TV Is King
PBS logo seen at the end of its programs from ...

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One of the things I remember was that I used to store my old school papers from like, 1st-5th grade or thereabouts — maybe a little earlier, like, 1st-3rd or 4th, but somewhere in there — anyway, I used to store these papers in a large, wide, but very thin cardboard box — it probably once held a pre-fab table or something — which I’d decorated like a giant remote control. I cut a small flap at the bottom to look like the battery panel. On the other side, I drew on, with a Sir Marks A Lot, various buttons, partially cribbed from the remote from our then-TV (one of those with a ton of different buttons — it actually had a SAP button, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before; usually it seems that SAP is buried under a submenu), and also some TV-Channel-Specific buttons. Like for Nickelodeon or whatever.

So, yeah, television’s always been a huge thing in my life. I love it. I always have, to be honest. And, so, it’s with that, that I share this as something that conjures up all sorts of nostalgic feelings for me — even though, of course, I do realize that that is a little pathetic. But, still, I always have watched lots of PBS (my favorite thing growing up was when our local affiliate would run blocks of what would be listed only as “Instructional Programming” — old videotapes from the 1970s to early 1980s intended to be taped by teachers to show to their classes, spanning all sorts of topics. Slim Goodbody would sometimes show up, but usually nothing so “well-known”. Mostly, they were just educational TV programs, between 15 and 30 minutes long, with poor acting and cheap graphics illustrating supply and demand, the respiratory system, algebra or map-reading. And I loved these. I would often fake being sick so I could stay home and watch these. (Near the end of the Instructional Television-era, KCTS would cycle these out in favor for older PBS shows like Square One TV or Newton’s Apple (which was somewhat fine with me, as I adore both of those shows, even though I missed the no-name stuff).

Still, though, looking at that site and seeing the old PBS bumpers (I’m pretty sure that KCTS kept the 1971 indent a little later than 1984; I seem to remember the 1984 indent coming into rotation on our station around 1986 or so; though perhaps KCTS might have aired both) reminded me of staying at home and watching Sesame Street when it was wonderful and before it turned into the Elmo show. Or the WGBH Boston promo before lots of shows — that’s just as memorable for me.

That site also has other idents from around the world (the CBC idents are also lodged in my brain as well — since Seattle’s reasonably close-ish to the Canadian border, we’ve always had the Vancouver CBC affiliate as part of our cable line-up, meaning I’d get to watch Sesame Park and an extra episode of Fred Penner’s Place or The Elephant Show With Sharon, Lois & Bram, or The Raccoons (an excellent and rather sophisticated animated series that I love to this day).)

The main site’s focus, however, is UK channels, which is also really interesting; especially articles like this, which goes over how the Globe Ident (which pretty much any Monty Python fan would recognize) was done; it wasn’t done via animation, like I’d always assumed! It was mechanical. Even though these particular ones don’t have any nostaligic value for me (aside from “Hey, remember when I watched that one episode of Python?”), they’re neat to read about and watch; the BBC seemed to be awfully fond of mechanical idents.

And, on a similar note, some pages on TV Production Company Logos. A lot of old friends appear here, too.

TV, I love you!

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