Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 26

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with fantastic weekend television brought to you by Quokka University… where all we do, really, is hunt up rare TV shows, never mind teaching courses. Anyhow, here are some samples:

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 08  SLAPSTICK NEWS–A news show, sort of

Finally! You don’t have to sit there growling and fuming as the news anchor talks down to you and tells lies. Here, the anchormen and anchorwomen stand a good chance of getting a pie in the face! You’ll know who it’s going to be, but the victim won’t. Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Paula Zahn–splat! Take that, motormouth!

Ch. 14  BACKYARD SAFARI–For children and goofy adults

Who needs rhinos and lions and giraffes when you’ve got ants, aphids, and starlings? It’s a lot cheaper, too! Join great white hunter Abe Vigoda as he sidesteps a charging ground beetle and bags an earthworm with his shotgun Celebrity guest: Sandra Day O’Connor. Bearer: Yogi Bearer (get it?).

6:45 P.M.  Ch. 29  FOREIGN MOVIES IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES–Pretentious twaddle

Impress your friends! Watch Bergman’s Wild Strawberries in the original Swedish, no subtitles, no dubbing, and say things like “Some of the subtler nuances don’t translate all that well.” Do the same with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress and they’ll gasp in awe! Host: Marcel Marceau.


Hanky (Andre the Giant) wants a tricycle for his birthday, but Mozgush and Doblast (Arthur C. Clarke, Sonja Henie) have already bought him a king-sized hamster wheel. Uncle Hisstah (Frank Botox) is called in to make peace! Provider of Superfluous Exclamation Points: Joyce Carol Oates.

7:04 P.M. Ch. 42  SAGEBRUSH SAM–Underwater Western

People didn’t dig this when it came out in 1964, but Sagebrush Sam, TV’s first underwater Western, is now arguably the most popular show in television history. This week: Can Marshal Dan Schimmelpfennig (Don Adams) hold his breath long enough to burst into the Sea Horse Saloon and arrest manic gunslinger Nijam Mohandalakshiraj (Richard Simmons) for copyright infringement? Can he hold his breath long enough to say the name? Sparky: Shari Lewis. The June Taylor Dancers: The Elvira Pushcart Dancers.

Boy, oh, boy! I can’t wait to hunker down in front of my TV set with a handful of tasty leaves and bubble gum!

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This looks like a good one. See you next week!

Quokka University News

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Hello up there! Byron the Quokka here on behalf of Quokka University, where we’ve got a new motto: “You wanna be a platypus for the rest of your life?”

I am here to bring you the news that we won’t be bringing you any news today. I mean, who needs nooze on Sunday? And even if we were going to report any nooze, the only event worth mentioning is our Pickup Stix team’s victory over some American politicians who couldn’t understand the rules and kept trying to cheat while everyone was watching. Supposedly they get away with that at home.

This above photo, by the way, was taken by Fang Hsueh Ting, a character in Lee’s college Chinese primer. He doesn’t know we know about such things. Just because you’re in a textbook doesn’t mean you don’t exist!


Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 12


G’day, everybody! I hope you’ve set aside enormous blocks of time for TV viewing, because we’ve outdone ourselves this week, bringing you the hit shows that never had an audience! Here’s a brief sample from our menu:

8:45 P.M.  Ch. 03  NEWS WITH LIVERWURST–News & commentary

Join Mr. Schlockengruber at the Garden State butcher’s counter, while he serves up the day’s news while serving his customers, too. Is it any wonder that he sometimes gets mixed up? But you’ve got to see him wield that cleaver whenever it’s Congress in the news. Weather: Carlos the Delivery Guy (he would know).

9 P.M.  Ch. 08  THE W TEAM–Action & Inaction

The A Team’s busy, the B Team’s all shot up, and eventually we work way down to the W Team (“When it really doesn’t matter, send for us!”). Pro wrestling legend Silvano Magucci (Dean Rusk) leads his team (Salvador Dali, Theda Bara, Elmer the Bull–he provides the glue–and Ernie Bushmiller) in one hazardous but completely unimportant assignment after another. Tonight: Find Ted Mack’s dentures.

