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    You Can't Do That on Television

    You Can't Do That on Television

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    CTV (ended 1990)
    This was a sketch comedy show for young adults that was very popular in the 1980s. The series began life as a live variety show in Ottawa, Canada in 1979, which featured comedy sketches, music videos, and call-in contests. After the first season, the series was given a massive retooling and became a videotaped sketch comedy series. Its biggest success came when the series found its way south to the United States and became one of the trademark shows of Nickelodeon, a new cable channel aimed at children, where it aired until 1992. YCDTOTV may be long gone, but one of the shows trademarks, people getting covered in green slime (usually when they said "I don't know?"), has become a Nickelodeon staple.moreless
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    The David Steinberg Show

    The David Steinberg Show

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    CTV (ended 1977)
    Relatively short-lived Canadian series featuring comedian David Steinberg playing himself, hosting a fictional variety show. While the series depicted the on-air humour, it also depicted the comic adventures behind the scenes. It featured a slew of Second City performers, most of whom later starred in "Second City TV", which was much more sucessful. Joe Flaherty's alter-ego, Kirk Dirkwood, was the somewhat neurotic stage manager who always wanted to be a performer, and finally did near the end. He would appear as a different patient every week for an eccentric psychiatrist played by Steinberg on the show. Dave Thomas played James MacGregor, a hot-tempered Scottish security guard. Martin Short played Johnny Del Bravo, David's narcistic cousin and a whiny, untalented singer. John Candy was Spider Reichman, the 60's-oriented musician, and Andrea Martin played Julie Liverfoot, Steinberg's lazy, sleazy secretary and Reichman's singer. Many shades of SCTV characters can be seen in this series: The straight man character so personalized by Flaherty, the smug, cheerful music maker played by Candy... there were even specific characters that can be seen, like Thomas' Angus Crock in MacGregor and Short's Jackie Rogers, Jr in Del Bravo. They weren't the only co-stars, however; in fact, the other two almuni both played multiple roles. Bill Saluga played Vinnie DeMilo, the Italian-accented, fast-talking owner of the Hello Deli, located across the street from the studio (who was also Kirk's agent) and Raymond J. Johnson, Jr, the confused direction-seeker who appeared out of nowhere randomly throughout the show. Trudy Young doubled as actress Bambi Markowitz and Margie, the sassy waitress at the Deli. It should be noted that Saluga's character of Raymond J. Johnson, Jr ("Now, you can call me Ray, and you can call me Ray J..." was always the beginning of his lengthy response to whoever called him Mr. Johnson) had been being performed in Las Vegas since as early as the 50's, and appeared on variety show "Red Foxx" and guest starred on many others, always unexpectedly appearing and wondering where he was. Recently, he even appeared on an episode of "The Simpsons". As for David Steinberg himself? He became a television director, working on such sitcoms as "The Parent Hood", "Newhart", "The Golden Girls", "Seinfeld", "Mad About You", "Friends", and "Designing Women".moreless
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    The Amazing World of Kreskin

    The Amazing World of Kreskin

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    CTV
    The Amazing World of Kreskin was a Canadian television show syndicated to America that ran from 1971 to 1975 featuring the mentalist the Amazing Kreskin. Kreskin made 'predictions' but never claimed to have paranormal or clairvoyant abilities. He does not like to be considered a psychic. Kreskin's real name is George Joseph Kresge and he was born in Montclair New Jersery in 1935. He was inspired to become a mentalist by reading the comic stripe 'Mandrake the Magician' by Lee Faulk when he was a kid. The comic strip featured a crime fighting stage magician. Kreskin went on to appear on 'The Tonight Show' 61 times from 1970 to 1980. In the 1990s he became popular again, appearing on 'Late Night With David Letterman several times. Kreskin is still active as a performer, appearing regularly on WPIX and once a year on Fox News and CNN to give his New Year's Day predictions.moreless