And now we have a better sample of what Lloyd Thaxton did on his fabled dance party TV show. This is the first five minutes of a 1966 episode with Lloyd lip-syncing a then-popular record. He did a lot of that on his show, figuring out ways to make it more interesting to play records and have kids dance to them…and it was all done on a microscopic budget. Once or twice a show, they'd just select a teenager from that day's dancers and get him or her up to lip-sync a popular record, reading the lyrics off cue cards. Or Thaxton would do this thing where he took a record album cover that had the singer's photo more or less lifesize and he'd cut out the lips and put his own through the hole to lip sync the song that way. Very weird but always entertaining.
I remember one other Thaxton moment that stuck me as very funny and gutsy. He was on KCOP, Channel 13, from 5 PM to 6 PM. For a brief time, a local disc jockey named Sam Riddle was hosting a very similar show that was done live on KHJ, Channel 9, from 6 PM 'til 7 PM. My memory on this may be a bit off but I recall at the end of one show, Thaxton announced that it was Sam Riddle's birthday and to honor it, he was going to go over and hit Sam in the face with a pie. I think he may have even shown the pie.
It was enormous sportsmanship because, of course, everyone watching Lloyd's show turned over to the competition to see if it would happen. And sure enough, about fifteen minutes into Sam Riddle's show — fifteen minutes being about the time it would take to drive from KCOP to KHJ — Lloyd Thaxton walked out onto Sam Riddle's show and, as promised, hit him with a pie.
Here's a little more of Lloyd Thaxton. Don't thank me for this. Thank Barry Mitchell.