Ch. 14  THE BARE FACTS–Lewd sitcom

What happens when a retired superhero (Bob Costas) opens a nudist colony in Alaska? WARNING: Much of this show had to be blacked out. Especially those parts with the June Taylor Dancers. And the mosquitoes and black flies. This week: Ozzie (Francisco Franco) loses his pants in a strip poker game. [We do not see the point of playing strip poker at a nudist colony, but apparently the focus group likes it.]

Ch. 33  TONS O’ TALK–Celebrity talk & variety

Jimmy Fraud interviews celebrities you never heard of! Icepick Sam, Dr. Foo the Mad Dentist, Susan Gesundheit… Hear him ask the questions you would ask if you had any idea why these people are famous! With the Karamazov Bros. and their orchestra.

9:08 P.M.  Ch. 56  MOVIE–Marital Arts

In Secret Techniques of the Drunken Water-Dowser (Chinese-Canadian, 1998), a disgraced Mountie (Groucho Marx, CG) enters Hung Lo Monastery, where Master Chee (Larry Storch) teaches him secret techniques. Meanwhile, Bigfoot (Linda Hunt) ravages the countryside–and the monks can’t seem to stop it. Can Sgt. Woo Wei Shu recover his honor by kung-fuing Bigfoot into oblivion? Song: “I’ve Got Spurs That Jingle-Jangle-Jingle.”

Well, that’s that! Someday the whole world will shut down just so people can tune in to Quokka University for thrills ‘n’ chills.

Meet the Quokka

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Win a $300,000 All-Electric Car!

2024 Cadillac Celestiq: What We Know So Far

(The nice scenery’s another $100,000.)

Pssst! Byron the Quokka here, with THE sure-fire way to get this blog going again. But keep it quiet, ’cause Lee doesn’t know about it yet.

You’ve heard of the 2024 Cadillac “Celestiq”–how’s that for a really cool name?–that’s gonna go on sale for $300,000… and up! And it’ll be totally electric! All you need to run it is some batteries. Just like a flashlight!

(I love that name, “Celestiq”! I love watching a platypus trying to pronounce it! Ha-ha!)

So, how’s about we give away a 2024 Celestiq to whoever posts Comment No. 91,000 on this blog? I mean, we’re almost there–how much longer can it take?

I hear there’s another all-electric car coming from Ginsu Motors, this one to cost $500,000–a cool half-million. And there are rumors that the WEF Doozy will run you $750,000. John Kerry’s getting one!

Meanwhile, you can join the In Crowd just by winning our current comment contest.

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Tell ’em Byron the Quokka sent you!

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 5

TV Guide October 27-Nov 2 1984 (5) - Flashbak

G’day, shipmates! Byron the Quokka here–unlike that pantaloon Joe Collidge, I can find my tail with both hands–but even better, I’ve found your weekend TV menu! Here are a few samples to inflame your curiosity.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 42  GRABBUM GENERAL HOSPITAL–Melodrama

Who said soap operas can only be shown in the daytime? What else would you call it when Dr. DiBono (Mendel Rivers) chases Nurse Knox (Joey Heatherton) all around the operating theater while the hapless patient (Sidney Greenstreet) tries to stitch himself closed after surgery? Guest star: Roderick Usher.

Ch. 44  RAWHIDE IN AFRICA–Western set in the East

What do the cowboys of Rawhide do in between cattle drives? They drink and gamble away their pay and have to take second jobs! And this job is a doozy–herding wild gnus across the Serengeti Plain, vexed by lions, leopards, and unfriendly local people. Eric Fleming and young Clint Eastwood star–with all footage shot in luxurious Scotland.

8:43 P.M.  Ch. 56  MR. FIX-IT NEWS–Yes, it’s news

Kill two birds with one stone! Bobby the Recluse shows you how to deal with clogged sinks and balky toilets while Carmen Miranda (computer-generated, but you’d never guess it) sings and dances the day’s top news stories. Weather: Johnny Cash.

