Monday, May 07, 2018

Kermit Schafer Series: "100 SUPER DUPER BLOOPERS" (1977)



1977 marked the Silver Anniversary for producer Kermit Schafer and his bloopers, and as always, the Blooper Man was all over the place to celebrate.  A quarter century after the first Blooper LP on Jubilee (which ended up selling over two million copies, pretty impressive numbers in the early Fifties), Schafer released dueling multi-volume sets on MCA and K-Tel to mark the milestone year.


We all saw that commercial on TV for the K-Tel release (and also noticed that "Kermet's" name was misspelled in it) which was a natural progression for the well known Canadian company after they distributed the PARDON MY BLOOPER film in 1974.  Many of us of a certain age were intrigued to learn about all this shockingly filthy unbleeped and uncensored material that just couldn't be repeated on TV.  And, since this 2-LP set would be in the K-Tel section of the record store, those who were my age could have an easier time buying it than we'd have trying to slip out with the latest Richard Pryor or George Carlin record we weren't supposed to be listening to.  (Thank goodness there was no PMRC yet in 1977....)



While this was eight years before the voluntary labeling of records, there was another reason that Kermit Schafer's latest was a less troublesome purchase for us aspiring class clowns: F-bombs were verboten.  Likely by K-Tel/Commonwealth, since the six volume MCA series was awash with them.  (More on that set later.) 

Only about one in five of those uncensored K-Tel bloopers actually contained profanity, though there were enough to satisfy us.  With Schafer's somewhat infamous reputation for stretching the truth---Uncle Don and Sonny Tufts? being among the more (in)famous examples---a better question to ask is, how many were re-creations, or outright creations?  If you'd like to follow along with me, here's the complete 2 LP set on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAyAqlViZpM


Let's start the trip down memory lane with Record One, Side One (0:00 to 15:54 on the link above):



Fakes: 12, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25.

The Real Deal: 2 through 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18 through 22.  

Notes:

2) Fortunately, there's video versions of some of these NEWLYWED GAME classics, like this one:



3) This baseball game took place on April 26, 1976 and was the lone American League game on that Monday slate.  You'd think Don Money's leadoff game winning homer would deserve mention, but I still think this one is genuine.  (In print, Schafer unnecessarily embellished it with a second "S-bomb".)

4) Cedric Adams (1903-1961) was the Lowell Thomas of the upper Midwest, breaking up frequently and popping up on multiple blooper records.

6) Had to have taken place on or shortly after November 30, 1958, which was Sir Churchill's 84th birthday. 

10) Poor Joseph Kasa-Vubu (1910-1969).  Not only did he get his name misspelled on the record, but the first President of the Republic of the Congo (elected 1960) ended up losing the Presidency to that strongman Mobutu in a 1965 coup.

11) Is actually this famous sequence from THE NEWLYWED GAME.  Bob Eubanks himself called Cathy his favorite contestant of all time.  She is easy on the eyes; for proof, here's the video version:



12) and 16) Same announcer on both, and we'll hear more from him later.  Just four bloopers apart?  Schafer usually wasn't THAT careless with the sequencing.

13) Has to be from 1964; the initiative that the announcer is struggling with was California Proposition 14.  Didn't really need that overly cute splice at the end ("if you're for the initiative, you're against....the initiative") Kermit!

14) That is Schenkel, and must have taken place before Agustin Senin joined Paolino Uzcudun as a notable Basque boxer.  Incidentally, Schenkel had his facts wrong: Joe Louis knocked Uzcudun out in the fourth round, not the 12th, on December 13, 1935.  I think if he'd been born a few decades later, he would have played a Bond villain's henchman when his boxing days ended:

Paolino Uzcudun

15) The worst Wolfman Jack impersonator in history.  But maybe not the worst celebrity sub on this record.  Read on.

17) "Groucho" is just as bad as the impersonator on 15.

