Posts in Category: Broadcast History

April 8, 1979…”All In The Family” Final Episode Airs On CBS

April 8, 1979…”All In The Family” Final Episode Airs On CBS

The link below to the final show, titled “To Good Edith”, was blocked just after this went up this morning. Sorry. “All In The Family” began on CBS on January 12, 1971 and was ranked #1 in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976.

This was the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years.

This was also the first major sitcom to be recorded on video tape.

For the first six year, the show was produced on Stages 31 and 41 at Television City but then moved to Metromedia Square, where Norman Lear was producing all his other shows.

The show never used canned laughter…it was always a live audience, but in the last year, there was no studio audience.

Instead, the edited videotape was played to a live audience and their response recorded for inclusion. This was usually done with the audiences that came to see the taping of “One Day At A Time”, so they got a bonus. Notice Carroll O’Connor’s final VO here says “All in the Family was played to a studio audience for live responses.” -Bobby Ellerbee

All in the Family S9 E27 – Too Good Edith Last of All in the Family Apr 8 1979 then it became Archie Bunkers Place


Marilyn Monroe….’Person To Person’ April 8, 1955

Marilyn Monroe….’Person To Person’ April 8, 1955
At the clip above, we start with photographer Milton Green walking through the living room we see in the photos. While he’s walking toward the kitchen where Marilyn is waiting, he is talking live with Edward R. Murrow via the new Shur “Vagabond” wireless microphone.

The Vagabond was the first broadcast quality wireless mic and you can see Marilyn holding the unit in her hand before the CBS technician helps her put hide it under her clothes.

In the second photo, we see another rare sight. As she poses with the “Person To Person” crew, there are two new RCA TK11/31s behind them. The rarity is the striped banding around the top. Usually, this was only done with the TK10 and TK30.

In case you don’t know, the banding is actually a very clever grayscale camera chart. Early on, the settings on the black and white cameras tended to drift and some “on the fly” adjustments were needed, but that required a test pattern or grayscale chart. As a quick fix, the CBS NY engineering department came up with these grey and white alternating bands and put them on all their cameras so that all you had to do for a quick alignment was shoot the camera next to you.

This worked well on the TK10s and TK30s because they didn’t have handles like the TK11/31. With the handles in the way, the shot was blocked and effectiveness of this arrangement was diminished. When the new TK11s arrived, they put the banding on but after a few months, stopped adding it, so only a few of the new TK11s were banded and actually, with the new updates onboard, drifting was not as much of a problem as it had been with the older TK10s and 30s. – Bobby Ellerbee


SNL Classic! Behind The Scenes Of “The Continental” Sketches

SNL Classic! Behind The Scenes Of “The Continental” Sketches

Whenever Christopher Walken hosts SNL, he does a recurring character…”The Continental” which is always shot from the woman’s Point Of View by a hand held camera.

Here is “The Continental” sketch from February 22, 2003. This special video shows us what the studio audience is seeing as well as the home audience by way of a box insert. I think the cameraman is Michael Bennett, and Wally Feresten is the Q card man. Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee

The Making Of S*N*L’s “The Continental” – enjoy!


Remembering Merle Haggard…With A Smile”

Remembering Merle Haggard…With A Smile

“The Glenn Campbell Goodtime Hour” was a great show, and here is one of the reasons why…there were allways surprises like this. Enjoy, and thanks Merle! -Bobby Ellerbee

Merle Haggard doing impressions on the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour


The Masters Of Stage Craft Magic…IATSE Local 1, New York

The Masters Of Stage Craft Magic…IATSE Local 1, New York City

Before videotape came along in 1956, live television was very dependent on skilled stage hands to move scenery in and out during the broadcasts of everything from comedies like “Your Show Of Shows” to dramatic anthologies like “The Kraft Playhouse”, and all the rest.

Videotape brought in “time shifting”, and once it became widely used at the networks, a lot of stage hands lost their jobs, because now, game shows for instance could be set up, a weeks worth of shows taped, and the set struck in just one day. Before this, each set had to be set and struck for every show, which was of course live.

When production started to move from New York to Los Angeles, east coast people were struck by the difference between how the stage crews worked on each coast. In New York, stage crews usually had Broadway experience, and sets were flown in and out and moved quickly.

In LA, the stage crews had motion picture experience and were used to a slower pace, because they always did their work between takes.

When CBS produced a second live performance of “Cinderella” in color in 1965 at Televison City, it cost twice as much as the original, live color presentation in 1957 at their Studio 72 in NYC. The cost difference was mostly due to the speed of the New York stage hands. -Bobby Ellerbee

Check out the Act II scene change in Puccini’s La Bohème, returning to the stage on April 15! The streets of Paris come alive in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production of this unforgettable tale of love, youth, and tragic loss.


April 7, 1927…Two Firsts In Long Distance TV Transmission

April 7, 1927…Two Firsts In Long Distance TV Transmission
On this day in 1927, then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover’s image was transmitted via AT&T from Washington to New York using a mechanical system developed by Herbert E. Ives. This is the first time television was sent on long distance wires.

In the photo below, Dr Ives is on the far right, watching AT&T president Walter Gifford, in New York, speak with Secretary Hoover in Washington. The conversation, in which both men could see and hear each other, was a two way television/telephone hookup, which is also a first.

At the link above, is a story and pictures, from an August 1930 issue of “Modern Mechanics” that discusses this, and some other interesting developments from 1929 television tests, like color.

Although this is the first time a television signal was sent over long distance lines, it was not the first time pictures were sent on a telephone line. That occurred Oct. 3, 1922, as Charles Francis Jenkins, transmitted “shadowgraph” images from his studio in a Washington DC suburb to the main post office there, via telephone wires, some five miles away. -Bobby Ellerbee


A Fuller History Of NBC Television News…

A Fuller History Of NBC Television News…

After posting today’s first story on CBS’s Douglas Edwards, as television’s first live, daily network anchor, I mentioned – but barely scratched the surface, on NBC’s part in this deeper history, so, here is a more detailed account.

The most widely celebrated dates in NBC news history are February 16, 1948 and February 16, 1949. In ’48 “The NBC Television Newsreel” debuted as a 10 minute weekday newsreel which was narrated off camera by John Cameron Swayze.

