Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Don't Avoid!

The cast, from left: Artie Delmar, Looney Skip Rooney, Uncle Floyd, Scott Gordon, Netto, and Muggsy.

The List this time around features character names from "The Uncle Floyd Show, a kids' show broadcast from 1975-1985 on UHF channel 68 (this is the pre-cable age) in New Jersey. It was perhaps the most slapdash, no-budget show in TV history (not counting public access). It was, in the words of the great James Woolcott, "cardboard, slapstick Surrealism."

Basically a vaudeville show, "Uncle Floyd" was hosted by Floyd Vivino, a showman who wore mismatched clothes and played piano. He usually opened the show accompanied by his obnoxious puppet friend named Oogie. The rest of the show consisted of sketches, song parodies, and a small cast who played literally dozens of characters each. Once in a while there would be a musical guest. Amazingly, they were name acts: The Ramones, Cyndi Lauper, Bon Jovi, The Misfits.

The fun of the show was in watching the cast crack up and hearing the laughter and catcalls of the crew and off-camera cast. Titles were hand drawn on cardboard. Costumes were pieced together from junk store throw offs. The early shows used one camera. I call it a kids' show, but it was really popular with stoner college students. Actually, it would have freaked a lot of kids out.

Floyd continues to perform on stage in the NJ/NY area. Videos are available and highly recommended. Check out the links below for more info and some video and mp3 clips. Don't avoid, watch Uncle Floyd!

The Uncle Floyd Website

Uncle Floyd on YouTube (mostly Mugsy)

Uncle Floyd on Google Video (with classic Oogie)


The Floyd Show actually went to NBC at one point...I thought it was around 1983 or '84, tho I certainly could be mistaken. The show took the late night slot away from Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow Show"! Floyd didn't last long there, and I think they went back to ch. 68 shortly thereafter.

There was also an Uncle Floyd Show record album that came out on the Mercury label.

Oh, and, uh...Oogie is God!

By Blogger Flickhead, at 6:03 AM  

I remember the brief stint on NBC as being a bit earlier (post-Snyder and pre-Letterman, which would put it at 81-82. In any event, the Jersey-based humor probably didn't play too well outside the Rte 1 corridor (fondly referred to as the "smell belt").

By Blogger MadCatJoey, at 9:33 AM  

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