In a feature story in today's edition of TV Week, the broadcast time of the "Night Stand" program is mistated. The show now airs Saturday nights at 1 a.m. on WDCA, Channel 20. (Published 12/31/95)

"Night Stand With Dick Dietrick" is not your mother's talk show.

Mom probably won't appreciate the subtlety of the topics: Teenage Hardbody Prostitutes. Illegal Alien Star Search. Cults: The Kooks Who Join Them and the Wackos Who Start Them. Sexaholics: The Problem, the Cure and Where to Meet Them.

She also might not appreciate the jabs at mainstream daytime talkers Ricki Lake, Jerry Springer and Sally Jessy Raphael. "{Dietrick} just makes fun of me because I used to be a woman," Springer deadpanned in an interview. Actually, Springer has been featured on two episodes of "Night Stand." The same shows, it seems, that enrage former education secretary William J. Bennett provide creative inspiration to Timothy Stack. He's the average guy who fronts for the syndicated late-night parody that lampoons daytime buffoonery.

Sure, talk shows are an easy mark. And talk show parodies such as "Fernwood 2-Night" and "America 2-Night" in the '70s and HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" have established the spoof standard. But "Night Stand" (Saturdays at 11 on WDCA) is filled with laughs. And that alone makes it noteworthy given the recent state of Saturday night comedy programming. "If you're in on the joke, the show is hilariously funny," said Lauren Corrao, vice president of late-night programming for Fox, whose "Mad TV" competes with "Night Stand" in several markets, including Washington. "Night Stand" looks exactly like a one-hour daytime talk show, right down to the malaprop-prone host and the get-a-life studio audience plucked from the sidewalk of Grauman's Chinese Theater. Guests include a plethora of prostitutes, weirdos and losers. But the rapid-fire succession of sexual innuendo and double-entendres during the penetrating discussions are scripted. It's professional wrestling without the sweat and sophistication. A sample of the cleaner antics:

An audience member reveals that her husband left her, her kids don't call, she needs a liver transplant. Solution: "We're going to give you a makeover."

A segment titled "Fatsos: Meet Them Know Them and Chew the Fat With Them" included a now-thin woman who refused to return to her "chubby-chasing" husband. "Would it make you feel any better if I told you I was a lesbian?" she asks. "Hey, hey," the host interrupts, "lesbian shows are sweeps shows."

A teenage prostitute reveals that she hasn't seen her brother since he guested on "Geraldo" and "Sally." By the show's end, she gives up her work as a "pleasure technician" -- and thus the chance to network with politicians and celebrities. But first, the audience is shown a hooker fashion show.

The presumed victim of a trailer park murder resurfaces on "Night Stand" and reveals that he has had a sex-change operation, done in Mexico by a veterinarian.

Four contestants -- including a European porn star -- display their talent for the chance to win a green card that would allow them a chance to work in the United States. The losers will be "deported on the first train overseas."

"Whatever it is we just try to put a clever twist on it," said Stack, who plays the lovable idiot host.

But two things separate Tim Stack from alter ego Dick Dietrick: Dietrick is at home in front of the cameras; Stack knows the definition of alter ego.

Dietrick is based in part on two Stack characters from the Los Angeles improv group the Groundlings -- Phil Donahue and a bad Frank Sinatra impersonator. "He's a guy who always thinks he's the best, but he's not. Basically, he's incompetent," Stack said.

Dietrick has two children, Richard and Dick Jr. He thinks that Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" is a song; that the United States fought North Korea in the Vietnam War, and that Springer is his arch enemy. He also is sexually interested in most of the female guests and unknowingly slips in frequent Freudian phrases during each dialogue.

The role fits the 41-year-old Stack like a wet T-shirt.

The on-screen star deflects credit, however, to fellow writers/executive producers Paul Abeyta and Peter Kaikko. When they're not watching "Jenny Jones" for inspiration, the writers employ a teamwork approach to creating "Night Stand's" two half-hour segments.

In some ways, Stack said, the spirit is reminiscent of "Saturday Night Live's" early years. The actor resembles Chevy Chase -- 6 feet 4, receding hairline -- but his "Saturday Night Live" tenure was not as remarkable.

Producer Lorne Michaels recruited Stack to write for the final three shows of the 1986-87 season. Stack's teamwork approach didn't work, however, and he wasn't asked back the next season. "That was not a good experience," Stack said. "The sad part was that all through college {he graduated from Boston College}, it was my dream to be on that show." Network executives also didn't think he was ready for prime time as an actor -- not handsome enough for the lead role nor memorable enough for character roles. "I'm the average guy," he said. "The networks didn't know what to do with me." Stack starred as the teenager's father on Fox's 1990-93 "Parker Lewis Can't Lose," and was on the short-lived "Reggie" and "Our Time." But he had devoted himself to comedy writing -- for ABC's "On Our Own" -- when "Night Stand" was created. Bad scriptwriters would say he now had the best of both worlds, and a chance to get even with "Saturday Night Live." But, said Dietrick, "Choices are like bellybuttons: Everybody has one." Let's cut right to the beginning. The "Night Stand" act started a year ago, before the Las Vegas convention of the National Association of Television Program Executives. Program buyers from television stations started receiving gifts of cheap champagne, short-stemmed roses and bad meat. The gift tags read, "See you in Vegas, Dick Dietrick." Buyers were then lured into a suite to see the show's pilot on sexaholics. Besides getting laughs, "Night Stand" was syndicated on 130 stations, covering 88 percent of the country. Viewership has grown significantly since the Sept. 16 premiere and nearly equals the more-ballyhooed "Mad" in a few markets (with more than 4 percent of TV households tuning in). On WDCA in Washington, "Night Stand" has tripled its audience since the premiere, with a season high 1.9 rating/4 share on Dec. 16. The 35,000 Washington area households tuning in are about four times that of "Hard Copy," the show that precedes it, but still far less than "Mad" and "SNL." "Research has shown that The Juiceman' {infomercial} is a good lead-in to our show," Stack said in character. Actually, "Night Stand" in many markets follows either "Mad" or "SNL," so "we don't try to counter them, we just try to be funny," he said. Appearances by Cindy Williams, Garry Marshall, Jerry Springer, Richard Karn and "SNL" alumni Phil Hartman and Dennis Miller also have helped the show's visibility. Now, if Bill Bennett would just drop in. CAPTION: Dick Dietrick's Open Letter To Bill Bennett Let me get right to the point eventually. I am deeply disappointed by your recent attack of Daytime Talk Shows. In a seemingly comprehensive list of alleged talk show offenders, I, Dick Dietrick and my show "Night Stand" (cleared in over 87 percent of the country -- consult your local listings) was conspicuously absent from your list. You referred to talk shows as the "pollution of the human environment," I've always considered "Night Stand" to be the Two-Mile Island of talk. Obviously you missed a couple of our recent episodes, like "Whoops! I Think I Like My Cousin," "Illegal Alien Star Search" and "Centerfolds Turned Porkers.". . . If I were you I would cancel every one of those shows but mine and "Oprah". . . and maybe leave "Gabrielle" if she wears the right outfits. These shows, like me two years ago in Bangkok, are out of control. Bill, together we can clean up this mess. Alone we can still do it but it would take longer and there wouldn't be anybody to talk to. I openly invite you to be a guest on my show as a forum for your views, but mostly to hear mine. P.S. Your rendition of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" still brings a tear to my eye. Good luck on the new CD. From the "Night Stand" Internet site, CAPTION: Timothy Stack, right, as host Dick Dietrick, who takes shots at daytime talkers such as guest Jerry Springer