Writers’ Workshop: By No Means The Final (Post #4500)

I put 4500 into the Giphy search engine…

I’ve hemmed and hawed about what I was going to write for today’s Writers’ Workshop, because as you can tell it’s a bit of a milestone. Finally, I decided to just wing it and write whatever came into my head.

Having said that, nothing’s coming into my head. Of course.

We had a newscaster in Chicago named Floyd Kalber who did the 10 PM news on the NBC station, and he’d always end the show with a funny news item. Kind of like this:

"Finally tonight… Sheriff’s officials say someone stopped by the post office about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to drop off a package and saw a seven-foot alligator roaming around the lobby. The building has automatic double doors that allows off-hours entry, officials said.

"That’s the news. Good night."

TV stations used to sign off at night in the early-morning hours, and many stations would have a final newscast before playing the National Anthem and showing the color bars. A lot of the final newscasts were nothing more than the station announcer reading the news while the station displayed a card that said "FINAL REPORT" or something like that. The first time I saw that, it seemed creepy, but at the same time it was kind of cool. I was working the 4-to-midnight shift, and it seemed like the ideal thing to watch when you got home at 1 AM and flipped the TV on. For a long time, even after I started working regular hours, I’d stay up and watch that. Finally, Mary asked what I was watching, and I told her. She just rolled her eyes and said "come to bed."

I know. I’m weird.

17 thoughts on “Writers’ Workshop: By No Means The Final (Post #4500)

  1. It’s crazy how we went from a few stations on TV that “signed off” in the evening and now we just have endless, nonstop programs. Sometimes the simplicity of the good old days sounds lovely.


    1. There were some stations that were on in the morning, off in the afternoon, and back on at night. They would put it in the TV listings: “11 AM Test Pattern,” and they’d show the old Indian Head test pattern all afternoon. I’m not quite old enough to remember that, but I can remember getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning and watching the test pattern until 8, when the cartoons came on….


  2. Happy, Amazing #4500!! I’m beyond impressed!

    And, as far as the “weird” thing, not at all, John. Not even the slightest bit of the following, copied from Merriam-Webster…..bizarre, bizarro, cranky, crazy, curious, eccentric, erratic, far-out, funky, funny, kinky, kooky (also kookie), odd, off-kilter, off-the-wall, offbeat, out-of-the-way, outlandish, outré, peculiar, quaint, queer, queerish, quirky, remarkable, rum [chiefly British], screwy, spaced-out, strange, wacky (also whacky), way-out, weirdo, wild


  3. I remember when the TV closed for the night. And then 24 hour news was the first of the all-night programmes. I didn’t have access to it with my first child, but with my second it was wonderful to have something to watch through those long sleepless hours. Even when there were only 3 news stories on constant repeat!

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    1. Did you ever deal with Ceefax, or Keyfax (I don’t recall which it was called there)? We had a station in Chicago that would run a teletext news service overnight that was based on it.

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        1. The folks that ran it here had good taste in music, so I didn’t mind that it was slow. I really liked the idea behind it. As you say, a fantastic pre-Internet service…

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