Thursday, September 24, 2020

Hot Hero Sandwich: The Late 70s TV Teen Scene

by G. Jack Urso 

Hot Hero Sandwich was an hour-long, Emmy Award-winning TV series aimed at adolescents that ran on NBC from 1979 to 1980. It debuted on Nov. 10, 1979, and ran for eleven episodes through Jan. 26, 1980, in one brief season (see the episode guide at the end of this article for more information). Although NBC promotional materials advertised a planned start date of Nov. 17, according to media reports at the time, it kicked off a week earlier on Nov. 10. It was recorded at Studio 8H, NBC Studios, 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, New York City, on the same stage used by Saturday Night Live
The series was created by the husband and wife director/producer team Bruce and Carole Hart, both of whom helped develop material for the first season of Sesame Street. Bruce Hart, in fact, co-wrote the Sesame Street theme, with Joe Raposo and Jon Stone, while Carole Hart wrote some early episodes, according to her obituary in The New York Times, Jan. 11, 2018. Both Harts were involved with Marlo Thomas’ noted children's entertainment TV special Free to Be . . .You and Me (1972). So, the Harts had some experience producing educational entertainment programs for young people before creating Hot Hero Sandwich. Video clips from the program are provided below from the Aeolus 13 Umbra YouTube channel.

Newspaper advertisement, Fall 1979.
Hot Hero Sandwich
is a variety show that mixes several formats: the sketch comedy and ensemble casting of Saturday Night Live, as well as its hip topical humor and mix of multimedia. Teens were featured in short film segments in sort of a cross between a feature on The Big Blue Marble (1974) and Razzmatazz (1977). There were talk show elements, such as short segments with celebrities discussing their issues as teens, and American Bandstand-like live (or as close as they could get) in-studio music performances by the latest bands, as well as the totally rockin' Hot Hero house band. Comedian and staff writer Andy Breckman (who later created Monk) turned up as the hairy Puberty Fairy. Graphic designer Bob Pook provided the graphics and artist Jerry Lieberman supplied the animated segments. Casey Kasem, taking a break from American Top 40, did the announcements over the opening credits. Barbara Feldon, Get Smart's Agent 99, did the voiceovers for the bumpers.
Celebrity guests included Cheryl Tiegs, Christopher Reeve, Donna Pescow, Eric Estrada, Gloria Steinem, Hal Linden, Henry Fonda, Joe Jackson, Judy Blume, Kareem Abdul Jabar, KISS, Leonard Nimoy, Levar Burton, Loretta Lynn, Eddy Money, Joe Jackson, Marlo Thomas, McLean Stevenson, Caitlyn Jenner (as Bruce Jenner), Olivia Newton John, Pam Dawber, Rev. Jesse Jackson, The Persuasions, The Little River Band, Richard Pryor, Robert Guillaume, Frankie Faison, Jimmy McNichol, Ron Howard, Sally Struthers, Sister Sledge, Stephen Stills, Stockard Channing, Coretta Scott King, and Barbara Walters, among others.
Some of those names will likely only be familiar to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, but it is a pretty impressive list representing many sectors: TV, film, music, news reporting, social activism, and politics. While some, such as the musical guests, are there to perform, others discuss the struggles of their own teen years. Christopher (Superman) Reeves talks about how skinny and “gangly” he was at 12 years old, shedding a few tears as he recounts those times. Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talks about the day when, as a young girl, she lost her temper and attempted to strike a cousin with an ax. Caitlyn Jenner (then as Bruce Jenner) discusses her first kiss as well as problems with dyslexia. Erik Estrada tells of a friend from his teen years who died because of a heroin overdose. 
Kids of that era were facing bigger issues than the Beaver Cleaver generation just before theirs. Increased divorce, drug use, and family dysfunction, among other social ills, often left young people with few tools and support to navigate the brave new world of the post-1950s/1960s era. Hot Hero Sandwich made a valiant, if not completely successful, attempt to address those issues.
Clinical psychologist Thomas J. Cottle spoke about the issues raised in the celebrity interviews, putting them in context for the young viewers. The show didn’t talk down to its target demographic and tried to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Cottle's interviews were shot on film, never in front of a live studio audience, and typically lasted well over two hours, according to Sherry Coben, a writer for HHS in an interview with Aeolus 13 Umbra. The relevant cuts were pulled and integrated into shows.

Coben shared that McLean Stevenson's interview (episode 10) was one of "the most heartfelt and wonderful that Cottle got." Conversely, the unaired interview with Robert (Baretta) Blake was problematic. His childhood stories were "harrowing," Coben noted, and the actor ultimately refused permission to air the interview.
Tom Shales, in his review of the show in The New York Times, Nov. 10, 1979, gives the debut episode and the overall premise high marks, though he sours on the cross-promotion the celebrities do for their own shows. An unnamed network executive played coy with Shales when asked about the production costs of the show, revealing only that it was more than US$1 million (approximately US$3,424,479 in 2020). According to Shales, the show aired on 186 of the 216 NBC network affiliated stations.
The Cast

The regular main ensemble cast includes Vicky Dawson, Denny Dillon, Michael Longfield (as L. Michael Craig), Matt McCoy, Nan-Lyn Nelson, Paul O'Keefe, and Jarett Smithwrick. One actor, 12-year-old Adam Ross (at left, bottom row right, in cuffed jeans), played the child roles as required. A supporting cast member, he does not appear in the opening credits montage. Dillon returned to Studio 8H the following year as a cast member of Saturday Night Live for its troubled 1980-1981 season and continues to appear in TV and film roles. McCoy also remains active in the industry with well over 100 credits in various TV series and film roles. He is probably most recognizable today as a TV commercial pitchman for Hartford Insurance. 
Paul O'Keefe is better known for his role as Ross Lane, Patty Duke’s Cathy Lane character’s younger brother on The Patty Duke Show (1963-1966). Hot Hero Sandwich seems to be O’Keefe’s last acting credit before one final appearance as Ross Lane in the reunion show, The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights (1999). Apart from Jarett Smithwrick, the other actors have maintained steady, if at times intermittent, work in TV and film, though Smithwrick, after nearly a 40-year absence from TV, turned up in a few recent roles in 2018.

