Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 16

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1970

G’day, mates! Byron the Quokka here. Welcome to another weekend of fantastic TV viewing brought to you by Quokka University. We seem to have missed our deadline for offering courses, but never mind–TV’s more fun. Here’s a brief sample of what we’ve got lined up for you.

9:00 P.M.   Ch. 08   SCHMOE FOR A DAY–Game Show

Patterned after the classic “Queen for a Day,” the contestant who tells the most horrible sob story gets to be Schmoe For A Day, complete with propeller hat. Last week’s schmoe, the guy with all the leeches in his swimming pool, tonight defends his title against a pitiful old lady who has a monster living in her kitchen sink. Host: A former Turkish politician concealing his identity.

Ch. 12   MY FRIEND FRANCO–Sitcom

The ghost of the former Spanish dictator (Bill Dana) haunts Debbi DuBuque (Capucine)–but he’s awfully good at solving her boyfriend problems! This week: Can the Generalissimo engineer a fatal accident for Chester (Dennis Weaver) without the police getting involved? Officer Mike: Ed McMahon.


Instructor Fong Hsueh-ting can teach you virtually incomprehensible language dialects, puzzling even to persons who regularly speak them. Are you tired of people understanding what you say? Dr. Fong can fix that! Featuring the June Taylor Dancers. Song: “Du Gwangst Mihr Hsiao Gebleben.”

9:30 P.M.  Ch. 16  GNUSMOKE–African Western

Imagine James Arness’ confusion when he showed up for work in his U.S. Marshal’s costume only to find himself cast as a game warden in East Africa! Gotta read those contracts more carefully, Jimbo! This show was briefly famous for the friction between Arness and his co-star, Liberace–and cancelled after Liberace pushed Arness into the crocodile tank! With Gorilla Monsoon and his orchestra.

Ch. 48   EL BORRACHO!–Western/Romance

Who’s that tireless fighter for justice who keeps walking into the wall instead of out the door? It’s “El Borracho” (Frank Botox), feared by bad guys from Paraguay to Oman, or wherever else he winds up. Nancy Kwolvczek plays “Dona Pupitre,” El Borracho’s lady love. This week: Sgt. Fernandez (Jackie Chan) thinks he has evidence that will send El Borracho to the gallows. If they can find the gallows.

Well, there you go! Is that great TV, or what? Grab a eucalyptus leave and settle down! We are gonna see magic!

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Only a Thousand Comments Left to Go!

G’day! Byron the Quokka here–and pardon me for eating my breakfast while I deliver this announcement; but if I don’t chow down on this crunchy yellow leaf, someone else’ll get it.

We have now more than 79,000 comments in the bin, and we’re shooting for that glorious milestone of 80,000. This time last year, we would’ve easily collected 1,000 more comments in half a month. This year? Well, let’s see!

The lucky winner who posts Comment No. 80,000 will win either an autographed book or one of those cool T-shirts that says “If they have to kill us, they’ve lost.” The King of Rottnest Island wears one.

Ah! And how do you suppose he got to be king of Rottnest Island in the first place? Eh? He won a bloomin’ comment contest, that’s how! He was universally admired for that: everybody demanded he be king.

All comments are eligible, except for the following: comments abusive to anyone else at this site, f-bombs and other profane expressions, ads thinly disguised as comments–which means someone thinks we must be really stupid–and comments just too dopey to bother with. Beyond that, anything goes.

Don’t Forget the Comment Contest!

The Quokka has to be the most photogenic animal on the planet! Photo via  Rottnest Island | Niedliche tiere, Tiere, Süße tiere

Crikey, here I am again! I guess if you’re a quokka and your name is Byron, you can forget about getting any rest around here.

I’m here to remind you we’ve got a comment contest going, shooting for that milestone of 80,000 comments. We currently have just over 78,800, which means we have less than 1,200 comments to go. Come on, everybody, saddle up!

