On WCBS-TV in New York, perhaps the most enduring legacy was from the station I.D. that aired between program segments, on which news anchor Rolland Smith intoned the now-famous phrase, "Fighting the frizzies - at 11." Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, December 14th 2007 at 10:32pm.
You don't know how bad I was tempted to mute this thing. It's easily one of the most bizarre holiday specials in the long history of holiday specials. It's also easily the best quality I have ever seen...but Fuzzy, you disappoint me...no Bea Arthur clip??? Comment posted by GHilbrich on Friday, December 14th 2007 at 11:17pm.
I always wondered if the red robes were to save on them creating more Wookie costumes. Comment posted by smctopia on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 8:47am.
GHilbrich - Don't tempt me. I'll whip out the Bea Arthur faster than you can say Wookie-ookie. ;-) Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 9:00am.
I'd heard about how horrible this show was (I didn't see it when it aired); judging from this clip, it's just......weird!
Man, that's darn good video quality for 1978, though... Comment posted by dauber on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 10:47am.
OH MY GOD THAT REAL BAD Comment posted by pantaloon123 on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 11:29am.
dauber - I know, it's unbelievable. This was recorded on VHS too! I only wish he saved the commercials - man, that would have been an awesome recording. Still, it was recorded off of WBBM so it's Chicago. :-) Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 2:46pm.
smctopia - Good point. They were probably wearing T-shirts and jeans under those robes. :-) Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 2:50pm.
Geeze! I saw a bootleg of this special (first time I had seen it since I was 7), man, 7 year olds are so easily amused. No wonder Lucas denied its existence! Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 2:58pm.
This is so bad I had to watch it and comment again! At about 2:50 it looks like someone turned on a blender or something...the video gets those nice little interference lines. Can you imagine if this special aired before Star Wars was theatrically released?
Happy Life Day everyone! Comment posted by GHilbrich on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 5:29pm.
I just remember being freaked out by the Stormtrooper ripping the doll's head off. For years I thought that it was a bad dream. It was a bad dream...of Lucas'. Comment posted by kietdoke on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 5:51pm.
Great Star Wars Holiday Special clip!
This was from a WBBM Chicago taping? I remember seeing Star Wars Holiday Special tapings taped off WMAR 2 Baltimore, WCBS 2 New York, and KPIX 5 San Francisco.
Doubtful it will be on DVD/Blu-Ray in 2008 for the 30th. anniversary if George Lucas approves. Comment posted by dth1971 on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 8:22pm.
GHilbrich - Yep, you're right. (Although it's actually at about 4:33 into the clip - the time on the left is elapsed time and the time on the right is remaining time) Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 9:36pm.
dth1971 - Yep, this was recorded off of WBBM's airing. Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 9:36pm.
Man, even Harrison Ford is terrible in this one. And he only has around 4 seconds of screen time. Comment posted by Ringthane on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 9:54pm.
Ringthane - In this clip he only has 4 seconds of screen time - trust me, there are several more minutes of pained acting by him throughout the special. Don't make me post the whole thing! ;-) Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 10:09pm.
Besides Bea Arthur, another guest who appeared in the special was Art Carney. And I'm sure I'm incomplete in listing who else appeared in "TSWHS" besides the core "SW" cast. Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, December 15th 2007 at 11:35pm.
Fuzzy, Oh, yes, I know. I have the whole thing. Bea Arthur's cantina conga line, Boba Fett's intro -- the whole thing. And it's all pain. I must have watched it when it aired, because I wouldn't have missed anything Star Wars-related back then, but my brain wisely blocked it out for years. Comment posted by Ringthane on Sunday, December 16th 2007 at 10:07am.
Wow....just wow...I just watched this for the third time...I'm just...stunned..I find myself watching it over just to prove to myself that it really exists...I don't know, it's like a horrible train wreck -- you don't want to watch, but you can't look away... Comment posted by dauber on Sunday, December 16th 2007 at 10:21pm.
3:00 to 3:10 - 10 seconds of my best dreams from grade school. Just replace the song with Carrie Fisher telling me how happy I've made her.
3:29 to 3:39 - 10 seconds of wookie creepily staring a hole through you. Frightens me as much as that gorilla from Trading Places! Comment posted by AbeFroman on Monday, December 17th 2007 at 9:54am.
Abe - 8-) I know what you mean in both cases. That's why I picked the thumbnail picture that I did - a nice pic of Carrie staring lovingly up. That Chewie part cracks me up too - he's getting nostalgic and remembering random parts of the movie? "Arrrghh... I remember when the audience saw the Falcon for the first time, even though I had seen it 1000 times by then...good times..." 8-) Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Monday, December 17th 2007 at 11:01am.
Wow, even Chewbacca looks embarrassed -- how is that possible? I loved Star Wars but remember, even as an 8-year-old, thinking how stupid this was (though I don't remember much of it, even after watching this clip). This is a definite "Yes, this existed" moment, one you think wasn't actually real (I used to think the "Brady Variety Hour" was a figment of my imagination for years until Nick at Nite began rerunning them in the 1990s). Was this before Mark Hamill's car accident, it looks like his original nose?
Comment posted by Joey G on Monday, December 17th 2007 at 3:36pm.
Although Carrie Fisher's parents each had success on the music charts in the past. (Anyone remember "Tammy," from the one side?) Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, December 18th 2007 at 2:09pm.
Jesus Christ Almighty! Comment posted by brendanchenowith on Thursday, May 29th 2008 at 3:44pm.
you know, I remember watching this as a kid and thinking "meh"..though I loved seeing the animation... but yeah, this was pretty bad.. Comment posted by agenturge on Sunday, July 18th 2010 at 9:25pm.
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This clip has been viewed 9435 times. This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Friday, December 14th 2007.
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.
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. :-)
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?
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!