Vakkotaur (vakkotaur) wrote,
Vakkotaur
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"Don't Look Now!" it's almost "You Can't Do That On Television"


In a followup to babsbunny's post about Canadian children's television , gothkat mentions perhaps the most famous series, You Can't Do That On Television. That got me looking for something and I found the site linked to in that last sentence. The FAQ is interesting reading.

I'd known it enjoyed popularity in the U.S. and that it had similarities to Laugh-In, even using some of the same music. I did not know that it wasn't so popular in Canada, nor that Ruth Buzzi, who had been a Laugh-In regular, was on the show in the very beginning.

What really got my attention, though, was this entry:

WERE THERE ANY SPIN-OFF SERIES OF YCDTOTV?

[...]
Roger Price and Geoffrey Darby made a clone of YCDTOTV for PBS in the Fall of 1983. It was called Don't Look Now, and was a live, one-hour show on six Sundays in October of that year. It was very highly rated (second highest rated kids show on PBS up to that time). It also made Nickelodeon very angry, but PBS decided not to pick up additional episodes.


YCDTOTV was only on Nickelodeon, which meant cable. I think I saw part of an episode at my grandmother's place once, but it wasn't until we got C-band satellite at home a few years later that I could see it regularly as cable simply wasn't an option well out of town. PBS being free air, however, was an option. I recall watching Don't Look Now on Sunday mornings that fall. (I'd like to know how there can be six Sundays in a month, though.) And then it disappeared and was forgotten - while I remembered that there was such a show, I'd forgotten the name of it. I've mentioned it to some and they seemed surprised there was such a thing. It's so obscure that even IMDB, which now includes TV programs, doesn't have listing for it.

I'm not sure how the two shows compared (YCDTOTV was likely better, benefiting from editing and experience by then), but they were pretty much the same show. YCDTOTV had green slime with the trigger phrase of "I don't know" and the firing squad skits. DLN had yellow slime with a trigger phrase of "Don't blame me" and walking the plank skits. I expect there were other similarities, but it's been a while since October of 1983.

I'm not sure about Don't Look Now, but I'd like to see You Can't Do That On Television air again. Not new episodes, mind, but the originals.

Tags: don't look now, television, ycdtotv
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