Do You Remember Detroit’s Wacky Weatherman Sonny Eliot?
When I was very young, I wanted to be a weatherman. I grew up in Tornado Alley, so it was natural to want to understand the thing that was a constant threat of destroying everything around you. But I realized, I didn't have the patience to learn all the math and science that went with it.
But little did I know, there was another path to take to become a weatherman, and it was with vaudeville showmanship, and an innate ability to just make up new weather terms on the job. Sony Eliot was that guy.
Eliot was wild. He would routinely make up words about the weather. If it was cloudy and Chilly, then the weather was "Clilly" across Michigan. Clear and Hot... "Clot." You get the idea.
He also had a gimmick of his own maps (which were physical maps back then), of ripping off the Keweenaw Peninsula, spinning it, and then placing it back on the map. It was comedy showmanship at its peak during the 1950s.
And Sony was making the weather fun.
The Incredible Life of Sonny Eliot
Marvin Schlossberg, aka "Sonny Eliot" led an INCREDIBLE life. He served in WWII, and was a prisoner of war for 18 months in Germany. But when he got home, he had one goal in mind - Entertain.
With that in mind, he tried out for every show possible in New York, and in his hometown of Detroit on the new TV station, WWJ TV Channel 4. He stayed there doing the weather until the 1970s, when he moved to Channel 2 in Detroit in 1978. At that point, he also began hosting movie series on other channels, and a series "At the Zoo" focusing on the Detroit Zoo.
In 2005, he was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, and then retired in 2010.
Sadly, Sony died in 2012, but at the age of 91, after an INCREDIBLE lifetime of fun in Detroit.
Do you remember watching Sony do the weather?