Old Skool TV

You So Channel 13!
I guess you have to grow up in New York to get my reference. Channel 13 was (is?) New York’s Public Broadcasting System (known as PBS to many) affiliate.

Sit down children and I’ll tell you a story of a time when people had to get off the couch in order to change the channel. Oh, the old days….

In New York, one-time media capital of the world, we were blessed with these televsion options (and I’ll only list those found on the VHF dial)

  • Channel 2 – WCBS
  • Channel 4 – WNBC
  • Channel 5 – hmm, forget what there call letters were but all I remember was that they showed “Wonderarama” starring Bob McAllister
  • Channel 7 – WABC
  • Channel 9 – WOR (then the home of my beloved New York Mets)
  • Channel 11 – WPIX (then the home of the not-so-beloved New York Yankees)
  • Channel 13 – WNET (ie PBS)

Those of you not from the Greater New York area may know the Channel 13 reference from Billy Joel‘s song “Pressure”

All your life is Channel 13
Sesame Street
What does it mean?

And My Point Is?
In the last week I have had two separate conversations about PBS’ television offerings in the 1970s and 1980s. I came to realize that I watched a shitload of tv, some of which was actually educational!

The first conversation dealt with Bob Ross’ painting show called “The Joy of Painting.” In this conversation I went on to mention the other painting show which was on around the same time as “The Joy Of Painting” and my friend said that there was none. Bow to the master of television as I present to you William (Bill) Alexander! Ross had the happy clouds; Alexander had the magic white. Oh the Saturdays I spent watching them paint, laughing heartily when I thought they had finally screwed up their painting, only to watch them fix it as if it was magic.

The second conversation is an ongoing tete-a-tete with my BlogFriend ananonymousgirl. Seems to me, Miss Girl, grew up watching as much of the “boob tube”, hehe I said “boob”, as I did. Over the past few weeks we have traded references to many a tv show and it started me thinking about the tv I watched in my formative years — most of which was on PBS. Here is a short list of the shows that I spent (commercial free) hours watching

  • Sesame Street
  • Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • The New Zoo Review
  • Zoom
  • The French Chef
  • The Galloping Gourmet
  • The Frugal Gourmet
  • Justin Wilson’s Cajun Cooking
  • The Victory Garden
  • This Old House (the Bob Vila years)
  • The Woodwright’s Shop
  • The Benny Hill Show (yes, it was!)
  • Mystery
  • Nova

Wasted youth? No, although in hindsight I realize that I could have used a show which taught me how to meet the opposite sex.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – pensive, have I overbooked my weekend again?
Current Music – Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing The Shins – “Know Your Onion!”
Current Read – nothing currently — NEXT WEEK, ALRIGHT!?! 🙂

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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15 Responses to Old Skool TV

  1. I miss “Kids Incorporated”!! That was the coolest show …That was the only reason I had to get out of bed on a Saturday.

    …and fraggle rock (was that the name?) “Hollie get your adverbs”??? Does anyone remember?

  2. ..hmmm, maybe that was conjunction junction???

  3. Paulie says:

    Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here.
    Conjunction Junction what’s your function
    I’m just a Bill sitting on Capitol Hill

    Want more? 🙂
    They are all from Schoolhouse Rock.

    A few years ago “modern day” bands put out a CD of Schoolhouse Rock cover tunes. Ver Cool.

    btw – Fraggle Rock, also correctly named, was the Jim Henson (muppet) show shown on HBO in the 1980s

    “I’ll take More TV Trivia for $200 please, Alex”

  4. Channel 8 for me…even “back in the day”.

    I used to love to watch Ross paint “happy little trees”. And all those shows you listed I’ve seen many a time as well. Though I didn’t watch as many of the cooking shows as you did. Wanna cook me dinner? 🙂

    By the way, Benny Hill was the man! Not to mention the best mischievious “sneer”.

