From the cover of the defunct Radio To-Day magazine, the free two-color supplement printed on card stock that came bundled in the 3 cent bulldog edition of the Los Angeles Speller every other Tuesday. It often featured publicity stills from the Mutual Network Radio Playhouse and on June 17,1951 published stills from “The Myth of Syphilis.” The MNRP was a 30 minute dramatic program that followed longtime religious broadcaster and future Saint Vincent Island viceroy and spiritual leader Rev. E. Reckshon. “The Myth of Syphilis” premiered on MNRP that evening and starred the young Hollywood heartthrob, Van Conrad. “Condemned by the gods to interminable effort but eternal frustration when he realizes that the horrible sores covering his massive dangle will never truly heal nor go away, the unnamed protagonist of the classic philosophical treatise (and popular 70s dramatic series) decides to commit suicide, with hilarious results! 30 minutes. Color. Guest stars Liberace, Tom Bosley and Rod Serling reading a commercial for butter.” The program was sponsored by the American Tobacco Company, the maker of Lucky Strike and a line of regular and king sized cigarettes now lost to history called “Lady Doctors.” Lady Doctors were sold as pink-colored half-sized cigarettes manufactured with cutting-edge Acc-U-Ray punch card technology and were aimed at the exploding demographic of war-widows, pregnant young women and single mothers who lost their sweethearts to German wonder weapons. Smokers of the stubby Lady Doctors, or LD50s, were dames “too busy humping scratch and turning tricks to feed their doomed families,” and thus were in need of a quicker smoke. Their customers were equally damaged veterans, themselves presumably smokers of ATC’s “Shell Shock” line of pipe tobacco.
An insert ad in that edition of Radio To-Day highlighted a new summer program “Erotic Nights…” masterfully narrated by the San Diego Chicken, KBE.
Other programs of note: “Letters to God from Santa Claus” was a hands-on physics explanation as to just why the new TV technology didn’t work, at least not a universe governed by our physical laws.
“Do You Want to Do It?” the old sexually explicit game show hosted by dark humorist Groucho Marx, offering prizes to contestants willing to pull their skirts over their heads while Marx gave painted uniformly unflattering word portraits of what he saw in exchange for highly desired swag like extra nylon ration stamps and bags of subsistence potatoes.
On BBC’s Newsday, singer Garrison Keillor gives an interview to famous black athlete turned news personality, E.G. Davis, revealing that he has no memories at all during his six years hosting A Prairie Home Companion, citing his habit of taking the occasional shot of whiskey and phenobarbital first thing in the morning, every morning.
Shitmunchers was a show about a hilariously debauched baseball team made up of the sons (and daughter) of the town’s most notorious citizens, communists living downwind of a herbicide factory.
One of my family’s all-time favorites, That’s Just Shitty, was a classic comedy about Shitty, a retarded golden retriever whose incurable incontinence colored his journey through life attached to Nelson family (frequent guests of the San Diego Chicken, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson with son Willie). That’s Just Shitty was a weekly water-cooler show, essentially a one-off collection of put downs and incestual innuendo traded among a Jap-hating family who lie to each other about the frequency and intensity of their masturbatory habits.
Hans Schitz, Amateur Nazi Dentist was a drama centered around a budget fascist abortionist who flees Austria in the wake of the communist takeover and subsequent Jewish pogrom and sets up a practice in rural Alabama. All of my friends, both guys and girls, wanted to fuck Galilea McDice, the wisecracking African American actress who played Chloe, the illegitimate daughter of Hans Schitz.
And that’s the news from Lake Wobegone, where the children are medicated, the women are sad and the men all have prosthetic limbs from the war.
I’ll take Famous Women Named Tamika for $600, Alex…
This was some kind of attempt to write something from an alternate universe–a place almost exactly like our own but just a few tweaks beyond maybe.
I write these things trying to soothe a part of me that’s in constant agitation, as if I’ve somehow ingested a crying child. I’m very unhappy and sad inside. I’m also quite terrified of things that aren’t supposed to be terrifying. I have horrible habits that help me get through the day but quite self-destructive. The theory is that if maybe I can somehow just EXPRESS these horrible feelings of unease that that’s enough to make me feel as though I’ve expressed this. I wish and hope I somehow get the discipline to one day write enough to finish something though part of me can’t imagine how horrible it would feel to have something made FINAL by the needs of commerce. It would feel bad yet feel worse if nobody bought it, which is where 99.9999% of the odds lie.
I have had occasional relationships that have made me feel better but inevitably they’ve self-destructed, usually do to ways I’ve screwed up. I’m a selfish jerk. At least I’ve stopped searching for a way out.
My all-time favorite movie is a film noir called “Too Bad, So Sad” about a guy who does something illegal and then regrets and his life changes because of it, a life that he surrenders trying to make one last pure and good effort to change what he did. The subtext at the end is that when the camera pans by the sun that the heavens have forgiven him. Like the thief who was crucified next to Jesus. Of course, there is no such film. At least I don’t think so. But as a member of Gen X, I’m incapable of saying anything without irony or sarcasm. Sorry. (Yeah, right!)