The next year, Swayze moved in front of the camera and that began “The News Caravan” as a live news show. CBS had put Douglas Edwards on camera May 3, 1948.

BUT…this was not the start of news at NBC. In fact, almost immediately after their first regular TV service began April 30, 1939, news had begun to be reported on W2XBS (WNBT).

Newscaster Lowell Thomas had occasionally simulcast his NBC Radio show locally from Studio 3H as early as December 1939 and from February till July of 1940, he regularly simulcast his “Sunoco News” show to New York viewers.

There was also the weekly “Esso Television Reporter” from March until May of 1940 hosted by William Spargrove, who narrated off camera. The Esso program used live organ music and on camera was a mix of newswire photos, maps and graphic miniature depictions of news event locations.

From July of 1941 till May of 1942, Sam Cuff hosted a weekly news commentary called “Face The War”, but the show ended as RCA and NBC cut television operations down to next to nothing five months after Pearl Harbor.

On February 23, 1944, things started to stir a bit as “The War As It Happens” came to television, and NBC News has been on the air more-or-less continuously since then.

“The War As It Happens” began as a local program, but NBC records indicate that in April of 1944, it was fed to Schenectady and Philadelphia on the fledgling NBC Television Network and became the first news cast regularly seen in multiple cities.

At the time, even the great NBC Radio news department was tiny compared to the wire services and newspapers and newsreels. Television was even less able to gather news because they didn’t even have local film crews. The first breakthrough came in 1944 when John Royal, the first head of television at NBC, acquired the rights to Army Signal Corps film.

Using this footage, “The War As It Happens” followed what was basically a newsreel format, using the film with Paul Alley narrating and Ray Forrest in the studio with commentary, maps and wire photos.

In August 1945, the war was over and the Sunday “The War As It Happens” newscast was renamed “The NBC Television Newsreel”.
In mid 1946, it gained a sponsor and became “The Esso Newsreel” and was rescheduled to two nights a week, Monday and Thursday.

On February 16, 1948 Esso bowed out and a new sponsor came to the show which became “The Camel Newsreel Theater”. The next year, it went live with Swayze on camera, but surprisingly there are reports of background music throughout the broadcast until the early 1950s. That was a remnant of the old newsreel shows.

Swayze’s live nightly news was initially called “News Caravan”, as Camel had not immediately followed along in its sponsorship, but a few months in, they came back and the show became “The Camel News Caravan”.

In 1956, Swayze was replaced by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. I think you know the rest of the story. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


Network Television’s First Evening News Anchor…Douglas Edwards?

Network Television’s First Evening News Anchor…Douglas Edwards?

Technically, yes…he was the first daily, live, network evening news anchor, but as we will see in today’s next post, NBC actually had the first network news broadcast, but on a weekly basis, so watch for “A Fuller History Of NBC Television News” on this page.

This is one of the earliest known photos of Douglas Edwards, shortly after the May 3, 1948 debut of the live “CBS Television News” broadcast.

Edwards joined CBS Radio in 1942, eventually becoming anchor for the network’s regular evening newscast “The World Today” as well as “World News Today” on Sunday afternoons. He came to CBS after stints as a radio newscaster and announcer at WSB in Atlanta, Georgia and WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan.

Although Lowell Thomas, on NBC, and Richard Hubble on CBS had done live TV news shows locally in New York in the late ’30s and early ’40s, Edwards was the first network anchor.

After the war, CBS began telecasting news shows locally on Saturday nights, expanding to two nights a week in 1947. These reports were delivered by CBS radio news men, who were not interested in this “television stuff” and loathed having to do it. Edwards had a couple of turns at it, and kind of enjoyed it and let his interest be known.

On May 3, 1948, Douglas Edwards began anchoring the “CBS Television News”, a regular 15-minute nightly newscast, airing every weeknight at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and this was the first regularly scheduled, network television news program to use an anchor.

Before that, on February 16, 1948, NBC had begun airing the “NBC Television Newsreel”, which soon became the sponsored “‘Camel Newsreel Theater”, and both were 10-minute programs that featured newsreels from Pathe. John Cameron Swayze provided voice-over for these two series, and recorded them at the Pathe studios at 105 East 106th Street.

By December of ’48, NBC had taken over the 11 story Pathe studio building there, and this became NBC’s Uptown Studios location. In the other two adjoining buildings, Pathe’s labs were handing all of the film processing for RCA/NBC’s new kinescope system.

When “The Camel News Caravan” debuted on February 16, 1949, it was an expanded version of the “Camel Newsreel Theater” featuring Swayze, live on-camera. His network newscast came from Studio C at the Uptown Studios and the film inserts came from a floor above in Studio F.

On CBS, the week’s news stories were recapped on a Sunday night program titled “Newsweek in Review”. The name was later shortened to “The Week in Review” and the show was moved to Saturdays. In 1950, the name of the nightly newscast was changed to “Douglas Edwards With the News”, and the following year, it became the first news program to be broadcast on both coasts, thanks to a new coaxial cable connection, prompting Edwards to use the greeting “Good evening everyone, coast to coast.”

It is not clear whether both Douglas and Swayze did a live second broadcast for the west coast. By 1947, Kinescopes had begun to be used and there are stories that report the show was done live again with added west coast content, and reports that say it was kine delayed, but one thing is clear…November 30, 1956, Edwards’ program became the first to use the new technology of videotape to time delay the broadcast.

Early on, NBC’s news took the lead, but by the mid 50s, CBS and Edwards were in the lead. In September 1955, ‘Douglas Edwards With The News’ was moved to 6:45 p.m. ET.

On October 29, 1956, Swayze was replaced by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and NBC’s “Huntley-Brinkley Report”. The swithc helped CBS ratings as it took a while for Chet and David to gain traction. By the early ’60, NBC’s news ratings were a good bit higher and a decision was make to make a switch at CBS.

Walter Cronkite became anchor on April 16, 1962. On September 2, 1963, “The CBS Evening News” became network television’s first half-hour weeknight news broadcast, lengthened from its original 15 minutes, and telecast at 6:30 p.m. ET. NBC quickly followed suit and “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” expanded to 30 minutes exactly a week later on September 9, 1963.

“The CBS Evening News” was broadcast in color for one evening on August 19, 1965, and made the switch permanently on January 31, 1966. There is a rare photo from that first colorcast included here, and some other interesting images, so be sure and click through for more. Enjoy and share. -Bobby Ellerbee


April 5, 1964…A Happening That Will Never Happen Again?

