Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tiny Talent Time

Here is the show that is great
For those of you who are small
So watch right now and you will see
A show we know will please you all
All the cameras lights and microphones
Are set for tiny talent to shine
So Bill Lawrence won't you introduce us please
To the guests on Tiny Talent Time.

In the late 70s and early 80s, I worshiped at the altar of Tiny Talent Time. At exactly 3:59, every Sunday afternoon, I could be found racing to the television set, channel 11 (CHCH) on my mind. It didn't matter what I was doing before, it had to stop and give way to the powers that be. It just had to be.

In case you didn't grow up in Ontario (or thereabouts), Tiny Talent Time (1957-1992) was a live-action talent show for children, hosted by beloved weatherman, Bill Lawrence. Youngsters would sing, dance, play piano or showcase any other discernible talent for the viewing and studio audience. Lawrence without fail would ask his young charges: "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and "if I could snap my fingers what would you wish for?” I always loved how that snap, echoed through the microphone.

The theme song for the show is haunting for me. It takes me back to moments I've forgotten. I wanted so badly to perform on the show. I'm not sure for what exactly (I had no discernible talent), but I wanted to dance, sing, play the piano (even though I couldn't), wear bright lipstick with feathers in my hair etc. It just seemed like good fun.

Video Clip
Thankfully, someone uploaded a brief clip on YouTube. The Tiny Talent Time portion of this video (which is a short documentary on the Canadian Idol phenomenon) begins at 3:51 and continues for a minute. Short but sweet.

Reunion (Update)
Barry Shainbaum has kindly alerted us to a clip of the Tiny Talent Time Reunion he organized in 1997.

Closing Lyrics (Update)
Visit our reader-assisted post entitled Tiny Talent Time Closing Lyrics.

37 comments:

  1. I knew a couple of people that were on Tiny Talent Time. I believe they played the accordion. Good times. Do you remember the Oopsy the Clown show? I think it was called Big Top Talent? Very similar to Tiny Talent Time.

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  2. Hello Troy!

    I remember seeing an accordion player or two (or several) over the years on Tiny Talent Time :) They were always fun!

    And yes, I do remember Oopsy the Clown. It wasn't quite Tiny Talent Time but I loved Big Top Talent too. Any talent-showcase-type program somehow captivated me back in the day.

    Cheers!

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  3. Anonymous1/07/2009

    I remember the show watching it from over the border,from buffalo,along with uncle bobby show!

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  4. I remember watching many of the Buffalo channels too. WUTV was my fave back then, it had all the cartoons. I even remember the folks on PBS, especially the Big Bird lady! :)

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  5. Anonymous2/02/2009

    Thanks for placing a link to my short doc. Glad to hear there are other Tiny Talent Time fans out there. In many ways that short video is my tribute.

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  6. Hello there! Awesome tribute, it definitely brought back some sweet memories. Thanks for sharing your video with others. :) Cheers!

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  7. In Sept/97, I organized and hosted a reunion of Tiny Talent Time. It was held at the Royal Connaught Hotel in Hamilton. Bill Lawrence, Carol Thomas (the audition lady), Steve Dunn, (the producer),and many Tiny Talent Time performers who are not tiny anymore attended. You can see the CBC clip of the reunion on my website: www.barryshainbaum.com, click on Media Room, then Tiny Talent Time Reunion. It can also be seen on Youtube and Google videos. This is the end of the show.........

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  8. Barry: you certainly made my day. Thank you so much! I posted up the clip in a separate post. Such beautiful memories it brings. :)

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  9. Anonymous2/13/2010

    You have the lyrics to the first half of the song. What about the closing lyrics?

    This is the end of our show...

    What's the rest? I can remember nor can I find it?

    I grew up across the border in Chautauqua County, New York and never missed Tiny Talent Time on Sunday afternoon!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous8/01/2014

      I found the words to the closing them

      This is the end of our show
      We are sorry that we have to go
      Hum hmmm hummhmmhm
      All the cameras, lights and microphones.
      Will be set for tiny talent to shine
      So won't you watch for our return again
      On our next tiny talent time.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much! This is how I remember the lyrics as well. :)

      Delete
  10. Tiny Talent Time and Sunday afternoons were just made for each other!

    This is all I can remember from the closing theme:

    This is the end of our show
    we are sorry that we have to go

    I'll keep looking to see if I can find the rest. :)

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous8/01/2014

      I know the next two lines are humming
      That is all I can remember
      I think the last line is on our next tiny talent time

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    2. Many thanks for all your comments today. Much appreciated!

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  11. Anonymous4/07/2010

    This is the end of our show, we touch the stars for awhile. But dreams must end as we know. With tears or a smile. Our dreams at last have all come true..thanks to you and you and you...never had such fun before...wish that we had time for more! This is the end of our show, that's all there is tonight, we want our friends all to know, it's been a delight. So now before the curtains fall, we'd like to say to one and all...good night...good health....god bless you. (This might be it)

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  12. Goodness gracious, it certainly sounds like the mystery been solved! Wow. Thank you so much! I'll post your comment on the blog for sure.

