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WGN Channel 9 - Family Classics with Frazier Thomas - "Mysterious Island" (Opening & Ending, 1979)

Here's something pretty neat and rare - the opening (and ending credits) of the Family Classics presentation of Jules Verne's Mysterious Island on WGN Channel 9. Featuring Frazier Thomas as host.

Also includes a WGN "Last Farewell" Station ID at the beginning. (voiceover by Jerry Golden)

Ending credits:

Directed by - Don Strukel

Graphic Arts by Anthony M. Sulla (A.K.A. Tony Sulla) (he was the one who painted all of the book cover titles on Family Classics)

Entire Production Supervised by Frazier Thomas


The Family Classics theme song was called "Moviescope" and was a piece of library music composed by Dennis Berry. It was originally released on the Berry/Conroy label.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, November 4th 1979 during the 3:30pm to 5:00pm timeframe.

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This clip aired on Sunday, November 4th 1979, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

VO could be Jerry Golden.
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Thursday, January 13th 2011 at 9:35am.

New Yorkers will more likely recall "Mysterious Island" as being a regular fixture on WABC Channel 7's "4:30 Movie" (as part of one of more of their numerous theme weeks relating to adventure or science fiction). But as for the Windy City . . . weren't there other occasions besides this 1979 airing on which this was shown under this very umbrella, hosted by Mr. Thomas? I seemed to recall at least one such occasion, in February of 1971.
Comment posted by W.B. on Thursday, January 13th 2011 at 10:35am.

My search found the film aired 14 times on "Family Classics" between 1967 and 1979, including a Valentine Day's broadcast in 1971.
Comment posted by Phantom on Thursday, January 13th 2011 at 5:26pm.

My all time favorite Family Classic! Bernard Herrmann and Ray Harryhausen, always a welcome combination! Years later, my brother and I were at Disneyland. We were on some ride where they had a dinosaur exhibit. As the T-Rex and Triceritops battled, they played the Mysterious Island theme. We knew right away what it was.
Comment posted by 4thtroika on Friday, January 14th 2011 at 1:21am.

The attraction at Disneyland that uses this theme is the Primieval World diorama and it can still be seen when riding the Disneyland Railroad. The dinosaurs used in it were originally from the "Magic Skyway" exhibit Disney did for Ford at the 1964 World's Fair.
Comment posted by Smctopia on Friday, January 14th 2011 at 9:30am.

I wonder how many of those books on the Family Classics bookshelf had swears in them? Fraiser Thomas was the perfect host for this show, he was so elegant in how he presented the films...It's a real shame WGN doesn't do that kind of television anymore
Comment posted by GalagaFleetCommander on Sunday, January 16th 2011 at 4:08pm.

Frazier Thomas refers to "another Sunday presentation of Family Classics." There was a time when WGN had a Friday night presentation of FC. The artist for the book covers was Anthony Sulita (sp?), who also painted the large weather maps for NewsNine. Also, why didn't Frazier ever sit in the chair?
Comment posted by Don Weiss on Tuesday, January 18th 2011 at 8:33pm.

It's amazing how a clip can take you right back to your youth, sitting in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon. It is a shame WGN doesn't do this kind of programming anymore.
Comment posted by HomerDoh60 on Wednesday, December 14th 2011 at 10:56am.

Hudson3-2700 was right--The station ID announcer here is Jerry Golden.
Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 2:36pm.

Updated video file - added ending credits of Family Classics to it.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Sunday, April 19th 2015 at 9:11am.

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This clip has been viewed 8431 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, January 12th 2011.
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WCAE Channel 50 - 3-2-1 Contact (Technical Difficulties Moment, 1980)


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WGN Channel 9 - Saturday Matinee - "Abbott and Costello in Mexican Hayride" (Opening & Break, 1981)


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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Saturday Matinee - "Abbott and Costello in Mexican Hayride" (Opening & Break, 1981) by W.B. on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 10:50pm CT

Let alone in "Forbidden Planet" . . .


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Saturday Matinee - "Abbott and Costello in Mexican Hayride" (Opening & Break, 1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 8:43pm CT

I wonder if Robbie the Robot really desperately needed an acting job at this point?

Also, notice the different V/O as opposed to his time during L.I.S.....