9 P.M.  Ch. 06  MOVIE–Pastoral science fiction tragedy

In “Mistress Bumbles’ Labor Lost” (Pre-Columbian Studios, 2008), Director Pie Traynor improves on Shakespeare by ascribing his own script to The Bard. Mistress Bumble (Lucy Lawless) turns into Xena Warrior Princess whenever she emerges from her country cottage; and the man she loves, barefoot shepherd Jim Northrup (Omar Sharif), can’t make up his mind–about anything! Featured: the June Taylor Dancers as sheep.


Bucky (Max Von Sydow) wants to join the Spanish Foreign Legion, but Mom (Heather Locklear) and Uncle Fidget (Taras Bulba) try to stop him by walling him up in his room. Meanwhile, Poppa (Andy Devine) gets a job as a tightrope walker. Special guest star: a live Tyrannosaurus.

Well! You can’t miss these shows, can you? I guess you could, but you’d surely be the poorer for it.

Happy quokka says hi

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 29

Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV December 15th through 21st, 1979

Blimey, only two days left till Halloween! Better get my El Kabong costume out of mothballs.

G’day, all! Byron the Quokka here, with indescribably wonderful TV viewing for your weekend. I mean, we’re talking “Soak your brain!” Here are a few samples.

4:37 P.M.  Ch. 06  QUICKIE NEWS–(It might give you a headache)

What do you get when you take last night’s 60-minute news show and speed it up so it can be watched in just three minutes? You get Rottnest Island’s most popular news broadcast! And maybe a bout of queasiness to go with it. Anchor: Sid the Parrot.

4:40 P.M.  Ch. 06  MOVIE–Underwater adventure

Now that the three-minute world news is over, relax with Who Be Digging Up the Coral? (Indo-Jamaican, 1987: 360 minutes, counting commercials). Rishi Vijaya Gupta stars as a cynical but idealistic chain store magnate who seeds coral reefs off Jamaica so he can plant “treasure” in them and dig it up later. The bloodthirsty but benign local sheriff (Elston Howard) opposes him. Mrs. Hashimoto: Heather Locklear.

5 P.M.  Ch. 12  JIMMY FRAUD PRESENTS–Variety

What a lineup! The June Taylor Dancers dance to the Guatemalan Runner-Up National Orchestra’s rendition of “I Got Coccyx Troubles,” Al Gore recites “Dinner With Dracula,” and The Amazing Bruno tries again to re-materialize, having de-materialized three weeks ago. Jimmy’s Monologue: “Why I Deserve a Raise.”


Chiang Kai-shek and Minnie Pearl host this hideous display of misbegotten fake “sports” shunned by the other networks! Now you can see ’em all: tightrope-pogosticking, wasps’-nest bothering, soccer with a bowling ball (those headers are murder!), getting stuck inside the clothing donation bin, and so much more!

5:30 P.M.  Ch. 26  JUMPIN’ SPINNIN’ KICKS–Kung-fu crime drama

Dragon Bone Hill, Iowa, has an all-girl police force–and criminals beware! Every one of these beauties can wipe you out with secret jumpin’ spinnin’ kicks, taught by Master Wong Wei (Claude Akins). They can also leap backwards 20 feet in the air! This week: Hot on the trail of a misgendering ring, Officer Schadenfreude (Christie Brinkley) accidentally leaps onto the wing of a jet plane passing overhead. Hysterical passenger: William Shatner.

How about that, folks? Did you ever think you’d see that kind of programming on your TV? I’m lucky if I get any at all.

Quokka - The Australian Museum

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 22

tv guide sears portrait studio 1987

Crikey, it’s almost November! G’day out there–Byron the Quokka, with another weekend’s TV viewing that’ll make you wish you could start your life all over again just so you could see these shows for the first time again… Oh, never mind! Here’s a sample.

