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Wacko.....No one else remembers this show,but I fondly do
Perhaps no one else remembers this show,but I fondly remember getting up on Saturday Mornings and watching this silly,irreverent kids show. I do remember that it was produced by the same company that was behind a lot of these kid friendly,musical oriented/skit comedy shows that dominated most of the Saturday Morning landscape during the 1970's. If you remember the variety shows like "The Hudson Brothers",and "The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine" that were on Saturday Mornings it was produced by the same production company that was behind also the variety/musical-skit comedy shows like "Sonny and Cher",and "Tony Orlando and Dawn",that were produced for prime-time as well.
The children's musical/variety-skit comedy series "Wacko!" lasted one season on CBS-TV that was part of its Saturday Morning line-up of live-action and animated shows for the 1977-1978 season. The series premiered on Saturday September 17,1977 and produced four episodes. The series was shown during the Noontime period,where it was opposite "The ABC Weekend Special"," Dick Clark's American Bandstand"(that was on ABC),and the animated "Baggy Pants and The Nitwits"(which was on NBC). It was followed by the animated "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids".
The series in which a trio of gifted comedians have a 30-minute time slot to performed some of their talents hosted a trio of jokes,sketches and musical numbers to name a few,and that have only a half-hour to do so. Each of them played themselves plus a variety of other characters along with several supporting players with a few guest stars to supplement the fun. I do remembers one of the regulars who was on this show...Julie Mc Whirter(aka Julie Dees),who went on to bigger fame as a regular talented comedic actress on The Rich Little Show. She was the craziest out of the bunch. McWhirter was the actress that imitated a bunch of characters both fictional and rich including one hilarious segment where she imitated country music songstress Dolly Parton and a host of others.
Among the typical setups were the countdown of the week's worst jokes and a vaudeville-type style routine where a physician bellowed in his office,"Oh,nurse,nurse,nurse!" before making a wisecrack. There were even a few times when the musical guest(which often was the R&B soul group The Sylvers,who were the one of the biggest musical groups of the 1970's with hits like "Hotline","Boogie Fever",and so on....not to mention other musical guests as well like Helen Reddy,and so forth....and in one hilarious segment had country music superstar John Denver)had a taped number interrupted briefly for a quick bit. But the best recurring gag was near brilliance-a shot of one person with a bag on his head clapping near the back of an otherwise empty and coweb-strewn theater following another stab at humor.
The guest star roster for "Wacko!" was a who's who....from actress Loretta Swit,comedians Rich Little,Jonathan Winters,and Don Rickles,and even a special appearance from child actor Rodney Allen Rippy. Gary Owens(of Laugh-In fame)felt right at home with the program's obvious similarity to the late 1960's prime-time smash in which Owens made a special appearance in one hilarious episode. Minor note for those who haven't seen the show in years since its original broadcast: child actor Merritt Butrick appeared once on this show as well. Butrick went to star as William Shatner's son in "Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan",and "Star Trek III:The Search for Spock" during the 1980's,and also star in several other feature films. Out of the four episodes that it originally aired,CBS moved the show three times. The original episodes aired from September 17, 1977 to October 8, 1977. The repeats of these episodes aired from October 15, 1977 to November 12, 1977 when the network moved the show to a later time slot. The death knell came when CBS moved it from Saturday Mornings to Sunday Mornings(where most of the stations usually aired some of the programs) from November 20, 1977 until its final broadcast on September 3, 1978.
For who may not remember the name "Wacko!",and for those who may not have seen this show in years...the series was an half-hour skit/variety musical-comedy variety program that aired during the mid-to-late 1970's. Whatever happened to actress Julie McWhirter,aka Julie Dees???
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