Uncle Don and More

by Rick Busciglio


In the section on Uncle Don's famous radio goof, the "Bloopers" record set from producer Kermit Schafer that I also owned....was a collection of a few actual broadcast flubs, plus recreations of others such as announcer Harry VonZell's mispronunciation of president Herbert Hoover's name AND Uncle Don's "little bastards" remark.

In regards to broadcast history in Newark. While a radio and tv major at Seton Hall in the 50's I worked as a stagehand ($1.50 per hour!) at Channel 13...WATV then....WNET (PBS) now. The studios were in the Mosque Theatre Buiding on lower Broad Street, a former ballroom was the main studio. The station was an "independent" with a variety of old films, e.g. Charlie Chan, live kid shows in the afternoon. The 4pm hour was Uncle Fred's (Sayles) "JUNIOR FROLICS", followed by Jolly Jack's SUPER SERIALS.

Paul Brenner, the top dj on sister station WAAT(radio), hosted a Saturday afternoon pop music dance party show similar to American Bandstand. We had many national stars of the period guest on the station e.g. Ethel Waters, Al Martino, Lionel Hampton and Tito Puente and his band. Foreign language programs dominated the weekend evening schedule...Polish, Lithuanian, Italian and Spanish. The station provided the training ground for many who went on to long successful carreers such as Ed Cooperstein, a director who went on to station management/ownership, Gary Nadino, a fellow classmate at Seton Hall who due to his large size was the studio "cop" when we had in-studio audiences. Gary rose to head the tv department at Paramount Studios. A few of his programs were Robin William's "Mork & Mindy' and John Travolta in "Welcome Back, Kotter." In my case, I spent 45 years in radio and tv in both the US and Great Britain (www.memory-lane.org).


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