1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 1 (USA)
322 x 60 minute episodes
This ABC midnight talk show, aimed at younger viewers, was hosted by Los Angeles disc jockey Rick Dees, who had a novelty hit record in 1976 with Disco Duck.
Billy Vera and the Beaters were the house band, and Lisa Canning was the announcer.
Greg Binkley also appeared regularly in comedy bits, and Bob Perlow was the self-appointed “correspondent of chaos.”
Another regular feature was a group of four female senior citizens (Maureen Prince, Naomi Orr, Rhoda Fine and Flavia Ippoliti) known as “The Committee,” who chatted with Dees on various topics – from sex to world politics – in taped interviews.
Guests included Shannen Doherty, Donny Osmond, Dolly Parton, Barbara Eden, William Shatner, Richard Simmons, Ronnie Spector, Reba McEntire, Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold, Nell Carter, Chris Isaak, Marina Sirtis, Will Smith, Edgar Winter, Morton Downey Jr, the Olsen Twins, Heather Locklear, Tori Spelling, Wayne Newton, Jesus Jones and The Pointer Sisters.
Billy Vera and the Beaters were replaced as the house band by an unknown outfit called Burnin’ Herman and the Master Mix and, in July 1991, Dees and announcer Lisa Canning left the show.
They were replaced with a format featuring a new guest host every week (including Suzanne Somers, Tony Danza and Chris Lemmon), and in October, the show was renamed Studio 59, with the focus now on sketch comedy.
Only 46 of the 225 ABC affiliates carried the new show, which was finally canned on 14 November 1991.
Billy Vera & The Beaters