Category Archives: television

Memory Lane: Regis & Froggy 101 – :15 seconds of fame!

One day, Regis Philbin told America to, “Have a hoppy day.”

And, it’s because I told him to.

Welcome to the first post in another new series on Daily Dose o Donna, Memory Lane. Here, I will recount (quickly) unique, memorable stories from my past. Hope this will be a prequel to a collection of essays one day.

Event: My trip to Live! with Regis

Year: 2001

Age: 23

My place in life: I was promotion director at Froggy 101, living in Luzerne, PA and dating Mike.

The story: Through a connection, I scored some tickets to see Live! with Regis at ABC Studios. This wasn’t a work event, but I decided to bring some Froggy 101 swag to try to get our call letters and fun logo splattered on national television. I brought a bag full of station T-shirts (which a design I came up with: a spoof of the 70s ‘Have a Nice Day’ shirts with the smiley face, and instead had our frog face and it said, ‘Have a Hoppy Day.’ Radio promotions really meshed well with my corniness!), Froggy 101 license plates, and bumper stickers.

In 2001, I went to see Regis (when he was on his own for a few weeks) and got him to hold up a Froggy 101 T-shirt on air!

Regis and crew getting the shirt ready to go live after the pre-recorded George Clooney segment was over.

This show was after Kathie Lee retired and Regis was looking for a co-host. The day we went, Meredith Viera was co-hosting. During a longer break (because they had to use a prerecorded George Clooney interview), Regis talked with the audience. I walked up to him.

“Hi, Regis! I’m from a radio station in Scranton. You have relatives near there, don’t you?” I asked, remembering a little nugget of information that he threw the first pitch at a Red Baron’s game years ago because of some local tie.

“Oh, yes,” he said, or something of that nature.

“I brought you some goodies. Can you tell America to ‘Have a hoppy day?'” I asked, holding up one of my shirts.

“This is cute! Sure,” he said, taking my bag off to the crew.

After the Clooney segment and a commercial break, Regis said there was some folks from Froggy 101 in Scranton, PA in the studio and said that they wanted you to have a hoppy day… he held up the shirt. He and Meredith giggled a bit and they carried on with the show.

Regis Philbin and Meredith Viera on the set, holding up my Froggy 101 T-shirt

Regis Philbin and Meredith Viera on the set, holding up my Froggy 101 T-shirt

After the show was over, he came back over to us. We asked for a picture, so here it is. Not only did I meet Regis, but I got him to give a shout out on national television. Brian Hopper, the then midday guy at the station said the phone lines were lit up from listeners who were surprised to see the Froggy 101 shirts on the air with Regis.

Mike, Regis, and Me in September 2001 on the set, after his show.

Mike, Regis, and Me in September 2001 on the set, after his show.

Long after 2001, Froggy 101 also became nationally-recognized on NBC’s The Office! Most Office fans know about Froggy 101 because Dwight has the station bumper sticker stuck by his desk. Of course I was long gone from the station by then, but awesome to know that the awesome Froggy logo is still being seen by people everywhere, even when they can’t tune in.


Ski Patrol (1990) Movie: An Avalanche of Memories of a Great 80s Comdey

ski_patrol_movie_1990I grew up in the Poconos near Blakeslee Corners. There was no Blockbuster yet, or at least not in my area so the video store was owned by a local man. Dot’s Video was located on Route 115 in an old Texaco station a few miles down from my house on the intersection (if you can call it that) of Depner’s Road and Route 115. The man would post the new releases on his sandwich board-ish blinking sign — you know the kind– shaped like a big arrow pointing to the store, where you could change the letters in and out.

