Monday, August 1, 2016

Sunday Funnies: Steampipe Alley (1988)

In the mid-to-late 80's, WWOR in New York had a small hand in children's programming. Romper Room anchored their weekday morning kids' block. In fact, at times, it was the kids' block. On Sundays, the station served up a in-house produced comedy hour that was the local answer to CBS' Pee-Wee's Playhouse, to an extent.

Steampipe Alley ran for five seasons (1988-93), hosted by comedian Mario Cantone. Think Pee-Wee Herman crossed with Jerry Lewis, with a dash of Charles Nelson Reilly, and I'm sure you'd get the idea. Cantone created a series of characters that were parodies of celebrities. For example, there was Joe Rivers, the fictional brother of Joan Rivers. And, then, there was a parody of a certain French Chef......



There were also games for children in the studio audience to play, including a send-up of The Dating Game. Long time studio announcer Ted Mallie was the show's announcer, billed as a parody of New York legend Don Pardo (Saturday Night Live).

Steampipe Alley was just the beginning of Cantone's career in front of the camera. He'd parlay it into a few movie roles, and a recurring gig on Sex & the City. Seeing him on Match Game last night spurred some memories.

No rating. Didn't watch the show, but was familiar with the promos airing on a regular basis.

2 comments:

Silverstar said...

I never actually watched Steampipe Alley, but I saw ads for it during the time our then cable company gave us WWOR-TV (before we switched to satellite). Then one day I was watching MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour and saw Mario Cantone doing stand-up, and said, "Hey,it's the dude from Steampipe Alley!".

hobbyfan said...

1/2-Hr. Comedy Hour was around during the same period as Steampipe, and with Mario based in NYC, where he still lives, OBTW, this made sense. I think I've seen the same episode you did.