Monday, April 19, 2010

#163: Yesterday

Just a thought, now that Hey Hey It's Saturday has returned, unaltered with the same stale jokes that really weren't that funny in 1986, then surely the return of this show won't be that far behind.

I never had anything against Hey Hey - after all it was moderately amusing back in 1987 when I lived in Melbourne- but, seriously, once you've watched about a months worth of it, at any point in time, then you've seen every episode. Really. If you think I'm joking then visit their site and check out the 'Classic Video' section - the same stuff is now rehashed. The only thing that has changed is the colour of Daryl Somers wig, but that's about it. It would appear that John Blackman has dusted off his 1972 Joke Book, read some old Al Jaffee 'Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions' gags and is armed to go. And Wilbur Wilde, well he was never that funny in the first place, nor is he the best sax player in the country, in fact there's quite a few times when he's not the best sax player in the room.

I could continue to pick the holes in this crap all day, but frankly I can't be bothered.  Channel 9 would be better served if they took the money they're sinking into this steaming pile and actually invested in some decent Australian content, perhaps a drama show, or some comedy. Perhaps even a variety show that actually contains variety, humour and music and is relevant for today's audiences. Sadly Hey Hey no longer fits any of those bills and has finally become Ho Hum It's Banality.

After all there was a legitimate reason why that show was cancelled in the first place. Let's not forget the main reason why - it was out of date.  Watching Hey Hey today is like looking into a time capsule.  You might be hoping to get Frank Sinatra on the Dean Martin Show, but instead you're getting Frank Sinatra Jr on the Joey Bishop Show.  I expect more Australians would watch repeats of a genuinly funny show, such as Blankety Blanks with Graham Kennedy, than they would watch 'new' editions of Hey Hey.  Still, if it rates then it remains on the screen.  How else do you explain such tripe as Home And Away and Neighbours?  Quality television drama just drips off the screen in those half hours doesn't it?

To cap it off, doesn't it sound a bit, well schizophrenic to have a show titled Hey Hey It's Saturday screening, first run, on a Wednesday evening?  Even Don Lane wasn't that thick.

Still if the networks want to bring anyone back then why not dig out good ole Deadly Earnest.  Or bring back the Curiosity Show?  Perhaps dig up Julius Sumner Miller?  I'm sure that someone, with the right software, can have the Professor demaning, "Why is it so?" to anyone within a few minutes.  Sonny Tufts anyone?

As a bonus, here's a couple of photos of quality South Australian television.  The shot of Humphrey Bear dates from early 1966 - the cigarette was airbrushed out.  You can put it in where it clearly once was.  Although I enjoyed Humphrey Bear I'll freely admit that I absolutely adored Fat Cat, if for no other reason than it featured Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot! Life didn't get any better than those days really.

As for the other image, dating from 1971, does anyone, other than myself, remember Hot Dog?  I loved that guy!  Same with Wilbur Worm.  Winky Dink, along with that other childrens icon Fat Cat, survived into the late 1980s, but sadly Hot Dog and Wilbur Worm didn't make it to the end of the 1970s.  Such a shame really.  As a youngun I once had a Hot Dog doll.  I lost it in a fairly bad car accident near Mildura in the mid 1970s and I've been looking for another one ever since.  Anyone got any ideas as to where I might be able to source one?


Anonymous said...

As it so happens I'm writing (another) article on Deadly Earnest. Is that image out of TV Guide? There's a DE group on Facebook, the only use I've found for it.

Don't know where to get a Hot Dog doll, but Rex Heading wrote a book called Miracle on Tynte Street: the Channel Nine story, which has some material on him.

I wouldn't judge Hey Hey too harshly. For decades "Did you see what they did on Hey Hey on Saturday?" has been Australianese for "I am of very low intelligence." It's self punishing.


Anonymous said...

If Toytanic are still down at Port Adelaide, there's a good chance they'd have a Hot Dog dol - er, action figure.

Your Own Personal Jesus said...

The Deadly Earnest photo is from an old South Aussie TV-Radio Extra that I own. I'm happy to post a high res version - I'll just join your facebook group I guess.

Hey Hey is a show both out of time and out of step.

I think Toytanic went under a few years back. They never had a Hot Dog doll there whenever I visited.

Anonymous said...

When I started researching Deadly Earnest I found a loose network of others doing the same, and by default became the SA guy. Just looked through my old emails detailing our frustrations and occasional victory. Finding something like that would have made our days, so excellent.

Benedict 16th said...

Reminded me of one of my favourites Bill the Steamshovel

Anonymous said...

I too loved Hot Dog and after many years of searching online for a picture or photo, yours was the first one I have been able to locate! Long live Hot Dog!!

Anonymous said...

I loved Deadly Earnest as a kid, I looked forward to it every week, I also have a Wilbur Worm toy (doll/action figure).