McNeill's "Breakfast Club":
Streaming video of a mini-documentary
note: This piece (researched, written and presented by
correspondent Rich Samuels) first appeared on the WTTW's "Chicago
Tonight" broadcast of February 18th, 2004. It includes some
remarkable real-time scenes of a fairly elaborate live radio variety
show. You'll see some skilled, hard-working broadcasters who are clearly
having fun on the job.
"Breakfast Club" host Don McNeill in May, 1948 during the
course of the first "Breakfast Club" radio-television simulcast.
Long-time "Breakfast Club" comedian Sam Cowling is on the
this video: This mini-documentary (it runs roughly 17 minutes)
features clips from "Breakfast Club" simulcasts which feature
not only Don McNeill, but other regular members of the show's cast.
Included are Fran Allison in the role of "Aunt Fanny", comedian
Sam Cowling and announcers Don Dowd and Bob Murphy.
You will also see portions of Don McNeill's 1958 appearance on Edward
R. Murrow's "Person to Person" show, as well as snippets
from his 1960 appearance on Ralph Edwards' "This is Your Life"
Historical perspective is provided Don's three sons: Don, Jr., Tom
and Bob; as well as by Terry Petersen, daughter of "Breakfast
Club" producer Cliff Petersen, Pat Murphy, daughter of announcer
Bob Murphy, vocalist Mary Ann Luckett Riehl and ABC staff guitarist
Roy Alan was the WTTW cameraman. Bob Furem was the videotape editor.
Many of the archival materials came from the Don McNeill Collection
at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.
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