Byron’s TV Listings, July 31

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1960

G’day, g’day, and happy weekend! Byron the Quokka here on behalf–where did that word come from?–of Quokka University, where we find the world’s best forgotten TV shows for your weekend viewing orgies.

I’m sorry, there seems to be something wrong with my choice of words today. Here are a few samples from this weekend’s menu.

2 P.M.   Ch. 00   ANDY PHNUGLUIH–Variety

The public has always wondered why Andy Phnugluih, with all his talent, never became a major star. A few episodes of this show might suggest an explanation. This week’s guests: Col. Wxha Bochgeshvili, Susan Mfoyay.


Travel the Wild West with the only magician in Oklahoma Territory who can make his enemies think they’re axolotls! This episode: When the Tumorville Bank is robbed by real axolotls, Sheriff Witless (Andrew Cuomo) turns to Schmendrick (Andy Devine)… as the fall guy! Ma Bell: Sophia Loren


Join host Chiang Kai-shek as he journeys all over Cartoon County, Kansas, to interview unfortunate  persons actually named Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Sylvester Pussycat, Elmer Fudd, etc. This week’s question: What happens when a cop writes you a speeding ticket and asks your name? Featuring Artie the Hamster and his orchestra.

2:30 P.M.  Ch. 22   HAWAIIAN EYEBALL–Mystery

Detective Oswin Prong (Andre the Giant) solves crimes by peering through keyholes! This week: When crime boss Wan Hung Lo (Danny Kaye) threatens to “hang a lulu on Honolulu,” Police Chief Jack Benny (Jack Benny) resigns and Prong has to take his place. This brings on a spell of horrendous weeping. Spectacularly special guest star: Wanda Hershberger.

Ch. 34   PUPPET HOME REPAIRS–Educational

In this new PBS series, the Bil Botch Marionettes demonstrate assorted home repairs: how to clean up bloodstains, how to avoid hanging a door upside-down, the ins and outs of outdoor plumbing, what to do when you’ve been electrocuted… The puppet crew features Footra the Ballarina, Binx the Irascible Centipede, and Bungo the Klutz. Special guests: the June Taylor Dancers.

Well, there you have it! Stock up on tasty leaves and settle in for entertainment like you never believed was possible.

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A Romantic Interlude (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Crusty's Trombone Lessons ('Oy, Rodney') – Lee Duigon

Introducing Chapter CDXXXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular chides her readers for demanding more romance.

“You’d think they’d be satisfied,” she writes, “with a cyclops rampaging about the countryside while the town awaits the delivery of sea monkeys–but no, that’s not good enough! They want this to be a kissing book–ugh! Well, if it’s kissing they want, it’s kissing they’ll get!”

Patching up a lover’s quarrel caused by a difference of opinion between their respective invertebrate pets, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, embarks on a hot and heavy smooching session with Lady Margo Cargo, Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s financier. (Shouldn’t that be “fiancee”?) Now that she’s fitted herself with a new upholstered wooden leg, Lady Margo is hot to trot (“You have no idea how distasteful it is to me to have to write such tripe,” Violet interjects.) In the course of this athletic love-making, Lady Margo’s wig falls off, her glass eye pops out, and Twombley’s six-gun slips out of the holster and into Oswin the Crayfish’s aquarium.

“It’s not cheating,” explains Ms. Crepuscular, “because Lady Margo is convinced that Mr. Twombley and Lord Jeremy are the same person. All attempts to demonstrate otherwise have failed so far–but at least her conscience is clear.”

Here she terminates the chapter before things get out of hand.

As for the cyclops, “If nobody cares about him tossing people’s cottages around like basketballs,” Violet concludes, “well, isn’t that a sad commentary upon our time?”

She will spend the rest of the day consoling the neglected cyclops.


Byron’s TV Listings, July 24

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1966

G’day, all! Byron the Quokka here with another weekend of spectacular television brought to you by Quokka University. Just don’t ask us where these programs came from! It’s a state secret.

Here are a few examples. Happy viewing!


Join host Mickey Rivers as he grills celebrity guests on the great questions of life! If I’m not me, then why do I look like me? Do bookcases know they’re bookcases? Is free will compatible with high fashion? Panel: Phil Silvers, Paul Lynde, Charo, Zsa Zsa Gabor. Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and his orchestra.

Ch. 08   HILLBILLY SKIN DIVERS–Drama/Geography

Grampa Hooty (Emmanuel Kant) continues his search for the Lost Appalachian Ocean, only to learn that those pesky Hatfields and McCoys have stolen his aqualung. Possum Hatfield: Jacques Cousteau. Grannie Bogoljubov: Vanna White. With stock footage from Col. John D. Craig.

