Monday, May 15, 2006

Whither Duane, who loved bowling?

There must be somebody out there who knows -- is Duane Dow still hosting "Local League Bowling" on Chicago public access cable?

I sure hope so. I haven't caught the show in a couple years, and cable access schedules are ... well, pretty deficient ... and the dang ole Googler is no help either.

If you don't know of Duane, and you live in the Shuhcawguh cable market ... well, you can hardly be blamed. The lack of attention his show has gotten is one of the crying shames of local-TV history.

Because "Local League Bowling" is -- or was -- simply the greatest television show of all time.

Words can't really rise to the challenge of describing it, but the gist is that Duane traveled each week to a different alley and provided sporadic commentary on the goings-on there, peppered with frequent brief interviews and locally produced commercials for south-side beef joints, auto body shops, and shady real estate speculators ("We buy dilapidated properties!") ... which might sound quaintly kitschy, from that tepid synopsis, but I'm telling you, it was THE BEST.

"Oh, now here's a fine bowler! What's your name, darling? Where are you from? What's your average? How are the pins falling tonight? And now a word from Connie's Pizza in Bridgeport."

Duane also hosted -- or, I hope, still hosts -- a local 16-inch softball show, which I also love, but it didn't have quite the charm. Softball is a pretty ... recreational ... game, as well, but it doesn't quite have that ... je ne know what ... aspect that bowling does that suits a show like "Local League Bowling" in a way that nothing else could. That sitting around and drinking beer and laughing at gutter balls aspect. And pretty much every softball diamond looks more or less the same. Neighborhood bowling alleys cannot be beat for sheer beauty and variety.

So ... if anyone knows if the show is still being produced, please pass it on.

And if, God forbid, it is no longer being produced, I'd still like to know, so I can cremate it and, in accordance with what we think its dying wishes might well have been, commit its final mortal remains to the bosom of Lake Michigan, which it loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.

(Photo by Jim Newberry for the Chicago Reader and stolen off the Internet because that's what the Internet is for. If Mr. Newberry objects to my using it, I'll delete it, but it's a great picture, so I hope he doesn't.)


Rick J said...
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Rick J said...
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drug troll said...

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Anonymous said...

Duane is a far cry from his hay day on the local Chicago channels. It must be rock bottom for him.

Anonymous said...

Pete Moss - Today is your lucky day! I came across your post today and would like to inform you that the "Local League Bowling" show IS still being produced! In fact, I am the lead editor for the show. I'm glad you enjoy it and hope that we can get more people watching it! The show will be on this Saturday (Sept 24th, 06) on Digital Cable, Channel 100 (Comcast). This channel will reach across the entire Comcast Chicagoland market. The show has been on for 19 years now and we don't plan and stopping it. Having too much fun doing it. Regards.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to put the time when the show will be on:
This Satruday 9/24/06
Time: 10:00am to 11:00am


Editor/Local League Bowling

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

Sadly, in my Comcast viewing area up on the north side, there was an infomercial for cosmetics this morning at 10 am. Maybe you meant Sunday, Sept. 24? Saturday is the 23rd.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are correct. Sunday the 24th was the date. Sorry for the confusion. I'll post updates of more shows once they become available. Regards.

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

Well, thanks for the update, anyway. I'm glad the show is still running. When you get more definite information on future telecasts, drop a comment here and I'll make a new front-page post. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

He is at Heibetler Bowling Alley tonite!

Big Talk Media said...

Man I used to tape that show when I lived there, I loved it. Constant ad reads over footage of bowling, then breaks for really solid local ads. I miss it. Anyone know anywhere you can watch it online? When I applied for a job at CAN TV a decade or so ago they seemed pretty adamant about staying in the dark ages. The chick that interviewed me was a total bitch.