Was “Al E. Khatt” the Funniest Local TV Show in Lansing History?
I remember many of the old TV shows that originated from the Lansing area:
1) Ranger Jim
2) Martha Dixon's "Copper Kettle"
3) "Swing Lively"
4) Comedy Matinee (I think that’s what it was called; they showed Little Rascals)…any others? I’m drawing a blank.
5) Land Of Play
6) And my favorite, Al E. Khatt (or was it spelled ‘Katt’?), along with Pansy the bulldog and different human hosts that included Deputy Dave and Mr. Mayor (Howard Lancour). Pansy had such a gruff voice for a bulldog with a "pansy-ish" name and he was EXTREMELY funny.
Even though I was a teen at the time, I enjoyed watching “Al E. Khatt” because it was live and they were always doing inside jokes and stuff the kids didn’t understand.
I remember one afternoon during winter…I came home from school and flipped on the TV to watch the show; they were between hosts at the time – possibly between Howard Lancour (“Mr. Mayor”) and Deputy Dave. Up pops Al E. Khatt from behind the studio prop-fence to welcome the kids…a few minutes later, he’s getting pelted by snowballs that the crew and gone out and collected. Dennis Wayne, who manipulated and voiced Al E. Khatt, couldn’t stop from laughing. Every time he put the Al E. Khatt puppet back up over the fence, WHAM! He got hit with more. The crew was so relentless that the fence was falling over on Dennis which made him laugh even more. This went on for a good ten minutes…it was one of the best, funniest things I ever saw on a live kids’ show.
Thanks and kudos to Dennis Wayne for all that unscripted, ad-libbed and sometimes 'adult' humor he slipped into the Al E. Khatt show...it was GREAT.
Any other good stuff you remember?
Also, here’s an interesting item I came across. What I do NOT understand is why they listed Lansing’s WJIM Channel 6 as one of the “weird” TV channels.
The little video clip below explains the weirdness of 10 TV channels; number 6 is WJIM, saying that it “became so bad the FCC shut (it) down” after owner Harold Gross let it get that way (he won a TV license in a card game). They don’t say why or how it got so bad.
However, in my attempt to find some extra history on WJIM-TV, nothing is said about that…unless it’s buried or listed somewhere else.
Does anyone know if this is true or if someone got the wrong info?
Check out the video below: "ROLL 'EM, FERNDOCK!"