Wild West Tech
On the History Channel
Hosted by David Carradine, rated PG unless noted
Episode descriptions so far (alphabetical order)
For any current Prime-time broadcasts, check the
History Channel prime-time listings for this month
Stuff by David Carradine is available on video and on DVD from Amazon.com including the entire season of "Kung Fu."
David is currently starring in the two "Kill Bill" sequels to Pulp Fiction,
and defeated Stallone in the sci-fi movie Deathrace 2000
Longtime viewers may note that Keith Carradine hosted the series in its first season (he's currently living with complete savages). Writer Colin Campbell sez:
While doing research for the "Freak Show" episode of his above TV-series, Colin Campbell ran across the following dating back to Victorian England:
In an 1841 book, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay wrote about the strange phenomenon of buzz phrases which would strike up and become maddeningly popular for a while in London. 'Tuppence more and up goes the donkey'. This saying derives from groups of strolling acrobats who would form a human pyramid and promise to hoist up the poor donkey which carried their props. This saying probably derives from slightly later than Mackay's book, which records pre-Victorian strangeness. But here is an acrobat's testimony (emailed to vitaminq.blogspot.com) to the origin of the phrase:
'I have been an equilibrist for eight years now, playing in the open air or in-doors. I am a slack wire dancer as well. As an equilibrist I balance poles and an 18-foot deal plank on my chin. Formerly I balanced a donkey on the top of a ladder. It's dreadfully hard work; it pulls you all to pieces. Over 30 years of age you feel it more and more. The donkey was strapped tight to the ladder; there was no training needed for the donkey; any young donkey would do. It was frightening at first generally, but got accustomed to it after a time - use is a great thing. The papers attacked the performance and I was taken to Union-hall for balancing by donkey in the streets. I was fined 7s. 6d., and they kept the donkey in default. I never let the donkey fall, and always put it down gently, for I have the use of my hands in that feat. I was the original of the saying, sir. Twopence more, and up goes the donkey. It's a saying still, and a part of the language now.'
Turner Classic Movies shows the 1930s movie Freaks from time to time (banned in Britain for 30 years for casting actual sideshow freaks).
Colin also found a website that tells the story of "It's A Wonderful Life" in 30 seconds using bunnies: angryalien.com/1204/wonderful_lifebuns...unless you prefer The Exorcist Bunny
Colin Campbell is a TV writer in Los Angeles after starting out upstairs in the unheated old KSBY building in San Luis Obispo, CA, where the newscaster was a guy named Rick Martell who looked a lot like Ronald Reagan (this was 1989 so it was ok). Then Colin snapped and became a Kerry supporter just to spite Rick, who now has a cable-access show on weekends because he still looks like Ronald Reagan but it doesn't help anymore.
Click here if you would like Combo Number Five
Previous Wild West Tech episodes
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This entire page © Bill Laidlaw, PO Box 3, Arroyo Grande CA 93421. Plagerized stuff duly noted. Wild West Tech episode descriptions swiped from Historychannel.com