Turkey Television

Nickelodeon (ended 1987)


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Turkey Television

Show Summary

It sounds stupid, but oh Take one look and you'll know That a turkey created TV. Welcome to the Turkey Television guide at TV.com. By 1985, the brains behind You Can't Do That on Television carried their creative energies from Ottawa to Toronto. From there emerged Nickelodeon's hodgepodge of comedy bits from all over the world: France, Italy, Australia, the United Kingdom. A lot of acquisitions took place to make Turkey Television, and some of the sources were pretty amazing. London Weekend Television loaned bits from the Pink Medicine Show, Russ Abbott's Madhouse and Pushing Up Daisies. Norwegian network NRK brought filmed pieces tapped from Nuts and their 1979 award-winning travelogue spoof To Norway Home of Giants. Cartoons first used on The Great Space Coaster, came to Turkey Television. Also brought in were bits from the New Jersey Network cult classic The Uncle Floyd Show. And there was more where that came from. From New York came Mickey Siporin's short films such as "The Ritz Newsiola" and (in the second season) "Blink-O-Rama Theater." The Other Café's Comedy Showcase and the Improv provided stand-up cuts of future comedy legends Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon and Sinbad. Even George Carlin got on the Turkey Television bandwagon, with clips from his 1984 HBO special Carlin on Campus. Turkey Television also used comedic music videos, from classics such as Fish Heads and "Weird Al" Yankovic selections, to the obscure California-based number Two Triple Cheese Side Order Of Fries. And if that wasn't enough, there were even clips from the real comedy legends Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, and Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows. Despite the acquisitions, much of Turkey Television was original. Short sketches were built around such characters as Dr. Gil Tripp, Psychiatrist; Gramps & Sonny (Les Lye played Gramps); Blanche Almonds, the Career Counselor who brought out disgusting aspects of every job under the sun; high-school-aged Katie & Hillary; second-grade Wedding Pages; intelligently-challenged Kentucky Boys; "Everybody's Mother" and "Somebody Else's Mothers," who conjured ways to make life miserable for their kids; advice columnist Dr. Joyce Sisters; and Ivan Tellalie, whose "Russian Tru Fakts News" twisted the truth about North American society for then-Soviet audiences. Another original element of Turkey Television was the cartoon character Thurman T. Turkey. He was the continuation of a brilliant partnership that had already yielded the animated short It's So Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House and cartoons for 3-2-1 Contact. All told, the old hour-long Turkey Television promised 42 comedic bits, and delivered. It was the only show to run on Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite, a proud symbol of the doppelgänger network's new 24-hour schedule. Turkey Television was reduced in late 1986, airing a 30-minute version on Nickelodeon and cutting the Nick at Nite hours to only weekend telecasts.


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