script at that point, or they would have had a three-and-
a-half minute hole to fill.  The sportscaster was looking for a
new job soon afterwards.
          [ Jerry is still there at WISN, and a SUNFUN regular
          contributor, too. ]



     "What would it be like to lose an entire hemisphere of
     your brain? Tune in to the Discovery Channel and find
                  - Recent TV ad for the cable channel...


     Thomas Georgevitch, 22, who was wanted by police, was
arrested in Bay Shore, New York after a detective heard him call
in to a radio station to make a song request (Johnny Rivers's
"Secret Agent Man").  
          [ He should have requested 'Jailhouse Rock.' ]


     Tom Tipton was arrested last year in Minneapolis after a
sheriff's officer heard his name announced on the radio.  The 63-
year-old Tipton, who was wanted on two warrants, sang the
national anthem at a Vikings-Broncos football game before being


     There's so much comedy on television.  Does that cause
     comedy in the streets?
                  - Dick Cavett, mocking the TV-violence debate


     TV reporters sometimes have a reputation for being phonies. 
Most of them are down to earth and intelligent people, but there
are exceptions.  One night at Channel 12, we were recording from
an ABC network satellite that was feeding from the Kennedy Space
Center.  Preparations were under way for one of the early Space
Shuttle missions, and various stations were doing live reports
from the launch, using ABC's equipment.
     Unfortunately, it was just starting to rain there at the
Cape, and one reporter and his crew had arrived just a little
late for their spot in the newscast.  When the reporter found out
he had been 'bumped' until after the first commercials in the
news, he had what my grandmother would have called a 'hissy fit',
swearing and yelling obscenities at his producer.  All the way
through the commercial break.
     The reporter knew that he wasn't on the air, of course. 
What he didn't realize was that he was on satellite at the time,
and his two-minute tantrum was being seen and recorded by
hundreds of staff people at every ABC station in the US and many
CBC stations in Canada.
     Then he got his cue, and immediately went into 'jovial
reporter' mode, with a fixed little smile that seemed REALLY
phoney to those of us who had seen him seconds before.
     The story was that the reporter was looking for a job
shortly after, and many of his 'resume tapes' were rejected with
his tantrum added to the beginning.


     A Russian family in the village of Ramnye was so intent
watching a horror movie on TV that they failed to notice that
their house had caught fire.  The family did escape safely,
managing to save only the family cow - and the television set.


     "I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the
     intelligence, There's a knob called brightness, but it
     doesn't work."
                  - Eugene P. Gallagher



      7:00PM  - 'Jefferson in Paris'
      9:00PM  - 'Forget Paris'



      9:30PM - 'Waiting for God'
     10:00PM - 'Don't Wait Up'


     'Mix 105', a local radio station in New York recently had a
promotion called 'Ticket Tuesday'.  Listeners would send in
postcards requesting tickets for Broadway plays or the
Metropolitan Opera.  The commercial said, "Mix 105 takes care of
the rest."
     One woman whose postcard was drawn had requested that the
station 'take care of' all of her outstanding _parking_ tickets.



     "As of - four - ten - p.m, - the following freeway
     locations are experiencing long delays - I-290 -
     between - Harlem Avenue - and - Harlem Avenue."
                    Automated Radio Traffic Report heard recently
                    in Chicago


     In the 1950's, the British Broadcasting Corporation built
new headquarters at Bush house in London.  The chief of the BBC
music department noticed that the new building had numerous
narrow and curving corridors that might make it difficult to move
the larger instruments around.  In order to work out the best way
to transport the grand pianos, he asked the BBC carpentry
department to make a plywood model of a Steinway.
     Not only wouldn't it fit through the hallways, they found
that the piano model was too large to pass through the doors of
the carpentry shop.


     British Government broadcaster, BBC, will spend about $8.6
million of public money, including consultant fees, for their new
logo.  The big difference between the new logo and the old?  On
the new logo, the letters 'BBC' are vertical, rather that the 17-
degree slant they had before.


     When public radio station KQED announced that it was
cancelling a show called 'Perspectives' due to lack of funding,
they got hundreds of irate phone calls from disappointed
listeners on their telephone comment line.  Among the tape-
recorded comments was one from a woman on a car phone:

     "My name is Julia. Longtime listener. I'm very upset
     that you're canceling Perspectives and I'm considering
     canceling my support. Please reinstate ---" 

This was followed by the sound of brakes squealing and a crash,
with Julia yelling, "Oh s..., you've made me so mad I just
rear-ended the [car] in front of me. Have to go now." {Click}. 


     We now present the conclusion of...'The Never-ending
                    -- From a cable TV broadcast of the movie



Take this simple test to find out if you are a TV junkie ...

        - Is channel surfing your idea of a strenuous workout?

        - Was `Mother Goose' the last book you ever read?

        - If you were to quit eating chips, would potato farmers
          go out of business?

        - Have you fallen asleep in front of the TV late at night
          so often that you now snore with an exact 1000 cycle

        - Do you feel Shakespeare's plays pale in comparison to
          the plot of `Beverly Hills 90210'?

        - Do you consider TV dinners to be nouvelle cuisine?

        - Would you rather see `Bay Watch' than relax with a
          shapely blonde on the beaches of Tahiti?

        - Do you have a permanent dent on your thumb from the
          channel button on the remote control?

        - Do you have a hot line to the TV repair shop?

        - Are you lobbying for TV Test Patterns to be framed and
          displayed at the Museum of Modern Art?

© 1997 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.