This innovative kid’s tv show is undoubtedly where I first saw Jonathan Winters, Woody Allen and JoAnne Worley. Hot Dog (1970-1971) was a show wherein those three comedians would be asked to explain how something gets made (e.g. a cardboard box, a penny). They would give their funny answers (the only one I’ve always remembered since I was five years old: when asked what sound a giraffe makes, Woody Allen answered that they just whisper, “Giraffe, giraffe!”) Then after the jokes, documentary crews would show how things are really manufactured. The show was created by a man named Frank Buxton; because this is the 21st century he even has a website. Here is the credit sequence and some wraparounds for Hot Dog:
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.