A guest review by Gene Crowell ©2010. Used with permission.
A film by C.W. Prather
Running Time: 90 Minutes/Not Rated/Color/NTSC
Extras: Trailer, Audio Commentary, AFI World Premiere, Chanel 20 Club Card, extended/deleted scenes
As a child growing up in Prince George County, Maryland throughout the 1970s and 1980s, I was Dick Dyszel’s prime target and major demographic group. I was also one of Captain 20s biggest fans, as most children from that time period. I watched the Bozo show and Captain 20 every day, mailed away for a club card and hoped that I would win that darn Herbie the Love Bug. I was also one of the lucky kids that were allowed to stay up late on Saturday nights to watch Creature Feature. Watching this documentary was a full throttle retro rocket blast back to the golden days of being a kid.
This documentary is on local Washington DC TV host and legend, Dick Dyszel. At one time a disc jockey from Paducah Kentucky, then later, moving to Silver Spring Maryland, and working for Washington DC’s WDCA-TV 20. Dick later went on to be the main driving force at the station. From studio personality, actor, TV host, news man, announcer, etc… You name it, Dick did it and he did it all with style and a smile.
The documentary by Curtis Prather was handled very well and it treated Dick, his alter egos, Bozo, Captain 20, Count Gore and his fans with well deserved dignity and respect. Many of Dick’s Television children grew up to work in the business as film makers, actors, effects people, writers, etc… This documentary contains many of the memorable things about Captain 20, Bozo and Count Gore all rolled up into one slick package.
Thanks to Dick for saving all of this rare footage and for the film makers who worked on the documentary. It’s all in here folks, Captain 20s Monkey and Gerbil races, Bozo’s ball and bucket toss game, the Backyard Carnival Kits for Leukemia, and The Counts often very impromptu nightly shtick as he bopped about in and out of his coffin all the while having as much of a good time as his audience was having.
It was also good to see Dick’s veteran side kicks and semi regulars along the way. The beautiful Eleanor Herman as Countess Von Stauffenberger, Tim Davis (local DC make up artist who gave many effects demos on set) and even NBCs Arch Campbell stops in to pay tribute. Also on the DVD you will find well delivered input from several fans turned horror hosts who look back on how Dick’s shows inspired them. Folks like Karlos Borloff and Dr. Sarcofiguy. After watching this documentary, you walk away with two things. First, that the film maker and the participants in this documentary have an immense respect for their childhood hero, and second, that Dick Dyszel worked his ass off while at Channel 20.
The documentary is highly recommended and well worth the asking price from Amazon and aside from all the extras crammed into the special features section, you also get a very nifty reproduction of the highly coveted Channel 20 Club Card to boot!
Rating: 10 out of 10 retro neck bites
Buy this wonderful blast from the past by clicking HERE.