Being self-centered children of the 1980’s, we decided to take a Sad City Hartford trip down memory lane and look at some of Connecticut’s local celebrities, then and now.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Somehow this list ended up being really WFSB biased. It’s probably because that’s just what our parents made us watch as kids. Send us suggestions and info on local celebrities you would like to see covered in the future.)
Back in the day, Gayle King used to be on WFSB. She was a news anchor. Even back in the 1980s, the thing that Gayle King was best known for was being Oprah’s best friend. For the past 25 years, she’s basically been the Chewbacca to Oprah’s fat Han Solo. She also spends a lot of time deflecting rumors.
These days, Gayle King is so big that it’s hard to imagine her ever being subjected to the gulag that is local television news. But we dug up an old WFSB promo that features her “being a part of the team” by helping Gerry Brooks and his awesome pornstar mustache hang a banner at the WFSB pizza shop.
When we were 9-years-old, before we knew that he was really just a blatant Howard Stern rip-off, Sebastian was the man. We would wake up every morning before school, tune into 106.9 WCCC and catch the very start of his show at 5:55. It always started with a recording of The Dominos’ 60 Minute Man. He played funny pre-recorded bits. He talked about chicks and other stuff our parents did not approve. He was WAY cooler than Gary Craig. And even though they sometimes had an interesting comic strip in the Sunday Courant, Picozzi and the Horn couldn’t compare. Sebastian was pretty much pure radio awesome. Then we discovered Howard Stern on Channel 9. And from that point on, Sebastian seemed like a sad imitation desperately clinging to a morning show mimic act in the 50th largest radio market.
Sebastian left WCCC in 1994 and headed to WZMX 93.7, which was in the process of making a format change from easy listening to 70’s classics. WZMX soon ditched Sebastian and, somewhere along the line, switched to a hip-hop format. After Howard Stern went to Sirius, WCCC needed something to replace his syndicated show. They found Sebastian in the obscure nether regions of Internet sports gambling advice web sites (seriously) and put him back on the air. The show lasted a few years before dying a death-by-contract-dispute. Today, as far as we know, Sebastian sits in his basement, grooms his dogs and tries to convince people to pay him $4,300 for gambling advice. He also has a really bad dye job. The kind that gives his hair a creepy reddish hue seen only in imitation fox fur coats and narcissistic white men over the age of 50.
When we were a kid, Jim Vicevich was a business reporter. We even vaguely remember him having the noble distinction of working at all three major Connecticut television stations. (WTNH, WVIT and WFSB. WTIC didn’t count back then. They just aired Mama’s Family and Hunter reruns back then.)
Today, Jim Vicevich is a batsh*t crazy radio talk show host on WTIC 1080. He serves as the programming equivalent of a fluffer, for the conservative gang bang that is the Rush Limbaugh Show. He also hangs out with those wacky Teabaggers. His transformation from slick business reporter to a really poor man's Glenn Beck is pretty remarkable.
TX Critter used to host the cartoon Kidstime [sic] on WTXX Channel 20. And while he was a puppet, we really liked him. He is hard to describe visually, but he kind of looked like a yellow version of ALF. His voiced changed a lot of the years as different interns got hired and fired over the years. We always tried to convince our mom to let us go down to the sutdio and be on the show, but she never seemed all that into schlepping a couple of sugar high youngsters down to Waterbury to hang out with a stuffed animal that had a grown man’s hand up its ass. Looking back, she probably made the right decision.
For this story, we tried to dig up some images and video of TX Critter to further juice the nostalgia, but it seems like someone has gone to great lengths to erase him from the Internet. A couple of years ago, when MySpace was new and cool, we joined a group called “TX Critter, Where Are You?!” It had a great collection of pictures and video clips. When we went back there to dig them up, all we found was a bunch of broken links. Do any sleuth Sad City Hartford readers know what’s up with that?
Growing up, Al Terzi was the white haired news anchor on WTNH who did the “before dinner” news. Today, Al Terzi is the white haired news anchor on WFSB who does the "before dinner" news. He looks exactly the same. How is that possible? Well, it’s quite simple really. The Al Terzi that you have been watching do the news for the past 30+ years is not really “Al Terzi." He’s a human cyborg created by the government after the real Al Terzi was killed in plane crash in 1978. The cyborg newscaster program was discontinued soon after Reagan was elected. The funds were diverted to Star Wars Missile Defense program.
And that whole Janet Peckinpaugh/sexual harassment thing? That was just his CPU chip malfunctioning during a routine hug and kiss. He inadvertently tried to use tongue.
We were really lucky to have a weatherman like Hilton Kaderli. We were not a big market, but somehow WFSB was able to keep him around for a long time. Weather guys are usually really freaking annoying, but Hilton Kaderli was somehow tolerable to watch. He was the perfect mix of folksy and charming. Plus, he knew his weather stuff. He knew the difference between a Nor'easter and a Gullywumper.
Hilton retired in 1998. Today, he is probably staring at a wall somewhere in Oklahoma, waiting to make more Gutter Helmet commercials. Oh well. At least we can always look back on that time that he almost got blown off Mt. Washington.