Monday, September 15, 2008

Cleveland Comedy Company-1980

Here, from 1980 courtesy of Cleveland Memory Grenade, are a couple of parts of what appears to be an hour comedy special, reminiscent of Satuday Night Live. This show may have been a monthly series, but am not sure about that as yet. Paul Tapie heads up a young comedy troupe in a number of blackouts and comedy sketches, with guest Jay Lawrence, then of WBBG-1260AM. Lawrence earlier had been at KYW/WKYC-1100AM from 1961-67. He is credited with the long drawn out "laugh" that ended many of the Channel 8 Hoolihan and Big Chuck skits over the years. Bill Ward, later of WJW-TV, is the announcer. Here are what I consider the most interesting parts of the special..As with most shows of this type, some of the jokes work better than others, but It is interesting to see how much of Channel 5, in particular gets spoofed here and what they got away with..This show was aired on a Friday Night at 11:30PM

The "related videos" should have the parts I don't post here, as well as some promo spots for the show..Cleveland Radio Legend Bob James produced the show.

Opening segment

Highlights:A "retro-look" WEWS station ID..An opening disclaimer "No white socks or Kielbasa here"..

The Best overall part in my mind:

A funny spoof of local Cleveland TV News in 1980 with "Smiling Mona Mona" and "Overpaid Doug Hambrick" "EyewitnessActionCenterNews"

Paul Tapie, in a YouTube Comment, says that they almost sold this show to Paramount in Syndication. Interesting artifact of the early 1980's..Anybody with more info about the date this show aired, or if it was a or comment..Thanks..


  1. The "EyewitnessActionCenterNews" title in this parody reminds me of the title of a real-life newscast as of 1977 on WTHR (Ch. 13) in Indianapolis: "Eyewitness NewsCenter 13." And that station's newscast title was dead serious!

  2. Tim, I do remember the Cleveland Comedy Co. I was fortunate to have actually worked on the show. It was a series but I don't think it went past six months. It's been almost 30 yrs. now. From the clips I've seen it looks like you have shows #1 & 2. The first one with J.L. was an hour, the rest were half. It was just too much to do an hour. It was hard to do every fri nite. I didn't think after all this time anyone even remembered. I was stunned to run across your blog. (a yr.later.) I actually have the first two shows on tape. I got the station to give up copys of the first two. Bumpers and all. I don't know if you got to see the whole shows. By the clips it looks like you have. I wish I'd had the insight to ask for copys of all that we did. It's not like we got paid. I'd like to see them again. It was a fun time. I believe the first air date was Jan 1980. I remember it was cold when we shot the outside stuff. If you have any questions about then, I'll do my best to recall. We were all so young then. When the run ended, for whatever reason, we moved the show over to I believe it was Cox cable Bob included and did a handful more calling it "Comedy Tonight" Sadly it lacked the same luster as the originals. On a side note, as brilliant as Paul was even then, and he was, his female counter part was a very talented woman named Jane Van Bergen along with several others.
    I thought her "catch 5" bit as Liza was histerical. "I do my mom in my act live." She was great. Hope this helps. Mail if you want.
    Rob H.