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!)

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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Byron’s TV Listings, Aug. 14

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1967

G’day, g’day! Byron the Quokka here–and have we got weekend TV for you! The clever blokes at Quokka U. have unearthed some real winners! Without further ado, here are a few samples.


Who’s it gonna be this week? The man who insists on communicating by meowing like a cat? The woman who emulates Rosie O’Donnell? Or the old hippie from the 60s who begins every sentence with the words, “Dylan once said”? Host: Vlad Putin.

Ch. 05  HOGAN’S HYPOS–Comedy/Drama

What can the Luftwaffe do with a POW camp full of hypochondriacs? Sneezy: Jamie Farr. Itchy: Bob Cummings. Queasy: Don Rickles. Sgt. Gesundheit: Roscoe Lee Brown. This week, they’ve all got motion sickness! Featuring the June Taylor Dancers.

Ch. 16   SAWNEY BEAN & FAMILY–Existential Sitcom

Can Scotland’s most notorious cannibal clan turn over a new leaf? Don’t bet on it! Sawney: Buddy Ebsen. Granny: Irene Ryan. Blotto: Max Baer Jr. Lilly Mae: Donna Douglas. This week: the Thane of Cawdor (Fernando Lamas) proposes to Lilly Mae–and winds up in the soup!

8 P.M.  Ch. 47  DICK CAVITY–Celebrity Dentist

Dick discusses memorable root canals, extractions, and fillings with special exciting celebrity guest Ruth Pinchley, the most famous woman in Uzbekistan. Featuring Frank Backside and his orchestra.

8:12 P.M.  Ch. 22  GHOST HUNTER!–Unexplained Mystery

Paranormal investigator/fly-by-night realtor Oswin Pitfall hunts down the ghosts of people who haven’t died yet and tries to sell them time shares. Host: A failed Turkish politician who got burned and is still bitter about it.

Well, folks, there you have it! Just reading about these shows makes me want to hop around in circles until they come on!

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Byron’s TV Listings, Aug. 7

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1960

Well, well! Another weekend of fantastic TV shows that have failed everywhere but here at QUN, the Quokka University Network! I’m your host, Byron the Quokka, with a few sample shows to get you in the mood. Just don’t ask us where we got them!

8:07 P.M.  Ch. 08   BUGS IN THE SADDLE–Western

The experts said a Western starring giant insects instead of cowboys would never succeed–and they were right, but watch it anyway! This week: An aphid drive organized by Ant Felicia (a giant ant) runs into trouble when the herd is blocked by a tribe of hostile Click Beetles. Special guest stars: the June Taylor Dancers.

8:15 P.M.  Ch. 11   DAVID CRUMPLE’S JOURNAL–News Analysis

What would happen if they held the next Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate underwater? David discusses the unlikely scenario with unemployed kook Jimbo “Crash” Kudzu and GOP strategist Max Detritus. Featuring Willie Sutton and his orchestra.

Ch. 27   I LOATHE LUCY–Sitcom

Lucy (Spring Byington) steals her neighbors’ milk bottles and replaces them with jars filled with Frothee, inspiring them to get up a petition calling for her to be banished to isolated–and possibly haunted–Dead Man’s Cave. Archie: Jim Backus. Little Irving: Boris Karloff.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 16   WORKOUT! WITH WILLIAM CONRAD–Fitness

Join the star of Cannon as he puts celebrity guests (Shelly Winters, Dom DeLuise) and lucky studio audience members through a grueling round of jumping jacks, pushups, deep knee bends, and impossible yoga exercises while he keeps score and eats an enormous bowl of pasta and sausages.

Ch. 31  MOVIE–Adventure/Maudlin Sentimentalism

In “Trapped in the Jungle of Death” (1973), survivors of a small plane crash (Scatman Crothers, Joe Namath, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Montgomery) succumb to hopelessness and die off one by one–all except for a brash novelty salesman (Jamie Farr), who discovers a lost city of maniacs just 30 yards from the crash site. Siskel and Ebert called it “Incoherent nonsense”!

These are just a few of the standout shows we’re bringing you this weekend. Settle down in the tall grass and binge-watch!

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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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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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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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