Byron’s TV Listings, Jan. 7

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1970

G’day and Happy New Year! Byron the Quokka here, as Quokka University launches another year’s worth of awesome television. Like these:

7:05 P.M  Ch. 21   DAY OF HORRIBLE DISASTER–Depressing documentary

When “The Baseball Bunch” met with a cove full of ravenous great white sharks instead of Jim Fregosi at his swimming pool, the ensuing carnage almost caused the show to be canceled! Survivor Brett “Stumpy” Wilson  recalls the carnage. Host: The guy who plays the Man from Glad.

7:15 P.M.  Ch. 30  SCAM ARTISTS’ NEWS–News with community service

You hated them when they called you up in the middle of your suppertime and tried to sell you time shares. But these obnoxious robots have now been reprogrammed to report the news! And they’re no more honest than they were as phone scammers. Tonight: Why You Need a Discover Card from The Discover Card Office.

7:30 P.M.   Ch. 06   JURASSIC TRAILER PARK–Drama

Those rampaging dinosaurs have by now been trained to live in a trailer park near Patooty, W. Virginia. Tonight: T. rex has a beef with the trash collection schedule and takes it out on Dr. Mushly (Don Knotts). And Ms. Stegosaurus drives the other dinosaurs violently insane with her non-stop Loretta Lynn impersonations. Ducky Medwick: himself. Featured: The June Taylor Dancers perform their famous impressions of Ankylosaurus and Triceratops.


Dubbed “the world’s greatest exercise in futility since they built a whole pyramid out of confetti,” this show features a whole studio full of cats whose owners try to get them to perform complicated tricks! With the banquet table heaped high with strongly-scented fish. Host: Kitty Carlisle. Stranger on a train: Robert Walker.

8 P.M.  Ch. 57   MOVIE–Western, with overtones of Schopenhauer

In “Dadburn Those Stupid Cowboys!”, a wealthy cattle magnate (Lee J. Cobb) hires the world’s stupidest cowboys to drive his herd to Sedalia, MO–so how did they end up in Old Bridge, NJ? Trail boss: Moe Howard. Cook: Dame Judith Anderson. The Pathfinder: (Role left vacant: he got lost on the way to the studio). Featured song: “I’ve Got Really Ugly Saddle Sores!” by Souvanna Phouma and his orchestra.

Well, now–is that a brilliant weekend lineup, or is it just another load of baloney? Did I mention Curly has a cameo as Schopenhauer? Maybe I shouldn’t have…

Byron the Quokka, signing off!

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Me and Aunt Foozy sharing a tasty twig!


Byron’s TV Listings, Dec. 31

Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV November 21st through 27th, 1981

G’day! And next time I see you, it’ll be next year!

Byron the Quokka here, with Quokka University’s snatched-from-obscurity TV shows… Just the thing for while you’re waiting for the ball to drop. Here’s the merest sample!

8 P.M.  Ch. 09  DAG NABBIT!–Drama, comedy, whatever

Dag Nabbit (Ken Singleton) is a 14th-century Swedish diplomat brought back to life and made mayor of Nutworks, Mississippi. This week: Dag has a revolting zoning board on his hands. Maggie: Theda Bara. Hyena Man: Telly Savalas,


Live from the Schmeer Street Industrial Park in Nogottum, NJ! See the June Taylor Dancers dance to the beat of heavy metal, provided by Mrs. Sphagnum’s fourth-grade class! See Jimmy balance a glass of some unmentionable substance on his forehead! See if anyone else shows up.

8:07 P.M.  Ch. 16  NEWS WITH FRANKENSTEIN–News with monsters

Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolf Man anchor this news desk, along with Warner Wolf for Sports and Fannie Fox for Weather. Tonight: Reporter Todd Tadpole tracks Britain’s mysterious Goat Man… and Goat Man tracks him. A-Woooooo! That’s scary!