April 5, 1964…A Happening That Will Never Happen Again?

52 years ago, for the first and only time in history, The Beatles occupied 12 of Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 slots. Just 2 months after their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, Beatlemania was at high tide in the US.

Although The Beatles lead the “British Invasion”, the second wave came ashore on this day in 1964 too. Look at #15 on the chart…it’s “Needles And Pins” by The Searchers, and they were the second British band to appear on Sullivan’s show. Here is the video link to that night’s performance.-Bobby Ellerbee


61 Years Of CBS And The Masters Tournament…

61 Years Of CBS And The Masters Tournament…

When CBS televised its first Masters in 1956, the network used seven cameras and covered action from the final four holes.

This week at Augusta National, for the 61st consecutive year, considerably more personnel and technology will be in place. CBS will offer nine hours of live coverage this weekend, and it can show action from all 18 holes.

The Augusta National Golf Club, and network partner CBS have a unique relationship. CBS operates on one-year contracts and pays far less than market value for the rights. In return, Augusta National insists on approval of all announcers and dictates terms of the coverage, and as you’ll see in the yearly history below, they take this coverage seriously, and breaking the rules get announcers kicked off the show. Among the rules, no mention of prize money, plenty of references to “patrons”, no promotions for other TV programs, etc., and as always, the tournament has been presented with minimal commercial interruption.

Augusta National has always limited the amount of coverage by its TV partners. While it has allowed the number of TV hours to increase in recent years, it still lags significantly behind the other golf majors in this area.

Here is a look at how the coverage has evolved over time beginning with the first televised Masters in 1956.

Chronology of Masters TV coverage

1956 – CBS provided a half hour of coverage on Friday with one hour each on Saturday and Sunday. Chris Schenkel and Bud Palmer manned the microphones. CBS only covered holes 15-18 with all of its cameras stationary and most of them pointed at the greens.

1957 – Jim McKay became the lead announcer.

1958 – CBS expanded its Sunday coverage to 1.5 hours and eliminated the Friday coverage.

1959 – Frank Chirkinian produced his first Masters. CBS added cameras to cover more fairways and tees.

1961 – The tournament concluded on Monday due to weekend rain and CBS added an hour of Monday late afternoon coverage.

1962 – Schenkel resumed the lead broadcast role as McKay had moved to ABC. The Masters had an 18-hole playoff on Monday and CBS provided one hour of coverage.

1965 – Jack Whitaker took over the lead announcer role.

1966 – The Masters was televised in color for the first time. An 18-hole playoff was needed and CBS televised the end of it on Monday afternoon. This was the year that Whitaker made an on-air comment referring to the gallery surrounding the 18th green as a “mob”. For this, he was banned from the telecasts by Augusta National chairman Clifford Roberts for the next several years. Henry Longhurst called his first Masters for CBS.

1967 – A strike by the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA) impacted the coverage. With the regular CBS golf broadcasters honoring the strike, some CBS management personnel handled the telecast along with two top amateur players who were Augusta members.

1968 – Pat Summerall broadcast the Masters for the first time and anchored the coverage at hole 18. Frank Glieber also made his Masters TV debut.

1969 – Ray Scott joined the CBS telecast crew. So did Frank Gifford who worked golf for CBS for a few years before moving to ABC.

1970 – Scott took over as the 18th hole announcer. The final 18-hole playoff took place this year and CBS added late Monday afternoon coverage for that.

1973 – CBS expanded to 2 hours on Sunday. CBS added late afternoon coverage on Monday after rain necessitated a Monday finish. Ben Wright joined the CBS crew for the first time.

1974 – This was the last year that Scott served as lead announcer.

1975 – Vin Scully worked his first Masters and assumed the 18th tower announcer role.

1977 – CBS expanded to 2 hours on Saturday.

1980 – CBS increased the Sunday coverage to 2.5 hours.

1982 – This year saw a major change as the USA Network provided Thursday and Friday coverage (2 hours live each day along with a prime time replay). This was the first ever cable coverage for one of the golf majors. The USA coverage used the CBS production crews and CBS announcers.

1983 – Summerall took over the 18th hole tower role as Scully had moved to NBC. Verne Lundquist made his debut on the Masters. So did Brent Musburger who was stationed in Butler Cabin for the first of 6 consecutive years. CBS increased the Saturday coverage to 2.5 hours and Sunday to 3 hours. Due to rain, the tournament did not finish on Sunday, so CBS added late afternoon Monday coverage.

1986 – Gary McCord and Jim Nantz joined the CBS crew. Bob Carpenter hosted the USA coverage.

1988 – CBS shifted the Sunday TV window to end at 7 pm ET where it remains to this day.

1990 – Bill Macatee hosted the USA coverage and would do so for all subsequent years that USA had the TV rights.

1994 – McCord made the infamous on-air “bikini wax” reference while describing the speed of the Augusta greens and remarked that mounds behind the 17th green resembled “body bags”. These comments did not go over well with Augusta officials and despite still being a member of the CBS golf team, McCord has not worked the Masters since. That was also the last Masters tournament (and final CBS assignment of any kind) for Summerall who moved to Fox.

1995 – USA expanded the Thursday/Friday coverage to 2.5 hours each day. Nantz took over the lead announcer role.

1996 – Chirkinian produced the CBS telecast for the final time.

1997 – David Feherty called his first Masters on CBS as did Peter Oosterhuis.

2000 – Dick Enberg started a 7-year run of hosting the Masters from Butler Cabin. The Masters was televised live in HDTV for the first time.

2002 – Another major milestone took place this year as CBS increased the Sunday coverage to 4.5 hours and showed the leaders for all 18 holes. CBS had wanted to do this for a number of years, but tournament officials had always denied these requests in the past. This was also the last Masters in the TV booth for longtime lead analyst Ken Venturi.

2003 – Lanny Wadkins became the lead analyst and CBS expanded the Saturday coverage to 3.5 hours ending at 7 pm ET. The SD and HD productions of the event were unified. In the wake of the controversy over the Martha Burk protest regarding Augusta membership practices, the Masters chose to drop its sponsors. Both CBS and USA televised the event commercial-free. The same was true in 2004.

