Byron’s TV Listings, Jan. 15

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend’s worth of fantastic television, brought to you by Quokka University. Here’s just a bit of the menu.

7:00 P.M.  Ch. 03   JOHNNY POTATO-HEAD–Adventure

What if Mr. Potato Head were a secret government agent, a master of disguise, and all-around nebbish? Ricardo Montalban plays the classic toy with the huge brown head and goofy eyes that pop in and out. Sophia Loren is his comical sidekick, Mrs. Potato Head.


John Cassavetes plays Victor Tailbone, the hard-boiled private eye with the golden coccyx that scares the living daylights out of the most hardened criminals. This week: Crime boss Sonje Henie (Mickey Mantle) tries to turn Victor’s pet axolotl (Lorne Greene) against him.

7:18 P.M.  Ch. 12  CELEBRITY SKY-DIVING–Totally stupid risk-taking

You’re a celebrity on your way out, career in ruins… But if you can parachute safely after flying over Perth Amboy, NJ, your comeback is assured. If not… “Well, we never said all our parachutes were in proper working order!” quips host Rip Taylor (who is very lucky not to be a contestant himself). Special guest sky-diver: Pee Wee Herman.


The crew of the USS Jerry Mathers won’t let Admiral LaFong (Richard Baseheart) take the sub all the way to the bottom–because of an underwater city inhabited by the June Taylor Dancers. Featured song: My Duodenum Isn’t Working. Guest star: Pinky Lee.

8:00 P.M.  Ch. 45  WHO’S GOT COOTIES?–Game Show

Join host Justin Trudeau as he peers into the depths of contestants’ knickers to see which ones have cooties! The celebrity panel–Abbot & Costello, Patty Duke, Chelsea Clinton, Howard Cosell–has 5 minutes in which to determine who has cooties and where. If they fail, they have to take Trudeau home with them.

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Well, that’s that! Let the weekend rattle on by while you enjoy nice crunchy leaves and TV programs whose like you’ve never seen before. Quality guaranteed!

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, Jan. 5

Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV May 1st through 7th, 1971

G’day–or not! Byron the Quokka here with last weekend’s TV listings. My humans are sick and there’s no one to help me but this girl quokka named Bluecy who has a crush on Don Knotts and, well, you know how that goes…

So here’s a sample of awe-inspiring TV, courtesy of Quokka University:

7:30 P.M.   Ch. 06   AT HOME WITH THE BLOB–Sitcom/Drama

What if The Blob had married Barbara Billingsley and settled down in a nice suburban neighborhood, and had a lot of little Blobs, and only occasionally succumbed to the desire to engulf the postman? Steve McQueen must’ve been crazy, to turn down this role! Voice of the Blob: Jack Benny. Terrified neighbor: Dick Butkus.

Ch. 11  JEFFY THE GIANT–Gritty Urban Drama

When he discovers he can’t go scuba-diving in the tiny little frog pond in his neighborhood without his butt sticking up above the water, private investigator Jeffy Honker (Simon Oakland) suddenly realizes he and his neighbors, their houses and cars, and everything else–except for this pond–has been mysteriously blown up to titanic size. Can he track down the man who holds the key to the mystery–the man with the backward coccyx? Special guest star: Jimmy Durante.

7:44 P.M.   Ch. 76  ANT FARM NEWS–News for insects

Join host Ed McMahon as he pitches the day’s news to ant farm and terrarium residents all over the country–anything with six legs or more! This was the project Ed was working on when they came to take him away.

8 P.M.  Ch. 14   QUICKSAND!–Game Show

Right in front of you, so close that you can almost touch them, are glittering prizes beyond the dreams of avarice; but between them and you lies… quicksand! Will any of the contestants make it across without getting sucked down? Says Emcee Alan Hale Jr., “If you can grab it, you can keep it!” Featuring the June Taylor Dancers and the Los Angeles County Pathology Dept.

Ch. 38  MOVIE–Historical Melodrama with Pinatas

In “Count Smorga the Ghoul” (Korean/Dutch, 1971), Danny Kaye stars as The Other Count Smorga, persistent boyfriend of the Queen of Sweden (Spring Byington), frustrated by everybody’s taking him for that evil Count Smorga who hides himself in a forest of pinatas. This marked the film debut of pro wrestler Gorilla Monsoon, who also directed. Dancing master: BoBo Brazil.