Word spread that Dot’s Video was moving to a bigger location– right next door to my house! I remember the day clearly. I was playing outside with some friends and we saw a truck with a trailer pulling the big sign, and “Dot” (his name is escaping me and I feel bad) was on the trailer holding the sign, waving to us. The man driving was honking the horn. His new location was in front of the junk yard (Delease’s) in a white house, but I am not sure if they lived there or not. Every time I had friends or cousins over we’d cross the little creek and go to Dot’s to get a video. We’d rent the same ones over and over and over. It’s the first time I learned what late fees were too, when I hid The Lost Boys so it never had to be taken back. When I moved away from that house I didn’t get to rent movies as much so I started to tape them from the TV. It was new technology at the time and I was a smart kid.

There was nothing cooler in the 80s to actually videotape a movie off the television. I didn’t do it often because we never had any blank tapes. (Do you remember blank media storage? I miss it.) But one of those movies was Ski Patrol (another was Teen Witch) which I think came out in 1989 but officially hit stores in 1990 so there’s the debate if it’s 80s or not. Given the style, we should categorize it 80s. I’d watch Ski Patrol over and over again. I skied at Big Boulder as a kid and my mom worked there as a ski instructor and even before that, she’d DJ there. So I was always at the ski hill. I think that’s one reason I liked it, and of course I loved comedy.

I just could not get enough of Ski Patrol. As an adult, I sometimes make pop culture references to Ski Patrol that I know no one gets, for instance snow tubing with friends at Big Boulder I said, “I think I lost a contact lens.” And friends thought I really lost a contact lens. (I learned quickly that pop culture references only work when the audience, or majority of the audience, get it.) But, at any rate, some of my childhood friends and I grew up to work at ski resorts in high school, so I imagine that’s why so many kids in the Poconos knew about and loved the movie Ski Patrol.

The Dutch version is called Ski Academy.

The Dutch version is called Ski Academy.

So what happens when Donna comes across something she liked as a kid? First of all, I was thrilled to find the trailer on Youtube. (Over the years when I mentioned this movie, people tried to tell me I was talking about Ski School, another 80s movie. Huh! This’ll show you for not believing in me!) Well, I get sucked into, then Wikipedia (which this blog post already has more info than), and Google searches for actors which leads me more  primary sources, such as official websites. And that’s what happened to me today. Morning turned to afternoon as I research the old 1990 movie, Ski Patrol, which is still considered an 80s comedy. And let’s not forget about then going to eBay and buying things. I should mention that I know own a Goonies coloring book from 1985.

I dug up some stuff… . It’s just funny as a kid how we don’t pay too much attention to actors or are old enough to get a lot of the jokes, so rewatching this as an adult is sure to be a whole new experience!

Ski Patrol Actors: Where are they now?

ski_patrol jerry ellenRoger Rose Roger Rose’s main career is not an actor. He’s more of a voice guy. In Ski Patrol, he played leading man, Jerry Cramer. Jerry was both funny and the ensemble’s heartthrob, vying for the attention of ski schooler, Ellen. Roger Rose had lots of guest starring roles on popular 90s comedies, such as Seinfeld. In fact, in an interview I link to at the end of this blog post he says he’s still recognized for that episode. Roger Rose was also seen in Mr. Belvedere, Knight Rider, and others.

But, perhaps Roger Rose is best known for voice work. He’s worked on one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Tiny Toon Adventures, as well as The Tick, Pinky & the Brain, and hundreds more characters and voices. Today, he does a ton of professional voiceover work for networks, shows, and brands as his official website touts. In fact, he did the voice work for his former co-star George Lopez. Neat to see all these connections.

ski patrol murrayLeslie Jordan – Leslie Jordan played the head of the ski patrol, Murray. He was the butt of the patrol’s pranks and was really a lovable character. I found this picture on a movie animal website. The fella here is named Rascal. Leslie went on to many great acting roles, including winning an Emmy for best guest star on Will & Grace, where he played Beverley Leslie. He guest starred on a slew of shows throughout the 90s and still does today. He’s also a playwright and stage actor as well. His official site, has lots of fun info, including his new book, “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet.”

