With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sad City Classic: Where Are They Now? Local Celebrities From the 1980s

(Originally posted by Jumper September 13, 2010)


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.)




Gayle King
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.


Sebastian
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.

Jim Vicevich
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
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?

Al Terzi
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.

Hilton Kaderli
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.

53 comments:

  1. you forgot about Mika Brzezinski.

    She's pimpin' Starbucks coffee and her 'do me' shoes on MSNBC in the morn.

    Also, Vicevitch gave advice that could be found in any fortune cookie or 'Today' newspaper.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is cool, you should do the 90's and 2000's. It seems like these people just disappear, your watching the tube and realize where the hell is so & so, I haven't seen them in a while!

    Thanks for a cool and amusing site!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Natalie Morales, the fill-in queen on the Today Show. She did news in this market for years. She looks the same as she did years ago, too, like Al Terzi. Also part of the cyborg program?

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  4. Does anyone remember PM Magazine?

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  5. Yeah I remember Gayle King. She was the one who tried to ask Geno Auriema a question during her live report of the UConn's Women's First Championship Celebration at the state capitol. The problem was that the National Anthem was going on at the time and Geno was trying to show respect to it. Gayle had NO Class then and she probably has less class now as Oprah's Lez ho.

    As for Vicevich... your very objective journalism in this report shows what a lefty loon you must be. But even clueless idiots can put up web blogs I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you anonymous, but the loony left people dont have the capacity to even understand the a smarter person reads both sides of the isle, (they only listen to their side, and only allow freedom of expression to those that have their same beliefs) Simple for you and me, impossible for them to comprehend.

      Delete
  6. lol, anonymous, not only do you read the clueless idiot blog, you take time to comment on it. So who is the more fool; the fool or the fool who follows him? Take your angry white dude act over the the Courants comment board, y'all seem to congregate over there...

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  7. I'm glad you've clarified the Al Terzi mystery. The man has looked the same for all of my 21 years, and now you've at least explained why :)

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  8. Dude I knew all about some Gayle King! I went to a preschool in the south end, in a rec center 'round the park near Frog Hollow. We took a class trip to a little public library (I think it was on farmington or asylum going towards downtown and closed a few years back). Anyways, Gayle read a book to us there, it was a big deal and I'll always remember bragging in grade school in EH that the newslady read to me (before she became the sidecar regent to Oprah).

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  9. Anybody remember Ranger Andy? He was my fav for many years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and how about Hap Richards

      Delete
  10. I found a facebook page for T.X. Critter and one grainy picture.
    Nostalgia kicked me in the ass to find him, I was a member of the Kids Club.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/TX-CRITTER/104240799608016

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think you'll find that Bill O'Reilly actually did time in Hartford News as well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I still love how this post is far and away our most popular. All thanks to the Gayle King effect.

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  13. Comments about Vicevitch are spot on.The dude's a loon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smarter than you'll ever be.

      Delete
    2. I love how teabaggers rarely can spell, never hold their own by citing to verifiable facts, are usually undereducated, love church and country but forget that Jesus said we are our brothers' keepers, and that the country was founded more on principals of justice and equity for all more than the 2d amendment (not to mention they cannot tell you about the 3d or 4th etc...). They spew venom and then hide.
      Very sorry to hear about Jim Vicovich. What a tragic loss. Thought he was better than just anadvertisor for those getting rich off ignorant haters.

      Delete
    3. well, 2 years before ACA was passed, he called it as to what would happen..every single thing he warned us about has now come true. To bad you didn't have either the brains to understand him, or you (like most progressive libtards) just didn't care.

      Delete
  14. I just went to the TX Critter Facebook fan site. Dude, judging from the old photo I'm gonna have nightmares for awhile. Some scary stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello boys...

    Found the blog through today's article in the Courant. Nice job.

    Re: pornstar 'stache...you should have seen it when it was a full blown fu with an afro. Now that was good hair.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lol, I remember going to Constitution Plaza to a taping of the Gayle King show. I want to say it was about a family who was possessed or maybe just the kid. Most of us were just teenagers in the audience and thought it was the coolest thing we'd ever done...oy!

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  17. I can't believe this! I was just telling my 12 year old son the other night about Hilton being blown away in a hurricane (don't remember how we got on that topic). I went all over youtube and Google looking for a video clip of it to show him, to no avail. Then I see the Courant article about your blog, check it out, and there is Hilton blowing away. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. My mind has just been blown. THEEEE Jerry Brooks of Brooks File fame just commented on the blog. Awesome.

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  19. I used to laugh at that nut-job vicevich, now whenever I hear his voice I have to turn the station. What a limbaugh wanna-be... I love the way he trys to position himself as a libertarian, but from every angle he's just another gop/tea bagger half wit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's still a half wit more than you have.

      Delete
  20. hello lady G you so beautiful I mean hooot I don't mind going out with you.

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  21. I remember WFSB actually snared Frank Zappa for a quick interview spot. Gayle King got the nod to ask the questions. All she wanted to talk about were the "weird" names he gave to his kids, her questions went no further than that. I've hated her ever since. What a hack.

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  22. Does anyone have a video clip of that TV promo campaign from the late 70s (I think) for Hartford that went "The Beat…. of Hart-ford…."

    It still pops into my head from time to time like the memory of a bad order of Kung Pao Chicken.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The Beat...of Hartford you can feel it all around
    The Streets...of Hartford what a happy healthy sound
    The blah...of Hartford blah blah blah blah of our town
    The blah, the street, the beat of Hartford ... Feel the beat of Hartford!!

    or something to that effect :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. You could do the 60s but I'm afraid everybody was stoned on acid and don't remember who was there. I once helped a friend out as he was waiting for his case in Circuit Court in 1967 when a disheveled looking man was called up to the bench. The clerk called Ellis D. Smith. My friend and I looked at each other then slipped down between the benches laughed and laughed with making a sound. Do you know how hard it is to laugh without making a sound?