8:06 P.M.  Ch. 22   YAN CAN’T COOK–Exotic Cookery

Chef LeRoy “Frenchy” Yan tries his hand at Lake Victoria gnat pie, but all the gnats escape into his kitchen. The mossbunker cakes don’t turn out so well, either. Special Guest: the woman from the local board of health.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 18   CRIMINAL COPS–Police Drama

Lake Apocalypse Police Chief Bruce Loose (John Candy) encourages his officers to rob the 7-11 before the local criminals can get around to it. “Eventually they’ll go straight because everyplace has already been robbed,” the reasoning goes. Deputy LaFong: John Cassavetes. Joey the Clam: Richard Burton.

Ch. 31  MOVIE–Science Fiction/Melodrama

In “I Cover the Beehives” (1958), rogue entomologist Jane Payne (Greta Garbo) tries to romance reclusive philanthropist Zane Grayne (Ray Milland) by cross-breeding killer bees with grizzly bears–with predictable results! Song: “I’ve Got Zits”

And there you have it, boys and girls! We have discovered that no less a personage than Frankie Poppadoppoulos tunes in here every weekend. Who would’ve thought it?

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Win a Classic Tank!

Soviet tank t-34-85 of the world war ii. Soviet medium tank t-34-85 of the  world war ii. biggest war campaign of 20th century | CanStock

G’day! Byron the Quokka here with big, big, mega-big news!

Now you can win a genuine Soviet tank from World War II, the famous T-35/85. Well-armored, fast, durable, its 85-mm gun packs a real wallop! The turret swings a full 360 degrees–so the next joker who tailgates you and honks his horn is gonna get a real big surprise.

“Gee, Byron, what do I have to do to win the tank?”

Shhh! Actually, we’re not supposed to have this tank. There’s a quokka named Fooch who collects classic tanks and hides ’em in the bushes. And he’s got a T-34 to spare–perfect for attracting more contestants.

Right–well, I admit we still need to come up with a new contest in the first place. If somebody’s gonna wind up proudly driving his T-34 around the block, he’ll have to win a contest first.

Let me take some time to think!

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If this picture was a little bigger, you could just make out one of Fooch’s tanks parked amid the bushes.

Sea Monkeys vs. Cyclops (‘Oy, Rodney’)

39 Romance novel cover parodies ideas | romance novel covers, romance, book  humor

(Hooray! We’ve got our book cover back! It seems they listened when Mr. Pitfall showed up with a shotgun.)

You may remember, from Chapter CDXXXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, that there’s a cyclops on the loose in Scurveyshire. It’s the result of another one of those pesky curses laid on Scurveyshire by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney. This cyclops has already picked up a whole cottage and tossed it into a nearby pond.

Ah! But Johnno the Merry Minstrel has discovered that cyclopses (cyclopes? aw, who knows) are deathly afraid of sea monkeys. “All we have to do,” he explains in Chapter CDXXXIV, “is confront our cyclops with an army of sea monkeys.”

Amazing Sea Monkeys sea-monkey Mom, Dad,Sister, Brother Figures by : Doll  Hugs Shop | Ruby Lane

Ms. Crepuscular complains that the above picture is much too large for her book and wants it removed. Well, she brought up the whole subject of sea monkeys, didn’t she?

“I had sea monkeys when I was eight years old,” she says, “and they were just the cutest little brine shrimp! My favorite was a shrimp named Ernest Sturdivant–and he didn’t look anything like what they showed on the box.”

But there’s a problem in Scurveyshire–the pet shop’s out of sea monkeys. “We’ll have to send away for some,” exfoliates Johnno. “There’s a store in Paraguay that specializes in them. Allow 16 weeks for delivery!”

“That’s a lot of cottages uprooted and destroyed,” gripes Lord Jeremy Coldsore, justice of the peace.

The solution is to erect a gigantic billboard announcing the eventual arrival of more sea monkeys than you can shake a stick at. It is hoped the cyclops will read it and get out of Scurveyshire while the gettin’s good.

(“These fools are ruining my romance!” complains Ms. Crepuscular. But it’s all her fault.)

Byron’s TV Listings, July 17

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1965

It’s much too hot to go outside and play Squamish today! G’day, everybody, Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend of fabulous TV brought to you by Quokka University. Here are a few samples guaranteed to whet your appetite!

7 P.M.  Ch. 06   NUDE FLY FISHING–Sports

Join our Nobel Prize-winning hostess, Rigoberta Menchu, for celebrity nude fly fishing! Guests: Honus Wagner, Debbie Reynolds, Chet Huntley. With the June Taylor Dancers. This week’s surprise–an alligator where they least expect it.

Ch. 11  TRASH TALK–Educational/Boring

Host Harry “Mr. Boredom” Grubstake and guest Charo discuss how archaeologists three thousand years from now might mistake our landfills for random heaps of junk. With Bertrand Russell and his kazoo orchestra.

