Perhaps it’s because I’m emptying out my late parents home of fifty years (mine too, I guess) but I’ve become acutely aware of how much of my childhood was spent not playing outdoors in the California sunshine but instead huddling indoors staring at the Zenith Television (rabbit ears, black and white etc.). I was already an old movie/TV rerun buff by the age of seven or eight and had my preferences as to what to watch and when. Just as I was a Warner Brothers cartoon fan and disdained all things Disney, I was a proud watcher of KTTV (channel 11) which had the best movies (mostly MGM library) cartoons (WB), series reruns (Jack Benny, Partridge Family etc.) and the slickest logo. Second place went to KTLA Channel 5, which had the Universal/Paramount library (and which I would most likely prefer these days). It was a bit of a drop to KHJ channel 9, but they did have the ‘Million Dollar Movie’, though I can’t remember whose library they featured. And then the steepest drop of all came when you wandered into the land of KCOP channel 13. The movies were Universal products of the 40s-60s and the series were of the Paul Henning variety which I already had called bullshit on. ‘Petticoat Junction’ irritated the crap out of me for some reason (in those admittedly pre-sexual years) and I could never abide the ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ or ‘Green Acres’. The best part about them were their laugh tracks, which were so ridiculously fake that I preferred closing my eyes and zoning out on them rather than watching the shows.

So if you asked me to reminisce fondly about the long-gone LA local channel KCOP, I’d have probably shrugged the request off and referred you to some genuinely weird TV nerds of the era and not armchair observers such as myself. And yet, after stumbling upon the above compilation of commercials aired exclusively on KCOP, I found that I remembered almost all of them with way too much clarity. So perhaps I really did watch all that crap I claimed to despise. If nothing else, it proves that my youthful taste was ‘Catholic’ (I’ve never truly understood that word used to explain a wide variety of tastes or interests). Or perhaps I was as hypnotized by the TV as kids are now by iPads, phones and whatnot and didn’t really care much about what I was watching, so long as something was emanating from that beat up Zenith. KCOP also aired ‘The Bill Cosby Show’ and ‘Room 222’ in the early afternoons and I recall finding both awfully depressing since they were school-centric and I was no doubt watching them at that hour because I was hiding from school that day…


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