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WGN Channel 9 - The Groovie Goolies and Friends (Opening & Break, 1980)

Here's the opening for The Groovie Goolies and Friends on WGN Channel 9, followed by a commercial break. Includes:

WGN "Last Farewell" animated station ID (voiceover and time check by Bob Bell)

Opening of The Groovie Goolies and Friends (the main show was originally run as part of Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies, which aired on the CBS Network from 1970 to 1971, and then aired on its own from 1971 to 1972); this umbrella also includes Lassie's Rescue Rangers (which aired on the ABC Network from 1973 to 1975), The New Adventures of Gilligan (which aired on ABC from 1974 to 1976), My Favorite Martians (which aired on CBS from 1973 to 1975), M-U-S-H (an animated spin-off of M*A*S*H), Fraidy Cat, Wacky and Packy (the last three aired as part of the short-lived Uncle Croc's Block on ABC from 1975 to 1976), and The New Adventures of Waldo Kitty (a repackaging of The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty which aired on NBC from 1975 to 1976). (voiceover by the founder of Filmation Associates, Lou Scheimer)

"We'll Return After These Announcements" bumper (with Groovie Goolies clip) (voiceover by Len Johnson)

Commercial offer for the marriage advice books "If Only He Knew: What No Woman Can Resist" and "For Better or for Best: Understand Your Man," both written by Gary Smalley and Norma Smalley - Only $12.95 - Not Available in Stores - "Money Back If Not Delighted"

"Now Let's Return to The Groovie Goolies" bumper (with another Groovie Goolies clip) (voiceover by Len Johnson)

Opening moments of Lassie's Rescue Rangers episode

This aired on local Chicago TV in February 1980 during the 8am to 8:04am timeframe.

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This clip aired in February 1980, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Chapters such as "Where Have All The Feelings Gone?" (Long Time Passing) ;-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, September 27th 2011 at 7:38pm.

"Hey kids! Are your parents arguing all the time? Maybe you should get them these books!"

Did Gary and Norma have a kid named Stuart? ;)

Comment posted by afdave on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 8:09am.

What a great commercial to air during a kids cartoon, eh? I'm surprised the little tykes wouldn't have fallen asleep. (If Lassie's Rescue Rangers wasn't enough to do this already)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 10:06am.

In a way, airing that commercial on a kids' show would be no different than if they aired 'Scooter Score' type ads or commercials for Medicare or hawking some drug whose name resembles the surname of a Mafia boss on such a program today.
Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 11:07am.

When did they stop making cartoons based on sitcoms?
Comment posted by DJBender on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 12:28pm.

When they started making sitcoms based on cartoons.

I'm surprised they had any time for a Groovy Goolies cartoon with all that other stuff....

Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 1:22pm.

LOL, I know, the way it kept going and going, it felt like an SNL spoof.
Comment posted by afdave on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 8:24pm.

The breakdown for this series: 16 Groovie Goolies episodes, 13 Waldo Kitty episodes, 17 Lassie episodes, 24 Gilligan episodes, 18 My Favorite Martians episodes and 18 Fraidy Cat/M.U.S.H./Wacky and Packy episodes for 104 programs. Some of the familiar voices on the show: Larry Storch, Howard Morris, Allan Melvin, Robert Ridgely, Kenneth Mars, Jonathan Harris, Ted Knight and five original cast members of Gilligan's Island.
Comment posted by Phantom on Wednesday, September 28th 2011 at 9:34pm.

Speaking of spoofs . . . Benny Hill used to parody show opens of the type as exemplified here, on his comedy/variety specials.
Comment posted by W.B. on Thursday, September 29th 2011 at 6:39pm.

WGN aired this show early Sunday mornings until September 1984.
Comment posted by Phantom on Thursday, September 29th 2011 at 7:16pm.

The voice over in the opening credits of "The Groovie Goolies and Friends" is done by the founder of Filmation himself - Lou Schiemer!
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Saturday, October 1st 2011 at 10:29pm.

Voiceover for show opening segment added to clip description.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, October 1st 2011 at 10:48pm.

You're right, Dth1971. Filmation did create those cartoons for Groovie Goolies, along with 'Fat Ablert and the Cosby Kids', and 'He-Man'.