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  25. I was born in 83 my parents always watched wfsb 3 growing up... Hilton was the man... sorry Scott Haney but no one can ever beat Hilton :)

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  26. Hilton may have been "folksy and charming" on-air but was a bit of a jerk in person.

    What about Don Lark...the "handsome" anchor of the 80s?

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  27. But whatever happened to mad, bad Dave Smith? You know the sports guy the WFSB had to run the disclaimer for about how his opinions arent those of the station? We saw him at Stop-n-shop when I was like 9 and I was scared. Is it just me or was he mostly wasted?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don lark is a reporter for WHAM 1180,in rochester, NY (the WTIC AM 1080 of this area). I grew up in Connecticut but live here now. Nice to see a little piece of Connecticut history moved up here with me!

      Delete
  28. Sebastian was always a loser, and Vicevich is smarter than all of you loser tax and spend socialists that are killing Connecticut combined.

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  29. Few weather man can replace the enthusiasm of Hilton Kaderli. It's funny when Hilton falls. Ouch that's got to hurt.

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  30. I remember Gayle King's godawful McMansion in G-bury. It's probably still as large and gaudy as she is.

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  31. Does anyone remember that Jim Vicevich had a short-lived show on CPTV? some kind of Ct-tourist show? That was an eye opener for me--oh, you can be very not-smart and still be on public TV?
    If I remember correctly, he used to project this preppy vibe on TV. Now when i tune in to the radio (only for very short stints-- he's so horrible and ridiculous you have to feel embarrassed for him) he's affected a faux southern drawl, throwing in double-negatives and "yee-haws!" This guy has some major mental illness.

    But he's also a deeply nasty creep.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Guess I'm an '80s relic, too - Country Paul from, in the '80s, WCCC (Howard worked for me for three days), then WPLR, WWYZ - and in the '70s WHCN (when it was really good), WDRC-FM and WWUH. I met Gayle King early in her career - she still lived in a condo in Newington. She was very nice and professional at the time (long before her connection with Oprah became her calling card); don't know about later. Sebastian always struck me as a Howard Stern wannabe. I remember when Hilton Kaderli was the new guy in Hartford; he had that mix of "i know what I'm talking about" and "I'm just a country boy" that spoke well of central CT's "personality." In his first couple of days on the air, Channel 3 (which may still have had the WTIC call letyters) spelled his name "Catterly", probably thinking "Kaderli" was too hard to pronounce or too "ethnic" or something! BTW, Al Terzi had been at Channel 8 and was in a plane crash; they rebuilt his face with plastic surgery. He never looked quite as he had before. Final note: it amazes me how many right-wingnut talkshow people came through CT, an ostensibly liberal state: Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Brad Davis and Jim Vicevich among them. And let's not forget the 1950s' "fidt" to conservative radio, Morton Downey, Jr. There was a real piece of work!

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  33. This really is great, you ought to perform the particular 90's and also 2000's. It appears as though these folks merely vanish, your own viewing the particular pipe and also recognize the location where the terrible is indeed & thus, I've not noticed these questions whilst!

    ReplyDelete
  34. It's such a beautiful sight
    when you look to the right,
    going south on the Charter Oak Bridge.

    There's the Travelers' Tower
    and a whole lot more.
    Like the Constitution Plaza
    and Bill Savitt's Jewelry Store.

    For weddings and birthdays,
    and anniversaries...
    Bill Savitt...will have it...
    the perfect gift for these.

    You'll find there's quality service.
    Your dollar buys more.
    At 35 Asylum Street,
    Bill Savitt's Jewelry Store!

    P.O.M.G....P.O.M.G.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet Christmas! That Bill Savitt jingle has been in my head since I was a kid in the 60's.

      Delete
    2. Piece Of Mind Guarentee ....

      Delete
  35. Yeah that Vicevich is mentally ill or something.

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  36. Hilton Kaderli was so anxious to exit a Hartford restaurant on one occasion that he brushed past me and pushed me to the snowy ground and not bothering to help me up left without apology. I am quite sure if there
    is any Karmic justice having missed being blown off Mt. Washington he will be the sole victim of the next Tornado to ravage Oklahoma. It has been a long and most enjoyable HATE.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Les coleman ch 3 muckraker caught a judge and city Corp counsel dipping into a disabled old woman's $80 million estate. Coleman got an Emmy! Moved on to CBS NEWS

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  38. Coleman left news in 1984 joined US Defense Intelligence Agency, awarded the DIA Directors Award of Merit for his role in Operation El Dorado Canyon, the bombing of Libya in 1986. He went on to serve as chair college of arts and humanities at american university of technology in Lebanon. He and his wife, mary-claude live in a seaside town north of Beirut.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I find your comments self-servng, left-leaning, right-bashing, and in some ways nasty ---- but I applaud your effort at posting irrelevant opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Mike Glasson blows dogs for nickels and gives change.

    ReplyDelete
  41. My elementary music teacher Mr. King (cannot remember his first name) used to sing the national anthem at the Whalers games. Now if you could find a clip of that, I would be even more impressed.

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  42. What about Adrianne Bauns (spell check) from wfsb3....she was one of the 1st black/female anchors on local TV.... I grew up on her...I distinctly remember her voice.. And her smile.. I recently ran into a cameraman and field reporter at a gas station...I asked about her...the reporter didn't have a clue.... But the camera man knew EXACTLY who I was talking about....She was the reason our family watched channel 3....and 30plus years later we still get our new from them

    ReplyDelete
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  44. What about Pat Sheehan?? What ever happened to him??

    ReplyDelete