2005 – USA increased the Thursday/Friday coverage to 3 hours.

2006 – CBS added a one-hour special Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta which led into the Sunday coverage. That show looked back on the 1986 Masters using original CBS footage. This series has become an annual Masters Sunday tradition featuring vintage CBS telecast clips being rebroadcast for the first time.

2007 – Nick Faldo took over as CBS lead analyst joining Nantz in the 18th hole tower.

2008 – ESPN took over the Thursday/Friday coverage with Mike Tirico anchoring the action.

2009 – ESPN increased the Thursday/Friday coverage to 3.5 hours each day. CBS expanded the Sunday coverage to 5 hours.

2011 – ESPN expanded the Thursday/Friday coverage to 4.5 hours each day.

2013 – CBS increased the Saturday coverage to 4 hours. For both of the weekend rounds, CBS Sports Network aired a same-day prime time replay of the CBS network coverage.

This week’s weather here in Georgia looks great and the dogwoods and azaleas are busin’ out all over! -Bobby Ellerbee


Take Me Out To The Ballgame…With 13 Cameras!

Take Me Out To The Ballgame…With 13 Cameras!

On Opening Day, we’ve got some baseball stories for you, starting with this one. If you’ve ever wanted a really in depth look at how major league baseball is done, here you go! This three part, behind the scenes, tour in Cleveland shows us how this days game with Atlanta is done from start to finish on June 15, 2007.

This Cleveland setup is a bit different from the usual because at home, they can direct the game from a control room a few blocks away instead of from the truck. Links to all the parts are below and total time is about a half hour. Best viewed with a hotdog and beer. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

A Behind The Scenes look at a SportsTime Ohio Broadcast between the Indians and the Atlanta Braves on June 15, 2007. I was one of the shooters at the ballpar…


The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 3 of 3

The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 3 of 3

Rare Photos Of The Television Coverage…June 4, 1968

I have had several request to repost these photos, so here is the third of three sets of photos taken the afternoon that Senator Robert Kennedy was killed at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. There is more on the orignal post text, quite a bit of detail on the photos, as well as some instructive comments from the first posting, so be sure and click on each image. -Bobby Ellerbee

The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 3 of 3

Final Rare Photos Of The Television Coverage…June 4, 1968
I’m including here two rare film clips that NBC aired in their live studio coverage with newsman Bob Abernathy, immediately after the shooting. I assume this was all coming from NBC Burbank, given that these filmed reports are coming just an hour or so after the events at The Ambassador Hotel.

These are the last five photos and cover mostly the trucks, but the beginning image of the Embassy Room, just hours before is quite haunting. Thanks for all the descriptive comments on the first two sets of photos. Hopefully these will answer some questions raised there, and thanks to Martin Perry for finding these Los Angeles Fire Department photos. More detail on the photos so click though them. Enjoy and share.

By the way, the color footage of Senator Kennedy leaving in the ambulance is not the KTLA video shot by Dick Watson. That would have been in black and white, and noone seems to have seen that tape since 1968 or so.


The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 2 of 3

The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 2 of 3

Rare Photos Of The Television Coverage…June 4, 1968

I have had several request to repost these photos, so here is the second of three sets of photos taken the afternoon that Senator Robert Kennedy was killed at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. There is more on the orignal post text, quite a bit of detail on the photos, as well as some instructive comments from the first posting, so be sure and click on each image. -Bobby Ellerbee

The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 2 of 3

Rare Photos Of The Television Coverage…June 4, 1968
At the link, I have added the ABC coverage from the next day with Frank Reynolds reporting. In it, you can see ABC’s video from the night before was shot in black and white. Also included in this clip is the voice of the Mutual reporter, Andy West who had live audio in the kitchen. It is quite chilling.

Today’s images include the network and local trucks from KTLA and KTTV and more photos from inside The Ambassador. I think it is best if I include the details of this set of photos on the pictures themselves, so please make sure you click on them individually. This is the only time and place these have been seen with any narration, so remember to share these. -Bobby Ellerbee

Many thanks to Martin Perry for finding these photos taken by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Six more pictures coming tomorrow!


The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 1 of 3

The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 1 of 3

Rare Photos Of The Television Coverage…June 4, 1968

I have had several request to repost these photos, so here is the first of three sets of photos taken the afternoon that Senator Robert Kennedy was killed at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. There is more on the orignal post text, quite a bit of detail on the photos, as well as some instructive comments from the first posting, so be sure and click on each image. -Bobby Ellerbee

The Night RFK Was Shot…Inside The Ambassador Hotel, Part 1 of 3

Rare Photos Of The Television Coverage…June 4, 1968

We have all have scenes of that tragic event in our heads…the optimistic victory speech and then the horrific events in the ballroom kitchen where Sirhan Sirhan waited. I have often wondered about what else was going on in that room that night…where were the cameras, who covered this and more. Now, we’ll finally see.

Thanks to Martin Perry, I’ve located these photos taken by the Los Angeles Fire Department that night and they are quite interesting. I’m breaking these up into three parts and will post the other two parts Saturday and Sunday. There will be some interesting shots coming of all three network trucks as well as the KTLA and KTTV vans. I am still researching the events of that night and along the way, will include some of the back story in separate articles.

I think it is best if I include the details of this set of photos on the pictures themselves, so please make sure you click on them individually. This is the only time and place these have been seen with any narration, so remember to share these. -Bobby Ellerbee


Being A Member Of The “SNL” Band, And My Experience With Them…

Being A Member Of The “SNL” Band, And My Experience With Them…
At the link above, is a wonderful interview with SNL guitarist Jared Scharff, who’s been on the show for 9 year. In the article, there is also a 19 minute audio interview with the band’s leader, and master of the sax, Lenny Pickett.

I have a couple of great stories of my own about the band and Lenny, but have never had quite the right opportunity to share them, till now.

On May 2nd and 3rd, of 2014, I visited the Friday afternoon SNL rehearsal, and was there for the live dress rehearsal show on Saturday night, and got back to the hotel in time to see the 11:30 live show on TV. It was interesting to see what got cut.

On my Friday visit, I was there from 1:30 till 8:30 and was thrilled to see much of the show in rehearsal, and was glued to my seat on the studio floor. At one point, I went to the restroom, and on the way back to 8H, I met Lenny in the hall, and spoke with him for a few minutes.

