THOSE INFERNAL, perpetual and cacophonous promos ABC runs for all its shows all the time may seem like unbearable banes, it is true. But there is a way of making pollution work for you, and of turning impertinent importuning into public service. Because if you watch only the promos, you don't have to watch the shows. And every one of ABC's shows can be satisfactorily boiled down into a sentence.
If the network really had the carny smarts, it would release a greatest hits video cassette with nothing but back-to-back promos, for people who don't have time to spend on idiot television in the excess that ABC provides it. Also, it would be such a pleasure to buy one of these cassettes and then throw it away.
ANNOUNCER: Tuesday on "Happy Days"! Fonzie gets the whim-whams when Potsie shows Richie his hickey!
FONZIE: Ey-ey-ey . . .
STUDIO AUDIENCE: Gales of laughter.
ANNOUNCER: Then, Laverne and Shirley lose their poodle skirts at the sock hop!
LAVERNE: Gee, everybody's lookin' at us, Shirley.
SHIRLEY: Yeah, you'd think we were bare naked or somethin'.
STUDIO AUDIENCE: Shrieks of laughter.
ANNOUNCER: And Buddy learns a tragic secret about her brother on "Family."
BUDDY'S MOM: You see, darling, your father was away in the war and I was lonely and . . .
ANNOUNCER: "Happy Days," "Laverne and Shirley" and "Family" - 8 o'clock Eastern, 7 o'clock Midwestern, 8 o'clock Western on ABC! Then on Sunday . . . Zeb tells Zeke to give Zack the sack on "How the West Was Won!"
ZACK: But, Zeke . . .
ANNOUNCER: . . . while Jeb, Jed, Jobe and Jessie face an Indian massacre!
INDIANS: Deeath to the interlopers!
ANNOUNCER: Then it's an all-star cruise on "The Love Boat!" With Karen Valentine, Karen Carpenter, Anson Williams, Cindy Williams, Paul Williams, Paul Lynde, Linda Day George, George Maharis, Suzanne Somers, Jonathan Winters, Season Hubley, Cher, Charo, Charles Nelson Reilly and William F. Buckley Jr.!
KAREN VALETINE: Gosh! I thought you were here to fix the plumbing!
STUDIO AUDIENCE: Torrents of laughter.
ANNOUNCER: Wednesday! Sabrina, Kelly and Kris go undercover to expose a massage parlor syndicate on "Charlie Angels."
SABRINA: Say, these bathing suits are sticky when they're wet.
ANNOUNCER: Then, Starsky and Hutch go undercover to crack a world-wide call-girl scam!
HUTCH: Hey, Starsky, I think your bathing suit is just a tad on the moist side.
ANNOUNCER: Then, Barbara Walters interviews Pope Paul, Havelock Ellis and Cheryl Teigs!
CHERYL: Yes, Barbara, everyone's wearing their bathing suits wet these days.
ANNOUNCER: And Baretta goes undercover to save a crazed junkie hooker from a psychotic homicidal pimp!
BARETTA: I'm tellin' ya man, ya gotta get yer head together, man, 'cause ain't nobody gonna get your head together for you, man, or else you ain't gonna have no place to get it together, man . . .
ANNOUNCER: More promos in a moment. But first, an ABC News Break.
TOM JARRIEL: This is an ABC News Break and I'm ABC's Tom Jarriel reporting for ABC News. In the news from ABC tonight, Congress votes funds, President vetoes bill, and ABC's Barbara Walters gives Egyptian President Anwar Sadat her unlisted telephone number. Now this.
AN AMERICAN HUSBAND: I let my wife drown the other day and you know why? Because she refused to give me Stove Top Stuffing instead of potatoes. If I told her once, I told a thousand times, I prefer Stove Top Stuffing to potatoes with chicken. I prfer Stove Top Stuffing to potatoes with roast beef. I prefer Stove Top Stuffing to potatoes with turkey. In fact, I prefer Stove Top Stuffing to my wife.
ABC'S TOM JERRIEL: I'm ABC's Tom Jarriel, for ABC News, and this has been an ABC News Break with ABC's Tom Garriel for ABC News. Now this.
ANNOUNCER: On "Three's Company," Sissy thinks Jack is having an affair with Janet!
JACK: On, un, hi, Sissy - we were just tending the roses!
SISSY: In your wet bathing suits???
STUDIO AUDIENCE: Screams of laughter.
ANNOUNCER: . . . and Janet thinks Sissy is having an affair with Jack!
SISSY: Oh, no - my bathing suit! It's all wet!
STUDIO AUDIENCE: Laughter of such intensity as to burst the very eardrums of the gods.
ANNOUNCER: And Jack thinks Sissy and Janet are both having affairs with Mis-ter Roper!!!
MRS. ROPER: What are these wet bathing suits doing in the bathroom?
STUDIO AUDIENCE: Unbridled hysteria.
ANNOUNCER: Thursday! The Kotter kids get hold of a nuclear warhead and it's every man for himself!
BARRARINO: Ey, who left duh beehive on duh fire escape?
ANNOUNCER: Then, Rerun is hit on the head by a sandbag and thinks he's Kunta Kinte!
RERUN: Who you callin' Rerun? My name is Kunta Kinte.
STUDIO AUDIENCE, IN UNISON: Oh, this is too much hilarity for mere mortals to withstand.
ANNOUNCER: Saturday! ABC's Wide World of Sports brings you the last three feet of the Indianpolis 500 . . .
RACING CAR: Vroom. . . .
ANNOUNCER: . . . Two holes from the Jack Jones Golf Classic in beautiful Covina Del Mar Del Ray . . .
GOLF BALL: Thunk.
ANNOUNCER: . . . Muhammad Ali taking another poke at Howard Cosell. . . .
HOWARD COSELL: Once again Muhammad Ali your forebearance belies your comeuppance.
ANNOUNCER: And promos for every show on the ABC Television Network for the next six months!
JIM MCKAY: Say, let's look a third time at that exquisite promo for "Fantasy Island."
ANNOUNCER: And then, it all comes together with the first annual prattle of the Network Executives!
FRED PIERCE, PRESIDENT OF ABC: ABC's prime-time leadership is the result of a team effort.
ANTHONY D. THOMOPOULOUS, PRESIDENT OF ABC ENTERAINMENT: Our continued success in the ratings is due to an outstanding executive and creative management group.
ELTON H. RULE, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF THE AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANIES INC: That's right. I don't want anybody saying that Freddie Silverman alone is responsible for the feast of riches we deliver each night to the American people through the greatest system of broadcasting on the face of this earth!
JAMES T. SCHLOSSER, DELIVERY MAN: Hey, where do you guys want these wet bathing suits!