7:28 P.M.  Ch. 02   MR. GOGGLE–Children’s Show

[Note from Byron: You wouldn’t believe what we went through to get this one!]

Mr. Goggle is the monster whose bloodshot right eye is three times the size of his squinty left eye; and when he peers into bedroom windows, children wake up screaming. Banned from 50 different networks when it debuted in 1957! Condemned by act of Congress! Watch at your own risk.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 44   UNSUNG OPERAS–Educational/Musical

Just because they never made it to any opera house doesn’t mean that these were shoddy operas! This week, from Mongo High School in New Jersey: Il Provalone, by Chuck Worst–sung by the cast of Gilligan’s Island, conducted by the high school janitor because the real conductor never showed up. Don’t miss Bob Denver’s aria, Vado al Teatro, Fettuccine!

8 P.M.  Ch. 16   MR. DOOFUS–Sitcom/Tragedy

When every single one of his students fails the math section of the SATs, Mr. Doofus (Brian Blessed) gets a trophy from his teachers’ union. Meanwhile Ms. Scatterby (Heather Locklear) takes a course on “How to Infuriate People.” Mr. Screwtape: Andy Griffith. A Giant Squid: a giant squid.

Well! That should get you cranking! This is Byron, signing off.

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A Cyclops in Scurveyshire (‘Oy, Rodney’)

In Chapter CDXXXIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular puts everything on hold because of a cyclops sighting in the unexplored wilderness surrounding Scurveyshire. We are fortunate to have video of this creature. We don’t really have much video from the 1860s.

Constable Chumley has been dispatched to arrest the Cyclops. He points out that half the gaol was broken down a week ago–he ought to know: he provided the elephant–and there will be insufficient room to house the Cyclops.

“Well, whose fault is that, then?” roars Lord Jeremy Coldsore. He’s still mad at the constable for locking him up because of a feud between a whelk and a crayfish.

Consulting ancient tomes, and more than a few cereal boxes, Johnno the Merry Minstrel discovers that the Cyclops is another one of the many curses placed on Scurveyshire by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney. “He was really mad at us for putting him to death in 1226,” procrusteates Johnno, as Ms. Crepuscular adds another word to the lexicon.

“What about all those Arabian chaps in the video?” Lord Jeremy asks. “I haven’t seen any of them around.”

“You haven’t been to The Lying Tart today, m’lord. They don’t want to chase the Cyclops anymore. They just want to have some root beer and then go home.”

Meanwhile, Lady Margo Cargo chides her crusty old butler, Crusty, for taking so much time to replace her upholstered wooden leg. His last effort was six inches too long.

“If you think I’m enjoying this, think again!” barks the lady. “I mean, how hard can it be to fashion a wooden leg? Oh, get out of the way–I’ll do it myself!”

At this point a Cyclops strides past her drawing room window. Instead of drawing it, Lady Margo faints.

And Johnno has discovered that the only thing a Cyclops fears is… Sea Monkeys.



Thanks to Unknowable for recovery our traditional book cover, albeit in a somewhat truncated form. But Violet likes a lot of truncated things.

Byron’s TV Listings, July 10

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1961

G’day, culture fans! Byron the Quokka here, with this weekend’s windfall of wild, wacky, wonderful TV! (I expected that alliteration to work better. Oh, well…)

So break out the eucalyptus leaves and settle in for some great TV viewing. Here are just a few samples.

7:28 P.M.  Ch. 03   THE PRICE IS WRONG!–Game Show

Contestants have to estimate the prices of various items which it would be shameful or even unbearable to own–and whoever’s guess is farthest from the actual price… has to buy it! This week’s celebrity contestants: Chiang Kai-Shek, Pee Wee Herman, Peggy Cass, and Archie from the comic strip. With Chuck Schumer and his orchestra.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 02   THE HOWARD, HOWARD, & FINE REPORT–News/Discussion

You know them best as the Three Stooges, but they also analyze the news! Join Moe, Larry, and Curly as they apply their special insights to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Kennedy-Nixon debates, the sad state of the Euro vis-a-vis assorted East Asian currencies, and the survival of the Occitan dialect. Complete with pies and seltzer bottles!

Ch. 16   FEAR NO MAN–Marital Arts

[Hey! Can we please fix that typo?] Martial Arts [Thank you! Sheesh, people are going to wonder about us!]

Sensei Bernie Foolscap demonstrates sure-fire ways to disable an attacker three or four times your size. Also, “How to grin down a grizzly gear” by Master Jim “Stumpy” Watkins. Featured: the June Taylor Dancers.

Ch. 42  MOVIE–Tragedy/Science Fiction

“Them There Big Bugs” (1959) features Chuck Connors as a Trappist monk trying to warn of impending catastrophe without breaking his vows of silence–and now he wishes he’d never taken that vow never to write anything, either. As the big bugs get closer and closer to the unsuspecting town, what will he decide? Abbott Bud: Dean Jagger. Sister Blabbermouth: Gracie Allen. Newspaper Editor: a rather large barrel cactus.

