Could the Last Lion Please Turn Out the Lights?

On assignment in other countries, David Frum would fish out likely friendlies in hotel bars by yelling, “Irv Weinstein!” Neither Frum nor I grew up in Buffalo, but their local TV stations’ signals were strong enough to stretch into southernmost Canada.

I guess if I ever actually left the house, let alone traveled abroad, I could try shouting, “Marineland and Game Farm!” or sing a slice of its theme song—“Niagara Falls, Ontario! Wonderful place for you to go!” A kind of SeaWorld of the north, this attraction’s relentlessly jolly TV commercials have blared in heavy rotation for half the year, every year, since before I was born.

  • Scaramouche

    I can also sing the song:

    Irv Weinstein you’re really a pro.
    You’ve got all the news that we want to know.
    You tell it like it is and never throw us a curve.
    Nobody does it like Irv!

  • Clink9

    Loved those old stations growing up in Toronto. Only black & white with an antenna catching the signal across Lake Ontario.

    Irv was great.

    Buffalo Blaze Busters Battle a 3 Bell Burner in Batavia!

    Film at 11.

  • SDMatt

    Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar, and Tom Jolles. Giants of my childhood.

    Clip Smith too.

    • Clink9

      Sponsored by Carvel Ice Cream.

      • SDMatt

        And Tops Friendly Markets:

        Not a dollar ninety nine.
        Not a dollar sixty nine.
        But a dollar forty nine this week at Top’s Friendly Markets!

  • irishrus

    Ah yes… Rocket Ship 7

    • marty_p

      Time for a walk down memory lane:

      • Gary

        I loved the puppet act of the married couple Mr. and Mrs Sweetly that Dave Thomas got a real laugh from.
        I read-up on the Buffalo Station where the Owner wanted to be known for the most Powerful transmitter place in the highest spot to draw in people from far away .
        Tom Jolls hosted the after school show that morphed into classic TV show special with Flash Gordon, Tarzan, and a few other cliff hanger movies that used to run at a Theatre.
        When we got our first Colour TV it had the UHF dial and I switched the aerial over to it and found Channel 29 where i first saw Lost In Space on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 pm .
        The picture wasn’t great but it softened the cheap props and recycled monsters that Irwin Allen used form other shows. Season 1 was B&W and if you sat back far enough you could make out the concept of the episode while the story and actors was the focus .

        City TV was UHF 57 B.C. ( before cable) until it got on the local lower VHF band when 2, 3,4,7, moved to cable to free-up local band width for TVO, Global, Multilcultural ( 47 UHF ) , city TV 7 ( was 57 UHF) .
        I think it was CFTO 9 that was cable 8 while CBC 5 became Cable 6 while CHCH 11 stayed there , 10 was CKVR and then community and the old 13 was CHEX peterborough if you were lucky with a high tower and good weather .

        The old warning of ” It’s 11:00 , do you know where your children are ” .
        In Toronto we have guns and gangs where the mothers don’t know where the kids are at 2:00 am .

  • mauser 98

    Rocketship 7
    Promo the Robot
    5 alarm fire on Buffalo’s east side

  • Clausewitz

    If it wasn’t for Buffalo TV there never would have been SCTV.