Well, folks, there you have it! It’s been cold and dark and rainy all week here, and we need nice TV to tide us over. Enjoy!

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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. 18

It's About TV: This week in TV Guide: September 21, 1974

Wow! Next week, it’ll be Christmas.

Well, for the time being, chill out with edifying television brought to you by Quokka University. Meanwhile, this is Byron the Quokka, makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice!

8 P.M.  Ch. 02   THE ROCKFORD FLIES–Drama

This wildly unpopular spinoff of The Rockford Files features Professor Gecko’s Trained Flies as private investigators who get into places where a human P.I. would only attract undue attention to himself. And you’ve heard the expression, “If I could be a fly on the wall…!” This week: Buzzy (voice of Marcel Marceau) bugs a major crime figure (Don Knotts)–and gets swatted!


Alan Gzunt and his crew sneak into a house and fiddle with the computer to do all sorts of irrational and frustrating things, and a hidden camera captures the user going totally mad. The show was canceled when it was discovered that computers don’t need to be fiddled with to drive you crazy. Featuring the June Taylor Dancers.

8:15 P.M.  Ch. 11   THE TRIBE–Sitcom

What happens when a whole kooky suburban neighborhood tries to pass its people off as Native Americans so they can become college profs and U.S. Senators? C. Waddington Whitworth III: Jimmy Durante. Mrs. Tumbelina Hoskinson: Donna Douglas. Dr. H. Harrison Hormad: Roscoe Lee Brown.

8:30 P.M.   Ch. 41  DOC TARRY–Medical Adventure

Adolphe Menjou stars as the idealistic young doctor who thinks you can cure most diseases by conking the patient with a mallet–and is determined to prove it! This week: That pesky guy from the AMA (Peter Graves and Lou Piniella play the same character) is back with more questions. My Little Margie: Sophia Loren.

Ch. 62   MOVIE–Science Fiction/Romance

In Scary Aliens from the Planet Zothar (Irish-Japanese, 1998), an incredibly beautiful young woman (Moms Mabley) dying from an indescribably rare disease (Ross Martin) has to seek a cure among the Scary Aliens Who Eat Earth People (Talia Shire, Dan Rather). Featuring Vladimir Putin’s Orchestra and their trademark song, I’ll ‘Comrade’ You, Comrade!

And that, of course, is only a wee sample of this weekend’s magnificent TV… comrades! You’re gonna love those Rockford Flies, unless you’re really put off by insects. And wait’ll you see what this poor guy does when his computer keeps on hitting him with that completely incomprehensible “Unhandled Exception” notice!

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Byron’s TV Listings, Dec. 11

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1967

Wow! Just two weeks till Christmas! Well, take some time off from feverishly preparing, kick off your combat boots, put your feet up, grab a handful of nice crunchy leaves, and enjoy this weekend’s Quokka University TV! With me, Byron the Quokka.

4:15 P.M.   Ch. 16   WORLD’S BEST MOVIES–Horror/Anthropology

In “You Don’t Have to be a Baldy, Baldy” (1906), Cabbie Rudolf von Schlock (Phil Nieko) sells his soul to the Devil (John Kerry) in return for Guaranteed to Grow Hair or Your Immortal Soul Back. It grows hair, all right–and it never stops growing. In fact, it grows hair on everything you touch! Featuring Anthony Eden and his orchestra.

4:30 P.M.  Ch. 07  BEAT THE RAP!–Game Show

Host Judge Garo Yepremian has four prison sentences to hand out among five contestants–and whoever can “Beat the Rap” gets to go free! This week’s Challenge: Who can swallow all the marbles in the five minutes allowed? Special guest stars: the June Taylor Dancers; Sgt. Popsky’s Drunken Drill Team.


Can new sheriff Popgun Peterson (Harmon Killebrew) tame Draco, Arizona–“the Town Too Dead to Die”? And with a toy gun, no less? Lil the Pill: Carol Burnett. This week: the Bunchy Bunch has threatened to massacre the entire town–and there’s only Sheriff Peterson’s popgun to stop them! Song: My Femurs Hurt!

