Host Town

Mike's Mailbag
Re: Bestoink Dooley
Re: Bob and Bestoink and Tubby and Lester
My Atlanta TV confessions, the George Ellis and "World's Worst Movie" tales, generated email. I'm glad to see this correspondence, so I know I didn't make that stuff up.

Excellent story, I, too, went to [George Ellis'] Ansley Mall [Cinema] to see "Minnie's Boys" and all the rest at midnight. I even laughed at Harpo's solos, and I didn't do any drugs!

About "Tubby & Lester," Tubby always pronounced Lester's name "Lestra." Very unfunny, but I watched!

Can't wait to you riff on Freddie Miller!

A big Tubby and Lester fan,

Chatsworth Osborne Jr.

O, Lestra!

That explains the cramping and loose stools.

Yipes, Freddie Miller, the infamous host of "Stars of Tomorrow" on Channel 11. This is the show Bialystock and Bloom should have produced.

Passing itself off as a local talent event, "Stars of Tomorrow" was simply loco and numbingly crummy. Not so much "American Idol" or "Star Search," it was more "Atlanta Idle" and "Start Searching What Else Is On."

Freddie was the quintessential Atlanta TV personality with no discernable appeal. His qualifications for the job were two-fold. He was jovial and he could gush his way through tsunamis of crap™, a Channel 11 trademark.

I had a theory Mr. Miller's purpose was to make tomorrow's stars, from the indecisive asthmatic tap dancers to the triple-thumbed piano punchers, look better by comparison to his fawning.

As a young girl, my wife was on track to appear on "The Little Miss Sunbeam Show," another of Freddie's dynasty of die-nutsy series. A promotional broadcast for a bread company, five-year-old Donna competed in their Little Miss Sunbeam Lookalike Contest. She had the goods and the costume, but she was voted off the muffin.

My Big Ms. Sunbeam is still bitter by raisins of insanity.

During the '70s, Freddie Miller appeared on a slapdash Channel 17 sports chat with co-host Skinny Bobby Harper, a radio disc jockey who was -- gasp -- actually talented.

I didn't see this particular moment, but it's been repeated to me numerous times. One night, Bobby said something which infuriated Freddie, who was more than chubby. Freddie went into a tirade on the air, hollering at Bobby for his comment.

When he finished, Bobby looked him in the eye and said, "Go eat a hotdog, Freddie."

My earliest success as a writer came courtesy of Freddie Miller. Around 1967, Channel 11, unfettered on their berserk programming bent, created the daily "Dialing for Dollars Movie" with Miller calling people at random from the phone book for a chance to win ELEVEN DOLLARS!!

I was inspired to craft a snarky letter to "The Atlanta Journal." On Saturdays, the television section of their paper was called "The Green Sheet," printed on green newsprint. There was a regular "TV Mailbag" feature on Page 3. I had yearned to be published in "TV Mailbag." Well, let me tell you, Dick Gray, the TV Editor, ran my dispatch as his front page lead article on "The Green Sheet." He wrote that he dreamt of receiving letters like mine. His words.

What a rush!

Also in the mailbag:

Oh yeah, the director's name of the world's worst movie, Seymore Trash, how clever!

I first saw Louis Prima and Keely Smith in "Hey Boy, Hey Girl" on that great movie series!

Now back to our show,

John (I'm not Gomez) Astin

Yes! Yes! Yes! Seymore Trash! I was trying to remember his name. I love it. Thanks for alerting me. That more than makes up for the hours I've spent dredging up this garbage.

Now, please, no one ask me about "Let's Go to the Races," "Live Atlanta Wrestling," or "Snooky Lanson's Club 11."

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