Saturday, April 01, 2006

Mondo City Shocker

The Richmond Times-Dispatch longtime TV writer, Douglas Durden, reported today that RICH-TV (formerly Blab-TV) ceased broadcasting on Comcast Channel 79 yesterday.

"'...Last summer Comcast moved our channel position from 7 and 8 to 79, which resulted in a dramatic loss of our viewing audience, and we never recovered. Most of our advertisers' programs were highly dependent on local call-ins and viewer participation,' [RICH-TV president, and local attorney Michael] Morchower said. 'We provided a service to the community which will be sorely missed.'"

In keeping with SLANTblog's April Fool’s Day theme, below the reader will find part of a piece penned by Durden sixteen years ago about a program on Blab-TV that caused somewhat of a local stir. It happened when two members of the GWAR troop, Oderous Urungus and Beefcake the Mighty, appeared on Mondo City’s premiere episode. Mondo City was produced and hosted by yours truly.
‘Mondo City’ Shocker

Terry Rea [appearing in character as Mutt DeVille], host of Blab-TV’s new “Mondo City,” got much more than he bargained for Tuesday night with the appearance of two members of the shock rock band GWAR. After taking their sexual references too far on the live cable TV show, the two men were taken off the air following orders from Blab-TV management.

“Part of what is attractive about live TV is that anything can happen,” Rea said yesterday. “That edge is something that Blab-TV and other live presentations have in common.” Rea [said] that GWAR led him to believe they knew the boundaries of the show. “In spite of that, they managed to go too far.”

“We want to assure viewers this behavior and conduct will never be tolerated on television again,” said Ann Smith, Blab-TV‘s general manager. “On the upside, we hope our viewing audience, especially parents, took notice and that this broadcast did expose GWAR for what they are.”

Well, Mike Morchower went ballistic on the telephone that night. He fired the show’s director -- perhaps for bad judgment, in particular, with a close-up of an aspect of a musician’s costume -- while the program still had a half-hour to go. Soon afterwards naughty Oderous and Beefcake, plus their entourage, fled the studio when they learned the Henrico County police were on the way.

Tapes of that bizarre show -- considered a minor “underground” classic in some circles -- in which columnist Mark Holmberg also appeared, have been circulating ever since. By the way, Holmberg and I finished the hour-long show without further incident.

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