Ordinarily the winner would get an autographed book or a really cool T-shirt, but I thought we needed something a bit more exciting.

See that nice ocean in the background? How would you like to win a ship to sail upon that ocean? But you can’t see the ship I’m talking about–because it’s under the water!

That’s right–you could win a submarine! Just be the lucky blighter who posts Comment No. 80,000. Feel just like Captain Nemo! Only without the giant squids, of course.

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 9

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1967

G’day, ‘allo, and welcome to this weekend’s Quokka University TV listings! I’m your host, Byron the Quokka–you know: the poor parsnip who gets stuck doing all the work. But if we can bring you but one small hour of joy, it doesn’t matter how I suffer, does it?

Here’s a sample of our menu!

6:17 P.M.   Ch. 41   MOVIE–Science Fiction/Philosophy

Grace Kelly and Werner von Braun star in “Island of Super Prudish Women” (Italian-Scottish, 1969), the film that launched the “prudish women” craze of 1970. On a planet in another galaxy, a scientific expedition finds an island full of really prudish women. Queen Xaxamar: Urula Andress. Scotty: James Doohan.

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 09   ASK DR. KRINKLE!–Psychology/Phrenology

This show features the real Dr. Heinrich Krinkle and his real celebrity patients, who’ve given up on all the so-called “real” psychologists and whose only hope now is for Dr. Krinkle, the last practicing, accredited phrenologist in the Western world, to read the bumps on their heads to find out what’s wrong with them. Tonight’s patients: a man who thinks he’s Chuck Schumer, and astronomer Ernest Gamow, who can’t stop peering through the wrong end of his telescope. Featured: The June Taylor Dancers.


Why try to buy the Sistine Chapel when Ollie can teach you how to paint it yourself on the ceiling of your living room? With commentary by a balloon with a face on it.

7 P.M.   Ch. 08   MUMMY ON HORSEBACK–Western

The ancient Egyptian mummy, Ra-Ho-Khepere (Slim Pickens), continues his search of the Old West for the cowboy who robbed his tomb. This week: Two of Ra’s fingers fall off while he’s eating dinner with the Zuckerberg family. He’ll need some fast talking to get out of this! Ma and Pa Zuckerberg: John Cleese. Little Nell: A Hamster. Little Elroy: Sen. Lou Bok Choi, Wisconsin.


You’d better bring a parachute if you want to play this game! Entrepreneur Mervyn Puncho took demo derby off the tires and put it on wings. Obsolete fighter planes and refurbished small aircraft knock each other out of the sky–last one flying wins. Celebrity host: Bernadette Peters. With Spiro Agnew and his orchestra.

Well! That should get you started! I’ve already seen all these shows, and I’d be hard-put to say which I liked best. But anything with a mummy in it always goes down well. Happy viewing!

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Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 2

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1962

Look at this–October already! Time flies when you’re posting TV listings!

Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend’s worth of intersectional TV–I thought I’d say that and see if it got a rise out of anybody. There’s a wallaby who jumps four feet into the air if he thinks something’s intersectional.

Here’s a little piece of this weekend’s menu.

8:15 P.M.  Ch. 08   BOBBING FOR APPLES–Game Show

It’s looks easy–but in every tub of floating apples, there’s an angry crab! Sooner or later, some contestant’s going to get bitten. Host: Basil III, Byzantine Emperor. Celebrity contestants: Angela Merkel, Bette Davis, Chiang Kai-shek, and a rugose cone from Antarctica.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 18   MOVIE–Horror

“The Scary Lady Who Chops Off Heads and Eats Them” (Mexican, 1967) features the June Taylor Dancers as sirens who lure unsuspecting randy gentlemen into the clutches of a ravenous space alien (Zsa Zsa Gabor) who looks like Zsa Zsa Gabor. Featured Song: “I Got Plenty of Letter Openers”


Are you ready to enhance your sock experience? Join your host, a sea cucumber in a tank, as various celebrity guests (celebrities from Burkina Faso: you won’t have heard of them) rhapsodize about what a nice pair of socks really feels like! With John Kerry and his orchestra.