    Now if you would like Henrietta Pussycat to be the wingman to your King Friday, or Prince Tuesday, whichever you prefer, send the Trolley with a telegram. You can zip your cardigan and symmetrically tie your tennies after you feed the fishies 😉

  5. OH…Schoolhouse Rock – My FAVORITE!

    Let’s not forget…

    “When Reginald was home with the flu (uh huh). The doctor knew just what to do (uh huh). He cured the infection, with one small injection, while Reginald uttered some interjections…

    Hey, that smarts!
    Ouch, that hurts!
    Yow, that’s not fair giving a guy a shot down there!”

    …er…sorry…got carried away. I can sing many, many more! 🙂

  6. Paulie says:

    Believe it or not, my father was the reason for all the cooking shows. Be he’s the topic of an entry next week — so I’ll once again tease.

    I’m a pretty half-decent cook, if I don’t say so myself. There may be a possibility of a meal. Let’s keep that in “the plans” for now.

    “The plans” also contain wingmaning, but I need to work on my confidence before trying to fly.

  7. Paulie says:

    Ah, Interjection, my favorite Schoolhouse Jingle.

    Interjections (Hey!)
    show excitement (Yow!)
    or emotion (Ouch!).
    They’re generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point,
    Or by a comma when the feeling’s not as strong.

  8. Dear Oscar,

    It is time for you to leave the trash can. Join Big Bird in leaving the nest and crossing the junction at Sesame Street and into Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. The Schoolhouse Rocks! Don’t make sing in expletives.


    (P.S. If this and a similar one are both posted please blame the posting gods and not me. Damn blog)

  9. Oh, the good ole’ days! I miss School House Rock too…it rocked! I loved Captain Kangeroo, I still miss him. He was my hero!

  10. shoobie says:

    Yo, whats up. i figured i would add a little side commentary seeing as how we are itp neighbors.

    back where i am from, in kentucky, no kids were ever exposed to this ‘schoolhouse rock’ thing. like conjunction junction, i got nothin… we are the only state i think that missed out. i… dont know how i feel about that.

    secondly, to the bob ross fans out there… i might put this on ebay, youll just have to deal with the fact that i had to ‘richard simmonize’ it for halloween.
    shirtand third, can someone PLEASE find a few doozers to build some candy sticks so i can finally taste one… i have been waiting like 15 years.

  11. Paulie says:

    That shirt is awesome. Somewhere above the happy little clouds Bob Ross’ big afro is blowin’ in the wind.

    Shoobie – hope you don’t mind that I have linked to Vicklanta in my Voyeurville section.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Shoobie ..try channel 15

  13. JR says:

    Oh my gosh!

    I didn’t think there was a chance in one million that someone would remember “The New Zoo Review!” That show was an oddity for me when I was growing up. I was old enough to know that the costumed characters weren’t real, but young enough to hold a certain fascination with the show.

    The kicker was I can still very vividly remember that Henrietta Hippo’s costume was SO poor. It wrinkled in all the wrong places and the costume wearer had to bob their head to get Henrietta to speak! What a riot!

    I stumbled upon your blog because I’m writing a book that is giving reference to TNZR and I was looking for the real name of the male human in the show (I bet they would like me to forget) ; – ) None-the-less, I still am going to continue my quest to find this name. What a throw-back to my youth you have connected to. Thanks for listing it among the things you remember too!

    BTW, if you are wondering my age, I’m turning 40 in a couple of weeks, so though I’m milestoning it, I’m feeling a lot better about it now that I know someone else on this earth remembers the shows I grew up with! What a saint you are!

    BTW, did you ever have a show called “Zoom” or 3-2-1 Contact?” Both were other shows I watched while young.

    Anyway, thanks for the reference!


  14. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Hi JR,

    I remember both “Zoom” and “3-2-1 Contact” although I only watched the former. As an odd fact an old friend of mine had a dog named SASE which if you remember correctly stood for Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.

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