Byron’s TV Listings, April 23

Retrospace: TV Guide #19: May 8-14, 1982

G’day! Are you ready for TV that’ll make your tails curl? Well, we’ve got it! Right here.

I’m Byron the Quokka, and this is Quokka UTV’s menu for the weekend. Take a break from playing Clue and catch some of these fantastic shows.

5:37 P.M.  Ch. 06   ON THE POT–News/Commentary

Pay no attention to this show’s unfortunate name; it’s not what you think. Co-anchors Barbie Schnickelgrussen and Sammy the Koala (who doesn’t speak) cover world events that no other news show covers! Winner of the Oh Who Cares! Award for three years running.

6 P.M.   Ch. 16  MY THREE IDIOT SONS–Sitcom/tragedy

Lear and Lois Fishwife (Robert Young, Laura Bush) have their hands full with their three moronic sons, Moe, Larry, and Goofy (all played by hand puppets). This week, Moe is grounded for using dish detergent as salad dressing; and the college sends Larry and Goofy home as punishment for hiding under other students’ beds. Dean Zingo: Harry Guardino. Prof. Zongo: Y.A. Tittle.

Ch. 19   YAN CAN’T COOK BEANS–Cooking show

He can’t cook anything else, either. This is the show that makes your worst culinary disasters look like four stars from Gordon Ramsay. Featuring the June Taylor Dancers, which makes the kitchen kind of crowded, even dangerous, when they do those high kicks. This week: Yan can’t pour Cheerios into a bowl, poor guy.

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 29  MOVIE–Hard-boiled crime drama

“The Killer Wore a Sarong” (Turkish-Hittite, 1997) stars Jobbo the Stuffed Gorilla as hard-boiled private eye Rocky Pocky: inspired by the short-lived comic strip, “So Funny Ha-Ha.” Rocky has his work cut out for him when Lt. Freebish (Ugo Tognazzi) makes him the chief suspect in the case of The Sarong Killer. Ignore that crack about “So how do you kill a sarong?” With Alan Greenspan and his orchestra.

Ch. 51   MICKEY MANTLE DOES SHAKESPEARE–Classic drama managled

Only one episode of this unique show was actually aired; but they filmed two dozen of them, and Quokka UTV has got ’em! All of them feature NY Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle trying to describe various Shakespeare plays he never saw, with occasional help from catcher Yogi Berra, who reportedly disliked the show. Mickey’s incredulous reaction to Troilus and Cressida has to be seen to be believed.

Well, that’s that–a small sample of the bliss awaiting you when you tune in to Quokka UTV.

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This is Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, April 2

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1960

Relax! April Fool is over, we can all go back to playing it straight–well, at least with TV listings.

Byron the Quokka here, with this weekend’s frustication of glorious TV. And here are just a few samples.

6 P.M.  Ch. 12  TASTE-TESTING CAT FOOD–(Indescribable)

Our panel of celebrities (who have all done something wrong, and are trying to get out of it) taste-test new brands of cat food. This week’s panel: Chuck Connors, Chiang Kai-shek, Miss America, and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. Featuring the June Taylor Dancers in the background.

6:14 P.M.  Ch. 19  JIMMY FRAUD’S JOURNAL–Sloppy news reporting

America’s most credulous journalist interviews a man in Yimpton, New Jersey, who once saw Rachel Ray in a car somewhere. Also featured: Semifinals of the annual Forgotten World Leaders Impersonations in Tajikistan, Vermont. Great imitation of that guy Whatsisname in Indonesia!

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 06  MOVIE–Greek tragedy

In “Oedipus Wrecks” (Chinese-Hittite, 1997), the jolly Greek king (Soupy Sales) finds out he gouged out his eyes for nothing: his mother and father are still alive and well and vacationing in Acapulco, they were only kidding about being dead. Just how far can Oedipus take a joke? Oracle: Jimmy Durante. Queen Annabell: Phyllis Diller.

Ch. 32  YANCY POPGUN–Western drama

How dangerous was it to roam the Wild West armed only with a toy gun that you insist is real? Yancy (Elisha Cook Jr.) never backs down from a showdown! This week: An innocent little boy (Dan Duryea) begs Yancy to save his father (Flip Wilson) from the hangman. Judge Reindeer: A real reindeer, no joke.

7 P.M.  Ch. 116  BLINDFOLD BASEBALL–Sports

The Toronto Fizzies take on the El Paso Fragments in the new, incredibly dangerous sports sensation, blindfold baseball! (And no, we don’t want to hear any of those old jokes about umpires.) If you think batting against pitches you can’t see is risky, wait’ll you see the chaos on the basepaths. Play-by-play: Marcel Marceau   Color commentary: Gorilla Monsoon.