9 P.M.  Ch. 02   I LIVE FACE-DOWN–Crime Drama (Noir)

Cynical, burnt-out private eye Marvin Blah (James Fenimore Cooper) can’t even drag himself out of bed in the morning–so how’s he supposed to solve “The Disappearing Gorgeous Dame Caper”? Superhero Shapeless Blob Man (Richard Crenna) has to use poisonous snakes to get him motivated! Guest star: Venus de Milo (with arms)


Trick questions like “Who are you?” are bound to trip up stupid famous people when host Monte Hall asks them! Watch career politicians get hopelessly tangled up by posers like “What are you doing?” and “How old are you?” Remember the Congresswoman whose head exploded when asked what time it is!

There! That ought to get you in a TV frame of mind! Aunt Squeezy is visiting us this weekend, so we know we’re going to be watching a lot of TV–in between games of Clue! This quokka really has it in for Col. Mustard–always trying to pin the crime on him. But I digress…

946 Quokka Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Gee, I can still see the TV screen from 50 feet away!

Comment Contest–It’s On!

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Never let it be said a quokka backed away from a challenge!

We are shooting for 80,000 comments on this blog, and we currently have a few more than 78,500. Only 1,500 to go!

Byron the Quokka here, launching our latest comment contest. Whoever posts No. 80,000 will win an autographed book or this cool T-shirt that says “If they have to kill us, they’ve lost.”

Back in December, it would’ve taken just two weeks to run up 1,500 comments. Well, Big Tech has put a stop to that.

But imagine how amazed and disappointed, how emotionally crushed they’ll be, if they see that level of readership returning to this blog. They’ll wish their mothers never met their fathers.

So come on, sound off! All comments are eligible except for abuse of fellow readers, f-bombs, or stuff that’s just too stupid to publish. Otherwise, anything goes!

Byron’s TV Listings, Sept. 25

What Columbus Indiana Watched On Television in Shades of Black and White

Blimey! The next time I do this, it’ll be October!

G’day, this is Byron the Quokka with another weekend’s worth of glorious TV brought to you by the sages at Quokka University. If there’s not a game of Clue going in your neighborhood, these shows are the next best thing.

5:45 P.M.  Ch. 41   TALK LIKE ELMER FUDD!–Educational

John Gielgud’s family and friends seriously considered having him put away while he was doing this series for Josip P. Broz’s People’s Public Television. Once he got started talking like Elmer Fudd, he couldn’t stop! For a good while there, it endangered his career. Featured guests: Anthony Quinn, Irene Ryan.


Caspar Hoojah does himself an injury as he overreacts to this week’s news in sports! Last week he jumped out his studio’s second-floor window because the Yankees got yanked. This week, who knows? The walls of his studio have since been padded: we’ll see if that keeps him out of the hospital. With R.D. Laing and his orchestra.

Ch. 16  MOVIE–Steamy Jungle Romance

In “Steaming Jungle Passion” (1996), Prof. Gargle (Leonard Bernstein) leads an expedition into the Amazon rain forest in search of Batboy (Frank Buttocks)–only to discover a long-lost city of maniacs ruled by fantastically beautiful women, all of whom want the professor and will do anything to get him! Boobah: Ellen Burstyn. Crowd of lunatics: the June Taylor Dancers. Song: “Itchy Jungle Disease”

6:30 P.M.   Ch. 12  CTHULHU & CO.–Cartoons

Inspired by the horror tales of H. P. Lovecraft, these cartoons are guaranteed to freak you out! Many viewers require long-term psychiatric therapy after just one or two exposures. Others, we regret to say, join disreputable cults. Host: Uncle Jack Torrance. Puppets: Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren.

