Thomas Wolfe was right. You can’t go home again. With the advent of the Saturday morning shows of my youth making their way to DVD, I have discovered some are still enjoyable to my adult sensibilities while others leave me disappointed and scratching my head over the suspect tastes of El Bicho Past. Sad to say, The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show falls into the latter category. While I never reminisced about the show with friends, once I saw the title I instantly remembered it as a zany sketch show that I enjoyed as a kid.
Bill, Mark, and Brett were The Hudson Brothers, a minor pop trio that had a TV variety hour on CBS Wednesday night during the summer of 1974. The combination of musical performances and comedy sketches was very similar to Sonny and Cher, and Tony Orlando and Dawn, which was no coincidence as the same production company made them. For some reason, the show morphed into the half-hour long The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show airing on Saturdays.
The show had a basic template. The brothers opened the show and encountered Fabulous Freddie, a child actor who posed as Vice President of Children’s Programming. After offering a treat to the brothers who would politely decline (“No thanks. We’re trying to cut down”), they would lip-synch a song. Next up was my favorite segment of the series: Rob Hull and Emu. Even over thirty years later, their bits still are impressive because Hull’s puppetry skills make Emu realistic and it’s hard not to laugh at the sheer silliness and havoc Hull creates. After the break, the “Razzle Dazzle Wrap Up” presented a series of sketches, some of them recurring like Bill trying to read from “Book of Strange Things,” a group of Frankensteins who create people of different occupations, and “Sam Bear Private Eye.” The show closed with the brothers not wanting to end the show and a net would have to drag them out.