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Television
John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV


Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Paul Dixon Chicken Wedding On The Square

Happy anniversary, Harry and Pauline!

The 39th anniversary for the two rubber chickens married on Channel 5's old "Paul Dixon Show" will be celebrated Tuesday with the program shown on Fountain Square's giant LED Board.

Dixon, the long-time Cincinnati TV personality who inspired David Letterman's comedy, officiated at the March 11, 1969, wedding as "Mayor of Kneesville," one of his characters for the show. It's the most talked about TV episode from Dixon's old live morning show, which aired from 1955 until his death in 1974.

The rubber chickens for years were props on the show. Dixon sidekicks Bonnie Lou and Colleen Sharp were the matrons of honor, while Channel 5 noon TV host Bob Braun was best man.

The entire two-hour "Dixon" show begins at 11:30 a.m. The wedding ceremony will be seen about 12:30-12:45 p.m. Channel 5 provided a DVD copy of the show to Fountain Square Management Group for the telecast.

Tuesday's chicken wedding anniversary party was suggested by Josh Crabtree, a huge Dixon fan from Covington. The Lucasville native is too young (34) to have ever seen Dixon’s show; he found out about Dixon after enrolling in UC in 1991.

"Even though Paul Dixon passed when I was only 1 year old, I have always been fascinated with the popularity of his show. I really enjoyed it when Channel 5 broadcast some of the old shows a few years back. I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to the original Harry and Paulette props…

"Watching those old episodes is like peeking into a Cincinnati time capsule and observing an era I wasn't around to see first hand… Nothing is more appropriate than airing a 39-year-old chicken wedding video on a public square where thousands gather each September to perform a chicken dance. My wish for next year is that everyone's favorite rubber chickens, Harry and Pauline, celebrate their 40th anniversary by renewing their vows on Fountain Square with Jerry Springer as master of ceremonies."

You can also see chicken wedding clips on Channel 5’s web site:

http://www.wlwt.com/station/11172332/detail.html

Years ago, Channel 5 sold VHS copies of Dixon's Chicken Wedding. But the station doesn't have any more. Channel 5 folks have talked about releasing some old shows on DVD, if they could find sponsors -- but nothing is in the works, says Lisa Snell, an executive assistant at Channel 5.



10 Comments:

at 3/10/2008 2:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry and Pauline were both about 20 when they were wed. They fell upon hard times about 10 years ago when Harry, nearing 50, was let go from his job as a production assistant at Clear Channel. The firing really ruffled his feathers coming just 5 days before Christmas. He, like so many others, was unable to prove age discrimination.

Pauline was a stay at home hen until financial pressures forced her to "scratch and peck" for whatever job she could find out there. With no experience, she landed a job at Channel 5, in charge of the school closing crawl at the bottom of your screen. With all the one-inch snowfalls in this area, it's been very steady work for her.

The couple hopes to collect royalties from the release of WLWT classic programs "if channel 5 can find sponsors."

 
at 3/10/2008 2:46 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

I LOVED Paul Dixon.

He could NOT be on the air today with all the stuff he did. Even though trash tv is allowed on "sitcoms" Paul would not be PC with his kneesville, putting T shirts on women, and handing out sausages.

He was risque' without being crude.

This show should be on DVD UNEDITED..all the shows possible.

It's sad NOBODY wants to sponsor great history of Cincinnati TV.

Thanks for the story, John

 
at 3/10/2008 9:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only complaint....why on God's green Earth are they showing this in the middle of MARCH? How many people are on the square versus the middle of May or June?

If this is a WLWT promotion....am scratchin' the old noggin.

 
at 3/11/2008 9:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only in Mayberry would this goofy crap be on a video screen in the central business district in the middle of March where the only people moving about during the day are the homeless bums.

 
at 3/11/2008 10:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I swear, 9:04AM, if you don't like Mayberry so much, MOVE. Or quit crying about it. you have yet to ever offer an acceptable alternative, you just bitch a lot.

 
at 3/11/2008 11:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's in march because it's the anniversary.
jeez, do you people even read the blog...or just start whining as soon as you see channel 5's name?

 
at 3/11/2008 1:29 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

Just a quick note to say I spent lunch with Paul Baby. Video was a little blurry on the giant screen, but it was nice seeing Paul Dixon's silliness again. The chicken wedding holds up pretty well after 39 years... with them playing "The Stripper" when the matron of honor entered the studio, and Tom Adkins playing the stuffy anchorman ("We'll cover anything, anywhere!"), Rosemary Kelley declaring "Paul Dixon is about to perform another first in television -- a chicken wedding!"... and Dixon insisting that Bob Braun not sing during the show. (He did anyway)...
Dixon explained during the show that someone sent in a rubber chicken to the show, and he named it Pauline. Viewers began sending in tons of clothing for her. Then someone sent in a companion for her, which Dixon named Harry. More clothes were sent in for him. In September of 1968, Dixon announced plans for the wedding, which was telecast on March 11, 1969.
At the end of the ceremony, Dixon turned to Braun and said: "Do you believe this?"
Braun replied: "I won't even believe it when I see the rerun."

Thanks 3CDC & Fountain Square Management Group. How about classic TV lunches this summer? WKRP? Old Ira Joe Fisher shows? Bob Shreve's Past Prime Playhouse?

 
at 3/11/2008 2:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

careful John, the "only in Mayberry whiner" will post another verbal hissy fit.

 
at 3/11/2008 3:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember "acting" like I was sick that day so I could stay home from school and watch the wedding. Paul Dixon was a true showman. I too agree he would never last one show in todays world with everyone being PC. Don't forget he put knee ticklers on the women in kneesville and even looked through binoculars to look at all the knees in kneesville.

 
at 3/11/2008 5:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob from Am Village asks


Mr. Kiesewetter or somebody,

How do you get a name in BLACK here?
Sorry to post under Sophia earlier but she warned me to log OUT first and thought I did.

If you use another's computer, this place keeps you logged in. no matter what.
When I log OUT and try to do a name in black it will not let me.

I will try later from home but have seen this issue before at Blogger sites. Gmail is scary the way it tracks it's users
Thanks


now back to the topic,
Paul Dixon was great and his premature death by heart attack shocked us all. I wish somebody would put the shows on DVD and it would be a kick to see Bob Shreve as well.

I would also like to see shows in their entirety and not hacked up into 'best of'.

 
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