Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Canadian Home Shopping Club (aka The Shopping Channel) in 1988



 I was fascinated with the most bizarre stuff when I was a kid. I would listen to bizarre music, and I would watch the most bizarre things on television. I absolutely LOVED the shopping channel, at least when Mike Banks was hosting. The Shopping Channel (as we know it today) was called "The Canadian Home Shopping Club" back in 1987 when it first started up. These guys were the KINGS of selling Cubic Zirconia jewelry, scary porcelain dolls, and ugly crap made by Capodimonte.

It's beyond me why I was enamoured enough with CHSC to fill videotapes upon videotapes of their airtime. Perhaps I watched it when I was bored, but if that was the case, then my childhood was extremely boring. I'm honestly surprised that their text and graphic screen format wasn't permanently burned into the screen my parents' television set.

The graphic above shows CHSC's second generation logo. I was lucky enough to find a snapshot of their original logo on the internet:



Some of the early hosts (or sales staff) were Brian Hiltz, Bargain Bill, and Rosemary Frasier. They were all quite boring on air. The only host I genuinely enjoyed was Mike Banks. The guy made the channel genuinely worth watching. He had an array of plush monkeys that he'd interact with named Mischief, Jocko, Vanilla, and there's probably a couple others I'm forgetting. They made the occasional appearance on screen and each had their own "sounds" ranging from Tarzan to the scream of James Brown (taken from the beginning of the song "Gravity")

The peak of entertainment was when Mike was selling Elvis memorabilia. I unfortunately no longer have the video where he was conversing with Elvis during the spoken part of "Are You Lonesome Tonight" which was playing in the background.

Elvis: You seemed to change and you acted strange
Mike: I did???

Funny stuff!

CHSC aired everything in a still-motion format which was apparently required to be exempt from licensing from the CRTC. I clearly remember one specific instance where they broke the rules and aired live video for the sole purpose of showing Mike Banks' bald spot.

For this entry, I went through the hours of recorded CHSC broadcasting that I have, and brought you the most interesting clips I could find. These range from Mike Banks doing his typical goofy stuff to technology that's vastly overpriced and outdated, at least by today's standards. I didn't do any fancy editing on here because there's absolutely no point in doing so.

Enjoy!


2 comments:

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