Saturday, August 07, 2010

I Was A TV Addict

In lieu of a full Weekend Videos segment, which I've put on hold while I'm doing the Emmy polling, I thought that I might give you this, which I stumbled upon while looking at something else; a classic Wayne & Shuster bit from 1959: "I Was A TV Addict."

This piece is an audio piece only from an album (maybe their only album) they apparently did around 1960 which features four of their greatest routines, including, "Shakespearean Baseball," "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga," "Frontier Psychiatrist," and this one. I distinctly remember seeing this bit on a series of black & white Wayne & Shuster retrospective shows that Frank Shuster had on CBC shortly after Johnny Wayne's death. Pretty funny stuff, but unlike the other three routines on this album it's probably not something that could be updated over the years as necessary.

And trust me, if they could've they would've. Wayne & Shuster were into recycling long before blue box programs. I don't know how many versions of "Shakespearean Baseball" I've seen. Details might change, like the ultimate destination of Wayne's destination after he's hit on the head, but the basic script remained the same. If all they ever did was recycle the same material they'd have been tired and unsuccessful, but for the most part they interleaved the recycled material with new stuff.

It isn't easy to find too much Wayne & Shuster material online or for sale for that matter. Between their estates and the CBC there isn't much out there outside of a little bit of material they did in the 1970s and '80s, which wasn't their best era. There's one retrospective DVD out there and that's it. A lot of this has to do with the contract that ACTRA forced on the CBC years ago which makes it prohibitively expensive in terms of royalties to be paid to the actors and their estates to actually air old radio and TV shows. This pretty much explains why there is precious little in terms of Canadian Old Time Radio or TV on the air anywhere.

Anyway, for your entertainment and elucidation, I Was A TV Addict."

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