Ch. 52  “YOUR MOVE, STUPID!”–Game Show

Can you play Monopoly, poker, checkers, and Candy Land at the same time? Our celebrity contestants will try to do just that, rushing from table to table as the overhead Monster Clock ticks away… Raul Castro this week puts his title on the line against The Dixie Chicks, Dan Rather, and Barney Rubble. Host: a disembodied head floating in a jar, we don’t know whose.

Well, mates, there you go! Maybe you should record some of these, in case Q.U. ever has to open its doors and start teaching courses. But for the time being, it’s party time!

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Byron’s TV Listings, Sept. 18

Ep. 1 TV Guide 1969

Hullo, hullo, hullo! Byron the Quokka here, with Quokka University’s glorious weekend television (Were we supposed to offer classes, somewhere along the line?), just what you need to stave off boredom and stage a hearty revel. Here’s a little peek at the menu!

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 04   GET A HEAD!–Drama/Comedy

Charlie Pennzoil (Chuck Connors) is one of only a very few persons to survive a beheading. But watch what happens when he tries to get his old job back as a Walmart greeter! Mrs. Pushmapullya: Debbie Reynolds. Dr. Fauci: A Marionette. Music by Herb Alpert’s old trombone teacher.

Ch. 05   ‘GOOD JOB!’–Game Show

Join host Marcel Marceau as teams of college students compete recklessly to see who can do really simple tasks without breaking down and having to retreat to the crying booth. Tonight’s challenges: telling time, making Tang, reading a building directory, and opening a box of animal crackers without spilling it. And all contestants win those encouraging words, “Good job!”

7 P.M.  Ch. 16   TALES OF THE WITHERED LEAF–Melodrama

Visit the saddest old tavern in Merrie Olde England, where everyone suffers from easily avoidable troubles of their own making. This Week: Snugg the Carpenter laments drilling a hole through the top of his foot while inebriated–while Mrs. Snugg embarks on an affair with the town lecher. All parts played by hand puppets! With the June Taylor Dancers.

Ch. 21   RESTORING THE MING DYNASTY–Unclassifiable

Dr. Fong Hsueh-ting travels all over America seeking survivors of the Ming Dynasty, which ended in 1644. If he finds any, he will let us know. “I can’t imagine where they all went,” he admits. “I don’t know how many times I’ve asked Robert Stack and Unsolved Mysteries to help me. Go jump in a lake, they say.”

7:17 P.M.   Ch. 46  MOVIE–Unwatchable Rubbish

Critics are still wondering why Jack Nicholson and Ginger Rogers ever allowed themselves to appear in “Zombie Pogo Sticks” (1998), the first and last movie directed by U.S. Senator Bob Dole. Invasion of zombies who get around by means of pogo sticks: theater owners complained the film was setting off bouts of motion sickness among the audience.

Well! If that doesn’t plant you in front of your TV set this weekend, I don’t know what will! Honest, that movie isn’t as bad as it looks…

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Byron’s TV Listings, Sept. 11

TV Guide 9-12-1966 | Pages from the Minneapolis-St. Paul edi… | Flickr

G’day! Byron the Quokka here. I wish we had the Monkees on our Quokka U. TV menu, but no such luck. Never mind! What we do have makes the Monkees look like… well, monkeys!

2:15 P.M.  Ch. 04   NEWS WITH HAMMURABI–News (Sort Of)

Some of the best brains in captivity have recreated daily news broadcasts from the days of Hammurabi, King of Babylon, 2,000 B.C.! Hammurabi himself (William Shatner) mans the anchor’s desk. Tonight: King Ooshkoosh of Assyria has a mistress! Featuring Sargon of Akkad and his orchestra.

2:30 P.M.  Ch. 06  ALFRED SNOOD PRESENTS–Hitchcock Knockoff

They couldn’t get Hitchcock to host the show, so they got the next best thing–San Diego mail carrier Alfred Snood, master of suspense! In tonight’s thriller, a trapeze artist (Fabio) falls in love with a cleaning woman (Charo) whose millionaire husband (Duke Snider) also happens to be one of the world’s most clever poisoners.

