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WSNS Channel 44 - Al Lerner Sports - "So Long..." (Part 1, 1971)

Here's Part 1 of the final episode of Al Lerner Sports on WSNS Channel 44. Lerner was the station's first sportscaster, and would go on to a long career with such stations as WLS Channel 7, WMAQ Channel 5, WGN Radio 720 and WSCR-AM, as well as being a wrestling announcer. Also featuring a young (and at this point, moustacheless) Tim Weigel, then a sportswriter for the now-defunct Chicago Daily News, who himself would become a familiar face on Chicago television, working for all three network-owned stations at one time or another. Includes:

An introduction of Tim Weigel, with the offscreen announcer (Al Lerner himself) mentioning his prediction that Northwestern would win the Big 10 title, and advising he is "isolated in a super-secret soundproof booth"; the voiceover then announces this program as coming "from the penny-pinching capital of the world, Chicago"

Al Lerner Sports title bumper and theme music - "Chicago's most complete and comprehensive coverage of the day's sporting events" (typeface used for title is Americana Bold) (voiceover by ??)

Al Lerner (wearing a green-colored jersey sporting number 84 on the front) introduces Tim (as the "First Bum of the Week") and announces that this is the last program (to groans from the crew), as well as the last big football day; at one point Don (?) passes through. A brief display of small pickets reading "We Love You Al" and "Unfair!!" is shown, and Al advises that the pickets will be outside the WSNS studios after 6:30 (with a "Right On, #84!!" picket showing briefly). Al then gives the phone number for viewers to call. Afterward, Al goes on to the first of the college football scores:

- Army defeats Navy at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, 24-23 (with Al wearing the headgear of each branch, finally settling on an Army helmet; Al has trouble getting to the score at one point because he is sprayed with pink confetti); the winning score was by Kingsley Fink; one of the Navy touchdowns was by Fred Stuvek. After Al mentions that "it wasn't a pillow fight," one of the crew members throws a pillow at him.

Throughout this segment, various sound effects are heard, more or less signifying what Al and Tim are discussing at a given moment.

Al Lerner Sports title bumper

Commercial: Discipline hair spray - for long hair - Available at Osco Drug

Commercial: George Kirby for Cool-Brella umbrellas (ending voiceover by ?? - "Don't let it rain on your parade")

TECHNICAL NOTE: The in-studio picture quality is attributable to a British-made camera, the EMI 2001, which was prevalent on many British TV shows of the late 1960's to the '80's and even into the early 1990's (ranging from Doctor Who to Dave Allen at Large to Monty Python's Flying Circus to The Benny Hill Show to Upstairs, Downstairs to the early years of EastEnders). This camera was marketed in the U.S. by International Video Corporation (IVC) in two variations, four-tube (IVC/EMI 2001-B) and three-tube (IVC/EMI 2001-C); WSNS was probably the only U.S. station to have bought and used this camera - making it unique among the Chicago TV stations - or for that matter, other U.S. stations (WBBM Channel 2 and WFLD Channel 32 used Marconi Mark VII's during this period; WMAQ and WGN Channel 9, the RCA TK-44A/B; and WLS, the General Electric PE-250, for example).

This aired on local Chicago TV on Saturday, November 27th 1971 during the 5:30 to 6pm timeframe.

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This clip aired on Saturday, November 27th 1971, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Once again...EPIC!
Comment posted by ArmitageNLowell on Tuesday, February 7th 2012 at 1:29pm.

Based on the television listings, WSNS cancelled the show before the end of its scheduled run. Can't imagine why. Al Lerner and Tim Weigel moved on to Sports Sportlight for Channel 44 until Weigel got hired by WMAQ.
Comment posted by Phantom on Tuesday, February 7th 2012 at 8:56pm.

Never saw this show although I've heard about it often!
Nice to see it for the first time! OUTSTANDING Rick!!! :)

Comment posted by Matt on Wednesday, February 8th 2012 at 11:15am.

Glad you guys like it. It came from a VHS dub of a studio recorded tape (not sure if it was on 2" or what) - unfortunately the original has long since been discarded, so all we have is this VHS dub. Still, for something this old the quality is not too bad. :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, February 8th 2012 at 11:32am.

I never expected to see anything from this era! I *think* I was actually in studio for this one. Those might have even been my hands (I often floor directed "Al Lerner Sports"), insisting that we go to break.

I *think* the v-o announcer was Harvey Radis. The crew member in question, who passed through as Al was introducing young Tim, was Dom Bonavolonta. (Howdy, Dominic!)

I do believe that the obnoxious "Flyaways" hairspray commercial had been the very first filmed spot that ever ran on 44. (All spots before its first run, were from slides with a taped accompaniment.) For a few weeks, that damned spot came up every 10 or 15 minutes. I was ready to blow up the film.

I remember the George Kirby spot very well, too. I'm glad it's out there in the cloud now!

That Zenith ChromaColor commercial sure had crappy color, didn't it? I always thought it was pretty funny that you could watch a spot for a great new TV set, on a horrendous old TV set.

I don't know who voiced the Paneling Unlimited spot in segment 3 ... but it wasn't Mal.

Joe Oher was the director, according to the only closing credit.

Comment posted by Geno57 on Thursday, February 9th 2012 at 2:25am.

I did notice that the way filmed ads were shown on 44 seemed below par compared to the "major" stations (2, 5, 7, 9 and 11 - even 32, though it wasn't until later that WFLD's ratings were on par). I'm curious - what film chain would WSNS have used in those days - RCA TK-27? Or an old TK-26 that was somehow donated by WGN or WMAQ?
Comment posted by W.B. on Thursday, February 9th 2012 at 7:24am.

