Sunday, July 4, 2004

Late TV host Shreve thriving on the 'Net


Mixed media

By Jim Knippenberg
Enquirer staff writer

Television people never die, they are just reborn all over the Internet.

Witness the case of local TV great Bob Shreve, who died in 1990, but is alive and well on two fan sites.

Shreve is best remembered for hosting the almost all-night Past Prime Playhouse, a program that ran 1966-85 and showed really bad movies. But everyone watched because of Shreve's one-liners and the incredibly bizarre things he did on the air, from gags with his rubber chicken to his semi-obscene pop-up tie.

The popular belief at the time was that he had a few sips of brew between his segments and that the show got better - lots better - as the evening wore on. If you want to relive the Shreve experience:

• tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/shrevefans/ was founded in June of 2003 and now has a slew of members sharing photos and actively engaging in chats about Shreve memories and stunts. It's a busy site, with 252 messages in the past seven days alone. You have to register to use it, but once you do you have access to the chat, photos and Shreve's hand-written notes.

• www.bobshreve.com was also founded in 2003, this one with the approval and cooperation of Bob Shreve Jr., who takes questions from members in a feature called "Ask Bob Jr."

On the screen

One of Covington's best-known and busiest actors is back in front of the cameras. Bob Elkins (Coal Miner's Daughter, The Pennsylvania Miners' Story, Homefree) is playing George Washington's translator in The War That Made America, a $15 million, four-part PBS miniseries about the French and Indian War.

To pull off the difficult role, Elkins had to learn several pages of dialogue in the Seneca language. Shooting is now wrapping up on the show, which will air in the fall of 2005.

Making a move

Local fitness expert and sometimes CiN Weekly columnist Rocco Castellano is making a move. The longtime guest on Gary Burbank's afternoon show on WLW-AM (700) is moving to WKRQ-FM's (101.9) Jeff & Jen Show beginning Tuesday.

He'll show up at 9 a.m. Tuesdays with his blend of snippy wisecracks and off-the-wall observations.

Oh yeah, his new www.askrocco.com web site is also up and running if you have questions about your biceps or something.

Telling lies

Cincinnati's Shriners Hospital for Children played a little role in a recent shooting of the makeover show While You Were Out.

The Learning Channel show was in Lexington and decided to shoot at Cincinnati's sister hospital, re-doing a Surgical unit waiting room.

Problem was, they had to get Glenda Ross, director of patient services, out of the building for two days so they could surprise her with the finished product. That's where Cincinnati enters the picture. Public relations director Louise Hoelker, cooked up a "really bad" story and dragged Ross up here to spend two-days at Warren County's Camp Kern with some young patients.

"The hardest part was working in the 'secret shooter' from the show. We told everyone it was for a Shriners' video that some board member wanted," Hoelker said.

The shooter got her footage - a lot of Ross and patients, too - and then went back to Lexington. Ross left none the wiser.

Until they surprised her with the new room. The show's expected to air in August or early September.

E-mail jknippenberg@enquirer.com




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