Head Full of Strange

… and happy to share.

 I saw King Kong (1933) as a young child – on TV

Thanks to a couple of comments on the last post, I’ve been thinking about some of the truly bizarre television shows that knock around in my memory.  This is no attempt to be comprehensive.  It’s just some links to oddities I watched at one time or other.


Before I started school, I had no social context for TV content.  I liked comedy, old movies, weird cartoons and what was then called “educational television”.  The cartoons were usually ones made decades earlier, intended for projection before movies.  As for other shows, I preferred ones with in-jokes, even if I didn’t understand them.


My taste for the absurd cross-pollinated back to TV viewing once I began going to movies on my own.  My parents finally bought a color set around 1965.


TV went kind of bipolar in this decade.  Beautiful and unusual things were happening in American culture, but television kept broadcasting retro-styled versions of what was occurring in the real world.

The 1980s and Beyond :

I spent a lot more time working than watching from this point on.  I was generally only able to see things that showed late at night, or what I taped and purchased for later viewing.

 —and that’s enough out of me (and YouTube).  Gotta go to work.

But, I have to wonder about YOUR kids.  They are growing up already having seen things like THIS:



Filed under humor, Television, Thinking about thinking

20 responses to “Head Full of Strange

  1. You DO have a head full of strange, but, I bet it is fun in there! 🙂

    I used to watch Lawrence Welk with my Grandmother. It was her very favorite show. I have heard the song before. I never thought about it, but what the heck does “One toke over the line, sweet Jesus” even mean …or did they mean back then?

    JedisParadise is just plain strange. However it is no stranger than those freaky Teletubbies. Do you know them? They were big when my kids were small.

    • “One Toke Over the Line” was a song written and recorded by Brewer and Shipley in 1970. The song is about taking time to reflect upon the vastness and beauty of rural life, while also being “one toke” over the line between being sober, and getting high – while smoking marijuana, which was an ordinary pastime for young people and musicians in 1970.

      The couple on the Welk show were “tripping” on the country music-ish metaphors (Jesus, railway station, and the melody/harmony style), and missing the marijuana context completely. To me, 70s TV was waaay behind the times, because the times, they were a-changin’ too rapidly.

      Good catch on that final clip. The same woman who created Teletubbies in the UK also created that show, which was called “Boohbah”. (Jed is the guy who posted the clip.)

      It is fun in here, though I haven’t had much opportunity to live inside any other heads. Thanks!

  2. For better or for worse, here in Canada we have a mandated Canadian content in both TV and Radio. This allows us to miss many bizarre American programs, while getting many truly unmemorable Canadian ones!

    • Maybe they export Canadian strangeness on purpose? Shatner’s Canadian, as was SCTV (from the Toronto branch), The Trailer Park Boys, Kids in the Hall. I adore Canada’s weirdness! In earlier decades before content mandates, Canada showed all the odd stuff from the BBC like Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men, Ludwig, Thunderbirds etc. Thanks, Margie.

  3. Talk about flashes from the past! I didn’t watch all these program, but some of them were part of our family fair.

    I confess, I don’t get the whole Boobah thing although I like all the colors and other worldliness about it. I would have to watch more shows to know what I think/feel about it!

    • To put it simply, Boohbah, like TeleTubbies before it, is about selling toys, books, and DVDs that feature these characters. As slim on story content as the Tubbies were, Boohbah had even less! Of course if you asked the creators they would say things like “It’s about getting young children to move around and exercise” – which is MARKETING.

  4. Pie

    I like your strange head. It is full of ideas. I will climb inside and steal them.

  5. lifewith4cats

    Possibly due to the rain my comp is having trouble playing videos. I must remember to come back. I really want the laugh I’ll get when I watch Shatner sing.
    That Lawrence welk show brought back a funny memory. I was meeting a serious boyfriends parents for the first time one thanksgiving. It happened to be Howdy-dootys commemorative aniversary honored with a three hour tv special. It was a torment to watch. Though I suppose it was better than football. I sat politley through it all, while wanting to jab my eyeballs out.

    • That’s a funny story! Dating is such strange torture. Thanks for sharing that.

      Admittedly, it’s a pretty lazy post, relying on my own memories, but linking to the work of so many others. Still, that’s who I am in great part, and these were some of the media ingredients making up the recipe to my odd consciousness.

      Hope you didn’t lose power and all that. I’ve never been around hurricanes.

  6. Pie

    I bow down to the greatness of ‘The Shat.’ He was put here on this earth for me to enjoy.

  7. This is awesome, Mikey! I love that Kool-Aid commercial. My mom was a big fan of Shirley Temple (I was actually named after Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm), so my sister and I spent our childhood watching movies from that era.

    She also made us watch Mommy Dearest, but looking back, I’m pretty sure she regrets that decision.

    • Rebecca is a cool name. It has both soft and hard tones when spoken, and three syllables makes a name sound exotic. Much better than Shirley.

      I considered a Mattel Tommy-gun commercial for the 50s segment, but I was afraid my primarily female readership would get too amped by the overtly phallic content. Kool Aid turned out to be more “wigger”.

      Ahh, Joan… “DON’T #%&@ WITH ME, FELLAS!” She might have been one of the few monsters that never mellowed.

  8. I probably use too many swear words. I don’t know, I guess it would still depend on the topic. Reality TV, I wrote about once but oh well, I guess it wasn’t the right show.

    • Oh, I use them too! I swear face-to-face, where it has the most impact. I try not to online. Me too on the single reality TV post, and in mine I wrote about rehab shows. I did say F&%# CAPITALISM in two previous posts, three now with this one. I’m going to look for more occasions to say that. Thanks for stopping in to share, Tots.

      (I assume you meant this reply for the other post “Room at the Top”, but I’m happy to see new people even if they come in through the patio door.)

  9. Val

    I’ve bookmarked this post so that I can watch more of the videos another day as my ‘net connection tonight is dreadful, despite having broadband, but I managed to watch bits of a few and I remember some of them. Superman and Senor Wences particularly. My TV viewing also began in the 1950s. Superman must have been on when I was a very small child I think. If I’d known the word ‘cool’ then, that’s what I’d have said – but now it just makes me grin. I also loved The Prisoner show.

    You might like some of the videos on my ‘Videos I Love’ page (click on the ‘other stuff’ page) on my blog as my own sense of humour is pretty odd!

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