About This Blog

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Moving (And Grooving)

This is a follow-up… about a follow-up. A sequel about a sequel. In other words, the type of thing we news types love so much.

If you haven’t already read the preceding blog entry, The Boys From Brickell, please do so at this time. Also take the 1:55 it takes to watch the embedded video. Then please return to this post, which will make a lot more sense at that time.

Oh yeah, The Boys From Brickell. It was a chance to show my creative side, and to poke some well-intentioned fun at some of my bosses. It also got a good response, so for the following year’s Christmas reel (1983), a sequel was in order. Presenting The Brickell Hillbillies: K-Tel meets Weird Al meets the Clampetts at a funny-looking cement pond, in an even funnier-looking round building!

The hardest thing about producing these musical parodies was finding willing vocalists. Some guys like Jim Hayek and Tom Kounelis had played in bands, and were comfortable lending their musical talents, but for the most part I had to beg, and beg some more, to get folks to agree to sing my stupid little parodies. So for the 1983 follow-up, I decided to produce fewer actual songs, and instead enlist the help of some of our on-air “franchise” talents – guys like Big Wilson, movie reviewer Don Stotter, and Miami Dolphins kicker turned football prognosticator Garo Yepremian. All of them were kind enough to help out, as was former Channel 6 reporter Marianne Murciano. Still, it’s the musical parodies that would make or break the piece, and once again I had a chance to “sing”. Like the year before, my target was the crappy food in our lunchroom sandwich machine, lampooned this time to the tune of the Police’s recent “Every Breath You Take”. Tape editor Jorge Hernandez had the privilege of tasting one of our hideous sandwiches, and the expression you see on his face wasn’t a put on! As graphic artist Ron Laffin expressed so brilliantly in an earlier skit reel: “These sandwiches are delicious!”

This piece (and the entire 1983 Christmas reel) came at a pivotal time for WCIX. The station needed to move, and the West Kendall Homeowners’ Association was waging a battle against us. They claimed radiation from our tower would endanger people’s lives, and that we would pose a hazard to planes flying in and out of Tamiami Airport. Eventually, Channel 6 would change its plans, and choose a site a little further north, in what is now Doral. But at the time there was lots of uncertainty, and we lost a lot of really good people while our fate was in limbo. So as you watch this piece, try to put yourself in our shoes, not knowing what the future would hold. It was both an exciting and scary time. Poking fun at it relieved some of the tension, which is what our Christmas skit reels were all about.

The Brickell Hillbillies: Written and produced by Jeff Lemlich, and edited by Gary Slawitschka.

No comments: