Byron’s TV Listings, Sept. 16

The Essential TV Guide Fall Preview Issues of the 80s, Part 6: 1979! |  Branded in the 80s

G’day! Wow, it’s Sept. 16–and you know what that means, so I don’t have to tell you, do I?

Byron the Quokka here, with this weekend’s TV brought to you by Quokka University. Here’s a mere sample of its wonderfulness!

6 P.M.  Ch. 09  THE MAN WITH A DOUBLE COCCYX–Crime drama

Smarty Jones stars as–wait, check that: Smarty Jones was a racehorse–I guess we don’t know who stars as private eye Mort DePort, the man with the double coccyx… which makes sitting down rather complicated. Tonight: Mort goes to court with the wrong sort of judge, we report [Enough already!]

Ch. 12  SHOWS THAT WERE TOO AWFUL TO AIR–Broadcast history

Tonight: “Manics!” paired Buddy Ebsen and Danny DeVito as State Dept. flunkies in love with the same store window mannequin (Heather Locklear). All the dialogue was in code and no one understood it. And no one wanted to.

6:14 P.M.  SPECIAL REPORT!–Breaking news

Mary Stupid reports on the Spanish Navy’s futile efforts to bombard Kazakhstan into submission. Live on the ground: Some guy they tricked into doing this. Extra: “Why Foam Rubber Bats Aren’t Right for Baseball.”

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 32  MOVIE–(We dare you to watch it!)

Pro Bowler Larry LaFong (Norman Rockwell) finds himself in hot water with the KGB in this Cold War comedy, Pardon My Three-Pin (Portuguese-Syrian, 1964: 566 minutes): he’s just made the entire Soviet bowling establishment look like a mass of floundering squid. (I think that may be a mixed metaphor.) Soliloquy, “Oh Bloody Hell!” by Richard Burton, with an Ameslan signer beside him, looking offended.

7 P.M.  Ch. 15  THE HUNGRY GAMES–Cooking show

Can Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins really cook–with one hand tied behind her back? The studio audience, having fasted for a month or two, is really, really hungry; and Ms. Collins has to feed them before they start setting up a lottery to see who gets killed and eaten. The June Taylor Dancers are on hand to encourage her: they’ll stop if she can ever get the food going.

Well, now, I’ll bet you’re raring to go! This stuff is so much better than regular TV.

The 'Happiest Animal in the World' May Not Be So Happy After All – Journal  of Zoology Blog

I wonder if this grass would make a good TV dinner.

Byron’s TV Listings, Aug. 12

multiple image galleries

G’day! Byron the Quokka here. Y’know, some folks have been sayin’ that our TV is just more of the same old schlock you can find anywhere. Hah! Here are a few samples of this weekend’s offerings: see for yourself!

8 P.M.  Ch. 12   TRINKLEMAN, B.S.P.D.–Crime Drama

Jasper Trinkleman (the guy who played The Squid in Squishy) thinks he’s a police detective who can arrest anyone he wants. Lucky for him he has a friend who thinks he’s a judge (Don Wilson) and can jail anyone he wants. This week: real police grow impatient. Lt. Absinthe: Heather Locklear.

Ch. 14   NEWS WITH SHREWS–Indescribable

What happens when you take the classic horror movie, “Attack of the Giant Shrews,” and use it as the template for an up-to-the-minute news show? Co-anchors Dan Rather and Mr. Magoo find out the hard way. Note: No shrews were hurt in filming this episode, but half a dozen humans were very badly bitten. Sports: The Very Large Mermaid.

8:20 P.M.  Ch. 20   MOVIE–Occult Baseball Drama

Very loosely based on the career of Alvin “Mud Pie” Jones, Bloodthirsty Haints in the Outfield (Serbo-Malaysian, 1988: 13 minutes) stars Fernando Lamas as the legendary one-legged centerfielder and Brigitte Bardot as his doting aunt. To save money on film, the actors talk real fast.

8:30 P.M.   Ch. 62  DANCE FEVER, FOR REAL–Medical game show

Can the June Taylor Dancers succeed where every doctor, every medicine, every therapy has failed? “Let’s find out!” says host Nehemiah Persoff. Patients on portable beds experience the June Taylor Dancers dancing all around their cots to cure hair loss, lumbago, burpiness, and wobbly coccyx. Featured: silent music by the Main Street Mimes.

Still think these shows are schlock? I’ve seen Bloodthirsty Haints in the Outfield 14 times and I still don’t know who Mud Pie Jones was!

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Byron the Quokka, signing off. So there!

Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 4

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1974

G’day out there! Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend’s worth of sustainable TV brought to you by Quokka University. Here’s just a sample:

6 P.M.  Ch. 14   THE TOTALLY PLASTERED 6 O’CLOCK NEWS–News and slosh

Anchorman Poopsie Whippersnapper slurs and mumbles his way through the day’s news as inebriated staffers collide with studio furniture and absent-mindedly start fires. Canadian Mist canceled its sponsorship of this show, but it was quickly picked up by the lesser-known distillery, Old Souse. Sports: Some guy face-down on the floor, we can’t see who it is.

Ch. 51   NEWS FOR SPIDERS–News and commentary

What does the daily news look like to a spider? Anchors Don Fapp and Wendy Bendy, plus all the reporters in the field, wear realistic spider costumes, to reassure real spiders that they have friends in big-time journalism. All news written “with a spidery slant.” Tonight: “Tasty bugs you can catch in the Governor’s Mansion.” Featured: the June Taylor Dancers… with eight legs.

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 22   MISS VIOLET’S KITCHEN–Cooking show

Best-selling romance writer Violet Crepuscular’s real love is gourmet cooking! Tonight she’ll show you “Six Fantastically Creative Uses of Toothpaste”–in cabbage rolls, hors d’ouevres [Search me if I spelled that right!], clam chowder, and three more unexpected dishes. Guest taster: Retired wrestler George “The Animal” Steele.

7 P.M.  Ch. 06   MOVIE OF THE MONTH–Adventure, herpetology

Irving Kallikak stars as actor Burt Lancaster, and Lancaster stars as Irving Kallikak, in Don’t Look Now, But Here Come the Giant Tree Frogs (Indian-Estonian, 2008). A laboratory clean-up goes wrong, and gigantic tree frogs escape to wreak havoc among trees and buildings that can’t support their ponderous weight. General Fizzle: Martin Balsam. Miss Mississippi: Marla Maples. Doc: Joe Pyne. Sneezy: Simon Oakland.

7:30 P.M.  Ch.14   THE SCARLET COCCYX–Historical sitcom

Who is “The Scarlet Coccyx”? The mad bishop (Joey Bishop), the brawling woman with a headache (Patty Duke), the goofy teenage werewolf (Michael Landon)–it could be anybody! This week: Detective Inspector Yogi Shubushu (Matt Damon) thinks he has a clue to The Scarlet Coccyx’s real identity, but nobody cares.

And those shows, boys ‘n’ girls, are just the tip of the iceberg! We’ve been collecting stuff like this from dumpsters all over Rottnext Island.

Australia, curious Quokka with bicycle on Rottnest Island ...

Byron the Quokka–inspecting wheels and 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!

378 Quokka Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

Byron the Quokka, signing off!

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.

Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 26

Retrospace: TV Guide #8: Feb 12-18, 1977

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, live (what else?) at Quokka University on Rottnest Island, with another supercalifragilistic weekend of TV viewing. For instance:

8 P.M.  Ch. 08  THE FUMPHERS–Sitcom

Weewee (Dennis Weaver) gets a job diagramming sentences, while Popsy (Washington Irving) catches Mrs. Sphagnum (Totie Fields) crawling around through their tomato patch again. Myrtle the Octopus: herself.

Ch. 13   SCARY HORRIBLE BUGS–Educational

Host Jimmy Fraud is terrified of insects, any insects: watch the fun when the script forces him to eat and sing to assorted creepy-crawlies. His pleas to “Let me outta here!” fall on deaf ears. This week’s guest: Charles De Gaulle.

8:13 P.M.  Ch. 02   MOVIE–Adventure/Bad Poetry

“Piranhas Wipe Out New York” (Latvian, 1959) features Mongolian celebrity bass fisherman Urgus Quzeluut as the only man in New York City who knows the paranhas are coming to eat everybody; but only Flopsy and her sisters (the June Taylor Dancers) will listen to him! Everybody else says rude things to him. Coach Red Holtzman: Carol Burnett.


The Mendicants take on the Washington Thieves in a three-game series billed as “the high noon of Major League expansion!” Seventh-string All-Star second baseman Skip Coccyx is back in the lineup after being sidelined with an identity crisis. Play-by-play and color commentary: Greta Thunberg, Woody Woodpecker.

9 P.M.  Ch. 41  I LIVE FACE-DOWN–Crime Drama/Tragedy/Can’t Bear to Watch

Bacteria City Detective Lieutenant Basil Frazzle (Buster Crabbe), busted down to beat cop for an infraction he didn’t commit, devotes himself to tracking down the mice who framed him and getting back at the review board who didn’t believe his story and gave him a proper reaming-out for telling it. Capt. Batnick: Barney Rubble. Inspector Grone: Herbert S. Zim. Street-smart Nun: Dame Judith Anderson.

Now, how’s that for a mere sample of the indescribable pleasures that await you when you tune in to QUTV? We go to unspeakable trouble to round up these shows for you!

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Byron the Quokka, signing off–before someone grabs my seat.

Byron’s TV Listings, Jan. 29

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

G’day, mates! Byron the Quokka here, with another glorious weekend of TV brought to you by Quokka University. Enjoy it while you can–the authorities are breathing down our necks. Yes–some of these shows, They don’t want you to watch! For instance:

5:20 P.M.  Ch. 09  BUD THE DUD–Soap Opera (with soap)

Superstar Hoyt Flapjack plays Bud the Dud, “the man who can’t do anything.” When Bud is called on to fill in for the Archbishop of Bangor for two weeks, the whole congregation rises up against him. Mrs. Botox: Paris Hilton. Octopus Collector: Rex Harrison.


Once upon a time, sportscaster Howard Cosell was the big name in TV sports. Now, compulsive liar and kung-fu master Chiang Bu How (Jackie Chan) devotes his life to impersonating Cosell. This week: Chiang fools the commandant of a military academy (Richard Simmons) into letting him call the academy’s pick-up sticks games. Featuring the June Taylor Dancers.


This is the news that no one cares about! What new pronouns have been invented this week? Who are the top influencers on YouTube? How do they decide what’s the deepest new article in The Atlantic? When do we start eating bugs? Megan Dustmite has all the latest dope for dopes. Guest anchor: Adam Schiff.

6 P.M.  Ch. 33   MOVIE–New Age Self-Actualization

“Meet Me in Sheboygan” (Serbian, 2003) stars Boleslav Mrkyrkovic as Reggie Whittington III, whose voyage of self-discovery starts with a chair that falls apart when you sit on it. This was the last film directed by former Cincinnati outfielder Gus Bell; they won’t let him make any more. Ms. Pantyraid: Mimi Rogers. With Telly Savalas and his orchestra.


Host Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the House, subjects contestants to meaningless ordeals that do them no good at all–but which one can make Mr. Giggle (identity withheld: he could get in trouble) lose his cool? Losers get Indian burns; but the winner gets… oh, man, I can’t even say this, I think I’m gonna heave…!

Why Quokkas Are The Cutest Animals In The World

Well, that’s just a sample of what we’ve got in store for you this weekend. Make sure you’ve got a comfortable chair or couch, and plenty of tasty, crunchy leaves!

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 30

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1968

Happy Day Before Halloween! Byron the Quokka here, for Quokka University and another weekend’s worth of indescribable TV! Actually, I have to try to describe it. So here goes–and you’ll notice the whole menu is Halloween-themed.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 08  HAUNT YOUR HOUSE!–Home Improvement (?)

Host Alger Hiss (a nom de plume–after about 15 minutes you’ll figure out who he really is) knows 1,001 ways to attract malignant spiritual entities to your house so that you can live with unexplained mysteries! This week: “Horrible Things That Can Come Out of Your Tea-pot When You Pour Your Tea.”

Ch. 12  MOVIE–Horror

In Mothman vs. Reddy Kilowatt (1968), enraged Mothman (Don Knotts) battles a supercharged Reddy Kilowatt (Howard Duff)–and caught in the middle, the June Taylor Dancers. Can they keep dancing while the town is razed around them? The Singing Editor: Irene Ryan.

7:42 P.M.  Ch. 03  DOCUMENTARY

Head-hunters of Darkest Kansas followed the Miskatonic University expedition to Kravchenko Korners, Kansas, in search of a legendary tribe of Pennsylvania-Dutch head-hunters. Featured interviews: Louise Lasser, Jerry the Talking Squid. With Chiang Kai-shek and his orchestra.

8 P.M.  Ch. 64  2021 SPRING FASHION SHOW–Fashion

It’s the Gucci Spring Fashion Show from–I don’t know: Mordor, I guess. We couldn’t find anything scarier! The models look like failed auditions for Night of the Living Dead, and the fashions themselves, you wouldn’t want to be buried in them. I’ll bet the emcee is an uncaught serial murderer.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 16  MOVIE–Unbearable horror and suspense

Supermodel Polly Feemus stars in this 1970 remake of the Manchurian film noir/horror classic, One-Eyed Jacks. Teens check in to Cyclops High School, but never check out! Kept in high school till you die of old age: Can a perky 52-year-old sophomore (Feemus) rally the one-eyed students to tunnel their way out? Principal: Clyde Beatty. Don’t miss Lon Chaney Jr. as Biffo, the 89-year-old quarterback of the football team.

Well, there you have it! I will close with an appropriate Halloween farewell.

Quokka Halloween Costume Add On Stamps by Kat Scrappiness - Kat  Scrappiness, Inc


Byron’s TV Listings, June 5

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

G’day, g’day, and welcome to another weekend of cyclopean TV viewing pleasure, brought to you by Quokka University! Byron the Quokka here–and don’t think I had anything to do with this TV caper, I’m just an announcer they snapped up at random.

Here are a few samples to whet your appetite.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 04   VEGAN GUNS–Muddled Western

It’s not easy being a professional gunslinger (Jack Elam), a New Age guru, and a vegan! Episode 14: Communications from the Vega star system are being received through Stokey the Cook’s unwashed pots and pans. Stokey: Xi Jin Ping. Miss Willowfeather: Susan Sontag. Jabba the Hutt: don’t ask.


Host Barney Rubble discusses The Great Gatsby with incoherent romance writer Violet Crespuscular and her pet click beetle, Mandrake. Neither of them has read the book. With Swede Risberg and his orchestra.

Ch. 16   MERVYN PUNCHO–Variety

Mervyn’s guests include beer-chugger Milt Famey, unsuccessful bowler Ginger Hooja demonstrating gutter-balls, backwards talker Neleh NniuQ, and B.S. artist John Kerry. Featured: the Vlad the Impaler Dancers.

8:48 P.M.  Ch. 46  TIMON!–Sitcom

What happens when the city’s most prominent misanthrope is given a surprise birthday party? Timon (Tim McCarver) blames Alicibiades (Soupy Sales) for his game leg, but the party’s going to go on whether he likes it or not. Mrs. Demosthenes: Esther Rolles. Caterer: Johnny Weissmuller.

9 P.M.  Ch. 11  MOVIE–Crime Drama

Film noir classic! “I Live Face-Down” (1969) features Billy Mumy and Telly Savalas as clinically depressed private eyes trying to get the goods on a crooked politician (Willis Twombley) who’s making sure all his friends and toadies get municipal swimming pool memberships. Things only get worse when their secretary, Foxy (Helen Hayes) is diagnosed with Hornomania. Mayor Belshazzar: Don Knotts.

Well, that’s that for the sample package! And–

Meet the Quokka

Tune in tomorrow for our Rottnest Island Bell Mountain Party, which I’m not supposed to mention, in case nobody shows up. I have it on good authority that one of the major characters in the book is going to be present… if he can overcome his fear of marsupials.