5 P.M.  Ch. 22  MY SON THE SEA TURTLE–Sitcom/Tragedy

Written by William Shakespeare! Lady Molecule’s son Orlando (John Zacherle) identifies as a sea turtle and won’t come out of the bathtub! Rosencranz and Guildenstern (Kevin Branagh, Shemp Howard) can’t get him to come out and perform his duties as Duke of Flatbush. This week: withholding fresh squid from Orlando leads to a disastrous war. Lady Molecule: Elizabeth Warren.

Ch. 43  MIGUEL BORRACHO–Spanish Talk Show (CC)

You won’t need to understand Spanish to appreciate Miguel’s abuse of his guests. Watch him push special guest Carl Sagan right off his chair! And there’s always that business with the whoopee cushion. Authorities have been trying to get Miguel off the air for years now, but everyone’s too scared.

Well, there you have it, boys ‘n’ girls–a whole weekend of fantabulous TV! I found myself humming My Femurs Hurt! as I was going to St. Ives…

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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. 27

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

G’day, all! It’s Byron the Multi-Tasking Underpaid Quokka, introducing this weekend’s glorious TV fare, presented by Quokka University, while at the same time trying to manage this blog’s annual Christmas Carol Contest.

Tell you what: while you watch these wonderful shows, think up some Christmas carols you can enter in the contest.


Live from an undisclosed location! Celebrity dogs squeeze the world’s loudest, annoyingest, and most unusual squeaky toys–far into the night. Commentators: Charles, Prince of Wales, and Redd Fox. With Grandpa Fritz’s Oom-pah Band.

6:45 P.M.  Ch. 04   ADVENTURES IN DATING with Noah Peel–Romance

Contestants will be matched up by “Mr. Single” Noah Peel and forced to go on at least one date together. Noah picks the time and place–at random, out of The Magic Dating Jar! Watch the hapless couple try to deal with “2 a.m. at the deserted amusement park”! Winners get a weekend with the June Taylor Dancers on Catalina Island.


What if your mother came back to life as a queer odor that makes people really nervous? That’s what’s happened to mealworm expert Dib McCoy (Yuan Shih-kai) and his late mother (the voice of Ann Boleyn). This week: Mom revisits her local bridge club, causing a full-blown panic–and Dib gets the blame! Special guest star: Alan Hale.

Ch. 18   I LIVE FACE-DOWN–Detective Series

Inspired by decades of film noir cliches, follow the adventures of Harry Morbid (Jock Mahoney) as he gets slugged by bad guys, bugged by his girlfriend (Heather Locklear), and mugged by the gangs who infest his wretched neighborhood. This week: Harry’s only close friend (Jimmy Walker) runs off with Harry’s cat, Farfel (voice of Rowan Atkinson).

7:17 P.M.  Ch. 86  MOVIE–Chess

In Pawn to King-Four (1979), Bobby Fischer Wannabe (Johnny Cash) invents a new chess opening that flattens (literally!) all opposition and seems likely to lead to a world championship–if the KGB, the CIA, and the UJA don’t get him first! Song: “I’m Just a Poor Boy En Passant.” Trivia note: this was the last film ever directed by a hamster.

Well, boys ‘n’ girls, there you have it–just a sample of this weekend’s entertainment. Make sure you’ve got plenty of crispy leaves handy for snacks!

I love that squeaky toy show!

Baby Quokka Eating Ficus Leaf on Rottnest Island Stock Photo - Image of  herbivorous, eyes: 201938562

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 20

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1967

G’day, g’day! Welcome to another weekend of preconceptual TV viewing, courtesy of Quokka University! Byron the Quokka here. I learned that word “preconceptual” from reading Violet Crepuscular. I wonder what it means.

But first, some samples from our TV menu:


News is so much more entertaining when you know the bad guy who’s presenting it is also plotting to take over the world and usher in a new dark age! (Uh, wait a minute… That sounds like you’re talking about CNN or MSNBC. The Doctor won’t like it!)

