1 9 8 5 (Canada)
60 minute episodes
Debuting on 3 June 1985, this Nickelodeon kids show presented a compendium of comedy aimed at teenagers.
Short comedy skits (10 seconds to three minutes long) were interspersed with stand-up comedy bits, novelty songs – such as Barnes and Barnes’ Fish Heads (1978) and Commander Cody’s Two Triple Cheese (Side Order of Fries) (1980) – and cartoon segments gathered from other TV shows and films from around the world, from Norwegian commercials to Italian game shows.
The whole affair was hosted by Thurman T Turkey (an animated turkey voiced by Jim Thurman) who used his creative antics to outfox his nemesis, Wellworth Watching – an animated Pilgrim out to turn the turkey into his next meal.
Regular segments featuring actual humans (the Turkey Television Players) included a child psychology segment hosted by Dr Joyce Sisters (Fred Newman); The Uncle Hogram Program, a parody of pre-school television with Tom Riis Farrell as Uncle Hogram (who had a sadistic relationship with his hand “puppet”), Pippy; Ivan Tellalie (John Koensgen) – the commentator for Russian True Facts News and “Hero of Soviet Union, 23rd Class”, and Katie & Hillary – two mothers who thrived on giving their families exactly what they didn’t want.
Created by You Can’t Do That On Television veteran Roger Price and Nickelodeon program manager Geraldine Laybourne, the pace was frantic, but it was all a little hit and miss with (very) occasional moments of comedy gold.
The series aired several times each week at 3.30 pm and was repeated at 11.00 pm. Only one season was produced, though the show ran in re-runs for several years until December 1988.
Thurman T Turkey
Dr Joyce Sisters
Tom Riis Farrell