8:30 P.M.   Ch. 26  MOVIE–Historical Melodrama

Jimmy Durante stars as Haakon the Bold in Four Kings of Norway That Even Norwegians Never Heard Of (Swedish-Cambodian, 2017). Haakon is best known for nothing at all! Queen Hortense: Dinah Shore. King Orville of Some Frozen Place in Russia: Billy Martin. Featured Song: “Froze My Coccyx Off!” (Bill Bongle and the Balladeers)


Critics said it was “intolerably boring,” but stay with it! Host Judy Fooseball takes you from Nick’s Bowling Alley in Los Borrachos, California, to the municipal landfill outside Dogbreath Township, Maryland–and is never more than a sigh or a gulp away from an emotional scene to turn the whole business into a monstrous travesty. Directed by the guy who wrote the forward to my Chinese 101 primer in college.

How’s that for ending the year with a bang? Here on Rottnest Island we like to inflate paper bags and then pop them–that’s how we do New Year’s. It does beat getting stepped on in Times Square.

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Happy New Year from Byron and all the other quokkas!


Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 26

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with fantastic weekend television brought to you by Quokka University… where all we do, really, is hunt up rare TV shows, never mind teaching courses. Anyhow, here are some samples:

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 08  SLAPSTICK NEWS–A news show, sort of

Finally! You don’t have to sit there growling and fuming as the news anchor talks down to you and tells lies. Here, the anchormen and anchorwomen stand a good chance of getting a pie in the face! You’ll know who it’s going to be, but the victim won’t. Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Paula Zahn–splat! Take that, motormouth!

Ch. 14  BACKYARD SAFARI–For children and goofy adults

Who needs rhinos and lions and giraffes when you’ve got ants, aphids, and starlings? It’s a lot cheaper, too! Join great white hunter Abe Vigoda as he sidesteps a charging ground beetle and bags an earthworm with his shotgun Celebrity guest: Sandra Day O’Connor. Bearer: Yogi Bearer (get it?).

6:45 P.M.  Ch. 29  FOREIGN MOVIES IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES–Pretentious twaddle

Impress your friends! Watch Bergman’s Wild Strawberries in the original Swedish, no subtitles, no dubbing, and say things like “Some of the subtler nuances don’t translate all that well.” Do the same with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress and they’ll gasp in awe! Host: Marcel Marceau.


Hanky (Andre the Giant) wants a tricycle for his birthday, but Mozgush and Doblast (Arthur C. Clarke, Sonja Henie) have already bought him a king-sized hamster wheel. Uncle Hisstah (Frank Botox) is called in to make peace! Provider of Superfluous Exclamation Points: Joyce Carol Oates.

7:04 P.M. Ch. 42  SAGEBRUSH SAM–Underwater Western

People didn’t dig this when it came out in 1964, but Sagebrush Sam, TV’s first underwater Western, is now arguably the most popular show in television history. This week: Can Marshal Dan Schimmelpfennig (Don Adams) hold his breath long enough to burst into the Sea Horse Saloon and arrest manic gunslinger Nijam Mohandalakshiraj (Richard Simmons) for copyright infringement? Can he hold his breath long enough to say the name? Sparky: Shari Lewis. The June Taylor Dancers: The Elvira Pushcart Dancers.

Boy, oh, boy! I can’t wait to hunker down in front of my TV set with a handful of tasty leaves and bubble gum!

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This looks like a good one. See you next week!

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 15

Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV November 18th through 24th, 1979

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, hosting your weekend TV festival brought to you by Quokka University, Region AA2 Pick-up Stix champions! Here’s a little sample of what we’ve got lined up for you this weekend:

5 P.M.  Ch. 08  IT AIN’T YOUR DAY–Game show

If you thought Queen For a Day was total trash, wait’ll you see this! One of the guests is a pathological liar; the others are the tragic victims of horrible fates. Can the celebrity panel pick out the phony? If they can’t, we shoot Chuck Connors! Host: Chief Justice Earl Warren. With Turok Son of Stone and his Orchestra of Honkers.


Edgar Buchanan stars as wandering gunslinger Francis X. Sapirstein… who sings his gun to sleep each night and talks to it all day. This week: The Shoggoth Gang (the June Taylor Dancers) put a price on Francis’ head–$3.98–and then try to collect it themselves! Sheriff Lugnuts: Maurice Chevalier.

5:22 P.M.  Ch. 22  GARGLING NEWS–Indescribable

Can you announce the world’s news and gargle at the same time? Anchorwoman Ginger Foogu can! Well, all right, nobody can make head nor tails of what she’s saying–and the commentary by Karl “Chainsaw” Mulligan doesn’t help. But you can always read the newspaper while you’re watching!

6 P.M.  Ch. 43  MOVIE–Jungle adventure

“Vampire of The Lost World” (Mexican, 1963) features Steve Reeves look-alike Jorge Meniscus [Editor: We don’t believe he looks like Steve Reeves] leads an expedition of school children and maniacs into the depths of the New Jersey Pine Barrens in search of a lost city full of vampires–stealthily stalked every step of the way by a Soviet super-spy (Dan Blocker).

6:20 P.M.  Ch. 64  THE BOOGALOOS–Sitcom/Philosophical reflections

Poppa Boogaloo (Carl Sagan) goes into hysterics when he can’t find his lucky tie-clip… and the family’s afraid to tell him that Joody (Donna Reed) is dating a man who sneaks up on people and scares them. Momma: Heather Locklear. Soopy: Dr. Phil. Man Who Sneaks Up on People and Scares Them: Lorne Greene.

Okay, that’s it for free samples! If you want any more, you have to watch it on your TV set.

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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.

Memory Lane: ‘Phantom Agents’

Phantom Agents used guns as last resort | cars4starters

The nooze has worn me down this week, I can’t help it. I need something to laugh at.

Ah! Phantom Agents! I can certainly laugh at that. It may well have been the silliest TV show ever produced.

The agents were ninjas (!) employed by the Japanese government to put down secret societies of bad guys. They tried never to shoot anyone–because, after all, “We’re phantom agents!”–and always used traditional ninja weapons.

They also had the ability to jump backwards 20 feet into the air and land on tree branches, which never broke or bounced them back, and could even leap backwards out of deep water to land on the deck of a ship. They could camouflage themselves by standing in front of a brick wall and holding up a kind of blanket with bricks printed on it. This always fooled their incredibly gullible enemies.

This monstrosity was on TV for two years, 1964-66. I watched it because it was hilarious. There are still a few clips available on YouTube, mostly in Japanese.

Unreliable sources report that Joe Biden watches it “religiously” and must be restrained from trying to leap backwards into trees.

Byron’s TV Listings, July 23

The Essential TV Guide Fall Previews of the 80s, Part 2: 1980! | Branded in  the 80s

G’day, world! Ready to relax with some indescribably great TV? Byron the Quokka here, with Quokka University Weekend TV! Here are a few samples.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 04   THE PURGATIVES–Drama

The neighbors are up in arms when Joey Purgative (David Dinkins) names his dog “Gordon K. Willison.” Out come the torches and the pitchforks! Mr. Swamby: Glenn Strange. Mrs. Doohickey:  Heather Locklear.

Ch. 18   GUESS THE NEWS!–News/Game show

Host Bud Collier gives the celebrity panel (Paul Lynde, Robert Trout, Gloria De Haven, Princess Foozle of Qrebania) half a news story, and they have to guess the second half! Wrong guesses earn electric shocks for random people in the audience–the fun just never stops!

8 to 12 P.M.   Ch. 101  GROIN PULL TELETHON–Schnorring for money

Millions of people world-wide are afflicted with painful groin pulls that keep them from unrestricted movement–to say nothing of being able to dance and kick like this telethon’s stars, The June Taylor Dancers. Allen Ludden will keep track of the money pouring in, Claude Kirchner will tell you when it’s time to go to bed, and the June Taylor Dancers will show you what you can do if your groin gets better.

