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Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
35 Years Ago Today

Here's part of an episode of the prototypical "reality show" Real People on WMAQ Channel 5. The show was hosted by Byron Allen, Sarah Purcell, John Barbour, and Skip Stephenson (and featured, on and off over the years, contributions from the likes of Bill Rafferty, Mark Russell and Fred Willard - none of whom are on this edition), and ran from 1979 to 1984.

This segment (joined in progress) pertains to the 1980 Bloomer, Wisconsin Rope Jump Contest, in a filmed piece reported by Byron Allen. At the open, there are interviews with local residents about Bloomer's reputation as the "rope jump capital of the world," and a snippet of Danny & The Juniors' "At the Hop" being played. One of the highlights of the contest is to see who is the fastest jumper in the World Championship Speed Rope Jumping contest (each contestant jumps for 10 seconds); competitors from Chippewa Falls and Elk Mound are among the participants. Features an interview with coach Wally Mohrman who started the contest back in 1960. Vaughn Zwiefelhofer of Bloomer, Wisconsin won the 2015 Grand Champion with 63 jumps in 10 seconds. The then-current champion, Bloomer resident Paul Morning, 17, is then spotlighted and interviewed, and given a Real People T-shirt by coach Mohrman. He had 72 jumps in 10 seconds.

Commercial: Sta-Puf Reusable Sheets - "The Reusable Dryer Sheet - Now Available Anywhere" (by A.E. Staley)

Commercial: Chrysler/Plymouth - "It Pays to Compare" - will pay $50 to compare the Chrysler Cordoba to a Thunderbird, Regal or XR-7 - $500 if you buy the Cordoba (this was around the time the automaker received a loan from the Federal Government)

Commercial: ERA Buyer Protection - "All You Need to Know in Real Estate" - © 1980, Electronic Realty Associates, Inc.

Promo for NBC's Saturday lineup of Sanford (episode "The Still of the Night"), Me and Maxx (episode "Lunch at the Plaza"), and a Prime Time Saturday look at "a new group of criminals": cancer patients who smoke marijuana - starting at 9 PM (8 PM Central & Mountain) (voice over by Casey Kasem)

"We're not lettin' any Russians precipitate in the contest this year."

This aired on March 26, 1980.

WMAQ Channel 5 - Real People (Part 1, 1980)

Here's Part 1 of an (incomplete) episode of the prototypical "reality show" Real People on WMAQ Channel 5. The show was hosted by Byron Allen, Sarah Purcell, John Barbour, and Skip Stephenson (and featured, on and off over the years, contributions from the likes of Bill Rafferty, Mark Russell and Fred Willard - none of whom are on this edition), and ran from 1979 to 1984 at a time when NBC's ratings (and reputation) were in the toilet.

This segment (joined in progress) pertains to the 1980 Bloomer (WI) Rope Jump Contest, in a filmed piece reported by Byron Allen. At the open, there are interviews with local residents about Bloomer's reputation as the "rope jump capital of the world," and a snippet of Danny & The Juniors' "At the Hop" being played. One of the highlights of the contest is to see who is the fastest jumper in the World Championship Speed Rope Jumping contest (each contestant jumps for 10 seconds); competitors from Chippewa Falls and Elk Mound are among the participants. Features an interview with coach Wally Mohrman who started the contest back in 1960. (There is a website pertaining to this long-running contest, for which you can click here.) Also seen are the judges who measure how fast each contestant jumps. The then-current champion, Bloomer resident Paul Morning, 17, is then spotlighted and interviewed, and given a Real People T-shirt by coach Mohrman. After the end of the filmed piece, Byron introduces Morning and coach Mohrman in the studio, and Paul shows off his rope jumping skill to the studio audience. (NOTE: Mohrman's involvement with the annual contest ended after the next year's edition.)

Commercial: Sta-Puf Reusable Sheets - "The Reusable Dryer Sheet - Now Available Anywhere" (by A.E. Staley)

Commercial: Chrysler/Plymouth - "It Pays to Compare" - will pay $50 to compare the Chrysler Cordoba to a Thunderbird, Regal or XR-7 - $500 if you buy the Cordoba (this was around the time the automaker received a loan from the Federal Government)

Commercial: ERA Buyer Protection - "All You Need to Know in Real Estate" - (C) 1980, Electronic Realty Associates, Inc.

