Category Archives: late night TV

And it’s gone: 3490 Bluff Road

3490 tower

I’m startled that, after I finally made a pilgrimage to 3490 Bluff Road, it’s now gone.

A few weeks back in this spot, I talked about visiting 3490 Bluff Road this fall. The address, on Indianapolis’ south side, was for decades the studio of WTTV 4, the independent TV station that was the home of Dick the Bruiser and other wrestlers, kids’ show hosts Cowboy Bob and Janie and late-night horror host Sammy Terry.

I just got around to going to see the station building, which hadn’t been used in a decade and had been for sale for several years … and now it’s gone.

3490 addy sign

The Indianapolis Star reported recently that 3490 Bluff Road was demolished.

It’s no more.

I’m glad I got a chance to check it out before it was gone.

Halloween on the TV 

  
When I was a kid, I loved everything about Halloween, including the way it changed TV.

For days leading up to Halloween and definitely on the day itself, TV channels and networks would run Halloween-themed specials. Not just Charlie Brown but old movies on the local channels.

When cable exploded in the 1980s, the selection was even greater. I loved the movies and specials that aired on AMC and TCM.

Tonight I’m confronted with more movies than I’ll have time to watch, from “The Lost Boys” on VH1 to “Dead of Night” on TCM to the “Blacula” movies – both of em – on Bounce, the local “urban” station. 

It’s a seasonal embarrassment of riches. 

So long, Dave

david letterman

It was almost like a sickness.

For a few years in the 1980s, I stayed up every night and watched “Late Night with David Letterman” on NBC. But I didn’t just watch it. I also videotaped it.

And cut out the commercials.

That’s right. I was making my own commercial-free David Letterman video library.

I watched the show from its start just after 12:30 – following the Johnny Carson “Tonight Show” – until it went off an hour later. And, obviously, I loved the show enough to want to preserve it in that manner.

Letterman. Paul. Larry “Bud” Melman. All the rest.

The Alka-Seltzer suit. Dropping things off the tops of buildings. Interrupting other shows, like the bullhorn assault on the “Today” show.

My god, what fun.

Letterman, a fellow Hoosier who I remembered from his time on Indianapolis TV and – kinda – his time on my local radio station, had a masterful grasp of ironic comedy long before others followed. He was funny and absurd and disrespectful and everything anyone would want in a late-night talk show host.

I haven’t watched Dave in a while. The draw of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” was too great. Well, that and having to get up at 6 a.m. to deal with the demands of real life.

I’ve seen a little more of his show lately, since Dave’s departure was imminent. I wouldn’t have missed Bill Murray last night. And I’ll probably be watching tonight, for the final show.

Dave was ahead of his time and of his time. He was the late-night talk show host we deserved and needed. He ranked right up there with Carson in my book and always will.

So thanks, Dave, and so long.