Well, folks, there you go! Some of that cat food that they have to taste, I don’t know how they do it…

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This is Byron the Quokka, signing off. Happy viewing!

Byron’s TV Listings, March 19

Tonight's US television… in 1972 - Schedules - Transdiffusion Broadcasting  System

G’day, all! Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend full of fantabulous TV! Remember, some of us here at Quokka University could get in huge trouble for bringing you these shows which no one is supposed to see–and the less said about that, the safer for all concerned!

6:56 P.M.  Ch. 09   JUDGE JOOTY–Courtroom claptrap

A man sues his live-in girlfriend for shrinking him to the size of a two-year-old. Bailiff: Estes Kefauver. Jury: The June Taylor Dancers. Executioner: Tim Conway.

7 P.M.  Ch. 04   SPONKY WILSON–Sitcom

Sponky (Andre the Giant) tries to impress his date (Linda Hunt) by ordering their dinner in French–in a Chinese restaurant. Imagine their surprise when the waiter brings them a bowlful of live spiders! Mr. Chong: Desi Arnaz. Swoozy: Angela Merkel

Ch. 15   HAMMURABI’S GAVEL–Courtroom horror

Gasp in horrified astonishment as Judge Hammurabi (Joe Flynn) applies ancient Babylonian law to modern cases: Selling cigars that burn unevenly (“Burn you!”); barratry (“Don’t ask!”); identity theft (“Let’s see what’s left of your identity when the ants get through with you!”); misgendering (“Show this jidrool what happens when you waste this court’s time with crap like that!”). With Tennessee Aaron Burr and his jug band.

7:30 P.M.   Ch. 39  MOVIE–Paranormal Adventure

In “Gone With the Wind People” (Croatoan, 2002), private eye Punchy Watzinger (Kevin Branagh), slowly dying of uncontrollable dandruff, discovers the secret entrance into the Land of the Wind People. Special music by Bruce Willis. Evil Wind People: Bill Baird’s Ugly Puppets. Featured song: “My Coccyx Fell Off to One Side.”


How far will contestants go to prove to host Ray Charles that they’re invisible? Tests include 1) Walking onto a busy sidewalk in the nude, 2) giving a wet willie to the biggest biker in the bar, and 3) challenging passers-by with “I bet you can’t see me!” (and being really aggressive about it). This week’s prize: Genuine dollar-store piano.

Well, there you go–TV for the ages! Somebody told me Shakespeare wrote a play about Sponky Wilson, but I didn’t believe it. You have to get up earlier than that to fool a quokka.

Quokkas tend to invite people over for a nice home-cooked meal every so  often; they'll even wait for their guests by the door to greet them as soon  as they arri… |

(Sometimes Mrs. Bismuth lets us watch TV in her living room.)


Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 5

TV Guide 10-16 September 1966

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with the best TV you’ll see all week! People are dyin’ to know where we get these shows! I wish I could tell you, but I don’t want to suddenly disappear… if y’know what I mean. Anyhoo, here’s a sample of this weekend’s revels:

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 08   PRESIDENT FOR LIFE!–Drama

So you think it’s easy, being dictator? Gen. Buckethead (Edward Platt) needs a special march for his death squads (“Like the goose-step, only higher–much higher!”), while Mrs. Buckethead (Nancy Pelosi) can’t decide whose scalp to wear to the annual Diversity Ball. Who will be led out and shot this time? Suck-up News Anchor: Dan Rather.

Ch. 10   SAMMY THE GIANT JELLYFISH–Children’s Science Fiction

It takes a lot of jellyfish to make the high seas safe for multi-family housing; but Sammy (Sidney Toler) is a lot of jellyfish! This week: Mr. Bigsheets (Sal Hepatica) need’s Sammy’s help when his Floating Apartments keep sinking for no apparent reason. Sally the Giant Sea Cucumber: Julie Andrews

8:00 P.M.   Ch. 18  HOME RUN DERBY–Game Show

Can they still hit home runs if they’re 80 years old, up against a near-sighted pitcher who throws heat–and wearing an oversized derby instead of a batting helmet? Heck, the freakin’ thing keeps slipping down over their eyes just as the ball is released! Host: Noam Chomsky. Tonight’s contestants: Shotgun Shuba, Bob Allison, Elio Chacon. First one hit into the seats wins everybody else’s personal belongings.