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 07  SPF STARSHIP “HYPOCHONDRIAC”–Science Fiction

In this unpopular Star Trek spinoff, Dr. McCoy (Chris Chambliss) has died and gone to Hell, where he is sentenced to be chief medical officer aboard a starship whose entire company is constantly afflicted with imaginary illnesses. This week: An epidemic of totally imaginary baldness panics the whole crew into thinking they’re going to die again–looking like Joe Garagiola. Scotty: Mickey Rooney. Spock: John Kerry.

Ch. 08  VIOLET CREPUSCULAR’S KITCHEN–Cooking (for idiots only)

Few people know that the author of Oy, Rodney is also an abject failure as a cook! Pump up your self-esteem by watching Violet make Colgate Toothpaste cupcakes with fish paste filling. With Cotton Mather and his orchestra.

7 P.M.  Ch. 22   THE AMOEBA RIDERS–Western/Opera

The only Western filmed through the lens of a microscope! This week, Marshal Pseudopod (Jerry Mathers) has his hands full of cytoplasm when a couple of high-strung hydras (Irene Ryan, Lee Remick) shoot up the Planaria Saloon. Guest stars: the June Taylor Dancers.

7:08 P.M.   Ch. 47  PANTS ON FIRE!–Game Show

Join host Jimmy Bacillus as contestants’ pants get set on fire and the celebrity guests have to help them put it out before they’re burned in tender places! But of course the guests are only allowed to give cryptic hints in foreign languages… This week’s celebrity guests: Marcel Marceau, Lassie, Eric the Trappist monk, and Judge Judy.

And there you have it, boys ‘n’ girls! Entertainment for the ages! And the above is only a sample of what you’ll get, if you can find our channel.


(That’s me, hurrying to my family’s TV set–I never miss the news with Dr. Fu Manchu!)

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 13

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

G’day, everybody! This weekend’s Quokka University TV is so spectacularly magnificent, I can’t find words for it! I’m Byron the Quokka, and the following is a mere sample of this weekend’s offerings.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 12   I TALK TO THE FURNITURE!–Melodrama/Sitcom

It’s not so terrible that Doobie (Walter Slezak) talks to the furniture in people’s houses. What’s so terrible is that the furniture talks back! This week: Doobie is accused of unfair commercial practices by the local witch (Loretta Lynch). With Yogi Berra and his orchestra.

Ch. 16   THE FUNG FAMILY–Adventures in Philosophy

It’s hard to set up a 14th-century Sudanese Muslim dynasty in the heart of a 21st century American suburb: so hard, in fact, that this show was canceled after just one episode. Additional episodes have been provided by Ma and Pa Furry at the Buzwell Teepee Park on Staten Island, NY. Tonight’s episode: The sheik (Paul McCartney) tries to drive a car stolen from the June Taylor Dancers.

7:48 P.M.  Ch. 22   FBC EVENING GNUS–News Show

Have you noticed there’s no news for gnus? Well, not anymore! “No gnus is good news” doesn’t fly here! Featured: Dan Rather interviews Frosty the Gnu, who just isn’t talking, and Barbara Walters grills Hilda the grazing wildebeest about accidentally eating grasshoppers.

8 P.M.  Ch. 144  JAN CAN’T COOK WORTH ****–Cooking Show

Whether it’s hot dogs out of the plastic wrapper or a bowl of cereal with milk and sugar, Culinary Institute of America dropout Jan Bollix can’t cook it! She can’t even cook things that you don’t have to cook. Everyone in the world feels like a master chef after watching her! This week: Pre-Cooked Ready-to-Serve Biscuits… reduced by Jan to liquid form.

Ch. 05  MOVIE–Mushy Romance

“Pongo the Killer Orang-utang” (1985) is a giant white Orang-utang living in the jungles of Borneo until an unscrupulous animal trafficker (John Kerry) ships him to Fetid Township, New Jersey, where he is elected mayor. Romance ensues when a state assemblywoman (Moms Mabley) falls passionately in love with Pongo’s right-hand man (Nestor Chylak). Can Pongo make this turn out right? Featured Song: Pompey the Great sings “It’s Better in the Bahamas.”

Well, that’s it! Only a sample, mind you, of TV that’ll knock your socks off. I saw that happen once. It was really quite scary!

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(It took her 7 months to track me down for an autograph!)