18) This one happened on the first day of that unauthorized NBC technician's union strike: Monday, April 27, 1959, playing havoc with Frank Bourgholtzer's valiant attempt to report Eisenhower's veto of the REA Bill that same day.  EPILOGUE: Ike's veto was overridden two days later, and the video technicians accepted a settlement to end the nineteen day strike on May 16.

Frank Bourgholtzer (1919-2010)

20) Does the spelling consistently suck or what?  Couldn't even get John Scali's name right!

21) Bing and Al singing Philco's praises is from 1947.  A longer version:


24) Heard the "chick list" on other records, and other announcers, and even other astronauts

25) Not Bob Eubanks this time, so it must be a re-creation.  Probably did happen, I'd bet.

Record One: Side Two (15:55 through 34:20)



Fakes: 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 18

The Real Deal: 2-4, 10-12, 19, 22-25

Notes:

1) Who was that mysterious Pirate pitcher?  One of the most shameful fakes--ever know any announcer not to just call the pitcher by his last name during the broadcast?

3) While F-bombs were a no-no, K-Tel allowed this one unintentional C-bomb from the golden age of radio.  Bob Burns' name is misspelled on the label.  This one had to have taken place between October 1942 and December 1946, the duration of Lever Brothers' sponsorship of his show.

6) One of my faves as a kid, but sadly inauthentic IMO, since the same sound effects popped up on several prior Schafer "re-creations".

Well, not ALL of it, Kermit.....

8) Almost as bad a Welk impersonator as those on Side One.  Schafer rehired him for the Citizen's Bloopers album for K-Tel the same year, I think.

10) Long Journey doesn't sound that interesting, so little wonder I couldn't find much information on it, except that it did indeed air on weekday mornings from 11-11:15 AM on ABC in 1951-52, and Pauline Frederick had a news show on ABC then also.

11)  I think this particular blooper occurred during the North American Championships in Squaw Valley that started February 19, 1959.  Buddy Werner competed then, but a broken leg kept him out of the Winter Olympics there the following year.  However, local legend "Kit" Carson White overcame his awkwardness, returning a year later to report on the 1960 Winter Olympics, the highlight of his career.  Soon after that, he formed the U.S. Ski Writer's Association with a respected national journalist he met there.... Lowell Thomas!  Small world.

"Kit" Carson White (1914-2001)

13) Heard this one elsewhere, too.  Never really bought it.

15) Carl Smith, 84, a lifetime resident of this city......what city?

16) Too hard to find recordings of STRIKE IT RICH (1947-1957) to tell if this is a re-recording or not.  But outside of the recording sounding a little too clean, it could be legit.


19) Speaking of Lowell Thomas, he kept popping up on Schafer records and his breakups were indeed legendary.  This November 1967 classic (I'm able to date it by the initial newspaper reports of it and the release of Ms. Guyer's book) was so well known that it was mentioned in Thomas' 1981 obituary and was still being included on blooper albums into the Dick Clark era.


22) The narrator was kind to Douglas, and in turn, Douglas was kind to Kermit in the liner notes.

23) Mrs. Sirka Aarelid was the woman who had the toothbrush removed from her stomach in Stockholm's Caroline Hospital. UPI reported this item on November 8, 1967.

25) It took a lot of digging to find this one, but Lt. Theodore Swartz hit that buzzard in Dunnellon, Florida on .... August 5, 1963!  Swartz was on active duty from 1954-1977.


Record Two: Side Three (34:20 through 48:17)



Fakes: 5, 11, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24

Authentic: 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25

Notes:

2) Milton Cross, referenced here as the Dean of Announcers, broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera from the first broadcast on Christmas Day, 1931 until his death on January 3, 1975--missing only four live shows in 43 years!

3) Representative and future President Gerald Ford made this proposal in January 1967.

4) What was up with that "racketship" description by another announcer during the intro?  That sounds like Bill Stern doing the Sardo Bath Oil commercial though.