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 12  NEWS WITH RUDE NOISES–News & commentary

Actually it’s mostly commentary, as the boisterous studio audience constantly interrupts anchorman Dan Rather with an assortment of disrespectful noises that we will not attempt to describe here. Inexplicably, the show became a mega-hit and was only canceled when Rather refused to allow hard objects to be thrown at him.

Ch. 42  MOVIE–Mostly stock footage

In The Bowery Boys Meet the June Taylor Dancers at Jimmy Fraud’s Lousy Barbecue (Swedish, 1996), a safari in unexplored Africa winds up in Muesli Township, NJ, just in time for a free-for-all! (This is the film that soured the relationship between the Bowery Boys and the June Taylor Dancers and prevented a merger). Captain Queasy: Rip Torn. Mrs. Picasso: Nina Khrushchev. Song: “I Got Chiggers”

6:45 P.M.  Ch. 08  HOLD THAT U.T.I.!–Medical game show

Which celebrity guest has the most awkward medical condition? Which member of the studio audience will be sacrificed to cure it? This week’s guests: Howard Da Silva, Chiang Kai-shek, Billie Jean King, Theda Bara. With Billy Martin and his orchestra. Host: (Refuses to divulge identity).

7 P.M.  Ch. 14  ADVENTURES OF WU WEI-SHU–Western

Gunslinger Chad Votingmachine (Cy Young) searches the Wild West for the baby-sitter who stuck him with the nickname Wu Wei-Shu, “the Tail-less Rat.” If only he could remember her name, what she looked like, etc.! Sidekick: Russ Tamblyn. Moping Minnie: Some stupid idiot in a toreador’s suit. Tonight’s episode: “Heee-yahhh!”

7:07 P.M.  Ch. 63  SEMINAR: SHAKESPEARE’S SUPER-HEROES–Academic twaddle

Everybody knows those dumb comic book movies would be a thousand times better if they had Shakespearean dialogue, according to our host, Prof. Edgar Gunnysack. “Then again,” he said, “Shakespeare would be better if he’d put some super-heroes in it! I mean, have you ever sat through Two Gentlemen of Verona, or wherever it was?” This week, “Batman” gets a complete dialogue makeover (“Forsooth, young Robin, I cly thee right well–but soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” “Beshrew me, Batman! Methinks they butt together well!”) You get the idea…

All right, all right! Maybe that Shakespeare thing is a bit too much to bear! But I’m telling you, the rest is solid gold!

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Byron the Quokka, signing off!

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 15

Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV November 18th through 24th, 1979

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, hosting your weekend TV festival brought to you by Quokka University, Region AA2 Pick-up Stix champions! Here’s a little sample of what we’ve got lined up for you this weekend:

5 P.M.  Ch. 08  IT AIN’T YOUR DAY–Game show

If you thought Queen For a Day was total trash, wait’ll you see this! One of the guests is a pathological liar; the others are the tragic victims of horrible fates. Can the celebrity panel pick out the phony? If they can’t, we shoot Chuck Connors! Host: Chief Justice Earl Warren. With Turok Son of Stone and his Orchestra of Honkers.


Edgar Buchanan stars as wandering gunslinger Francis X. Sapirstein… who sings his gun to sleep each night and talks to it all day. This week: The Shoggoth Gang (the June Taylor Dancers) put a price on Francis’ head–$3.98–and then try to collect it themselves! Sheriff Lugnuts: Maurice Chevalier.

5:22 P.M.  Ch. 22  GARGLING NEWS–Indescribable

Can you announce the world’s news and gargle at the same time? Anchorwoman Ginger Foogu can! Well, all right, nobody can make head nor tails of what she’s saying–and the commentary by Karl “Chainsaw” Mulligan doesn’t help. But you can always read the newspaper while you’re watching!

6 P.M.  Ch. 43  MOVIE–Jungle adventure

“Vampire of The Lost World” (Mexican, 1963) features Steve Reeves look-alike Jorge Meniscus [Editor: We don’t believe he looks like Steve Reeves] leads an expedition of school children and maniacs into the depths of the New Jersey Pine Barrens in search of a lost city full of vampires–stealthily stalked every step of the way by a Soviet super-spy (Dan Blocker).