To my amazement, he remembered meeting me in 1975 at a concert I produced inside Diamond Head Crater in Hawaii, with Santana, Hall & Oats, and the band he was in, Tower Of Power. Their great trumpet player, the late Mickey Gillette was a good friend. I had forgotten how tall Lenny was, and it was like talking to Big Bird.

Now this is the funny part…to me at least. As part of the warm up for the show, Colon Jost took the stage in front of the band. He told a few jokes and then said it was time to play, Stump The Band!

When Johnny Carson played this with the audience, they could hardly ever stump Doc and the boys, and I always loved it when Letterman and Paul came up with perfect renditions too, right on the spot, so this should be fun.

Without hesitation, from my front row seat, I yelled out to Jost and Lenny, “How about “Boogaloo Down Broadway” by The Fantastic Johnny C”? Jost replied, “You mean Johnny Cash”? I could see Lenny shaking his head “no” to Colin’s question, so I answered “No, Colin, Johnny C…it’s an old soul song”.

Instantly the band hit a couple of notes from the intro, that were immediacy recognizable to me from the song, and then stopped. At that point, Lenny started talking to the band, and they to each other and all agreeing…”Yes, we know it”. And that was it, and the whole studio erupted in laughs.

They are a tricky bunch, but among the most talented musicians anywhere. But, so you won’t be left wanting, to Boogaloo Down Broadway, here is a link to the tune. Thanks to Jodie Peeler for sharing this article, full of great video. Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee


“The Kraft Television Theater”…TV’s First Anthology Series

“The Kraft Television Theater”…TV’s First Anthology Series

This was the earliest and, at the time, the most famous of television’s live dramatic anthologies, and helped define the “golden age” of television. The hour-long series, sponsored by Kraft Foods, premiered on Wednesday, May 7th, 1947 on NBC. It would run continuously, with no summer breaks, for the next eleven and a half years. The final episode was broadcast on Wednesday, October 1st, 1958.

The Kraft show set the stage for all that followed, including “The Philco Playhouse,” “Playhouse 90,” “Robert Montgomery Presents.” and many more.

Below are two very rare photos taken in early May, 1947, in what was at the time, NBC’s only television studio…3H. If you ever wondered what camera the Kraft Cameraman was based on, now you know. It was the RCA A 500 Iconoscope camera, which was used in Studio 3H until April of 1948, when they were replaced by RCA TK30s. As a reminder, “The Howdy Doody Show” started in December of ’47 with the A 500s, and in May 1947, Studio 8G became NBC’s second 30 Rock TV studio.
As you can see in the photo of the Kraft Cameraman opening graphic, the cameraman model originally rotated on a round countersunk piece of balsa wood. At the link above, is a 1953 opening with the cameraman now mounted on a stick that dollies in and rotates. There is an announcer mention of “two fine plays each week all year long”. This refers to the NBC version on Wednesday nights, and an ABC version on Thursday nights. The ABC version was broadcast for 18 months and then became “The Ponds Playhouse.”

The in-studio photo is from the first broadcast on May 7, 1947, which was titled “Double Door”, and was one of the first network directing jobs for NBC legend Fred Coe.

Between 1947 and 1958, the Kraft Television Theater presented more than 650 comedies and dramas, and in all 11 years, it was ranked in the Top 25 shows.

Although Kraft Television Theater quickly established itself as a critical favorite after its premiere in May 1947, in Kraft’s estimation the show was only as useful as its ability to move product. In this it succeeded beyond fondest expectations. The first indication of the magnitude of the program’s sales prowess came from Kraft’s ad agency, J. Walter Thompson, which reported in June ’47, that Imperial Cheese, a new Kraft product advertised nowhere else but on television, was flying off grocers’ shelves.

The decision to feature food preparation commercials, over hard-sell personality or price appeals was not made lightly. Kraft’s advertising personnel were concerned that using a model or a recognized spokesman would detract from the product, so they designed live commercials that used a single-focus technique.

Each program had, on average, a pair of two minute breaks, at which time cameras focused on a pair of feminine hands as they demonstrated the preparation of various dishes as announcer Ed Herlihy relayed the recipe to the viewer. This careful approach paid off for Kraft; sales of advertised products rose dramatically in television cities and, even more importantly, a poll conducted by Television Magazine, in November 1947 showed that “Kraft Television Theater” had the highest sponsor identification of any show on television.

Actors on the series included James Dean, Anne Francis, Lee Grant, Helen Hayes, Jack Lemmon, Grace Kelly, Jack Klugman, Cloris Leachman, Patrick McVey, Michael Higgins, John Newland, Paul Newman, Leslie Nielsen, Anthony Perkins, Judson Pratt, Lee Remick, George C. Scott, Rod Steiger, and Joanne Woodward.

Directors for the series included Sidney Lumet, George Roy Hill, Fielder Cook, and John Boulting, and the many contributing writers included Rod Serling and JP Miller.

Serling won an Emmy for scripting “Patterns”, which was the best remembered episode of the series. The drama had such an impact that it made television history by staging a second live encore performance three weeks later and was developed as a feature film of the same name. -Bobby Ellerbee

By the way, it was only in 1954 that Kraft made the now famous toy cameraman available for 50 cents, and a couple of box tops.


An Interesting Development…WLS TV’s News Film Process, 1974

An Interesting Development…WLS TV’s News Film Process, 1974

It is easy to forget that even into the early 1980s, some stations were still shooting film. RCA’s first ENG (Electronic News Gathering) camera, the TK76, only debuted in 1976, and by 1984, there were over 2000 of them in use worldwide. -Bobby Ellerbee

WLS Channel 7 – Eyewitness News – “Film Developing” (1974)

The transfer of this video clip made possible by your generous donations!

Here’s a rare excerpt from WLS Channel 7’s Eyewitness News, from back in the days when all reports from out “in the field” came from film, and sometimes were being developed as the newscast was running.

Frank Mathie introduces the “Action Seven” piece, with Geoff Smith reporting about how film stories aired on Eyewitness News are shot; in this instance, one film crew is shooting another film crew. Cinema Processors, Inc. at 211 East Grand was the lab where film reports from both Channel 7 and WGN Channel 9 were developed, amounting to 10 million feet of newsfilm a year (96,000 feet a month). Geoff gives a detailed account of the complex process for developing the film that airs on the two stations, and also mentions other Cinema Processors clients such as the Chicago Bears (for game film, of which 30,000 feet alone are processed every Saturday in season), five major colleges, several smaller ones and 225 high schools. Shots of the lab in action are seen all through this piece. Fahey Flynn can be seen for a couple seconds at the end too.

