Wednesday, April 18, 2007

And Eleven Long Haired Friends Of Jesus In A Chartreuse Microbus

When I was a lad, cable TV came to my neighborhood. This meant two things:

  1. The regular VHF stations, plus one or two selected UHF channels, came in clearly for the first time; and
  2. We could now watch two channels from exotic locales called New York City and CLEVELAND.

It was Cleveland that got me. I was less than ten years old, and was blissfully unaware of the longstanding rivalry between that city and mine. (The first time I visited Cleveland, about 16 years later, is that it is just like Pittsburgh, but stretched along a lake. I didn't sense a rivalry.) The New York Channel (WOR, later WWOR) had wrestling on weekends, but WUAB-TV Channel 43 was cool ALL of the time. Especially on Saturday afternoons, when Superhost took over the studio.

For four hours each weekend, I was exposed to stuff like this:

This was, as you can see, put together quite cheaply in the station's studios, but that didn't register with me when I was nine years old. It had the small metal Tonka trucks of the sort that just about every boy in the neighborhood owned, it had footage of real trucks doing some amazing things, and it even had tanks in the desert attacking trucks on the highway. Best of all, we got to see the infamous "chartreuse microbus" that served as the transportation for "eleven long haired friends of Jesus". It was a Tonka truck. A Tonka truck! Hippies were suddenly cool!

Some people consider "Convoy" to be a silly novelty song, or plainly one of the worst songs ever. I beg to differ. The "chartreuse microbus" lyric is one of the best lines in the history of music, and this video (which starred Superhost as Rubber Duck) is perhaps the greatest music video of all time -- and it was made at least two years before the debut of MTV.

To truly appreciate the genius that was Superhost, I suggest you just go and watch some of his other skits. This kind of quality children's programming doesn't exist in the 21st century, folks.

1 comment:

cease ill said...

Thanks, a friend just left the "chartruese microbus" comment on my FB and then I found it on a forum as a joke. I HAD to know! Fortunately, I group up with the "Convoy" song so I wasn't out in the cold after that.