SI Vault
 
TOWERING BABBLE AND (SOB) HEIDI
William Johnson
January 19, 1970
What goes on behind its crane and camera, mike and monitor, switch and socket as television brings Super Spectator his electronic sport, and sometimes a little Swiss girl, too
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
January 19, 1970

Towering Babble And (sob) Heidi

What goes on behind its crane and camera, mike and monitor, switch and socket as television brings Super Spectator his electronic sport, and sometimes a little Swiss girl, too

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1:55: Kubek interviews Berle. Forty seconds. Air of congratulations in control truck. Connal says he was director for Berle show in early '50s; this shortest time Milty ever on air. New record.

1:57: Berle follows Kubek from interview booth to broadcast booth. Will be no record today. Berle brings son Billy along; both wear Dodger caps. Billy, 7, bounds into booth, shouts at top of voice. Gowdy on air. Furious NBC man grabs little boy, looks wildly toward 50-foot drop over front of booth. Does not throw child out of booth. Milton says "Shshshshshsh."

1:58: Gowdy turns to find source of commotion, does not miss syllable of play-by-play. Billy says to Gowdy, "Shshshshsh." Gowdy laughs. Berle takes chair by Gowdy. Kubek's chair. No choice now: Curt reintroduces Milty to breathless audience.

2: Dodgers are rallying in third. Men on first, third, Willie Davis up. Two outs. Crowd yelling. Berle lights cigar, tells jokes, scowls when Billy tries to climb on lap. Gowdy continues running play-by-play. Billy tries for Milty's lap again; Berle shakes him, glares, pushes, hisses, "Shut UP!" Billy throws self on floor, sulks, kicks feet. Gowdy keeps up flawless play-by-play. Amazing.

2:03: Willie Davis hits into force out. Inning over. Score 0-0. In Elks Club, Mr. Poppy cranes to see over several women ordering drinks at bar. Women chatter. Busboy claps hands twice.

2:08: Women argue over who should pay for drinks. Mr. Poppy closes eyes. Women go to corner table. Berle and Billy leave NBC broadcast booth. Occupants grateful.

2:10: Harry Coyle has Walter O'Malley's hillside shrubs in focus. Kusserow tells Gowdy to talk about them. Curt reads list of plants: African daisies, ice plant, birds of paradise, gazania. Kubek says what's gazania? Gowdy says he always thought it was animal.

2:20: Mr. Poppy cleans gold-rimmed specs with handkerchief. Kusserow tells Gowdy to mention Dixieland band playing atop Dodger dugout. Gowdy scowls, snaps over intercom to Kusserow that he can't hear what Lou is saying because some damn band is playing on Dodger dugout.

2:30: Dodger's Sizemore on, steals second. Two out in fifth. Man in silk shirt enters Elks Club, asks Mr. Poppy who's playing, glances at set in nick of time to see Crawford double to score Sizemore. Dodgers 1, Cards 0. Silk Shirt orders Scotch, turns his back on TV.

2:50: Bottom of sixth. Cardinal Pitcher Torrez walks two. Control truck senses change of pitcher upcoming, chance for commercial. "Stand by," says associate director. Elks Club busboy says, "Take 'im out, Red. Take 'im out before it's too late!" Schoendienst removes Torrez. Kusserow replaces Torrez with Phillips Petroleum.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8