Ch. 41  MOVIE–Historical Epic

In “Hercules vs. the Bugs of Babylon” (Finnish-Ethiopian, 1987), Sunu Huutuala, “the Steave Reaves of Helsinki,” stars as the legendary strongman who must save Babylon from an invasion of shield bugs. Evil mastermind: Arnold Stang. Loola the Slave Girl: Helen Hayes. Babylonian goon squad: the June Taylor Dancers.


Emcee John Kerry (wooden puppet) unwinds the convoluted excuses of self-taught experts whose fool-proof systems… fail. This week: “Bigfoot changed my numbers”: 14 guests from all around the country tell their stories. Featuring Mr. Clean and his orchestra. (Yes, the real Mr. Clean from all those old commercials!)

Well, me hearties, cruise through the weekend on a sea of great TV! Blimey! Have I just made a metaphor? This job is getting to me!

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Byron’s TV Listings, Jan. 8

The Essential TV Guide Fall Previews of the 80s, Part 3: 1977! Yeah, I know  that makes no sense… | Branded in the 80s

G’day, TV lovers! I hope you’ve got a good supply of crunchy leaves on hand–this weekend’s viewing will keep you glued to your seats. A few examples:

6:48 P.M.  Ch. 02   HEADLESS SIMON–Experimental

Simon’s head fell off one night, but you’d never know it! Kaz Garaz stars as private eye Simon Schnitzler, an intruder into high society: he really creeps you out until you get used to him. This week, Headless Simon teams up with Bodiless Jim (Clayton Moore) to solve a case of vandalism. Featured: A musical number by Gorilla Monsoon, “I’m in the Mood (Why Aren’t You?)”

7 P.M.   Ch. 08   ASK MR. STUPID!–Educational

“This clown doesn’t know anything!” exclaims guest hostess Queen Elizabeth II, live from Shambly Palace (that’s the castle that they don’t like to use). Join eager contestants as they try to find a question, any question, that Mr. Stupid can answer correctly. The real Mr. Stupid’s identity is a closely-guarded secret–guarded, in fact, by the June Taylor Dancers.

Ch. 14   THE PUDDLESONS–Sitcom

Mike and Minnie Puddleson (Steve Reeves, Linda Hunt) live in a mud puddle just barely deep enough to sit in. Their tadpoles, Jeffy and Lulu, have to attend school in a jar. This week, a crisis! A leg pops out of Jeffy’s left side. “It’s not even a human leg!” Mike laments.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 21   MOVIE–Exotic Western

In “Head-Hunting Crazies of Kibble City, Wyoming” (1981), the head-hunting Pombo Tribe, chased out of the Andes by the Peruvian government, establishes itself in Kibble City. Tourist Chick Chamby (Bob Denver) is horrified to discover that the Souvenir Shrunken Head he purchased is the real thing! But who’s going to investigate a cityful of accountants? Special guest stars: Peruvian Special Forces Glee Club.

Ch. 46  CELEBRITY PAYBACK–Viewers’ Revenge

Host Dr. Fu Manchu (himself) subjects captured celebrities to various torments. Favorite Line: “So you think just by being on TV, people should pay attention to you when you babble? But we have ways of correcting such presumption!”

Will international police catch and stop the Doctor before he can corral the Kardashians? Stay tuned!

Well, there you have it–best we could do around here, with Lee still kind of horse de combat. Lost the whole New Year’s weekend… *Sigh*  Might as well check out The Puddlesons.

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Byron’s TV Listings, Christmas Day 2021

It's About TV: This week in TV Guide: September 28, 1963

G’day and Merry Christmas, from all of us on Rottnest Island, to all of you out there!

If you’re like a lot of humans, by 2 or 3 o’clock this afternoon, you’re going to be wiped out, beat, exhausted, etc. That’s where we come in! Just park yourself in front of your TV screen with a nice lapful of crunchy leaves, and we’ll do the rest.

2:06 P.M.  Ch. 04   TO BE ANNOUNCED–(Unknown)

Here’s the show that’s different every day! Even the folks who write the TV listings don’t know what it’s gonna be. Last week it was Comrade Nikita’s Puppet Show from the People’s Glorious Theater in Vladivostok. This week–who knows? Host: To be announced.

2:15 P.M.   Ch. 06   EMERGENCY CRISIS ALERT!–Overheated News

Join anchorman Gary “That Disgusting Caterpillar” Svipdag, who really does look like a gigantic caterpillar sitting at the news anchor’s desk. In fact, it’s terribly distracting! I mean, you keep asking yourself, “What if he ever gets loose, and turns up in my garden?” This could give you nightmares! We are sorry we listed it.

