Geoffrey Holder's classic 7Up commercial from the webmaster's audio
Mazeppa tapes, circa 1971
Mazeppa was sponsored by Greer Tape Centers at "Fourteen Seventeen East
Eleven-teenth (photo at right by Mike Bruchas, 1999), Admiral Place and
Pittsburgh , and 2606 South Sheridan", the Uncola 7Up, Tuf Nut Challenger
Casuals (jeans), and Rebel Jeans at the "...downtown, Southroads, T.U.,
Springdale, Eastgate..." Froug's locations.
Courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of
And now, back to the movie!
The first "socko, boffo" movies Mazeppa presented were horror pictures
such as "Dracula", "Frankenstein", and the other Universal creatures,
and Hammer films such as "The Skull" and "The Man Who Could Cheat Death".
Then he shifted to campy 30s musicals such as "Gold Diggers of 1933" with
Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler ("Pettin' in the park...bad boy....pettin' in
the park...bad girl....") and "42nd Street". Later yet, many Tulsans got
their first exposure to Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields.
Gary Busey (born Goose Creek, Texas, June 24, 1944) came on board as
"Teddy Jack Eddy" around the time the show moved from KOTV over to
KTUL. He was in on some classic improvised sketches. One featured Teddy Jack
Eddy as a truck driver who stops in at a
diner for a Coke. His "nervous energy" drives him to feed a quarter to the
jukebox and do a little dancing to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made
For Walkin'". He can't get the other patrons to participate.
One young fella (Sartain) is self-conscious about his weight. After Teddy
Jack unsuccessfully coaxes him awhile ("I'm overweight, too, but you don't
see me cryin'."), he turns to Sherman Oaks, who begs off due to a professed
lack of rhythm. Teddy Jack finally gets completely ticked off. The sketch
ends with Oaks' back to the camera, rhythm being imparted forcibly by Teddy
Jack's palm ("One, two, one, two..."). When the waitress whines "Why didn't
you ask me to dance", he replies disgustedly, "'Cuz I knew one of these clowns
would be cuttin' in!"
The film of June 28, 1970 was "House of Frankenstein"
In another sketch, he is getting a special haircut and tattoo since "I
got a VFW dance Saturday night!". When the result (a ludicrous Dippity-'do
and a tattoo of a swim fin with the name "Lloyd") is revealed to him by the
effete hairdresser, Eddy Leon ("You're gonna have it just the way you want
it!"), he gets upset. "What are you doin' to me, buddy?! And my name's not
Lloyd---it's Teddy Jack!". As soon as you see the artiste's back to the camera,
you have a pretty good idea how the charge of "fifty smackers" is going to
Ruby the Crusher with Teddy Jack Eddy, 1973 (courtesy of Gailard Sartain)
(From Rolling Stone, 9/21/78)
Busey started getting work in television and films in 1970, including minor
roles in Bonanza, Baretta, and Gunsmoke...
It was 1972, he'd just finished
The Last American Hero with Jeff Bridges, in which he played "a moonshine
redneck character," when a friend in Tulsa, Gailard Sartain, invited
him to do a skit or two on his Saturday night old-movie show, The Mazeppa
Papa Zody's (sic) Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting. For his
skit, Busey drew on his American Hero, belligerent, know-it-all character.
And when he told Sartain he needed a name, Sartain replied, "Take three:
Teddy, Jack and Eddy."
Meanwhile, Busey said, "Leon Russell's home in Tulsa, watching TV,"
and was amused. Busey became a regular on the show and a local hero. Russell,
meantime, was doing some TV of his own, setting up a videotape studio iat
an old church in Tulsa. One night, two of Leon's aides found Busey in a bar.
"Teddy Jack!" they shouted. Busey brightened. "YOU GOT HIM!" he roared. "What
do you need, baby?" They invited him to meet Russell. "He's over in the studio,"
they said, "filming a cooking show."
"I said, 'What? It sounds like one of my kind of shows!'" Busey
and Russell became close friends. Just as Busey was tiring of television,
Russell invited him to tour with him as his drummer, in the guise of Teddy
Jack Eddy, of course. Busey also played on Russell's 1975 Will o' the
Wisp album (cover painted by Gailard Sartain), and Russell was
so taken by the Teddy Jack character that he has given the name not only
to his song publishing company, but to his first son as well.
(In The Buddy Holly Story, by the way, Gailard Sartain, the godfather to
all this, makes an appearance, and a very effective one, in the role of the
1964 Coffeyville (Kansas) College Dial Magazine with Gary Busey performing
in "Bye Bye Birdie"
On one show, Mazeppa heightened audience
expectations by breathlessly promising visits by such luminaries as "Neil
Diamonds", "Paul McCartley" and "Leo Russell". When
the camera was trained on "Neil Diamonds", he was revealed
to be a taciturn youth who did not even attempt to perform any music. "Leo
Russell" similarly appeared one week. He was a guy with a ski mask, noodling
at a piano.
When the mask was finally removed, it proved to be
the actual Leon Russell, who then hammered out some commanding
piano lines! (read more about this occasion in Randy Callaway's and
Gary Chew's comments below)
(from Guestbook 48) Randy
Callaway of Ada, Oklahoma said:
From the time I was 15, I have mostly lived in the south central part of
Oklahoma. Television reception (by antenna) has always been dismal at best.