Notice that the “Action Seven” logo, set in Helvetica Bold, looks very reminiscent of the logo used in the early years of WLS’s The 3:30 Movie (as well as The 4:30 Movie on both WABC Channel 7 in New York and WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit).

Note: This was originally broadcast in color, but captured on this early home videotape recording in black and white. There are some tape-tracking problems that are noticeable at certain points on this clip.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Tuesday, April 9th 1974.


Some Little Known Facts Of Early Television Production…

Some Little Known Facts Of Early Television Production…

Yesterday, I posted the early history of television’s first real studio; RCA’s Studio 3H inside NBC. Operating in secret, for the first year of 1935, RCA had built 3 studio style Iconoscope cameras for 3H, and only 3, but in 1939, they built 3 more for CBS, for use on W2XAB.

Also in 1935, RCA was approached by Alda Bedford and Knut Gnusson, who had built a new camera support system they called a pedestal. Amazingly, the up and down movement of the center column was operated by an electric motor, and was quite smooth. It was not until 1959, with the Houston Fearless TD 9, that the electronic lift was seen again in any US pedestal.

Along with the patent images of the pedestal, I have included the RCA patent image for the inside of these first studio style Iconoscope cameras. As I have mentioned here before, the viewfinder showed only an optical image on ground glass, and to the great frustration of those early cameramen, the image was upside down, and backward. If one of those cameramen offered me a ride home, and I had to give him directions to get there, I think I would have taken the subway. -Bobby Ellerbee


Voted “Best Use Of A Snow Shovel Handle”…1974

Voted “Best Use Of A Snow Shovel Handle”…1974


A Guided Tour Of Television’s First Studio…NBC’s 3H, 1939

A Guided Tour Of Television’s First Studio…NBC’s 3H, 1939
The things I have learned from NBC vets, and visits to 30 Rock, allow us to see this old video with new eyes. To see the video, use the link above or click on the title below, not the image.

Before we start, here is some information that will help you get your bearings. This is something I learned while standing in the space that once was Studio 3H, but is now 3K.

Now, you enter the third floor studios from the main hallway, but when this film was made, that hallway was mostly for tour groups. Engineers and talent used an interior hallway that was on the backside of the studios to avoid the crowds. So, when you see the control room window, it will be on the back wall and is accessed from the fourth floor. The orchestra seen here will be directly under the visitor’s observation window, which faced the 4H control room window. The visitor/tour group window was also on the fourth floor which was accessed from the main hallways used for access today. If it seems confusing, I think seeing the video will clarify that.

At the head of this is a one minute RCA ad for their new sound on film projector. Many thanks to Joel Spector for his help pointing out these rarities.

At 2:00 we are at the RCA Labs in Princeton NJ where tube and camera tests are underway.

At 2:57 we see the antenna atop The Empire State Building and just after that, we see the transmitter room a few floors under it.

At 3:34 we see the new mobile units leaving 30 Rock and arriving at a horse race track for a live broadcast. This is a great sequence and gives us a good look at these trucks.

At 5:27 we finally enter Studio 3H. Watch closely! Notice the camera on the left has its top flipped up and the cameraman is making some internal adjustments. Notice on the right…the camera is rising. These pedestals had an internal electric motor to ped up and down. The cameraman with the rising pedestal is NBC’s first…Albert Protzman.

At 5:50 we see up top, the visitor’s observation window on the fourth floor. This is the wall that opens into the main interior hallway that we use now. The smaller window below the 4H control room was the original 3H radio control room. Opposite this, at the main hallway end of the studio was a storage room which became a rear screen projection room.

At 6:00 we see the control room window. This is on the fourth floor and accessed by hallways on the back of the studios, against the exterior walls of the building.

At 6:14 the cameraman on the left is NBC’s great TD, Heino Ripp, on the right is NBC’s second cameraman Don Pike.

At 6:22 we see NBC’s first cameraman, Albert Protzman, manning the title card camera.

At 6:38, the broadcast starts. If the center camera were to tilt all the way up, we would see the visitor observation window. At 7:02, notice the big tally lights under the camera lens. They are green. Before there were red tally lights, they used the green tally color to denote which camera was on the air.

At 7:12 we get a look over the shoulder of the people in the control room looking out on the studio.

At 7:24 we go to the control room for a while. At the back desk, the director is in the foreground, closest to us. The woman is what was then called the production director who was mostly concerned with the script, runtime, cues and talent…today that would be an associate director. The man on the far end is what was then called the video engineer and is doing the switching…today we call this the technical director. At the front desk is the video man (closest) who is shading the cameras and on his right is the audio man.

Enjoy and share! -Bobby EllerbeeEarly promotional film introducing TV to the American public, probably coordinated with the rollout of scheduled broadcasting at the 1939 New York World’s…


A Brief History Of Television’s First Real Home…NBC’s Studio 3H

A Brief History Of Television’s First Real Home…NBC’s Studio 3H

Below is a rare, digitally enhanced photo of the NBC Radio Master Control board from 1933…the year RCA and NBC moved into 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

In the beginning, Studio 3H was radio studio, just one of six medium sized spaces on the 3rd floor, which were about half the size of 3A and 3B. At the time, there were roughly 30 NBC radio studios in the building, but RCA had plans for 3H.

In late 1935, two years after Radio City opened, NBC Radio Studio 3H was converted to RCA Television Studio 3H and technically, would remain an RCA domain until 1939, at which time W2XBS and this studio were put under the control of NBC Television.

It was done under a blanket of secrecy. This mysterious new space was kept secret due to competitive developments for a year, while low key experimental broadcasts from 3H were done, but by early in 1936, RCA decided to go public with the news of their electronic television operations.

After the experimental public broadcasts were started with the three live Iconoscope cameras, RCA also took over a space on the 5th floor for film and called that new area Studio 5F, which was linked to the 3H control room.