8:06 P.M.  Ch. 44   MOVIE–Supernatural sports

In “Reggie Jackson’s Vengeful Ghost” (Greek-Ethiopian, 1996), the one-time slugger  (Frank Buxton, Richard Attenborough) vows to haunt every pitcher who ever struck him out–but that would be hundreds of pitchers! The real Reggie Jackson sued to stop the distribution of this film, but a vengeful judge dismissed it. Vengeful Phil Niekro: Max Von Sydow.  Phyllis Rizzuto: Barbara Stanwyck.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 57   STAGECOACH FULL OF IDIOTS–Western sitcom

Forget the clumsy title! This show has Soupy Sales transporting idiots to small Western towns that don’t have any. Red Skelton rides shotgun on “the Stagecoach from Hell.” This week, the passengers, led by “Thinks He’s Paladin” (Richard Boone), try to break out but can’t figure out how the door works.

Well, now, how about it? The best TV ever! I practically grew up on Stagecoach Full of Idiots–it was as good as a history lesson.

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This is Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, May 28

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

Note to readers: I have no idea why this ^%$#$ machine refuses to publish the TV guide page. This blog is behaving as if there were a curse on it.   LD

Look at this! The month of May is almost all used up.

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with TV shows that’ll pump you up and calm you down! Here are a few examples:

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 18   KANSAS CITY KONFIDENTIAL–Krime Drama

In “The Last Person to See Him Dead,” Lt. Fezziwig (Don Wilson) has discovered a diabolical plan to re-start the Roman Empire; and Deputy Chief Sheena (Irish McCalla) is investigated for barratry. Commissioner Chumley: Wallace Beery. Music by the McGuffin Middle School Band, directed by a ghost.

8 P.M. Ch. 07  YOUR SWEET REVENGE–Game show with Classical overtones

Originally the plan was to act out in real life some of the more gruesome acts of revenge taken by characters in Shakespeare’s plays. As it turned out, that was mostly against the law. Now contestants pelt each other with pies and the June Taylor Dancers… well, dance in the background. Host: Yuan Shih-kai.

8:08 P.M.  Ch. 14  NEWS WITH NEWTS–(You have to ask?)

Dan Rather’s back, and News with Newts has got him! In fact, he’s still trying to get George W. Bush kicked out of the White House. You’ll be amazed how he twists every news story we cover into an anti-Bush rant! Now all we have to do is somehow lure the newts back to the show. With Joey Heatherton and her orchestra.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 51  MARSHAL MEDEA–Western with ridiculous overtones

What would’ve happened if Medea (Sandy Duncan) left those Greek tragedies behind and went Out West to become a U.S. marshal in Popsy, Maryland–“the town too dead to die”? This question has vexed no one, ever. This week, Marshal Medea confronts the question of Maryland’s geographical location. Prof. Ringworm: Soupy Sales. Jolly sidekick: Alvin the Octopus.

Ch. 66   MOVIE–Suburban Adventure

In “Tarzan Makes a House Call” (French-Canadian-Etruscan, 1997), the Ape-Man (Spencer Tracy) is pressed into service as a pill-bearing doctor to a lot of neurotic women in a posh suburb of an even posher suburb. Jane: Angela Merkel. Suzie: Theda Bara. Saxon Warrior: Lon Chaney Jr. Note: Cardboard cutouts were used in place of real gorillas.

Well, now, that’s that! A whole weekend’s worth of glorious TV–who could ask for anything more? Well, okay, you could… but who would listen?

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You’ll never make it through “Marshal Medea” without a leafy snack! This is Byron the Quokka, signing off.


Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 12

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

G’day! Byron the Quokka here–and why watch the Stupor Bowl, when Quokka University has combed the secret corners of the earth to bring you the very best in television entertainment? Like these:

7:42 P.M.  Ch. 88   DANCE THE NEWS!–(Defies Analysis)

The day’s top news stories told in interpretive dance by the June Taylor Dancers! Host: Ayatollah Gabollah Shebang. Featuring some guy with a clear plastic bag over his head.