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Saturday Matinee - "Abbott and Costello in Mexican Hayride" (Opening & Break, 1981) by ChrisBCritter on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 6:33pm CT

"Mmm, this southern fried chicken brings back memories!"
(Yeah, of your dialect coach throwing up his hands in frustration...)


Comment posted in WCAE Channel 50 - 3-2-1 Contact (Technical Difficulties Moment, 1980) by ChrisBCritter on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 6:23pm CT

Looks like he did thread the reel OK - he just left several inches hanging out of the spool; probably just trying to get it running quicker.


Comment posted in WCAE Channel 50 - 3-2-1 Contact (Technical Difficulties Moment, 1980) by W.B. on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 11:56am CT

And 1" tape formats hadn't yet taken hold in the industry. I think the "fast" opening was deliberate and intentional (as part of the plot of this ep), and the tape ops at WCAE were fooled tremendously.


Comment posted in WCAE Channel 50 - 3-2-1 Contact (Technical Difficulties Moment, 1980) by Szake on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 8:35am CT

2" Quad tape runs at a speed of either 7.5 or 15 in (190.5 or 381.0 mm) per second for NTSC 525/30 video recording. So maybe they thought they had a slow show on fast speed, and flipped a switch?


Comment posted in WCAE Channel 50 - 3-2-1 Contact (Technical Difficulties Moment, 1980) by Szake on Sunday, March 26th, 2017 at 8:28am CT

By 1980, what playback devices would WCAE be running? I don't think there are any speed adjustments for 3/4" U-Matic, like a home VHS player could swap SP-LP-SLP/EP. Perhaps they did the video equivalent thinking they were playing a 33 1/3 RPM record at 45 RPM.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Emergency Broadcast System - "This is NOT a Test" (1985) by Szake on Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 7:23pm CT

In 2007, the script was updated. 47 C.F.R 11.54 says:

EAS #2
"This is an Emergency Action Notification requested by the White House. All EAS participants will follow activation procedures in the EAS Operating Handbook for a national level emergency. The President of the United States or his representative will shortly deliver a message over the Emergency Alert System."

"We interrupt our programming; this is a national emergency."

"This is an Emergency Action Notification. All broadcast stations and cable systems shall transmit this Emergency Action Notification Message. This station has interrupted its regular programming at the request of the White House to participate in the Emergency Alert System. During this emergency, most stations will remain on the air providing news and information to the public in assigned areas. This is (station call name). We will continue to serve the (EAS Local Area name) area. If you are not in this Local Area, you should tune to stations providing news and information for your Local Area. You are listening to the Emergency Alert System serving the (EAS Local Area name) area.
Do not use your telephone. The telephone lines should be kept
open for emergency use. REPEAT."

"We interrupt our programming at the request of the White House. This is the Emergency Alert System. All normal programming has been discontinued during this emergency. This is (station call name). This station will continue furnishing news, official information and instructions for the (EAS Local Area name) area. If you are not in (EAS Local Area name) area, you should tune to stations providing news and information for your area. It is important that you listen carefully to announcements
from the station in your local area. REPEAT."

EAS #3
"This concludes operations under the Emergency Alert System. All normal programming operations may now resume."

"This concludes operations under the Emergency Alert System. All normal programming operations may now resume. REPEAT ANNOUNCEMENT"

State and Local
"We interrupt this program because of a (State or Local) emergency. Important information will follow."

Monthly Test:
"This is a coordinated monthly test of the broadcast stations of your area. We are testing equipment that can quickly warn you during emergencies. If this had been an actual emergency such as (insert types of emergencies that may occur in the geographic area), an official message would have followed the alert tone. This concludes this test of the Emergency Alert System.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - Saturday Matinee - "Abbott and Costello in Mexican Hayride" (Opening & Break, 1981) by W.B. on Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 5:58pm CT

Seeing this and the other clips, is it my imagination or was WGN's Saturday Matinee, by this point, the Windy City's equivalent to NYC sister station WPIX Channel 11's Sunday Morning Movie which, from the 1970's into the mid-to-late '80's, was likewise an "Abbott and Costello Film Festival" in all but name?


Comment posted in Hallmark Cards with Nancy McKeon (Commercial, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 at 8:37pm CT

Man, how cynical I was before I had kids! The commercial isn't that bad. And I still have birthday cards from when I was a kid; they bring back memories. :-)


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