2:30 P.M.  Ch. 116   FRANKIE SCHEVERNADZE ON CHESS–Educational

Learn how to play chess just like Frankie Schevernadze, who was once forced to quit the Soviet Union chess team because he never won a game, let alone a match. His English is almost as bad as his chess! Guest players chosen at random from among the studio audience usually wipe up the floor with Frankie–in fact, that was the original name of the show, Wipe Up the Floor with Frankie. They lost the sponsorship of Ace Janitorial Supplies when the sponsor found out the show was about chess, not mopping floors.

Ch. 117    MOVIE–Science Fiction/Art

In Wrestling Women and the Aztec Mummy vs. the Thing from Somewhere (1954), Duke Snider shows why he decided to stick with baseball. Famously, Duke plays the Aztec Mummy (Leo Durocher never let him forget it). Musical numbers and dance tunes by a rather large hamster and his orchestra.


Let the June Taylor Dancers show you how to make your own nuclear reactor in your cellar! With a little Uranium, which you can enrich yourself, you’re in business. This week’s celebrity guest, Liberace, shows the Dancers how to turn the reactor into a bomb. Sponsored by Duck ‘n’ Cover Umbrellas Inc.

Well, that’s only a sample of the truly mindless TV we’ve got lined up for you today! I love those Aztec Mummy movies! Didja ever see the one that was pattered on Hamlet? Sort of Ed Wood meets Shakespeare.

This is Byron the Quokka signing off, wishing you a Merry Christmas Day!

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Byron’s TV Listings, Dec. 4

TV Guide Ad for ABC shows (1974) | From the 1974 TV Guide Fa… | Flickr

G’day, all! Byron the Quokka here, with this week’s edifying TV brought to you by Quokka University (the college where there aren’t any courses–really, it’s easier that way). Here’s a little sample to get you revved up for the show!

4:25 P.M.   Ch. 11    MOVIE–Intense, almost unbearable, horror

In Pharaoh, Schmarrow (Greek/Portuguese, 1991), two workmen (Jerome Kern, Izod LaCost) carrying an unopened mummy case up the world’s longest, steepest flight of stairs, find something indescribably horrible waiting for them at the top. But first they have to get past the June Taylor Dancers on the staircase! Song: I’ve Got Chiggers

4:30 P.M.  Ch. 05   SHOTGUN SIKORSKIY–Eastern Western

Wandering the outskirts of Poland’s major cities as if they were America’s Old West, Zgismund Sikorskiy (Tim Moore) continues his hunt for the horse-thief/bank robber who shot his dad in Dog Breath, New Mexico. He has to look for him in Poland because he lost his passport. Mr. Julep: Chiang Kai-shek. Miss LaFong: Dorothy Lamour.


“You can be anyone or anything you want to be!” proclaims host Swami Baloni Jidrool. See less-than-ordinary guests morph into the likes of Pablo Picasso, Churchill, Joe DiMaggio, and a poached egg! And anyone who doesn’t Affirm their new identities gets beaten to a pulp. The greatest audience participation show since Queen for a Day. And speaking of Queen for a Day…

Ch. 19  EMPRESS FOR A DAY–Deranged wish fulfillment

What if you had absolute power, the power of life and death, over everyone on your block? From suburban housewife to insane dictator, Empress for a Day will show your neighbors who’s boss! Host: Frank “Dys” Topia. Expert witness: Loretta Young. See Loretta flounce down the marble staircase in a flowing gown just as this week’s Empress cries “Off with their heads!” Recommended by the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

5 P.M.  Ch. 62   MINI-SHAKESPEARE–Classic drama/Puppet show

Something wonderful happens to a Shakespearean tragedy–think Othello–when the actors in the cast are only 12 inches high, with papier-mache heads. Commentary: Soupy Sales. This week: Richard III, boiled down to 25 minutes. With Gabby Hayes and his orchestra.

So who cares about the weather, when there’s stuff like this to watch on TV? I’ll post a few more Christmas carols and then settle down with a handful of nice crisp leaves to watch Shotgun Sikorskiy, my favorite Polish Western.

Fact: We had a Western in Australia once–Whiplash, starring Peter Graves. My Grandpa Fuzzycheeks had a walk-on role that had all the platypuses talking.

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Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 6

Bcast_Md — TV Guide listings for April 8, 1959. “Varsity...