I remember watching 'Waldo Kitty' when it was on NBC on Saturday Mornings. It used live cats and dogs for the show. In it, Waldo would daydream about being a certain hero (Lone Ranger, Capt. Kirk, etc.) while figuring out how to outwit the evil bulldog, Tyronne. The cartoon would then show in his daydream. I used to love that show.

Comment posted by Loyal32Fan on Monday, October 3rd 2011 at 10:10am.

"Waldo Kitty" was essentially an anthropomorphized version of James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." I think it was due to this issue that the title was changed for this "GG&F" umbrella.
Comment posted by W.B. on Monday, October 3rd 2011 at 10:33am.

Here is the link to the opening theme to Waldo Kitty: http://youtu.be/k0qfdvstwYI
Comment posted by Loyal32Fan on Tuesday, October 4th 2011 at 10:20am.

I do have to ask, though: Given that "The Groovie Goolies" first aired (as part of a block with "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") back in 1970, could Jerry G. Bishop have gotten the inspiration for the "Svengoolie" name from that show, given how the spelling is?

Secondly, is anyone sure the voiceover is Lou Scheimer? His partner in Filmation, Norm Prescott, was a Boston DJ before he, Scheimer and Hal Sutherland formed the company in the early '60's.

Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, October 5th 2011 at 12:49am.

R.I.P. Lou Schiemer, founder of Filmation.
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Saturday, October 19th 2013 at 11:44am.

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This clip has been viewed 2306 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Tuesday, September 27th 2011.
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Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - "We're For You" (Promo, 1979) by Dth1971 on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 2:24pm CT

Do you think the syndicated "The Palace" was a short lived revival attempt of the original 1960's ABC variety show "The Hollywood Palace"?

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Super Cartoon Sunrise (Jetsons Bumper #2, 1984) by OldTVNut on Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 2:42pm CT

OOOPS! It seems that somebody got Jane Jetson's & Judy Jetson's hair colors mixed up LOL.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - The Jack Benny Show - "Pre-Emption Notice" (1975) by Burr-Rabbitt on Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 11:29am CT

This aired the day I was born!

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 8:52pm CT

GalagaFleetCommander - Johnny Unitas used to wear his hair in a crewcut until about 1970, when he decided to let it grow out to where he could part it. A real square...

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by GalagaFleetCommander on Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 9:23pm CT

Johnny Unitas did WHAT? I can't believe that! He's got that perfect haircut you can set a watch to like Abe Simpsons said! I wonder if he made anyone any significant amount of money.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by ER3017 on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 7:37am CT

About 2 years ago, my brother and I was on our way to the park and I saw boxes and boxes of videos, and my brother and I agreed to get almost all of them. Unfortunately, due to my strength, I didn't carry a lot, so I grabbed like 2 boxes and some videos are quite interesting I tell you. I'am still waiting to deliver these to you because if I wait, not only they'll rot but worried that these will be in the dumpster like my mom did but retrieved by me thank god.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 12:48pm CT

davismv - Thanks Mark! Well, we do have some late-breaking developments - once again provided by our researcher extraordinaire, Mr. Chris Tufts (Phantom). He found this interesting article on the development of Teletext in the U.S. as well as it's use on Nite-Owl. It's from New Scientist magazine and dates to July 22nd 1982. After reading this one has to wonder - what happened? Everything seemed so rosy. They had lots of viewers, and were making some advertising money apparently. So why did Nite-Owl quit just about a month later at the end of August 1982? Were they just tired of "giving it away for free"?

In any case, Chris found another interesting article, this time from Broadcasting Magazine dated September 7th 1981. In it, we finally learn that the true start date of Nite-Owl was early Friday, September 4th at 12 Midnight! Therefore, we can say with certainty that the clip you see here is the opening of Nite-Owl's Second Episode! We'll have to adjust the airdates of a few other clips to reflect this new information.