Paul Feig – This guy played Stanley who seven years standing cannot make the ski patrol try-outs. Stanley was always my favorite. He was just so aloof and lovable in his role. And my favorite scene in the movie is was his lip syncing of “Dancin’ in the Streets.” I didn’t look him up first because Martin Mull and Ray Waltson were the “household names” that I knew. But boy was I wrong in my guess at who did the most since Ski Patrol... But first, a video of Paul Feig in his memorable Stanley role:

Kick Me, a memoir by Paul Feig who played Stanley in Ski Patrol

Kick Me, a memoir by Paul Feig who played Stanley in Ski Patrol

When I did look Paul Feig up on IMDB,  I was so surprised where he ended up. Not surprise; excited is a better word. Paul Feig is one of the producers on The Office.

(SIDEBAR: Hmm. I have an instant brainstorm for an episode. I live just outside Scranton, and there’s A LOT of skiing near Scranton, including Big Boulder where I grew up around. The Office should do a tribute to Ski Patrol by taking The Office crew on a company outing to a local ski area and Michael gets people wrapped up in a karaoke contest in the lounge, and Paul Feig makes a cameo as an opponent while Dwight goes on a rescue mission with the ski patrol… . okay. It was a long shot. But the Dunder Mifflin crew did Lake Wallenpaupak! They need more Pocono things!)

Emmy-winning Paul Feig also worked on Freaks & Geeks, Arrested Development, and oh my gosh, as writer, director, or producer on so many comedies that I loved and still love, like Roseanne and Drew Carey Show. I had no idea one of my favorite characters from an obscure 80s comedy was behind a lot of those laughs. Needless to say, he is enjoying an amazing career.

And also, how could I go through an MFA program studying primarily memoir and not notice that Paul Feig wrote two memoirs, Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence and Super Stud: How I Became a 24-year-old Virgin? Probably because I never made the connection to Ski Patrol with his name, since I just discovered who he really is today. And another reason is that they are older, 2002 and 2005. But still. I feel bad. Now I have two more to read. It’s like I am becoming a reverse Feig fan. Playing catch up, if you will.

Spanish movie cover for Ski Patrol, courtesy of Teen Movies Espana who has the mother lode of screen shots. Now I find this, AFTER I write the blog. Ha.

Spanish movie cover for Ski Patrol, courtesy of Teen Movies Espana who has the mother lode of screen shots. Now I find this, AFTER I write the blog. Ha.

T.K. Carter he played Iceman, the guy with the boom box. He did a lot prior to Ski Patrol, including Punky Brewster and a voice for Jem and the Holograms. After Ski Patrol, T.K. Carter was on the Sinbad show and another movie I totally forgot about from the 80s, He’s My Girl (I LOVED this as a kid.) Most recently, looks like he guest starred on Everyone Loves Chris.

Corbin Timbrook– Corbin Timbrook played the head of the ski school, Lance. Looks like he did some soap opera work and some guest starring roles. He’s producing lots of horror flicks, too.

George Lopez – perhaps he’s the most household name of this entire ensemble today, with his stand-up stuff and his show. But, his role in Ski Patrol was his first major acting gig. George Lopez played Eddie Martinez, and he was the guy who blew stuff up.

Ray Walston– Ray Walston left us in 2001. He’s likely best known by most for My Favorite Martian. I used to watch that on Nick at Nite all the time. He was in over 60 TV shows and movies; some I forgot about until looking them up now: Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Private School, Silver Spoons, Popeye, and more.

