Columbo: The Complete Series
Carol Burnett Show on DVD Kid's TV Commercials Snoop Sisters on DVD “Carol Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD “Probe
TV Shows on DVD
Commercials on DVD
TV Show ReviewsTV on DVD Reviews
Christmas DVDs TV DVDs & TV Books


Any Night Nitro!
by Billy Ingram

Any Night Nitro!In the mid-1940s, television was brand new technology, and producers were looking for ways to attract an audience with exciting visual content. Radio was still the dominant medium for home entertainment, television was just beginning to define its identity and looked to create programming that radio couldn't.

KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles broadcast one of the first really big events on TV - blurry coverage of the first post-war atomic bomb explosions. The bomb was a new, fearful force to be reckoned with now that our enemies had it, so the first broadcast was somber in tone. Subsequent airings heightened the drama with the kind of energetic commentary you would expect from a horse race. Before long, stations all over the country carried the radioactive fireball tests live from the desert - and nations all over the world knew we meant business.

Professional (read: theatrical) Wrestling was the first sport to become popular on TV because it was cheap to stage and relatively easy to shoot. With those old heavy-duty cameras tied to inch-thick cables, you needed a spectacle that was confined to a small area. Wrestling and boxing were naturals.

By the Fifties, local stations filled several hours each week broadcasting local matches featuring famous old-school wrestlers like 'The Baron' and 'Gorgeous George'. "Whoooooa Nellie!" was the famous cry from Dick Lane in the announcer's booth (again from KTLA) - he made the whole thing seem so exciting.

It wasn't long before the sight of fat old men throwing each other around the ring wasn't thrills enough. So wrestling's mechanical counterpart Destruction Derby (also known as 'Demolition Derby') was born. Cars that would be considered valuable classics today (but were junkers then) are slammed into each other with reckless abandon on a dirt racetrack. Fires and explosions are staged to make sure Charlie Sixpack got his money's worth out of a Sunday afternoon in front of the tube. Those old Chryslers and Plymouths could really take a beating - this show wouldn't make it to the first commercial break with today's cars!


In an attempt to turn the whole thing into a 'real' sport, Motopolo was created - dune buggies equipped with roll cages and crash-padded drivers compete on a football field, moving a five-foot round ball towards the goal. Looks like it would be fun to play, but not very much fun to watch for a half an hour. Think soccer with whiplash, as cars roll and bounce around field with someone actually keeping score.

Rollerderby was another popular sport on TV in the Sixties that became even more popular in the Seventies. A dozen women race around a oval track on rollerskates, bashing and smashing each other in an attempt to - I forget what, they were just going around in circles kicking the hell out of each other as far as I could tell.

Sometime during the 'game' it becomes imperative to get the whole team skating together in a line so that they can slingshot one of their members around the track like a missile. An elbow to the chest, and women go careening over the rails and into the studio audience. Several teams are still competing today in San Franscisco, where they are reviving old teams like 'The Bay City Bombers' and TNN will begin new broadcasts under the name 'Roller Jam'.

Professional wrestling became big business in the Eighties, on television, on stage and on pay-per-view. The cheeziest it ever got was The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in the late-Eighties.

'GLOW' was 'Rollerderby' meets pro-wrestling, where 'athletes' like Debbie Debutante, Suzie Spirit and Jungle Woman fought mano a mano to a cheezy 80's synth soundtrack. This was one of the most sexist (and most popular) programs in syndication for a while.

Wrestling came back with a vengeance in the Nineties with 'Monday Night Nitro' - a high rated television program on cable today. You'll notice in present times, the proud warriors of wrestling still strut into the ring much like they did in the fifties - only now they do it with a lot more fireworks.

Gorgeous George
baron leoni

Your Classic TV Blog!

Classic Commercials on DVDTV Commercials on DVD

Classic Commercials on DVDDoris Day Christmas Shows on DVD

Magic Garden on DVDZoom on DVD

Holiday Specials on DVD
TV Commercials on DVD
TV Shows on BLU-RAY

1950's Saturday Morning Shows TV Commercials on DVD


Classic TV on
DVD reviews 2

Classic TV Shows
on DVD reviews 3

TV Shows on Blu-Ray

Punk Book

Christmas & Holiday specials
on DVD

TV Shows on BLU-RAY

TV Specials /
Miniseries on DVD

Kid Shows on DVD

DC Heroes on DVD

Your Classic TV Blog!

Twilight Zone on DVD


Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / Classic Christmas Specials / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
Variety Shows of the 1970s: The Carol Burnett Shows / Summer Season Shows of the 70s / The Golddiggers / Joey and Dad / Lola Falana / Van Dyke and Company / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Smothers Brothers Show / The Flip Wilson Show / The Sonny and Cher Shows / Glen Campbell / Goodtime Hour / The New Bill Cosby / The Bobby Darin Show / The Cher Show / The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour / The Richard Pryor Show / Sound clips / George Burns / Jack Paar's Goodbyes / Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour / Pink Lady and Jeff
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Groucho vs William F Buckley / / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / What's In Oprah's Purse? / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / big brotherSonny & Cher /  Smothers Brothers /  Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / 1980's Retro Gay T-Shirts / 1980's TV Wrestling / Fess Parker / Howdy Doody / TV Blog / Lost In Space / Pinky Lee / 1980's LA Punk Rock / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists /  Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 
Columbo: The Complete Series
Carol Burnett Show on DVD Kid's TV Commercials Snoop Sisters on DVD “Carol Fractured Fairy Tales on DVD “Probe
TV Shows on DVD
Commercials on DVD
TV Show ReviewsTV on DVD Reviews
Christmas DVDs TV DVDs & TV Books