7:45 P.M.  Ch. 13   INSECT TREATS–Haut Cuisine

Well, the United Nations says we should all eat bugs, To Save The :Planet; and no one’s better at catching and eating creepy-crawlies than former mental patient Ike Renfield. Moths, beetles, leaf-hoppers, flies, spiders–if they’re on his rosebushes today, Ike’s eating them! Voice-overs: Marcel Marceau.

8:00 P.M.  Ch. 07   THE DISGUSTING RANCH–Western, Sci-Fi

Why do all the cattle raised on Mrs. Soggit’s (Molly Ringwald) land have three eyes, extra legs, horrible violent tempers, and smell funny? That meteorite that crashed into Mensa Mesa last year didn’t help! What otherworldly peril threatens the prairie? Professor Corbaccio: Burgess Meredith  A Seductress from Ypsilanti: Bette Davis.

Ch. 29   WHO’S GOT THE GOUT?–Game Show

If you’ve ever had gout, you know how exquisitely painful it is when someone accidentally bumps into your ankle or drops an encyclopedia on your knee. But how well can you hide your pain? Join hosts Chiang Kai-shek and Kathy Lee Crosby as they perform clumsy card tricks for gout patients who keep trying to escape. Featuring George “The Animal” Steele and his orchestra.

8:30 P.M.   Ch. 47   MOVIE–Medieval Romance

What happens when two knights (Alan Alda, Hulk Hogan) love the same woman–and they’re both idiots? “Lady Eleanor’s Breezy Boudoir” (Scottish-Tunisian, 1968) features Moe Howard in his only dramatic role as the tragic King Fritzenheimer and Ellen Mellen as ungainly Princess Haakenpantz. Music by Harvey’s Trained Crickets.

So there you go–who wants to watch the Stupor Bowl, anyway? TV shows like this increase your IQ! (It’s been proved by Science!)

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And this is Byron the Quokka, signing off…




Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 2

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1962

Look at this–October already! Time flies when you’re posting TV listings!

Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend’s worth of intersectional TV–I thought I’d say that and see if it got a rise out of anybody. There’s a wallaby who jumps four feet into the air if he thinks something’s intersectional.

Here’s a little piece of this weekend’s menu.

8:15 P.M.  Ch. 08   BOBBING FOR APPLES–Game Show

It’s looks easy–but in every tub of floating apples, there’s an angry crab! Sooner or later, some contestant’s going to get bitten. Host: Basil III, Byzantine Emperor. Celebrity contestants: Angela Merkel, Bette Davis, Chiang Kai-shek, and a rugose cone from Antarctica.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 18   MOVIE–Horror

“The Scary Lady Who Chops Off Heads and Eats Them” (Mexican, 1967) features the June Taylor Dancers as sirens who lure unsuspecting randy gentlemen into the clutches of a ravenous space alien (Zsa Zsa Gabor) who looks like Zsa Zsa Gabor. Featured Song: “I Got Plenty of Letter Openers”


Are you ready to enhance your sock experience? Join your host, a sea cucumber in a tank, as various celebrity guests (celebrities from Burkina Faso: you won’t have heard of them) rhapsodize about what a nice pair of socks really feels like! With John Kerry and his orchestra.

9 P.M.  Ch. 02   I LIVE FACE-DOWN–Crime Drama (Noir)

Cynical, burnt-out private eye Marvin Blah (James Fenimore Cooper) can’t even drag himself out of bed in the morning–so how’s he supposed to solve “The Disappearing Gorgeous Dame Caper”? Superhero Shapeless Blob Man (Richard Crenna) has to use poisonous snakes to get him motivated! Guest star: Venus de Milo (with arms)


Trick questions like “Who are you?” are bound to trip up stupid famous people when host Monte Hall asks them! Watch career politicians get hopelessly tangled up by posers like “What are you doing?” and “How old are you?” Remember the Congresswoman whose head exploded when asked what time it is!

There! That ought to get you in a TV frame of mind! Aunt Squeezy is visiting us this weekend, so we know we’re going to be watching a lot of TV–in between games of Clue! This quokka really has it in for Col. Mustard–always trying to pin the crime on him. But I digress…

946 Quokka Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Gee, I can still see the TV screen from 50 feet away!