Posts Tagged ‘Radio’

LOCAL TV – I’ll Have What Fred Rated Was Having

If you aren’t an old school Southern Californian, the next sentence will mean nothing to you, but here goes. Fred Rated and I once celebrated our shared birthday together. I was working my night job at the time and he just happened to show up so we birthday bonded with each other for a few magical moments. Basically, he partied with his friends while I pretended not to be geeking out. If current tv commercials were half as creative as those old drug trip Federated spots, I wouldn’t fast forward through everything on my DVR.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N8AzoDzQhM[/youtube]

He now stays behind the scenes as the voice of the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, but decades ago our local airwaves were under attack by actor/radio dj Shadoe Stevens (Terry Ingstad) and his frenetic alter ego, a hyperactive electronics pitchman in a Miami Vice suit. From Stevens’ web site:

“In the 1980’s, Shadoe Stevens was retained to devise an advertising strategy and branding campaign for a 14 store electronics chain known as the Federated Group. He created and played a character named Fred Rated in a series of commercials that were a mix of Saturday Night Live and Monty Python. Over a period of six years, he and a small team of artists created over 1,200 different commercials.”

Now let’s read that again… IN SIX YEARS, SIX PEOPLE CREATED 1,200 FRED RATED COMMERCIALS. Chew on that for a second. (more…)


FLASHBACK – Mark and Brian’s Mullets, circa 1991

For a playlist of the full parade, click here.
[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCdF59_cjC4&feature=related[/youtube]

KLOS morning show DJs Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps came West from Birmingham, Alabama in September 1987. Initially it was their endearing “fish out of water” shtick that really won over viewers… I actually remember laughing out loud while listening to their live Halloween morning broadcast from Bel Air,  as they yelled “trick or treat” into the estate intercoms while dressed as ax murderers. (Yes, police were called.) At the time, they were definitely a refreshing and welcomed change from their competition.

As L.A. became their home, the pair become progressively more “Hollywood” and upon receiving a 1991 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award as “Air Personalities of the Year,” Mark & Brian were clearly a hot commodity. So much so that ABC Television, hoping to find a West Coast Howard Stern Show on their hands, offered to broadcast “Mark and Brian’s Day Before Thanksgiving Parade” for their fans.

The video above was taped eighteen years ago on November 27, 1991. In what is perhaps not a surprise move in retrospect, ABC chose not to make the parade an annual television event. Personally, I blame that electric blue jacket combo. Just… wow.