We used to have a local ABC affiliate in the early '70s, but it was sold
in favor of a cable franchise. Well, in the early '70s, probably no later
than the fall of '71, my brother and I happened upon the Mazeppa show
in progress one evening. Tulsa TV station broadcasts have never been very
strong in this direction, so it was unusual to have such clear viewing. I
remember one or two episodes of the show, I think they were both on channel
6, and I honestly don't remember if it was Friday or Saturday night. I just
know I didn't have a steady, so I didn't have a date or I wouldn't have been
home with my younger brother on a weekend night!
Anyway, the most memorable thing about one show was Mazeppa playing the part
of a German enlisted man (similar to Schultz on Hogan's Heroes) questioning
a guy named Teddy Jack Eddy. I didn't know who Gary Busey was, so
for all I knew his name was Teddy Jack Eddy. The German guy just couldn't
get the pronunciation right, he kept calling Busey Mr. Jackadee and
quizzing him about the authenticity of his passport or something like that.
Anyway the Mr. Jackadee stuff was irritating the hell out of Busey, he got
mad, and you know how it ended. Years later I see this Busey guy on TV in
a movie or something, and I said to my kids and wife, "Hey! There's Teddy
Jack Eddy, you know the guy I told you about from the Mazeppa Poppamazoidy
(I thought this was probably the way you spelled the last name until I found
this site) show out of Tulsa when Kyle and I were kids!" Well, they thought
I'd lost it, but Gary Busey, to this day, is Teddy Jack Eddy to me, and that's
how I always refer to him no matter whose company I'm in.
I also remember another show, or was it the same one? Mazeppa, I think, is
raving about having musical guests Bob Dilman, Paul McCartley, John
Lemmon, etc., getting every name slightly wrong as he goes. This is pretty
crazy, but I have always called Dylan 'Dilman', and McCartney 'McCartley'
since I first heard them mentioned like that on the Mazeppa show. I think
it's insanely funny to mispronounce names and words ever so slightly, other
people think I'm just an idiot. Ha, the joke's on them!
Anyway onward, so Mr. Mystery comes out and
they're going to unmask him, which they did, and it was a guy named Leon
Russell, who I've never heard of before. Russell sits down at the piano
and plays 'Baby Jane' right there on this bootleg TV program. Now I know
who he is, because I'd heard the song on the radio. I went on to become quite
a Leon Russell fan as well. "Carney" is my favorite album of his.
All these years (29) have passed by, my brother went on to the next life
23 years ago, and I have not met or heard of another soul who knew about
a crazy TV program out of Tulsa in the early '70s! So, I'm all alone out
here, one of those twilight zone experiences, where nobody can relate to
a fine time I had in my youth. And then, I find this site, quite by accident,
and even see some mention of the mispronunciation of rock stars' names! I'm
not alone, I'm not dreaming, this really did happen! Wow! I'm quite elated,
feeling like I was 15 or so again. Thanks for stirring up the memory pot.
I leave happier than I came, and I shall continue to pronounce the name 'Dilman'.
Gary Chew (left,
aka "Delmo Gillette") said via email:
Thanks for the e-mail about TV Memories in T-Town. I'm almost flattered as
much as I'm questioning the viewing habits of the demented person who used
to enjoy Go For Dough On The Early Show on KOTV.
Of all the things I've done in broadcasting, Go For Dough has to be my biggest
HOOT! What else could one call the program that proffered the initial vehicle
to display the talents of G. Ailard S. Artain?!
Of course, it wasn't planned that way. Mazeppa was just my camera man, and
with those terrible movies that we ran, we were really bored and needed to
make the afternoon go more quickly. That's how it began, as I remember. I
also remember that when we were gabbing about what kind of title to give
his late night show, I suggested the Uncanny Film Festival, because I knew
the movies were going to be just as bad...and Cannes wouldn't've touched
them with a ten foot baguette. Maestro Sartain immediately suggested that
we tag it with: And Camp Meeting. And that's the way it happened.
G.S. also picked the theme music from one of his Coon Sanders LP's
(see the Mazeppa music page), as I remember.
It was a very good choice. Not too many weeks ago while watching some cable,
I saw A&E's Biography Documentary on Tulsan, Gary Busey. They
included a bit of Busey and Mazeppa and I think I heard some of Mazeppa's
Coon Sanders theme. I was rolling on the floor.
My most vivid memory of a Mazeppa taping at KOTV, early on, was when, after
Mazeppa became hot enough locally, Leon Russell came down to the studio
to sing and play on the Uncanny Film Festival. I'll not forget Leon, when
singing his hit, "Home Sweet Oklahoma," changing the lyrics, appropriately,
from "I've got home sweet Oklahoma on my mind," to "I've got Mazeppa Pompazoidi
on my mind." I was in heaven!
One other thing that always brought a big laugh was whenever G.S. would traipse
through the set on Go For Dough acting goofy, causing all the young viewers
to call up and say they loved it...and all the elderly folks who were tuned
in to call and demand that we take "that communist off the TV!" What REALLY
made it funny was, if they only had known G.S.'s politics, they would have
called him anything but a communist. It was really a lot of fun. And now
I get to see Gailard on all those Ernest reruns, and having a "love scene"
with Annette Benning in "The Grifters," WOW! Take care and guide me to your
web site, which has replaced the old command: "Take me to your Leader."