Jack Benny was
walking down the hall toward Studio A. Alone. There was no entourage, agents,
make up, hacks or hangers on. Benny didn't look like a star, just another businessman
from Waukegan, Illinois. Jack was an hour early for KUP'S CORNER. It was the lunch
hour, the studio was dark and no one else was around. I introduced myself as director
of Kup's show and asked if I could get him a cup of coffee or anything else. Mr.
Benny said, "Just show me how to get to the can, I have to take a leak." That
was my introduction to big time television in Chicago.
As a director of
programs and commercials at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, I came to Chicago and WMAQ-TV
in December of 1964. Chicago advertising agency producer Chuck Sanford introduced
me to Harry Trigg, program director. To gain admittance to what I thought was
"the network," I agreed to start as an associate director with duties rotating
between directing and stage-managing. Trigg assured me that I would get the next
upgrade to full director. Lloyd Yoder was general manager, Bob Lemon station manager
and Bill Corley served as news director.
The productions and personalities
of studio A...