Martin Mull– I saved Martin Mull, who played Sam the enemy on Ski Patrol, for last because he’s what started this saga today. I was looking for a trailer for FM, which I found. It’s one of my favorite movies. It’s from 1978, but didn’t learn about it until I worked in radio in the late 90s. I own FM on VHS and the FM movie DVD is rare. (Anyone have one??) Martin Mull and Eileen Brennan are both in FM and they are also co-stars in Clue together. Nice pair! Anyway, I found the trailer to the FM movie and it made me think about Ski Patrol. So, here I am. A whole Sunday dedicated to this. Martin Mull has been in a slew of comedies: FM, Clue, Mr. Mom, Mrs. Doubtfire, and more. He’s also been all over TV. I remember him most from Roseanne (which as you know, his Ski Patrol co-star Paul Feig produced but not sure if that’s a coincidence), but he was also on Growing Pains, The Ellen Show, and more. Today, he’s pretty devoted to his painting (check out Martin Mull’s artwork – cool– really abstract), but he still does some roles, including Family Guy.

Looks like some kind of alternative movie poster/cover. Prey is spelled wrong. Not sure if that's on purpose.

Looks like some kind of alternative movie poster/cover. Prey is spelled wrong. Not sure if that's on purpose.

Some Ski Patrol Links:

In my quest for random knowledge about this movie, I found lots of neat stuff. Far more things than I should have done on a Sunday afternoon. But hey. People may enjoy this.

A Podcast Interview with Roger Rose:

I found a podcast on a movie blog called Natsukashi.  Some guys did a VERY lengthy podcast video with Roger Rose, who had the leading role, Jerry Cramer. I don’t mean lengthy in a negative way at all. Pretty interesting stuff. It pretty much takes us through the entire movie with sound clips and has Roger talking candidly about the movie, the stars, and life after Ski Patrol. It’s definitely worth a listen if you have something to do and let it play in the background. Lots of little nuggets.

I never saw this site before, but it’s called Who Dated Who? and Ski Patrol has a page.

Finally, I also found a cool YouTube video from some dudes that review 80s movies– RandomCreatureFace. This one is about Ski Patrol:

So- after all this, I will be reunited with Ski Patrol on VHS. I just ordered it from eBay. An old rental copy. Amazon had a few, but none of the sellers had a picture listed. I won’t buy anything without a picture. I can’t wait to watch it again.

Children Do NOT Buy Cars, So What’s the Beef?

I subscribe to a few e-mail newsletters from Advertising Age magazine for career reasons- lots of great info on trends in traditional and new media. I learn a lot.

Today’s e-mail subject line was: Parents Television Council’s Worst Advertisers; CW’s New Sunday; Macy’s Windows; It’s Ad Age’s MediaWorks.

The article I would like to focus on is Parents Television Council Pillories GM and Nissan. PTI isn’t griping about the content of ads, but specifically where companies are advertising.

I don’t have children, and as a child, I was exposed to R-Rated movies and adult content from the get-go so maybe I just don’t get the whole censorship thing, but I really dislike organizations like these. As Ad Age puts it, PTI is shaming companies who advertise on risque shows. They discredit GM for advertising on the “most shocking episode” of Family Guy and also, Nissan for helping “fund the bloodiest episode of Dexter.”

So the F what.

Children do not buy cars. Adults do. Adults like me, who watch Family Guy. And guess what? I am a GM fan. I like to buy American. I kinda like the Pontiac Vibe, in fact. So therefore, isn’t it smart that GM and these other companies are advertising WHERE THE TARGET DEMO watches?

Ads on child-safe programming should be for things they will beg their parents for, like dolls, video games, toys and Disney vacations. Keep the car ads on the shows the adults watch.

So what are the Top Ten Worst Companies, according to the conservative PTI? Loreal, Pepsi-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benkisser (I have no idea what that is), Target, Kohl’s, Verizon Communications and Toyota. This strikes me as interesting because I made the switch from Coke to Pepsi a few years ago, I shop only at Target when going to discounters, love Kohl’s and have a Verizon Phone. So you see, these companies effectively advertised to me by choosing the right medium for the message.

Guess what? People who like sex, drugs, rock and roll, violence and other risque stuff really do buy stuff, too. And judging from the morals of America today, that’s an incredible amount of people. I’d say these companies are just doing some smart business. = )