(T.K. - the answer to your question regarding Nite-Owl's music is also in this article - although who knows, perhaps they changed music providers at some point during the run of the show)

One other thing - the article mentions that WFLD was actually including teletext pages over its regular broadcasts since April of 1981. I had never heard this before. This information just leaves me wanting more. Did they transmit the teletext pages over every program that aired on WFLD since April 1981? Secondly, if you have a recording of a WFLD broadcast from that time period and you are able to fashion some kind of decoder, can you see the original teletext pages that aired during the broadcast? According to this article, there were at least 100 decoders floating around the Chicagoland area. Did anyone save one?

davismv - Regarding your questions: this was recorded by someone who was a "serial taper" but who also apparently had a short attention span. His tapes are filled up with 4-6 hours of material per tape, and rarely are there complete programs, but instead have little "snippets" (no pun intended) of news, sports, commercials, and whatever else struck his fancy I guess. There are a lot of good "bits" but unfortunately almost each one makes you wish he stuck with the recording at least a little longer. (but then again, if he recorded longer segments we wouldn't have the variety that he captured, so it's a six-of-one situation)

Regarding finding tapes: more and more I believe that the best way to find tapes is by asking neighbors, friends, or acquaintances. Why? Because unfortunately these home recorded tapes are seen by most people as virtually worthless most of the time, and if something is viewed as worthless it has way less of a chance of even making it to a thrift store or garage sale. People would just throw them out (which is sad, I know).

Also, some thrift stores now have policies of not letting "home-recorded" tapes make it to the shelf at all - they will just toss or recycle them if donated. The reason I've heard for this is that either someone complained before about something they found on one of the tapes ("adult" content perhaps), or the thrift store people are just being proactive and trying to avoid any issues like this from happening in the first place. In any case, it does stink. One idea I had that you might want to do is call all of your local thrift stores in your area and ask them if they ever get any home-recorded tapes and what they do with them. (first hurdle is making sure they understand what you're talking about - I usually use the term home-recorded tapes and then make sure it's clear by saying I'm not talking about "store-bought" movie type tapes - but tapes that people recorded themselves at home off of TV) If they say that their policy is to just throw them away or recycle them, tell them to save them for you. Give them your name and number and tell them you will pay for them too if they are what you're looking for. Make sure you're talking to a manager or someone at the store that actually has the power to make this change. Also remind the manager to inform his workers so that they are aware of what to do with the tapes too. And lastly, it couldn't hurt to call the stores again every couple months or so, and talk to the same manager if possible, to double check they are still saving tapes for you and that they haven't lost your contact info. :-)

One last tip - when buying tapes I don't buy them based on what is on the labels. The stuff written on the labels can be a red herring. I go by the age of the tapes. If you've been doing this long enough you can identify a pre-1985 videotape just by the box style as well as certain markings on the videotape itself. The stuff written on the labels can be a nice clue, but again I don't hold much stock in it. There could be a Sony K-60 Betamax tape that could potentially date to 1975 and the person could have recorded over most of it and wrote "Jurassic Park 2" on the label - doesn't matter - because you may still find an untouched 10-20 minutes at the end of the tape of a 1978 airing of Baretta with original commercial breaks for all you know. Anyway, happy hunting and of course please let me know if you find anything good. :-)

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Phantom on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 6:41pm CT

An article in Broadcasting Magazine in February 1982 says Nite-Owl had as many as 110,000 viewers on some nights.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by T.K. on Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 10:04pm CT

It struck me how much Keyfax resembles the graphics of the Prodigy online service several years later. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because they both used the NAPLPS graphics language, which was originally developed for videotex and teletext use.

Now I'm curious how Nite-Owl's music feed originated. Usually the all-night news tickers run by stations in other cities simply carried audio from a sister radio station or the local National Weather Service broadcast. It sounds like Nite-Owl had a dedicated playlist. Did WFLD have a full-blown radio automation system with multiple carts and reels run off a clock, like something by Harris or IGM? Or did someone just dub everything together onto a new reel for each night's playback? Or did the overnight master-control operator sit there and play each song back from its own cart?

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 12:09pm CT

Kinda neat to see an early computer-based newsfax system up and running for a UHF Station in a big market about this time. I'm thinking WFLD was trying this out to see if it became successful, it would have been used within years at the other Field stations across the country. Another possibility was to compete locally against WGN, WBBM and possibly WSNS (with of course, ON-TV) in the wee hours of the morning.

But what's neater-than-neat? Watching the Empire State Building take off like a Saturn V rocket in Commodore 65 form!

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