Buffalo broadcasting legend Irv Weinstein dies at 87

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A longtime local television news anchor in Buffalo, New York, known for his “rapid-fire delivery and famous alliteration” has died. Irv Weinstein was 87.

WKBW-TV, where Weinstein had worked for 34 years, says he died Tuesday in Costa Mesa, California, after a long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Anybody but everybody from Southern Ontario knew Irv Weinstein. It seemed at times that Buffalo had an endless supply of combustible abandoned warehouses.

  • David_Martin

    Ahhh – the memories…who can forger “It’s 11 o’clock do you know where your kids are?” or “Buffalo is burning down…details at 11 on I’m Witless News”.

    • Heh;)

    • Clink9

      Buffalo Blaze Busters battle a three bell burner in Batavia!

      RIP Irv. You were a legend with my friends and myself in the 60’s and 70’s in Scarberia.

      • What a hero he was!

      • Gary

        How about the ” pistol packing punk ” .
        That one shot must have been when he started in 1964 because the newest car in the backdrop is a 64 Impala and a 56 Buick drives by.
        How about the C-47 chopper from MASH that was a Bell model in 1947 .
        Back in 1964 B.C . ( before cable ) our low definition B&W TV had an aerial that picked up 2 Station in Toronto plus 3 US ones ( 2,4,7 ) and if we were lucky on Sunday channel 11 to watch wrestling and the roller derby .
        When UHF was common WKBW started channel 29 and that’s when I caught Lost In Space once Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm .

        The WW2 housing for factories was quick build wooden homes with one and maybe a 1/2 floors. All those dried out wooden home were like balsa wood soak in Ronson fluid and
        the FD knew not to rush based on the addresses.
        Detroit had 25,000 of these built in 1942 once the USA got into the War and today the house is still about $1000.00 but the bad news it hat you have to live in Detroit.

        • Clink9

          We have good memories of old Buffalo TV stations.

    • Gary

      Today it’s ” Do you know where your parents are ” .

  • SDMatt

    Loved Irv Weinstein, Clip Smith (Clipley’s Believe It or Don’t), Rick Azar, Nolan Johaness (Dialing For Dollars), “Commander” Tom Jolls, Rocketship 7, Topps Friendly Markets, the whole Buffalo scene in the early 70’s.

    • Watched it all!

    • kkruger71

      What about your local Carvel Ice Cream dealers?

      • Clink9

        Fudgie The Whale!

        • Gary

          Did you ever see the cash wash near the Sonic wash adn gas bar on the West side that was a huge blue Whale where you drove into the mouth . Close to the Super Duper where Joey gave the weekly specials . There was the Library bar where you sat in a barber chair to lean back and hot babes poured shot in your mouth.
          The times I came back on the QEW during sun rise when the bars closed at 4:00 am.
          Buffalo had these huge record stores in the low rent area on the main roads from the falls .

    • Gary

      Clip Smith. i told a friend that somewhere there is a horse with human teeth .

  • Ed

    LOL… it’s so true! In the 70’s, TV from upstate New York would regularly have a chiron scroll across the screen, “Fire in Cheektowaga”… It was pretty much a daily event in winter.

    • An endless supply.

    • canminuteman

      It’s amazing that there is anything left of Cheektowaga or Tonawanda. They always seemed to be on fire when I was a kid.

  • kkruger71

    What flashed me back more than Weinstein was the music and opening graphics for that second video.

  • Drunk by Noon ✓

    Did anyone else here think they were watching missing scenes from “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”?

    • Heh.

      • Gary

        How about Bruce All Mighty that worked at WKBW .
        I remember Tom Joles and his acu-weather where a camera was moved the side door and Tom reported it live as it rained and snowed in the parking lot .
        Dave Tomas was on the morning show Rocket Ship 7 with promo the robot and the puppet ” the Sweetly” that wee married and would fight .
        Anyone could mail Dave Tomas for a Birthday notice and I heard my name when my Mother send one in ( I was 9 ) .

  • Clausewitz

    The first UHF channel I ever watched was channel 29. Who can forget Ultraman, and the Saturday afternoon creature features. They also reran 20,000 Leagues under the Sea constantly. I always wanted a flying sub.

    • mauser 98
      • Gary

        That’s right . Tom Joles took over the show as the end of the Rocket ship seven but as the show got longer it was harder to carry so they ran they ran these serial shows . There a scene in Star wars taken from Flash Gordon where the rock people come out from the walls of a cave.
        i loved the subway cars with plastic tops and would speed through tunnels .

        • mauser 98

          rock people a great special effect for the day

          put off a lot of home work re Flash

    • FivePointSpurgeonist

      29 had wicked range. Central Ontario got it more often than not.

  • ECM

    Wow, intense flashbacks to the mid-90s, when i lived in Buffalo–God speed, Mr. Weinstein.

  • Literally Hitler

    Rest in peace Irv.

  • andycanuck

    That’s too bad. We laughed at him — the inspiration behind the SCTV News crew along with Canadian broadcasters — but didn’t sneer at him.

    And I liked his anecdote about being in Rome (IIRC) and a Canadian tourist asking him if was Irv and then singing the “Irv Weinstein — he’s the guy for me!” jingle the station used at one time.

    But is Commander Tom next?

    • Gary

      And promo the robot .

      • Clausewitz

        Mr. Beeper.

  • JohnfromToronto

    Growing up in Toronto in the 60’s, two icons gone in 24 hours, Johnny Bower and Irv Weinstein. RIP gentlemen.

    • Gary

      With only 5 channel and maybe CHCH 11 .
      I remember Bill Walker as the voice of FORD ads during Leaf games while Earl Warren did the KRAFT treats for melt cheese wiz, caramel Apples , cheese wrapped wieners and Miracle whip mayo .
      Bill Lawrence had Tiny Talent Time and Tom Cherington were the voice for CHCH 11 while CFTO had Uncle Bobby that lived in the same build as ny brother. Bobby had a big Chrysler and one fender was knocked in… he had the crew at channel 9 paint a large band aid over it with OUCH .
      I barely remember the CBC version of Howdy Doody which james Dohan and Robert Goulet as Timberland Tom plus William Shatner the odd time .
      Razzle Dazzle had Alan Hamel who married Suzane Sommers , the show had Howard the turtle .
      My parents didn’t know that the CBC send the audio on the FM band for clarity and I could hear TV shows on the radio my brother build in electronic class .
      I actually wanted to be sent to bed at 8:00 pm .