5) I'd love for this one to have really happened, but her delivery is as artificial as it gets.

7) Deservedly one of radio's most discussed incidents and happened to an unsuspecting Walter O'Keefe on the October 15, 1948 DOUBLE OR NOTHING.  Here's the full show below.  Young waitress (and former Navy nurse) Anna Miles is the first contestant, and get a load of how flustered she has O'Keefe immediately and continuing for the rest of the show:



9) A childhood fave of mine. Oh, yes!

Well, not quite a three for one shit seal, but close...

10) Judging from those news stories that he was repeatedly unable to present, these technical difficulties wreaked havoc on Frank Blair's TODAY show on Tuesday, August 29, 1967--a day much better known as The Day the Running Stopped on THE FUGITIVE.

11) Funny as Hell, but I'm skeptical of its authenticity due to the clean sound and slightly phony sounding verbiage leading up to the uh, climax.

13) How I wish I could find more information on Mrs. Louise Jacobs from Detroit, MI and her prolific tool making husband.  Unfortunately, this clip lacks the fame of Anna's proposed screwing party on number 7 above.

A much earlier LP back cover

17) Not even Howell Heflin sounded like this alleged Senator.

19) The same announcer from side one's football game (12) and Grand Prix (16) is now announcing hockey.  Busy guy!  But he gets even busier--see side four.

22) Hoo!  That'll be the day!  The worst actor on this entire record, though he has some competition (see 24 below).

23) Interior Secretary Stewart Udall (1920-2010) made these comments on February 23, 1965 to the Sales Executive Club in NYC.

24) "Bob Johnson" from Total Information News sounds just as unconvincing as the name of his newscast.


Record Two: Side Four (48:18 through 1:01:17)



Fake: 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 19, 21

The Real Deal: 1, 3, 6, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25

Notes:

2) Miss Welch did indeed receive the Star of the Sixties award from the Interstate Theatre Circuit and Cinerama and Pacific theatres did give her the International Star of the Year award, and received both in 1967.  But is this blooper for real?  Doesn't quite sound as fake as the similar "boy, what a pair" Jane Russell comment on earlier LP's.

6) Pfizer Udder Tone was trademarked on October 11, 1962.

7) At the very least, a re-recording, as I heard this one with a male announcer making the exact same blooper on earlier records.

11) Shay Torrent (1919-2004) was the organist at Anaheim Stadium from 1965-1986.

12) May 7, 1952 was the date that the Klompen Dancers appeared on ARTHUR GODFREY AND HIS FRIENDS on CBS.

17) Our announcer friend from football, the Grand Prix, and Bobby Orr's NHL game returns for a fourth time, and screws up a PBA match.  Regardless of the sport, he's unbelievably phony each time.  Bad hire, Mr. Schafer.


18) Yes, that's Frank Gallup.

20) Evel's infamous Snake River Canyon attempt took place on September 8, 1974.  Representative John Murphy of New York was the key "two bit politician" attempting to block television coverage of the jump.

23) Yes, that's Gene (MATCH GAME) Rayburn, who was one of the rotating hosts of MONITOR on NBC radio from 1961-1973.  That $100,000 All Star Bowling Tournament took place in Philadelphia from January 13-24, 1965.   Winners: Dick Weber and Anne Slattery.

25) The perfect closer, and also the perfect example of K-Tel's F-bomb ban.  The full-length Martin and Lewis commercial outtake for THE CADDY (1953) is even raunchier than the admittedly still damn funny shortened version that appears on this album:



As was the case with the PARDON MY BLOOPER (1974) feature film, singer Danny Street closes things out with "You Blew It".


FINAL TALLY: 

I counted 51 that I could verify as authentic or make a reasonable assumption, 29 that are either suspected fakes or outright phony, and 20 that I either can't tell or am on the fence regarding a determination.