G’day, TV lovers! Byron the Quokka here for Quokka University–where we haven’t held any courses yet, but we do bring you the world’s best television. Like for instance:

7:56 P.M.  Ch. 06  60 MOMENTS–News/Modern Dance

Former pro wrestler Jose Estrada re-tells today’s top news stories in the form of interpretative dance by people who read The New Yorker. Tonight: Dancers interpret the longshoremen’s strike.

8 P.M.  Ch. 03  NASTY LITTLE SQUIRTS–Discussion

They may not be the world’s smartest 10-year-olds, but they’re surely the most obnoxious! Spoiled-rotten brats from all over the country get together to complain about things they don’t even begin to understand! Tonight: “It’s Not Fair That Kids Can’t Vote!” Host: A rather vicious dog.

Ch. 10   MOVIE–Western/Greek Philosophy

In “Sheriff Socrates” (1947), the Greek philosopher (Arnold Stang) is elected sheriff of Biteme, Wyoming, and proceeds to play lewd practical jokes on all and sundry. Tonight: Socrates replaces the statue of General Bollwinkle with something that can’t be mentioned here. Mayor Scruffy: Chiang Kai-shek, Weepy Nell: Dame Judith Anderson

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 05  “YOU ASKED FOR IT, ALL RIGHT!”–Educational

This show’s motto is “Be careful what you wish for!”–as host Vincent Price reminds contestants who survive the literal fulfillment of their most poorly thought-out wishes. Classic flashback: “I wish I was married to Doris Day,” and Doris Day turns out to be a bad-tempered elephant in the Mills Bros. circus.


Star Murray Mealworm was imprisoned for six months when he and the rest of the cast went on a goodwill tour of Bulgaria. Tonight: Momma keeps spitting out the dirty clothes, but she’s murderously jealous of the new hamper that Spot (Mealworm) and Lulu (Julia Child) bought from the June Taylor Dancers. Introduced by Sir Kenneth Clark.

Well, folks, there you have it! Who needs a college education, when you’ve got stuff like this to watch on TV? You can probably get by with no education at all!

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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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Byron’s TV Listings, Aug. 28

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1967

Greetings, felicitations, and whatnot! Welcome to another weekend of sumptuous TV brought to you by Quokka University (we promise to get some classes started eventually). I’m your host, Byron the Quokka–and here’s just a little sample of this weekend’s indescribable TV Menu.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 03  SELF-ESTEEM OLYMPICS–Sports

Live from Tobolsk, Siberia. No winners, no losers! Every contestant gets a Participation Trophy and a “Good job!” from a qualified pre-school teacher’s aide. Tonight’s events: synchronized whining, pissing and moaning. Hosts: Kim Jong Un, Martha Stewart.

Ch. 04   THE TOWN TOO DEAD TO DIE–Western/Musical

Eking out a miserable living in a town that has no economy, starving and dispirited residents look to Sheriff Elston Howard (Arnold Stang) to lift their spirits with cheery cowboy songs. Tonight’s featured song: My Horse Hates Me. With the June Taylor Dancers.

7:45 P.M.  Ch. 12   NEWS-O-MANIA WITH TONY FAUCI–News/Ca-Ca

The show that first enhanced the TV news-watching experience by having scary faces with loud noises suddenly flash onto the screen! Grown men fling their own children out of the way as they try to crawl under the bed! Tonight: “Deadly Terror Threats in Your Own Neighborhood That You Never Suspected But Are Only Just Waiting to Kill You.”

8:00 P.M.   Ch. 07  LUNCH WITH STOOPY–(You’re Asking Us?)

Why they schedule a lunchtime show at 8:00 at night is a complete mystery. Tonight: Join host Gerhard “Stoopy” Roskolnikov and his guest, Dr. Joyce Brothers, as they pick at some iffy tuna salad. With Jumbo the Norwegian Elkhound and his orchestra. (The baton is attached to his tail.)

Ch. 22   MOVIE–Horror/Drama/Philosophy

“Filippo Donati Must Die!” (Italian; 1977) stars Jabba the Hutt as a cynical private eye investigating the murder of a man who may never have existed in the first place. Filippo Donati: Alan Alda. Miss Havisham: Arlene Francis. The Conductor on the Hell-Bound Train: Monte Hall. Watch for cameo appearances by nameless Hollywood extras!

Well! Rain or shine, these shows ought to keep you glued to your easy chair–or your nice tuffet of beach-grass, whatever. Snatch of a handful of nice, chewy leaves… and bob’s yer uncle!

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