Promo for NBC's Saturday lineup of Sanford (episode "The Still of the Night"), Me and Maxx (episode "Lunch at the Plaza"), and a Prime Time Saturday look at "a new group of criminals": cancer patients who smoke marijuana - starting at 9pm (8pm Central & Mountain) (voiceover by Casey Kasem)

"We're not lettin' any Russians precipitate in the contest this year."

This aired on local Chicago TV on Wednesday, March 26th 1980 during the
7:39pm to 7:45pm timeframe.

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This clip aired on Wednesday, March 26th 1980, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Here's the TV Guide program listing from the repeat airing on September 3, 1980: Highlights include reports on a car with two front ends; people who enjoy swimming in freezing water; a man who plays music on his pocket calculator; a school for young violinists; a speed jump-rope contest; a nightclub featuring amateur talent; a man who built a boat in his backyard. Another listing adds these topics: renting a hot tub; Olympic hopefuls in Oregon; a satirical piece by Mark Russell.
Comment posted by Phantom on Wednesday, May 2nd 2012 at 9:35pm.

Real People is one of the earliest prime-time shows I have memories of watching... its flashier cousin That's Incredible too.
Comment posted by APM on Friday, May 4th 2012 at 6:20am.

I hate to break it to you guys, but Bill Rafferty, the guy who hosted this show along with Every Second Counts, Blockbusters & Card Sharks passed away today at age 68.

Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Saturday, August 11th 2012 at 12:40pm.

So who's left then - Byron Allen and Sarah Purcell? (I know Skip Stephenson died some years back.)
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, August 11th 2012 at 5:21pm.

Byron Allen & Sarah Purcell are still around, but Skip Stephenson did die in 1992.
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Saturday, August 11th 2012 at 5:25pm.

John Barbour, Mark Russell, Fred Willard, Peter Billingsley and Kelly Millerick are still around. Russell has retired from performing.
Comment posted by Phantom on Sunday, August 12th 2012 at 6:15am.

JUMP TO IT!
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Tuesday, March 25th 2014 at 9:29pm.

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This clip has been viewed 1118 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, May 2nd 2012.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - "Profane Pledge" (1980) by Detroit4Chicago on Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 5:01pm CT

Idk... if these ended up on TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes, they'd get on but bleeped.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - "Profane Pledge" (1980) by Dth1971 on Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 at 9:03pm CT

Doubtful Dick Clark and Ed McMahon could have used those MASH bloopers.


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Seal of Good Practice, SSB, & Station Sign-Off (1981) by ER3017 on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 at 7:39pm CT

@ChrisBCritter- It has been in color the film lol.


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Seal of Good Practice, SSB, & Station Sign-Off (1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at 9:27pm CT

@ER3017- Thanks for the info from the schedule. With a two-hour feature (The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell) including a few commercial spots in between, it does take up a lot of time to force a station like WBBM-TV to cancel the sermonette.

CBS O&O's were notorious for their Late Show lineups circa 1979-1980 IMHO. In places like NYC, Philly and Chicago, it was most common. But in LA, it was variable and in St. Louis, schedules were "normal:" between 1 and 3 in the morning, especially on Sundays.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Summerfest '79 (Pledge Break #2, 1979) by Smctopia on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at 12:30pm CT

I just heard a song by Jane Olivor on MeTv radio!


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Seal of Good Practice, SSB, & Station Sign-Off (1981) by ChrisBCritter on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 5:25am CT

Interesting - I remember once seeing The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell aired in black and white around this date. Next time I saw it I was surprised to see it was in color! Wonder how that happened?


Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Seal of Good Practice, SSB, & Station Sign-Off (1981) by ER3017 on Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 6:29pm CT

@Detroit4Chicago- It is the second showing of "The Late Show"; they were airing "The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell" at 3:30am and probably signed off at about 5:30am. Here's the schedule.


Comment posted in Folger's - "My Wife Can't Make Coffee" (Commercial, 1978) by Pete on Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 2:08am CT

I just Googled sotz for the hell of it, Fuzzy. I came across this and MAYBE this had something to do with it perhaps...

http://www.woodstovewizard.com/sotz-barrel-stove-kit.html

Just for the record, I'm not a huge drinker of coffee but my girlfriend is. I've learned to make a mean cup of coffee and a mean whiskey cocktail. BOTH will put hair on your boo boo. :-D


Comment posted in McDonald's - "Shamrock Shake" (Commercial, 1985) by Pete on Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 1:59am CT

Got a Shamrock Shake today. They've gone back to the original recipe.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - News - "TelePrompTer ScRewUp" (1991?) by Pete on Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 1:58am CT

Some things are better left off of FB, Fuzzy....Just saying. ;-)


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