Awesome stuff! I was surprised to see Silly String on display here, thinking it was a newer invention. And looking at Wikipedia, it says Silly String was patented in 1972. Any kids from the 60s or 70s know what this pink proto-Silly String was?

Comment posted by APM on Friday, February 10th 2012 at 2:36pm.

It's too bad you don't see shows like this anymore.
The only thing that I can remember that was close was the Sunday night sports show (I can't remember what it was called) on WMAQ in the early 90's with Mark Giangreco and #76 Steve "Mongo" "Ming" McMichael.
That was wild!

Comment posted by ArmitageNLowell on Friday, February 10th 2012 at 4:02pm.

Yeah, I was surprised by the silly string too. In one of the clips he doesn't call it that either, but something else.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Friday, February 10th 2012 at 4:17pm.

Kinda reminds me of a TV Production class the day the teacher wasn't around. Too funny !

Comment posted by TeleFrank on Monday, February 13th 2012 at 5:19am.

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This clip has been viewed 2823 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Tuesday, February 7th 2012.
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WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 1, 1980)

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WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980)

WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 5, 1980)


Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by W.B. on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 2:39pm CT

I also wish to add that, checking the LOC's (Library of Congress) catalogues of copyright entries as in Google Books, Raim's "Big Show Theme" copyright was registered on November 22nd 1968, five years to the day after JFK's assassination - a wild coincidence if ever there was one. But the original "4:30 Movie" opening, from all accounts, was also used in Detroit by WXYZ Channel 7 as well as by WABC. If it's true WLS never used this type opening with the difference in title, it'd be a surprise - given the use of that type of logo design in one of the promos Cathy Mustari designed.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Movie Eleven - "Dr. Who" (Opening, 1976) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:58pm CT

Music Source Discovered!

Another mystery music track is identified...

(are you ready?) :-)

The theme used for Movie Eleven here was composed by Dave Grusin and is from the soundtrack for the film "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" [1968]. Apparently, although not yet confirmed (since the soundtrack is hard to come by) - the specific name of this track is called "Growing Pains". Here's a link right to the scene in the movie where the music is used.

Many thanks to Paul Simmons for providing us with the answer!


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:24pm CT

Bernie Drayton actually e-mailed me with this information back in October of 2013, but somehow it got overlooked until now. Sorry for the oversight. :-(


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "The Original 3:30 (4:30) Movie Opening!" (1969-1973?) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 9:19pm CT

From W.B. - "It has since been revealed that the theme was composed by a chap named Walter Raim (who over the years, wrote many music cues for ABC promos) around 1968, in the movie program's waning months under its original title "The Big Show," and indeed it is registered with ASCAP as "Big Show Theme." It had been commissioned by ABC in New York, and was recorded at the now-defunct Gotham Recording Corp. in New York City, with Bernard Drayton and Susan Hamilton as producers and Herman Edel Associates as the music house, with The Lampert Agency and two of its staffers, agency producer Diane Flynn and agency creative director Bill Wurtzel, also involved in the making of this piece (this info courtesy Mr. Drayton himself, in a message to this individual on YouTube, where he has an account under the name "Last Minute Entertainment"). Ed Rice was the recording engineer."


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - Summit Series Game 8 (Commercial Break, 1972) by AnnArborMI90 on Monday, February 8th, 2016 at 5:59pm CT

I am curious as to what format this may be. I know it's not CV-2000, since that only recorded in black-and-white. I'm thinking Type A VTR.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980) by W.B. on Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 6:12am CT

I.I.N.M., Chuck Barris, besides being responsible for both "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game" (not to mention "The Gong Show"), also produced "The New Treasure Hunt," which may explain how that post-Game 1 music on "The Dating Game" that 'BobAnthony' mentioned, ahem, got around . . . as well as the tuxes.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 4, 1980) by BobAnthony on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10:10pm CT

You kind of get the feeling that this go round of The Dating Game was quite ribald...Jim Lange's tuxes notwithstanding. These I think were among those worn by Geoff Edwards when he hosted "The New Treasure Hunt." And yes to WB's point this was the version seen on WOR-TV Channel 9 along with The Newlywed Game's 1977-80 run. I remember seeing reruns of these shows on 9 in the mid 80's as a prep for the "New" versions of these shows.


Comment posted in WSNS Channel 44 - The Dating Game - "Joey D'Auria" (Part 2, 1980) by BobAnthony on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10:05pm CT

By the way, the music used after the end of game one should be familiar to game show fans like myself. It was used when one of the prizes was won or perhaps passed up on The New Treasure Hunt (1973-77). It also served as the show's closing theme.


Comment posted in WNBQ Channel 5 - The Dorsey Connors Show (Part 2, 1963) by Pushbutton on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 4:40pm CT

Thanks so much! I tried, but couldn't find anything!


Comment posted in WNBQ Channel 5 - The Dorsey Connors Show (Part 2, 1963) by W.B. on Thursday, January 21st, 2016 at 7:37pm CT

Ms. Cameron was fashion editor for the Chicago American at the time. She was mentioned in a September 16th 1962 article in the Chicago Tribune's Magazine of Books section, in the "Bystander" column by future WTTW "Book Beat" host Robert Cromie, in relation to an upcoming talk at the Chicago Public Library to be held that October 4th. One of her articles - penned in 1959, about a Swedish fashion designer named Katja - can be found online within the New School site.


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