Late Night TV, Circa 1958

When I was old enough to read, but not old enough to stay up and watch all the cool stuff on TV that my mother and father were hogging to themselves, I used to pore over the TV listings in the paper to find out what I was missing. The following examples fascinated me–maybe because I never got to see them.

1. Jai alai, pronounced “Jay allay”–what in the world was that? It must’ve been really something special, to be on so late at night. Maybe Jay Allay was a guy who told lewd stories.

2. To Be Announced. I never had a clue as to what that show was about. Unlike all the others, it came on at different times and on different stations. I don’t think it’s available anymore.

3.Scudda-hee, Scudda-hay, or whatever it was called. I’m told it’s a movie about mules. I could easily look it up, maybe even watch it on youtube. But why give up a lifetime of wild speculation?

4. The Naked City. Imagine that: a whole city full of nudists. Supposedly there was a nudist colony near where my cousins lived, but we never ran into any stray nudists. Maybe they wound up on TV.

5. The Boy With Green Hair. This movie was always on one channel or another, always very late at night. I thought it might be a science-fiction movie. Little did I know that, later on in life, green hair would be commonplace, along with tattoos, earrings on men, and bits of metal piercing various parts of the body–like the stuff you’d see on the old Lowell Thomas travelogues about New Guinea. Only those people, of course, were primitive and didn’t know any better.


4 comments on “Late Night TV, Circa 1958

  1. It was great only having three channels back in them days , well one of them only came through clear about half the time so I guess I should say, we had two channels. Funny thing, we had a lot more descent and respectable TV programs back then with two channels in comparison to the hundreds of channels now that have very little to offer.
    I miss those days, including the eight-party telephone line, neighbors gathering under the shade of a tree and visiting for hours. We always had good neighbors. Since the late sixties it’s been all down hill, come to think of it, that’s when we stated building homes without front porches and no shade trees for the gathering of neighbors. These are sad times, indeed.

  2. Circa: 1958 The book that was most widely read in our household after The Bible was TV Guide. I remember Dad sitting down with pencil in hand and checking every program off on a daily basis.

    Wow! That was really something. Speaking about The Naked City, remember something called “Harbor Command?” How about “Sea Hunt”…oh Lee, now you really started me on something.

    I’ve changed my email address but it’s not taking.

    1. I thought it was called “Harbor Patrol,” with Wendell Corey. I could be wrong.

      I wasn’t allowed to stay up and watch “Sea Hunt,” but I was a big fan of “Assignment Underwater.” Was that actor named James Gregory? Bill Gregory? Or something like that. I think later he played Inspector Luger in “Barney Miller.”

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