Until 1951, 3H was used for experimental and regular programming, and was NBC’s only permanently equipped studio till radio studio 8G began television trials in 1946. Some of the earliest network shows from 3H were “The Kraft Music Hall,” “Television Scene Magazine,” “The Howdy Doody Show” and more. All these shows started out in 3H with the big Iconoscope cameras, and in April of 1948, 3H finally got the new RCA TK30s. The next month, 8G was converted to television.

In 1951, Howdy and the other shows done here moved out, and 3H would become the home of the experimental color tests after the Wardman Park color tests concluded in Washington. The Wardman color cameras were not installed in 3H, however the Washington color veterans were brought from there to continue color tests with the new “coffin cameras.” The joke was, these huge new umber gray cameras were big enough to bury a man in. These were the predecessor to the TK40s and this is the first appearance of the rounded top viewfinder. The color tests from 3H, and later, The Colonial Theater were broadcast over RCA’s experimental color station KE2XJV.

Variety like demonstration shows were done weekdays at 10, 2 and 4 and were staged with vivid colored wardrobes and sets. These shows were mostly for the engineers in New York and RCA’s Princeton labs who watched on closed circuit feeds. Not one to ever miss a marketing opportunity though, these shows were also fed to a half dozen custom built color receivers that were on display in the RCA Exhibition Hall in Rockefeller Plaza. In early ’53 these daily shows would move to The Colonial Theater which was where the new prototype TK40 cameras were beginning to be tested.

After the color tests left for the Colonial, 3H was still involved in color monitor tests, but even then, it stayed busy with regular 15 minute daily programs and live commercials coming from the studio with TK30s wheeled in from Studio 3B.

In the summer of 1955 3H was closed as construction crews took out the wall between 3H and 3F to create the first color studio inside Radio City. The new studio was to become 3K and with a double debut, both Studio 3K and Howdy Doody went to live color the afternoon of September 12, 1955.

Today, 3K is used by MSNBC and is the home to most of their hosts after 7PM, including Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell. There is more on the photos, so click through! Enjoy, and there is more to come on 3H. -Bobby Ellerbee

NBC radio studios on the third floor, as they were in 1933

Inside Studio 3H, notice the control room on the 4th floor. To help get your bearings in today’s configuration, the main hallway is behind the photographer taking this.

Inside the 3H control room 1936. This space was actually called 4H.  

Miss Color TV, Marie McNamara in Studio 3H with the “Coffin Cameras” This was the experimental version of the TK40 prototype cameras. These were never used at The Colonial…those were the real prototypes and were silver.

This is a rare color shot of the RCA Exhibition Hall on 49th Street, across from 30 Rock, where the closed circuit color shows could be seen by the public. In 1952, this became home of the “Today” show.

This is me kissing the floor of this hallowed ground. To my right is where 3H was, and the white line is about where 3H and 3F came together to make 3K.


The Human Test Patterns Who First Calibrated Color TV

A Wonderful Primer On Early Color Television…

Written around the story of the ladies that were “Miss Color TV”, NBC’s Marie McNamara, and CBS’s Patty Painter, this is a very well done article on the progressions and setbacks encountered by both networks, in their race to bring color to the small screen. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

The Human Test Patterns Who First Calibrated Color TV

The white women known in the 1950s as “Miss Color TV” reinforced longstanding hierarchies of gender and race that were built into generations of technologies.


“Peter Pan”…How To Fly And Get Good Audio At The Same Time

“Peter Pan”…How To Fly And Get Good Audio At The Same Time

60 years ago today, NBC presented “Peter Pan”, for the first time on television, in living color, but getting great video wasn’t the only challenge. Here’s a story I did last year on Mary Martin’s hidden mic. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

‘Peter Pan’…How To Fly And Get Audio At The Same Time

This is Director Jerome Robbins flying with Mary Martin in March of 1955 at NBC Brooklyn. When Robbins directed the show on Broadway, he didn’t have to worry about audio, but when it came to the television production he did. How do you mic a flying Mary Martin?

Booms were used for most of the show, but for the flying sequences, something special was called for. In 1953, Shur had introduced “The Vagabond” wireless mic which was used by Marlin Monroe when she was interviewed by Edward R. Murrow on ‘Person To Person’ in 1955.

They tried a Vagabond, but it was not strong enough, so NBC engineers came up with a stronger unit. The mic was on Martin’s chest under her costume and the transmitter was under her arm. The antenna was in a special belt she wore. In order to receive the signal, wires were embedded in the floor of the set, and strung from the lighting grid. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


March 7, 1955…”Peter Pan” Debuts On NBC; Original Video Clips

March 7, 1955…”Peter Pan” Debuts On NBC; Original Video Clips

On March 7, 1955, NBC did the first live broadcast of “Peter Pan” in a “Producer’s Showcase” color special from NBC Brooklyn. It was such a hit that they did it again live on January 9, 1956. Like the first, it too was in color from Brooklyn with the entire Broadway cast returning for the television adaptation, starring Mary Martin as Peter Pan, Cyril Richard as Captain Hook and Sondra Lee as the incongruously blonde Indian princess Tiger Lily.

Above is the first of two rare clips and is the closing scene of the original 1955 broadcast. This has part of “I’m Flying” and Mary Martin’s closing tag and the credits, which you can barely see.
This is the 1955 production with Sondra Lee as the indian princes in the “Ugg-a-Wugg” number.

This is the only photo of it’s kind I have ever seen. Here is Mary Martin with Cyril Ritchard posing with Nana at NBC Brooklyn in 1955 during rehearsals for the original television presentation. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


Exceptional And Rare; 1949 NBC Kinescope Footage

Exceptional And Rare; 1949 NBC Kinescope Footage

It was only in the summer of 1948 that NBC/RCA began using kinescope recordings, so this footage was, at the time unique, as pointed out by host Ben Grauer.

The Paul Winchell – Jerry Mahoney performance is fantastic and is a rare demonstration of how good a ventriloquist and humorist Winchell was. “Texaco Star Theater” pitchman Sid Stone is next, and an unnamed dancing duo round out the footage. I think the dancers may be from “Texaco Star” too, and all of this probably came from Studio 6B. Thanks to Barry Mitchell for the clip. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


March 6, 1981…Walter Cronkite’s Farewell: The Day Hard News Died

March 6, 1981…Walter Cronkite’s Farewell: The Day Hard News Died

34 years ago today, Walter Cronkite left the anchor desk and television news changed forever. Under the expert hand of a real reporter, “The CBS Evening News” had set the standard and a high bar for newscasts. To their credit, NBC and ABC news also excelled in their journalistic efforts in reporting the news of the day.

