WBBM Channel 2 - New Year's Eve: Chicago Style (Part 1, 1979/1980)
Here's Part 1 of "New Year's Eve: Chicago Style" - a special on WBBM Channel 2. Unfortunately, the recording starts during a commercial break and we miss the first 10 minutes or so of the broadcast - still, lots of local fun in this one. :-)
Gary Deeb (the Tribune's TV-radio critic at the time) wrote in his column for Monday, December 31st 1979 - "The Local Line: Speaking of New Year's Eve, if you want to laugh yourself into convulsions, tune to WBBM-Ch. 2 about 11:40pm for the station's annual New Year's special. The 30-minute telecast originates live from State and Randolph streets, from the Empire Room of the Palmer House, and from Arnie's, the gathering place for pampered poodles on the Near North Side. The Channel 2 special invariably collapses into a comedy of errors, with only John Coughlin managing to maintain a semblance of dignity and professionalism. One "performer" who won't be back is Irv Kupcinet, the Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist who tried to anchor some cut-ins from the Pump Room last year and kept interviewing his wife and continually referred to one of the restaurant's owners as "the lovely Rich Melman." Without Kupcinet, the program's humor-quotient is sure to skid. Nevertheless, the Channel 2 presentation usually rivals a Marx Brothers movie for uproarious slapstick."
As Deeb noted, this year's broadcast couldn't possibly match up in the unintended hilarity category, but it's still neat to see a glimpse of the "old" New Year's traditions featuring Victor Lombardo. (who took over after Guy Lombardo passed away in 1977) Not too long after this, Lombardo went the way of the dodo and everyone got on the "Rockin' New Year's" bandwagon. Perhaps one day we'll find one of the earlier ones with Kup. :-)
This part includes:
Partial Brown's Chicken commercial
True Value Hardware Stores Tru-Test Paint commercial (voiceover by Lee Phillip)
Continental Bank - "We'll Find a Way" - Chicago Collector's Plates promotion with the Chicago Fire Department (voiceover by Tom Bosley)
Live from the Empire Room at the Palmer House - Warner Saunders talks with Colela Ali (sp?) and actor Paul Winfield (of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan fame as well as many other roles) before "throwing a snowball" to...
John Coughlin, live from the corner of State & Randolph, who gives an update.
Bob Wallace, at Arnie's Restaurant, chats with some patrons including Floyd and Ellen of Chicago.
John Coughlin updates again while waiting for Mayor Jane Bryne, and not having much to say, throws it back to...
Warner Saunders watches the folks dance at the Empire Room while Victor Lombardo's orchestra belts out a snappy version of "Hello, Dolly!"
This aired on local Chicago TV Monday, December 31st 1979 from about 11:45pm to 11:55pm.
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