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LCS' Save the Whale Telethon
By Michael Dell, editor-in-chief

Editor's Note: This bit of wackiness made its debut in the Web Extra section on April 21, 1996. It appeared in a regular column entitled "From the Chief..."

For those of you that read Issue 42 of LCS, you know about our efforts in order to try and Save the Whale. In hoping to raise money to help the cause, we bought ourselves some time at a local cable-access TV station located in Monroeville, Pennsylvania in order to broadcast a Save the Whale telethon.

Station WSCK-TV fills the air waves with experimental, and often odd, programming that caters to the discriminating tastes of the modern television audience. For fifty bucks you too can have your own half hour of programming each week. But the fine folks at WSCK don't just accept anyone off the street. No siree, Chester! You've gotta have talent, you've gotta have drive, you've gotta have... well, really you just have to have the fifty bucks in cash.

However, since we're more broke than the Hartford Whalers we worked out a deal where we get to put on our show in exchange for Zippy appearing at the station manager's kid's birthday party this upcoming Saturday dressed as Bippo the Happy Clown. The real Bippo has his own show each week on WSCK and is quite the favorite with the youngsters, but will be unable to make the kid's party. The company line is that he's sick with the flu, but the truth is that he got all liquored up on cheap wine before he showed up to work a party this past week. The little kids at the party were expecting Bippo the Happy Clown to entertain with his juggling and playful hijinks. Instead they got Bippo the Ornery Son of a Bitch that eats all the food, makes passes at all the mothers in attendance, and urinates on the dog. So Bippo will be sleeping off his "flu" for the next 3-5 days in county.

With the terms of our agreement reached, we arrived this past Saturday night at the station eager to get the Save the Whale telethon underway. We even scored the coveted 3:00-3:30 AM time slot, which just happens to be when most public-access viewers feel their most generous. I stayed off camera and ran the show from behind the scenes. Zippy worked the camera while Ace Reporter Jim Iovino hosted the evening of entertainment. Meanwhile, Matthew found Bippo's hidden stash of sauce and spent the whole night slumped in a darkened corner muttering incoherently to himself. Proving once again that Night Train is a mean wine...

With all of us working to organize and produce the show itself, we needed some on-screen talent. Better yet, we needed extremely cheap on-screen talent. So with that in mind, I brought with us some of the talented folks that live in our neighborhood. Not only are they all talented and cheap, but chances are if they don't take their medication they won't even remember the events of that night.

The evening began with the inspirational poetry of Chaz Elliot. When he's not bringing people to new emotional consciousness with his eloquent spoken-word material, Chaz moonlights as my mailman. Here's a quick sample of one of his poignant pieces from that evening...

"Everything is dark,
There is no light,
Only pain,
Only suffering,
Life has no meaning,
Boy, do my shoes need shined."

After Chaz dazzled the audience with his magical tapestry of words it was time for some real magic. It was time for my next door neighbor Lyle Delp, or as he is better known as, "Lyle the Stupefying", to take center stage. Lyle was in fine form that night. Aided by his lovely assistant Patricia, Lyle almost was able to do the linking rings trick and came really close a couple of times on some card tricks. I mean, c'mon, seven of spades, eight of diamonds... to-mato, to-mat-o, same thing... Unfortunately, we had to bring Lyle's act to an early end when he accidentally tried to pull a hat out of a rabbit. Needless to say, the phone line really lit up when Lyle the Stupefying was on.

The last performer of the evening is a personal favorite of mine. It was none other than Harvey "The Jazz Singer" Kravitz. Harv, as he is known to his friends, is 73 years old and is just a natural entertainer. He sings, he dances, he does it all. His repertoire includes everything from a stirring rendition of Al Jolsen's "Mammy", which earned him his nickname, to such modern day classics as Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina". On this night, however, he did a medley of Neil Diamond songs that really closed out the evening in style. From the opening lines of "Forever in Blue Jeans" to the last gut-wrenching refrain of "They're Coming to America", Harvey gave it all he had in order to try and Save the Whale.

When the evening was over the Whale were $32.46 closer to being saved. Of course, my thanks go out to all those individuals who called in and donated money. I would especially like to thank Chaz, Lyle, and Harvey for their help in providing such a memorable evening. We'll be back at it next weekend and every weekend after that until the Whale are truly saved.

LCS: Guide to Hockey

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