It's easy to see why Kermit Schafer gets derided by many: the "re-creations" are really blatant, to the point that they overshadow the still-impressive amount of authentic material.  Nevertheless, this much appears true to me: while he is guilty of some embellishment, Kermit Schafer gets a bit of a bum rap from his detractors--at least, based on the contents of 100 SUPER DUPER BLOOPERS.  You'd think that 9 out of 10 bloopers are fake from what few comments are found online about him, but it appears that the man was respectably 60 to 65 percent authentic this time around.

So what if ten year old ears couldn't discern the forgeries and we had to go elsewhere for truly harsh language?  Schafer still delivered the goods often enough to have us seeking out more of his blooper collections, which turned out to be plentiful.  He gave us 32 albums and 15 books before his own fart--er, fatal, uh heart attack in 1979.  Next time, I'll cover a raunchier MCA set from the Silver Anniversary year, ALL TIME GREAT BLOOPERS VOLUMES 5 & 6.



If anyone out there can fill in the blanks for me on the last twenty Super Duper bloopers, or can correct me or make additions to my notes, feel free to help me out in the comments below--I'll take all the help I can get as I trek through Schaferland.

5 comments:

Brian Heavner said...

Absolutely fantastic work. I was about 12 when these became popular on 8 track. My dad would roll his eyes at the blatantly fake ones, particularly “whew, that’ll be the day”. But, I didn’t care, Kermit ruled! Outstanding work, sir!!

Jodie Peeler said...

Thank you very much for the homework on this. I got this very set of albums when I was nine and listened to them countless times over, and having all this background on these moments that are stuck in my head is a huge service.

Some observations, which I present for whatever they're worth:

Side one, track 18: That one is indeed real but I think it's been "enhanced" for effect. I've heard another version in which the only apparent flaw is the cross-channel traffic stepping on the Kool billboard, and once announcer Howard Reig throws to Frank Bourgholtzer it sounds normal. I think the "tape rewind chatter/cue" sounds over Bourgholtzer were added by Schaefer to amplify the effect.

Side two, track 1: I've searched far and wide but have never seen a Pirates uniform that had "P-P" on it.

Side two, track 11: The Kit Carson White report was being recorded for NBC's "Monitor" weekend radio service, so with February 19, 1959 being a Thursday the timing squares up for the likely year. Dennis Hart's book about "Monitor" includes a paragraph or two about this incident, though with White's name redacted out in compassion.

Side three, track 9: The way the announcer so smoothly says "oh, yes!" cracks me up every time.

The "Unbleeped Bloopers" article from the back cover of the record set: Schaefer insists that the "Betty Furness can't get the refrigerator door open" commercial happened on "The Rube Goldberg Show." That incident happened on the "Studio One" presentation of "Dark Possession" on February 15, 1954, and it didn't happen to Betty Furness but to her understudy, June Graham. Furness herself set the record straight on a 1981 "Bloopers" program and Graham told the whole story in Jeff Kisseloff's book "The Box."

Side 4, track 23: I've long thought that announcer sounded more like sportscaster Charlie Jones (who came to NBC in 1965) than Gene Rayburn, but I could be wrong.

Thanks again!

Jodie Peeler

Hal Horn said...

Brian: many thanks, my friend. May we continue to laugh our asses off at Kermit's fine work for decades more.

Jodie: Many, many thanks, first off for the insight into the NBC strike incident and for correcting my own bad spelling on Frank Bourgholtzer's name. Yikes; I will be correcting the post tonight! On the Kit Carson White incident, thanks--I'll have to check out the Monitor book.

Jodie Peeler said...

Many thanks, Hal. It happens that very strike figures into my research on Dave Garroway, so if you get completely bored you can read my blog post about it here:

http://garrowayatlarge.com/index.php/2017/11/14/the-great-paris-blackout-of-1959/

Jodie Peeler

Hal Horn said...

Thanks Jodie! I've corrected another of my oversights and added Garroway at Large to my blogroll. :)

Love Kermit, but he never let the truth get in the way of a good story. :)