8:06 P.M.  Ch. 21   WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?–Medical

[Never mind, we’re not going to run this–much too controversial!]

Ch. 21  MOVIE–Musical/Nature Documentary

In “Hee-Haw Yo’ Momma” (2018), the cast of a 1967 Hee Haw broadcast is scientifically transported to the future–just in time to help test a new scientific submarine that dives too deep for Artificial Intelligence to bear. Junior: Junior Samples. Buck: A man who looks like Buck Owens. Dr. Facehead: Hao Kum Mee.

Well, that should get you started! It’s supposed to rain a lot this weekend, so good thing we’ve got all this TV lined up, eh? I mean, otherwise we’d have to talk or play games or something.

Anyone for Clue?


Jailbreak in Scurveyshire (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Tanystropheus - Facts and Pictures

[Editor’s Note: I cannot find the image of a book cover that is usually displayed with an ‘Oy, Rodney’ episode. The closest I could come was this picture of a Tanystropheus–which I admit is not that close, but what can one do?]

Chapter CDXXXII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, finds Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his fiancee, Lady Margo Cargo, both locked up in gaol, Constable Chumley having arrested them for reasons best known to himself. But behind the scenes, Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, is plotting to break his mistress out of gaol.

All he needs is an elephant.

“Only an elephant is big and strong enough to break down the wall of the gaol so Lady Margo can get out,” he confides to Constable Chumley (of all people). Chumley happens to know where he can rent an elephant. There’s a man in Plaguesby who keeps a few in his stables.

Having rented the elephant and fortified her with a swallow of grog from The Lying Tart, Crusty and the constable turn her loose on the wall. Neither of them has remembered to forewarn Lady Margo, who is almost killed when the elephant batters down the wall.

“Hurry up, you lazy old bat!” cries Crusty. “Before the police come!” He then remembers that Constable Chumley is already there. They have to help Lady Margo out of the rubble–she will need a new upholstered wooden leg–and Crusty helps her hop back home.

In the adjacent cell, Lord Jeremy is beside himself.

“You just wait until the next time you ask me for a raise!” he bellows at the constable. “You copepod! You wretch!” Only then does it dawn on Chumley that he may have done something not strictly in accord with normal police procedure. He apologizes with genuine exfoliation (her word, not mine!).

“Ayn yerk nee fluzzin’, M’lord!” he groans.

“Oh, forget it!” growls Lord Jeremy.

Byron’s TV Listings, July 3

See the source image

G’day–and happy Fourth of July to all you Americans! And just in case it rains, us fun-makers here at Quokka University are all set to provide you with inutterably fantastic television! I’m Byron the Quokka, and you have my word on it!

Let’s take a quick peek at some of the offerings.

7:00 P.M.  Ch. 14  GOOD COP, BAD COP–Police Drama

Tuberville, Alabama, can only afford a one-man police department, but Sheriff Pat Gesundheit is up to the job! He’s the only sheriff in America who’s able to do that “good cop/bad cop” routine all by himself–and does it ever scare the suspects! This week Gesundheit grills a suspected mummy-stealer (Gavin Newsom) who may have looted the town’s Museum of Horrible Curiosities. Curator: Linda Hunt. Security Guard: Haystacks Calhoun.


What–did you think this was about sun-tans? Perish the thought! Join host Vlad the Impaler as he compels celebrity guests to try to tan fresh nauga-hides. Contestants: Buddy Hackett, Elizabeth Warren, Cleopatra, Wayne Dyer. With Perry Mason and his orchestra.


Instead of watching some stupid anchorman or info-babe, you can watch hamsters on their wheelies as Misterrogers reads you the news very soothingly no matter how bad it is. But if it doesn’t worry the hamsters, why should it worry you?


Master Fhtugn Czynnaa demonstrates the delicate art of using sticks and twigs picked up from the ground to create delicate paintings of shameful scenes involving the South Belugastan Stock Exchange. Guest celebrity: Fum Chee Fum, a giant.

Ch. 31  CITY OF GIANT BUGS–Sitcom/Tragedy

The Fop family (Joe Besser, Rosemary DeCamp, Hunter Biden) move into their new house only to discover that their whole neighborhood has been overrun by various insects as big as Volkswagens. It’s very hard to mow the grass with a giant mantis stalking you! Neighbors: Dame Judith Anderson, Sir Derek Jacobi. Good Humor Man: Sir Michael Redgrave.

Well, boys ‘n’ girls, that ought to hold you for another weekend! Just remember, though–if anybody starts asking awkward questions, you haven’t seen me and you don’t know what they’re talking about!