6:20 P.M.  Ch. 64  THE BOOGALOOS–Sitcom/Philosophical reflections

Poppa Boogaloo (Carl Sagan) goes into hysterics when he can’t find his lucky tie-clip… and the family’s afraid to tell him that Joody (Donna Reed) is dating a man who sneaks up on people and scares them. Momma: Heather Locklear. Soopy: Dr. Phil. Man Who Sneaks Up on People and Scares Them: Lorne Greene.

Okay, that’s it for free samples! If you want any more, you have to watch it on your TV set.

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Byron the Quokka, signing off!

Don’t Forget the Comment Contest!

2,485 Quokka Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

G’day! Byron the Quokka here. And would you believe it? No comments! Today so far, not one.

They’ve put me in charge of this comment contest. The object is to get 91,000 comments, with about 900 left to go. Whoever makes that comment will get a prize. A bicycle, if it’s up to me. But we don’t expect Lee to go that far.

Meanwhile, the human next door has erected this giant 10-foot tall inflatable ghost for Halloween and it’s scaring the pants off us all… or would be, if we wore pants. I wonder if we could offer that as a prize. Sizonjoy 12 Ft Giant Halloween Inflatable Ghost, Blow Up  Halloween Decorations Built-in LED Lights for IndoorOutdoor Yard Garden  Includes Stakes : Everything Else

Alarming, isn’t it? Better send some comments, or we’ll have to turn him loose!

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 8

TV Guide Oct 2, 1970 | Program pages from the Minneapolis-St… | Flickr

G’day, g’day, and happy weekend! Byron the Quokka here, with absolutely the very best in television, the best shows of the last 800 years! Brought to you by Quokka University, where a degree in Nothing Studies means just that.

Behold a few samples:

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 02  THE MICROBES–(Best sitcom ever)

Kate Smith and Stan Laurel star as Alice and Jerry Microbe, whose neighbors can’t see them without a microscope! (I don’t know why they put in that exclamation point. Someone please take it away.) This week: Alice gets lost in Mrs. Moseby’s rug. Mrs. Moseby: Shari Lewis. Sasquatch: Harold Stassen.

Ch. 08  THE NEWS IN DANCE–News & commentary

Join the June Taylor Dancers in presenting and analyzing the world’s news in interpretive dance! Tonight: Turkey, Paraguay sign non-aggression pact; Congress investigates pro wrestling match-fixing scandal; 450-pound pole vaulter sets record. Song: “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

7:42 P.M.  Ch. 17  MOVIE–Science fiction

In “Able was I, Ere I Saw Elba” (Hong Kong, 1975), the Shaw Brothers’ five-hour epic, kung-fu meets string theory. A drunken guard (Luis Tiant) falls in love with a pineapple from another dimension (Linda Hunt), who is able to look sort of like a woman when the mood takes her. Together they plot to bring back Napoleon Bonaparte (Gabe Kaplan)! Too bad they only brought back half of him… Mrs. Hsing: Li Lo Liang.

8 P.M.  Ch. 46  GET RICH QUICK!–Self-improvement

Host Alan Diphthong filmed 12 of these episodes before he was sent to prison for fraud. Tonight’s projects: raising fleas for sale to flea circuses; a radish farmer in California switches over to taking money not to scare small children; start your own sky-diving school. Special guest: Bill Moyers.


It’s celebrities Chuck Connors, Abe Ribikoff, and Sally Field against three schlubs from the studio audience in a battle to see which team can stay awake longest through a reading of Silas Marner by a not-very-talented W.C. Fields impersonator. Winning team gets Batman wrist watches! Losing team gets doused with ice-cold water. Host: Porky Pig (don’t ask).

Well, if you think these are great shows, wait’ll you see the ones I haven’t written previews for! One of our emus went hog-wild after just half an hour’s viewing.

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Happy viewing! Byron the Quokka, signing off.