Ch. 12  DESTROY ALL SMURFS!–Public Affairs

Host Bing Crosby continues his campaign to ban the Smurfs. Tonight’s guest, Dr. Porfirio Diaz, former president of Mexico, analyzes how exposure to Smurfs causes parts of the human body to atrophy and fall off. With the June Taylor Dancers.

3:06 P.M.  Ch. 62  MOVIE–Western/Occult Thriller

In “Wake Me When It’s Over” (1948), Bob Hope and sidekick Meryl Streep, trying to fetch the three-headed dog Cerberus (Scott Baio) out of Hades, encounter unexpected opposition from a fanatical labor union. Big Al: Chiang Kai-shek. Retired union goon: Abe Vigoda. Hades: Jack Benny.

3:30 P.M.  Ch. 41  WIN IT ALL!–Game Show

Contestants try to win prizes up to $5 million by swimming across a pool full of hungry crocodiles, climbing up a cell phone tower, performing shameful stunts in front of the camera, and reciting the Fulton-Schumaier Act in Dutch. Host: Sammy Vermin. Studio audience: anonymous lewd characters.

Well, mates, there you have it–a weekend full of overwhelming entertainment! If you don’t come out of this experience smarter than you were when you went in, don’t blame me!

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Byron’s TV Listings, Sept. 4

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1963

G’day, g’day for the month o’ May–chicken-fat canning begins today!

Sorry, couldn’t resist that. That’s song’s a current craze here on Rottnest Island. All the quokkas are singing it.

Here are a few examples of this weekend’s edifying TV viewing, brought to you by Quokka University:

6:47 P.M.  Ch. 03   ACTION NEWS–News/Circus Acts

The news is so much livelier when it’s delivered by persons swinging from a trapeze, bouncing up and down on trampolines, skateboarding, etc. Tired of anchors just sitting at a desk? Our anchor man, Chuck Thing, has to walk into the lions’ cage to read his cue cards!

7:00 P.M.  Ch. 06  THE CONSCIENCE OF A HIT MAN–Crime Drama

Hugo Leapfrog (Liu Chia Hui) is the most feared hit man in America; but every time he ices somebody, he feels really bad about it! This week: Hugo is hired to assassinate a little girl who donates the proceeds of her lemonade stand to the poor and needy. Music by Incarcerated Persons.


“Anyone can learn to draw like a 3-year-old!” boasts instructor Punchy O’Brien, who gave up a disappointing boxing career (0-13, victim of 12 knockouts) to become an even worse artist. This week’s lesson–“How not to make the head too big, and getting the arms sort of the same size.” Featuring the June Taylor Dancers.

Ch. 19   MOVIE–Science Fiction/Indecipherable

In “Voyage to Planet Full of Monsters” (1991), Bob Dylan (Sylvester Stallone) plays interplanetary poet Izzy Kiddin, whose spaceship is hijacked by shoe creatures from The Planet Full of Monsters. There he must compose new poems in an alien language that he doesn’t understand–or else! Capt. Coccyx: Linda Lavin. Head Shoe Creature: Justin Trudeau.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 21  MY MOTHER THE IDIOT–Sitcom/Philosophy

How do you cope when your mother (Dame Judi Dench) has an irresistible urge to break into neighbors’ homes and draw stupid pictures on the walls? (She should have watched “Learn to Draw Inept Stick Figures”!) Son Mopy: Dean Jagger. Fussy Neighbor: Tony Randall. Insane Police Detective: Carol Channing. This week: the Fanablas’ pet Komodo dragon has Mom cornered–with no weapon but her magic marker!

Well, mates, how does that grab you? I know, I know–for you folks in America, it’s Labor Day weekend. You want to be outside. Well, bring your TV sets with you!

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(They tell me I look like the Jersey Devil. No way!)