“Now this is what’s so fascinating to me,” spoke Baker Bloch, taking over his father’s talk show business. Just until he mends from that broken hip. Should be off the crutches in another day or 3. “So let’s review: you moved from behind the camera to in front because Ricky Cargo got shot in the head with a real bunch of lead — no death here!” he shouts toward the audience, which got a roar. “And so you played in ‘I Love Lucifer’, for 6 years as the male lead — didn’t say lead!” More laughs. “Then you quit that show after they moved the location from the city to the country (Sandman nods here with a soft “um hum”), then you decided to get that age operation to better exploit your chances in the then lucrative child acting business.”
“More money, uh huh. After you subtract all the cost of living stuff, the houses, the pools and cars and, let’s see, women I suppose. Women of the night.” He laughs a bit here and the audience too. They’re still with him. They’ve bought into this whole story. Baker Bloch almost has as much talent in the build up as his father. But still he hopes he gets well soon and returns.
“Let’s see, the next job is then little Richie Pettry in the ‘Dick van Duck Comedy Special’. Aired on CBS for 3 years.”
“Four. Counting the Christmas season. Ran for 6 episodes actually.”
“And I believe that’s the first Christmas season in television history.”
“Television *comedy* history. There was always Bing Cosby.”
“Right, forgot,” exclaims Baker Bloch. “But that started the whole Santa thing. Tell me about that — I know we’re getting off-topic again but the story is fascinating. We’ll return to the child acting soon.”
“Well, that was part of it. At Christmas a child needs, what? A Santa. To sit on his lap, tell him what he or she wants for Christmas.” He gestures placing an imaginary child on his knee during this.
“We all know that *now*. But back then — brand new! You invented the holidays, Sandman. Have you ever thought about that?”
“Well… I can’t take credit for St. Patrick.” Laughs from the audience. He stares out at them lovingly, knows they’ve footed the bills for his many yachts and mansions down through the years.
“Okay,” says Bloch. “Let me cut to the chase — Tommy’s telling me we need to go to a commercial break.”
“I sat on his lap,” says Sandman, getting the core of it. “I… told him… I wanted a duck for Christmas.” Chuckles from the audience, most of them not even paid studio laughers by this point. “I wanted to *be* a Duck (dramatic pause). So he ate me.” Stares even wider eyed at the audience, who have lost it. Everyone knows the story. It made broadcast history.
(to be continued)