Darrell Vickers – The Magic Hour Part 6: How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?

One requires only a smattering of seconds après being rudely jettisoned from the casual comforts of the birthing canal to realize that not everything in this life is perfect, though getting to snack on a pair of righteous milk-muffins ain’t a bad way to start. But we who toiled on The Magic Hour were a long time gone from getting to attach lip to nip eight times a day. After-all, we weren’t Les Moonves. All Andrew, Tony and I had for nutritional and spiritual succor was bad coffee, misshapen pastries and the occasional wife-swapping fruit flies in the snack-table trail mix.   

While “perfect” is a state of being that is nigh on impossible to achieve, “perfectly horrible” is a wall that many have easily scaled. To our utter shock and amazement, every time it seemed that our co-host, Krunk Highheel, had reached the sickening summit and was insouciantly dancing a-top those misery bricks, he kept finding even more wall to climb.

The show’s surly funnyman had become increasingly disgruntled by the fact that the writers and staff didn’t dedicate every minute of every day to his slightest whim. In the end, there wasn’t enough industrial ass-buffing grease in existence to prevent him from crying into his diaper. He became more and more vocal about his utter contempt for the show. Andrew came into the office one day in shock. As he was driving into work, he’d been listening to Krunk badmouthing The Magic Hour on local radio. Even though this caused a huge kerfuffle – and we all know how big kerfuffles can get – it regrettably wasn’t enough for him to get shown the door.

Then there was the time he prematurely ended a comedy spot and sent everyone in the control room into five-alarm panic mode.

While audiences may believe a lot of spontaneity occurs on talk shows, it does not.  Every segment is calculated down to the millisecond. Carefully planned cues set a series of actions into motion that keep the show running smoothly.

Reshoots and delays cost tens of thousands of dollars. There were only two times in six years that The Tonight Show swung off course. One was when we electrocuted Robert Palmer and the other was when an overheated member of the audience went into diabetic shock and had to be carried out of the studio. He was not invited back.

After the show had ended, a lot of very irate people demanded to know why Krunk had cut the bit short. He casually shrugged and said Geo – one of the executive producers – had told him to. Of course, this was a complete and utter lie. She was in the booth madly scrambling around, trying to reschedule the rest of the show on the fly like everyone else. The tragic truth was, the spot was killing and he was pissed off at the laughs it was receiving. Rather than let the audience’s response defy his own rancid opinion of the material, he just decided to pull the plug.

The End of the Punchline:

The Magic Hour was not to be outdone. When Krunk had poked the bear 101-too-many-times with his unprofessional behavior and infuriating personality, the show decided to see his unprofessionalism and go him one better. One fair eve, the show was already in progress and Tony was enjoying a well deserved Nut Butter bar at the side of the stage. He was mid-chew when Lon, the sports-agent-turned-executive-producer, suddenly announced he was going to fire Krunk as soon as the bit they needed him to perform was over. “Oh my God,” thinks Tony, totally forgetting about his cheek full of rich and creamy nut butter, “He’s going to Julius LaRosa him!”

For those not born in and around the Bronze Age, Julius LaRosa was a singer on Arthur Godfrey Time. Arty became irritated with Julius’s rising popularity and the fact that he had hired himself an agent. So irritated, that dear sweet Arthur decided to fire him live, on the air, and with no prior warning. This infamous moment in entertainment history put a serious dent in Godfrey’s absolutely-false nice-guy image and sank his career.

Tony begged Lon to reconsider, but the stolid, deep-thinking tall guy could not be dissuaded from his vengeful quest.  As soon as the last titter had faded to silence from the opening spot and the show jumped to commercial, Lon leaped into action. He summoned the unsuspecting-but-oh-so-deserving Krunk over to the side of the set and gleefully shit-canned him. Now, Highheel had been professing his ardent wish to be fired for weeks but when the bloodied-axe finally did fall, he did not take it kindly.

Fearful that news would leak that he’d been given the boot off a show whose ratings trajectory resembled the hood of a Volkswagen Bug, Krunk decided rush out on the “It Wasn’t My Fault, Honest! Tour.” No airwave or print medium was safe from his whirling, swirling, vituperative declaration of victimhood.

“The writing was shit.”

“The execs were assholes.”

“Blah de stinking blah with a big dollop of poop on it.”

A Dedicated Follower of Fashion:

For the magical premiere episode, I had penned a simple, lighthearted intro for the Krunkster. Magic stood on stage and said, “We like to think of this show as a family, and every family has a goofy uncle and here is ours, Krunk Highheel!!”

The “goofy uncle” quip must has stuck in his craw like a Kentucky Fried chicken ankle bone because for years after The Magic Hour had mercifully surceased, any time the subject of his time on this fabled flop came up, he would first slam the show for being terrible and then he’d go after me for the coat I wore on set. Apparently, it was a Members Only jacket. I only know this because Krunky took orgasmic delight in naming it to any radio DJ desperate enough to have him as a guest.

Important Information Has Come To Light:

My wife has just informed me that this vile vesture, this wanton windbreaker, this heinous, whorish, hideous habiliment was only in the Members Only style and not the real monstrous McCoy.

Back to Mister Blackwell:

Krunk would blather on and on about this lightweight item of clothing like it was the exclusive apparel of hack writers and child molesters. I only wore it because it was freezing in the studio. Perhaps if I’d realized the deleterious effect it would have on poor Highheel’s psyche, I’d have donned a cardigan. He would then invariably go on to claim that I was the head writer. 

I’m not sure if he meant this as a slam against me or Tony DeSena (the real head writer). It’s hard to tell. Krunky holds onto a grudge like it’s a blow job gift certificate. According to a former friend of his, Mr. Charming has a naked picture of his ex-wife (a fairly famous actress) in his wallet and joyously shows it off to all and sundry. As if being married to a baboon’s-ass-painted-pink wasn’t suffering enough for the poor woman.

So Sauron had been flung back into the boiling, bubbling magma of Mount Doom and the world was at last free from his childish, churlish and chiding reign of terror.

It was back to Steve White and all was right with the world – well, the world was somewhat right… but then!!! The powers that be decided to make the show even more “urban” by bringing in comedian Tommy Davidson. The Magic Hour was like Mark Twain’s quote about New England weather. “If you don’t like it now, wait 10 minutes, it’ll be completely different.” I’m paraphrasing, but that, ladies and gentlemen, was the main pull on the chain that sucked this scattered attempt at entertainment down the toilet.

Please join me next time for a twisted, ludicrous tale of pig-headedness, dishonesty, totally unfounded self-importance, a major movie star and golf.



Darrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com

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