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The World's First Independent TV Station Celebrates Its 40th Year On The Air With Tony Randall, Chuck McCann, Bozo The Clown, Zacherlee, Shari Lewis & Lambchop, Captain Jack McCarthy And More! A Magical Retrospective Of New York City Television Packed Into 1 All Regions DVD!
WPIX at 40! (1988, 59:22)
Robin Leach stands before the Automat next to Channel 11's 42nd Street headquarters to greet a stream of limousines carrying Bozo The Clown, Chuck McCann, Zacherlee, Little Orphan Annie, and the MC of the night's ceremonies, Tony Randall! Randall then leads his audience on a journey through the station's history, starting with its 5 hour spectacular first broadcast on June 15th, 1948 live from the Daily News Building.
The cohost for the evening is Chuck McCann, whose show Let's Have Fun aired on the station for seven years, and who narrates during a look back at the station's kid shows through the 1950s to 1970s, including: his own show, costarring his puppeteer assistant Paul Ashely, which ran from 1959 to 1966 on the station, and which during the 1962 newspaper strike inspired McCann 'to do Fiorello LaGuardia one better" and add to his cast of characters the beloved Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy and Dondi; Pixie Play Time (the model for Howdy Doody); Shari Lewis and Lambchop; Bill Britten who was beloved as the station's Bozo The Clown; Officer Joe Bolton; Ray Heatherton who played The Merry Mailman and was Joey Heatherton's father; Captain Jack McCarthy who besides his cartoon shows entered the Guiness Book of World Records for 40 years of hosting the station's St. Patrick Day Parade coverage; Carol Corbett; Bill Biery's Beach Comber Bill Show, Hank Stohl's The Surprise Show which pioneered the use of aniforms in the character of Loreli J. Loverly of Electric Company fame; The Eddie Lawrence Show from which came his Old Philospher character of Tonight Show fame; John Zacherlee, The Cool Ghoul; and The Magic Garden with Carole Demas and Paula Janis.
As the evening progresses, we see precious clips from: The Rosemary Clooney show; Ed Sullivan; Gloria Swanson; Zero Mostel's 1948 production ''Channel Zero'' (which in large part inspired the MediaOutlet.com public access and internet TV show ''The Channel Zero Hour''); Jerry Jerome & His Orchestra; The Ted Steele Show; Eddie Condon; Swing Time; Record Rendezvous with Stan Shaw; Sigmund Spae the Tune Detective; The Clay Cole Show; Liberace; Casey Jones; and the beloved yearly Channel 11 Yule Log Christmas Eve broadcast. || Sports: The New York Giants; The New York Mets; The New York Yankees; Bill White; Phil Rizzuto; Mickey Mantle; The Yankees pennant home run wins by Chris Chambliss in 1976 and by Bucky Dent in 1978; the death of Yankee catcher Thurmond Munson; the world's first instant replay invented by WPIX in 1959 during a Yankees baseball game. || News: WPIX TelePix The Channel 11 Newsreel; the Andrea Doria/Stockholm collision of 1956; TV Anchorman John Tillman; the 1951 Kiefauver organized crime hearings; Frank Costello; Virginia Hill; documentaries such as The Story of Evita Peron, which inspired the Broadway production Evita; the Peabody Award winner I Am My Brother's Keeper filmed at Rahway Prison that started the Scared Straight program; Quilt of Honor: The Making of an Aids Memorial.
Also features a loving special piece on the lost beloved Palisades Park, and musical performances performance by Rockapella and The Voices Of Canaan.
Filled with plenty of vintage commercials, including station promos; The War of the Worlds; TRW; Sansone Auto Network; Burlington Coat Factory; Burger King; Starting From Scratch; Omni Magazine; Almay; Pugeot 405; PathMark Supermarkets; Bell Atlantic; Drexel Burnham; The National Dairy Board's Give 'Em All A Little Pat Of Butter; Sunkist Multivitamins; Calvin Klein's Obsession; Friday The 13th The Series; Plax; Eyelab; Perdue Chicken; Fortunoff; Nissan; Pizza Hut; The National Dairy Board's Cheese Riddle #18; Dentyne; Pete Dawkins For US Senate; Tucks Medicated Pads; and Benadryl Elixir.
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