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WBBM Channel 2 - How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Excerpts, 1975)

Here's some surviving excerpts of the 1975 airing of a holiday perennial, the animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas on WBBM Channel 2. Includes:

A more complete "Season's Greetings" WBBM Station ID, with the same bumper slide as on here (voiceover by ??) - followed by CBS "bong"

Animated "A CBS Special Presentation" bumper

Opening titles of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas opening sponsor billboard (for Kellogg's cereals - "Your Best Days Start with Breakfast," and Nestle - makers of Crunch, $100,000 and Choco-Lite candy bars, and Quik chocolate drink mix "for you and your family") (voiceover by ??)

Final moments of last scene of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas closing sponsor billboard (products same as on opening billboard) (voiceover by ??)

Closing credits of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (with voiceover promos by Bill Martin)

This aired on local Chicago TV on Friday, December 12th 1975.

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This clip aired on Friday, December 12th 1975, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

CHOCO-LITE!!!! That's the chocolate bar I was trying to remember.
Comment posted by NuBnPrnc2k on Tuesday, November 29th 2011 at 7:45am.

End credits promo V/O added to clip description.
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, November 29th 2011 at 12:14pm.

What is the "CBS bong" anyway? When did they stop using it?
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, November 29th 2011 at 4:06pm.

Funny you should ask. The CBS "bong" sounded almost like a piano note. I personally measured the sound as being 433 Hz modulated by a faint 866 Hz. It was heard at the top of the hour for the purpose of signaling the start of a network feed. It can still be heard to this day on WBBM Newsradio 780 (and where I live in NYC, WCBS Newsradio 880 - and countless other CBS Radio affiliates across the nation) before the hourly CBS News updates. It was last used on the TV side around the late 1970's or early '80's.
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, November 29th 2011 at 4:12pm.

A lot of TV programming on all the networks no longer start at the top of the hour. It's not uncommon for a show to start at say, 8:59:30 PM or even at say, 10:01:10 PM. The networks often air network commercial breaks at the top of the hour. Therefore, the use of tones at the top of the hour aren't practical at all anymore. I sure do miss them though. NBC Television had a "beep" at the start of their shows. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2dWhjB8_0U&feature=related :12 into video. Although this was used in this instance for radio, I use to hear this on WMAQ-TV and WNDU-TV, South Bend before the NBC peacock would air all the time when I was little.
Comment posted by Matt on Tuesday, November 29th 2011 at 7:34pm.

NBC's "beep" (both on radio and TV) from the 1960's into the '70's was about 750 Hz, lasting about :00.5 seconds, and sounded like a combo of sine, square and sawtooth (with sine being the louder, of course). (And the opening and closing V/O on that clip was the late Bill Wendell, in-between being sidekick to Ernie Kovacs and becoming David Letterman's first NBC announcer.) It should be noted that this kind of tone with that kind of length lasted on at Philadelphia radio station KYW 1060 AM for many, many years after it switched to the current all-news format way back in September 1965; last I checked, the frequency of that tone was 787 Hz.

The other factor about TOH (and even BOH) tones today is the digital delay applicable at many radio stations today, with anywhere from 8 to 20 second drift after the exact time. (And don't get me started on the lag between picture and sound, with a lot of times looking like a badly dubbed Japanese monster movie where the lip movements don't match what's being spoken.)

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, November 29th 2011 at 8:02pm.

Was this from a Betamax tape recorded on BI speed (from the Betamax console) or a U-Matic tape?
Comment posted by Betamax75 on Thursday, December 1st 2011 at 12:41am.

@Betamax75 - No actually, this clip, along with the Grinch clip, WGN White Christmas broadcast segment, the ""Dart Gun Fun" clip, and Dominick's 1977 Turkey commercial were all from EIAJ open-reel 1/2" tape - same batch that I got at the beginning of this year. I have so many tapes left that we still need to transfer. I am going to need to do another fundraiser soon to finance some of these.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Friday, December 2nd 2011 at 11:06pm.

"Now stay tuned for The Frosty the Snowman!"
oops.
...but first this public service announcement from The Smokey The Bear... :)

Comment posted by ChrisBCritter on Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 2:16pm.

Anyone notice anything else strange about the ending voiceover? A flub, perhaps? ;-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 2:55pm.

There was no flub that I know of; the audio briefly faded due to a tape dropout. No, Martin clearly intoned, "Now stay tuned for 'Frosty the Snowman'." If you've heard audio tape dropouts on some music, you'd know what I mean. However, the way he said it, it almost sounded like, "Now stay tune for..."
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 3:17pm.

"Monday, the p---- gang..." - no one else hears this but me? :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 3:50pm.

You're right - no extra "the" - oh well. In the immortal words of Emily Litella: "Never mind."

And now that you mention it, Fuzzy, it does sound like - uh, that...

Comment posted by ChrisBCritter on Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 3:51pm.

Again, Bill Martin did seem to have a peculiar way of pronouncing some things from time to time. But the way he said the word sounded more like rhyming with "Venus." And his pronunciation of the lead character's first name sounded almost like the nickname of former Cubs manager, and member of the 1961-65 "College of Coaches," and announcer for much of the 1960 baseball season, "Jolly Cholly" Grimm.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 5:26pm.

The V/O on the station ID is Ed Roberts (compare with other clips featuring his voice and 1974 TV 2 News at 6 open).

And here's an example of NBC's TOH "beep" on TV. This was recorded off WMAQ-TV (!) on December 10, 1974, right before a Kraft-sponsored Andy Williams Christmas special. However, the tone in this example was 747/748 Hz (thanks for the measurement, W.B.).

@W.B.:
I saw a clip on YouTube from 1980 where the CBS "bong" was still being used, so they continued to used it until the early '80s.

EDIT: I.I.R.C., the clip with the CBS "bong" was from WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities.

Comment posted by IAmNomad on Thursday, December 13th 2012 at 1:19am.

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This clip has been viewed 2852 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, November 28th 2011.
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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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