    I do recall the line "we are sorry that we have to go" in there somewhere.

    But this is as close as we may get. Great job! :)

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  13. Anonymous2/28/2011

    I LOVED Tiny Talent Time too! We watched it from Buffalo, I remember it made gloomy Sundays so much better...

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  14. Big Al's talent showcase was the bargain basement version. The Friendly Giant, Chez Helen, Mr. Dress Up’s Tickle Trunk, Uncle Billy (?) (that magician and that freaky crochet puppet that would drop down from no where) HP Puff n' Stuff, The Banana Spitz (v. weird to watch even now, Glimpses of The Al Sullivan show, Lawrence Welk when there was really nothing on. Cartoon Play house and the Magical adventures of Pinocchio, Hercules, Ray Harryhausen films, Professor Ketzel's time machine (?) double Dutch, skipping songs (I still remember them) collecting wooden fruit baskets for charity drives at school, battling tops, halloween and plastic red riding hood costumes, walking to school by yourself at 6. "Ca-na-da, it's great to be Canadian, We Love the, now we are 20 million". That's Incredible, Little house, The bionic Man, Gilligans island, The Mod Squad, Room 222, Get Smart. Glimpses of the Comander Tom Show "You could win a million just by spending 10" "I love my Saturdays, I call my friends who move away, when I dial myself, thant's not all, 2/3 off most every call..." Wear a moustache “This is the end of our show, we are sorry that we have to go….”

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  15. Julia: So many lovely memories there. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  16. Coming back this fall on CHCH.http://o.canada.com/2013/06/11/tiny-talent-time-60th-anniversary-chch/

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    Replies
    1. Wow, awesome news! Thank you so much for letting me know Chuckie! :)

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  17. Anonymous10/28/2013

    Does anyone remember another children's talent program that featured a St. Bernard dog named "Peaches" ??

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    Replies
    1. It rings a bell but unfortunately not much more than that. I googled it but came up empty. Hope someone else can help.

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    2. Anonymous3/01/2014

      The host's name was Perry Mitchell (sp?). I remember him well, he was our grade 5 teacher, but darned if I can remember the name of the show.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous8/01/2014

      I can only remember part of the tiny talent time closing song
      This is the end of our show ,we are sorry that have to go . (the next two lines are humming. That's as far as I remember.

      Delete
    4. Thanks again for listing the lyrics above. :)

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    5. Actually the first dog was named Hamish but he died. There was a contest among children to decide who the 2nd dog's name would be and the children came up with Peaches. How do I know this? I was the pianist on that show!

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    6. Wow! You were the pianist? That's so cool. Thanks so much for sharing this bit of trivia with us Bruce. :)

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    7. The show was called Junior Talent Hour and the host was Pirie Mitchell - he is not a minister in London, Ontario (where that show originated).

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    8. Anonymous8/09/2016

      I was on the show with Hamish the St. Bernard. Very Embarrasing.

      Delete
  18. Denise8/08/2014

    I, like many of you was glued to TTT. My young friend and I choreographed a dance to Cher's song "Half Breed" in 1973. apparently I got an audition call from Uncle Bill but my friend backed out :(

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    Replies
    1. Aw, it's too bad your friend backed out but really cool that you got an audition call!

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  19. Yes, the show with Peaches the dog was"junior talent hour" from London Ontario. My friends and i sang and played ukuleles and piano on it in 1975. My fav memory was playing with Peaches!

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    Replies
    1. Aw what a sweet memory! :)

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  20. My earlier comment - Pirie is NOW a minister. Nice guy. My memory of the show is varied. Some kids would come on and say tell me the song they planned to sing and I had to accompany them. Only they had no music and all I had to go on was their singing (if I didn't know the song!). They're singing sometimes was a monotone. I'm sure the results sometimes were surreal.
    Also - kids liked to lip-synch to popular. The very first show a little girl - maybe 8 - did a lip synch to Tammy Wynette's "That D-I-V-O-R-C-E" - you know it? "That D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final today. - Me and little J-O-E are going away. I love you both and this is H-E-double L for me. Oh I wish that I could stop this D-I-V-O-R-C-E."
    A startling bit of reality TV before the term was invented.

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful memories Bruce!

    I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to come up with accompanying music for the kids' songs. And all the performances you've seen. I don't believe I've seen that show myself but I would've loved to! Especially for that little girl lip synching to Tammy Wynette (and yes I do indeed know that song). OMG that must have made you chuckle. :) I did watch another talent show from London (I believe) back then, called Big Top Talent and it was hosted by Oopsy the Clown. Loved that show. :)

    You're right it was reality tv before the term was invented (as we know it now) but it was more honest and raw and less contrived than today. I do miss those kinds of shows. I looked up Junior Talent Hour and Pirie Mitchell and found this pic:
    https://www.facebook.com/963930266965527/photos/a.966223960069491.1073741828.963930266965527/1181186331906585/?type=3&permPage=1

    Cheers Bruce, thanks once again. :)

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  22. Anonymous11/02/2016

    Wasn't Elaine Overholt pianist on Junior Talent Hour for a while?

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