The problems began at CBS after Cronkite and William Paley retired; the problem had a name….Van Gordon Sauter.

After he became president of CBS News in 1981, Mr. Sauter made drastic changes. Among them were budget cuts and the layoff or forced retirement of many longtime CBS News reporters and producers, and a shift away from straight reporting from Washington and New York, toward more soft features.

To many CBS News staffers, the changes were appalling, epitomizing the triumph of style over substance. Sound familiar?

Part of the “softening”, was in part due to Dan Rather, who looked terribly uncomfortable behind the anchor desk, and with Rather’s help, Sauter set out to not only soften Rather with sweaters, but with stories aimed at women, to attract more of them as viewers.

Sauter was also a corporate ladder climber, and was heavily influenced by the CBS finance executives at “Black Rock”. As mentioned above, he went along with suggestions to cut the news department’s budget, which Paley would never have allowed. Sauter took it a step further though, and this was the sound of the death knell that spread to other networks.

It was Suater’s idea to make the News Division a profit center. In the past, Paley had allowed the news department to operate in the red, because he considered news a public trust and service, and funded it with the vast profits from the other areas of CBS like the entertainment division. When Sauter sought to make it a profit center, that meant content would be driven by ratings, and what ever it took to get the ratings, was what the news would become. Women were the main new target in the new scheme…that meant feminine focus, or “powder puff” reporting.

This profit center idea is why we now have the network news shows that are 40% headlines and 60% Facebook and Entertainment Tonight…to attract the Millennial audience.

The day after the financier Laurence A. Tisch gained control of CBS, Mr. Sauter was asked to resign. By then though, the damage was done and looks to be irreversible. Perhaps the events of late at NBC, and more changes that are coming there, will give news departments pause to consider turning the clock back 34 years!

What do you think of the news today? Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

From the CBS News archives, legendary anchorman Walter Cronkite signs off for the final time on the “CBS Evening News.” Cronkite manned the anchor desk from …


TeleTales #107…The Way We Were; 1899

TeleTales #107…The Way We Were; 1899

Before seeing at a distance, or tele-vision, was possible, there was a new thing called motion pictures, that was just as exciting a proposition. When film making began, the only way to get enough light was to shoot outdoors, even if the scene was taking place inside.

This photo shows the Lubin Studios rooftop location in Philadelphia in 1899. The Edison Studios had a similar arrangement in New Jersey, but their studio was mounted on a turntable and could follow the sun. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


TeleTales #106…ABC’s First New Stars; John Daly And Quincy Howe

TeleTales #106…ABC’s First New Stars; John Daly And Quincy Howe

Both men started out with CBS Radio and both worked with Edward R. Murrow in Europe during WWII, with a staff that included Charles Collingwood, William L. Shirer, Eric Sevareid, Joseph C. Harsch, H. V. Kaltenborn and Robert Trout.

Daly actually covered the famous, General George Patten. “spapping” incident. In 1950, He became the host of “What’s My Line” on CBS. Around ’53, Daly also became the vice president in charge of news, special events, and public affairs, religious programs and sports for ABC and won three Peabody Awards.

From 1953 to 1960, he anchored ABC news broadcasts and was the face of the network’s news division, even though “What’s My Line” was then on CBS. This was a very rare instance of a television personality working on two different networks simultaneously. (Technically, Daly worked for Goodson–Todman Productions). As if that wasn’t enough of an oddity, Daly also filled in occasionally on “The Today Show” on NBC, making him one of the few people in early television to work simultaneously on all three networks.

Quincy Howe was best known for his CBS radio broadcasts during World War II. Howe served as director of the American Civil Liberties Union before the Second World War, and as chief editor at Simon & Schuster from 1935 to 1942. He left CBS in 1947 to join ABC. Howe moderated the fourth and final Kennedy/Nixon debate on October 21, 1960, and retired from broadcasting in 1974.

When Mr Howe won a Peabody Award in 1955, this is the story that accompanied the presentation.

“The distinguished historian, journalist and commentator Quincy Howe has long been a great asset to broadcasting. His five-times-a-week commentaries on the ABC Radio Network are objective and penetrating analyses of the important issues of our times. His new documentary television series entitled “Outside U.S.A.” is an outstanding contribution to the understanding of the significant events and developments around the world. The variety and effectiveness of its presentation have made this program a most significant contribution of television to the promotion of international understanding. In recognition, the Peabody Award is hereby presented.” Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


TeleTales #105…Before They Were Famous: Narz And Powers

TeleTales #105…Before They Were Famous: Narz And Powers

From the late 1950’s, here’s a shot of a commercial rehearsal on “The Bob Crosby Show” at Television City. On the right is floor director Dave Powers. He would go on to direct “The Carol Burnett Show,” “Three’s Company,” “The Ropers,” and “Mama’s Family.”

On the left is the man most of us know as Tom Kennedy, but as he has told me, at the time this photo was taken, he was still Jim Narz. He is the younger brother of another famous Hollywood host and announcer Jack Narz. As Jim’s fame grew, so did confusion among agents and show bookers, so out of respect to Jack, he took a new stage name.

As you see in the photo, Tom Kennedy is doing a Betty Crocker cake mix spot. One of the first times he did this live, he thought he would help the “sell” and took a bite. No one had told him the cake was made of putty, to hold up under the lights, and when he bit into it live, Bob Crosby laughed so hard, it took him five minutes to finally quit laughing. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


Movie Magic Episode 4 – Miniature Pyrotechnics

Getting A Big Bang From A Little Bang…Mini Pyrotechnics

This will start at a history of mini explosions that I think you’ll like. Making all of this look real is a true cinematic skill and in this, you’ll get a look at how it’s done. There is more on the technique before my start point, but a look back at some early history of movie explosions is the place I thought we should start. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

Movie Magic Episode 4 – Miniature Pyrotechnics Discovery Channel Cliffhanger Star Wars Terminator

Season 1, Episode 4: Miniature Pyrotechnics: Baby Blasts Original Air Date—1994 In this classic installment of the hit early 90’s television program, watch a…


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