Main Cast Members: (top, left to right) Nan-Lyn Nelson, Paul O’Keefe, L. Michael Craig,
Jarett Smithwrick, Vicky Dawson, and Matt McCoy; (bottom) Denny Dillon.
Acting Out

Hot Hero Sandwich Clip: Sketches and Loretta Lynn Interview.

One big part of the show were the sketches. They reminded me of short farcical after-school specials. They were a bit corny, but nevertheless they sometimes made some pretty good points. Two such sketches are featured in the clip from episode one above. The first sketch is about parents talking to their three teenagers about a joint of marijuana the father found around the house. The parents castigate the two siblings who are completely innocent while praise the third who is clearly stoned out of his mind. The second sketch features a teenager on trial in a Salem Witch Trial-era court with his mouth taped shut, his court-appointed defense lawyer is a completely disinterested dog, and the adults conspire to convict him. I could totally relate to that as a kid. Episode one also features a short clip of an interview with Loretta Lynn recounting the time she was caught smoking as a young girl. This spot was typical of the celebrity interview spots, where each week a celebrity would discuss some event from their childhood about their own struggles growing up.
In addition to marijuana use, Tom Shales’ review notes that Bruce Hart was looking forward to tackling such issues as “pre-marital sex, masturbation, and nuclear power.” Frankly, I can think of no topics that preteens and young teenagers (the target audience) try to avoid discussing more, except in a jocular manner, than sex and masturbation, and probably none they’re less interested in than nuclear power. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the partial meltdown at Three-Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, took place on March 28, 1979, six months before the show’s premiere, so it was topical. Considering this educational aspect of the show, it strikes me as though it might have done better on public rather than commercial television, though I find it unlikely PBS could have afforded the tab for all the musical artists who turned up, let alone rent Studio 8H.
And Now, Your Musical Interlude

The Hot Hero band performing the full theme song.

The music is one area where the show really was superlative. Sister Sledge, Eddie Money, The Persuasions, The Little River Band, and Stephen Stills, all hit the stage at Studio 8H. Joe Jackson performed his hit “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” which summed up the frustration of many a first crush. We even got a sneak peek at KISS backstage before a concert (see clip below at the end of the article), but I waited in anticipation for the show’s rockin' eponymously-named house band, Hot Hero.
The Harts worked with producer Felix Pappalardi, bassist and lead vocalist of Mountain and a producer for Cream, to create the music for the show. The band members included Mark Cunningham, on guitar and vocals; Rich Steele, also on guitars and vocals; Robert Brissette, bass guitar and vocals; and Mike Ratti on drums. Cunningham, on his website, credits the band and Pappalardi as composing the music. After the show, Pappalardi, as producer, and the Hot Hero Band spun off on their own as 212 (the New York City area code for all five boroughs through 1984), playing on their own and performing back-up vocals for other bands.   

The Hot Hero band in action on the show.

The lyrics for the theme song recast the teenage experience as a heroic journey. From simply getting up and going to school, dealing with the various issues growing up, and discovering who we are as individuals, this challenges the viewer to see adolescence not as a tribulation, but rather as a trial and a test of character. 

According to TV Shows 1925 through 2007 (Georgia State University), the theme music for the show is credited to Bruce Hart and Stephen Lawrence; however, Mark Cunningham on his website claims that he and Felix Pappalardi, wrote, played, and recorded the musical soundtrack. Patrick McMahon, HHS editor, in his interview with me, and who attended the recording of the theme song, it was indeed Hart and Lawrence who wrote the theme song, and it was recorded before Pappalardi and the Hot Hero Band were hired (though they do perform it in the clip above). However, he noted that Pappalardi and the Hot Hero Band did write the incidental music cues heard in the show, which he says is probably what Cunningham is probably referring to. 
After a great deal of searching, trying an endless variety of keywords and reading a remarkably surprising number of articles on a long-forgotten show (apparently no so long-forgotten), I was unable to find the lyrics anywhere. So, for Aeolus 13 Umbra readers, here are the first compiled lyrics for the show’s the totally awesome rockin’ theme song. It took some time to transcribe as a few lines are nearly drowned out by the instruments, but with patience, and little help from the sound editing program Audacity, I was able to piece together the lyrics.

Hot Hero band members (left to right): Robert Brissette, Richie Annunziato, and Mark Cunningham. Not pictured, drummer Mike Ratti.

Hot Hero Sandwich Full Theme


Got out of bed today — HERO!

Got to school okay — HERO!

Did what I could do

Pretty much like you

You’re a hero too

I’m finally coming through

You’re a hero to me, yes it’s true

You are my hero

Me, I’m like you

I’m a hero too!


I’m gonna hang around — HERO!

At a place downtown — HERO!

And meet somebody new

Pretty much like you

You’re a hero too

No matter what you’re goin’ through

You’re a hero to me, yes it’s true

You are my hero

Me, I’m like you

I’m a hero too!


Taking our place, doing our dances

Questions come easy, three for a dime

Layin’ awake, takin’ our chances

Answers come hard, but we got to try


I got a place to sleep — HERO!

I got a dream to keep — HERO!

I got a friend or two

I got a dog named Boo

He’s a hero too

You’re a hero too

And, my hero, try just to see

We must be heroes

Try, what’s to lose?

You’re a hero too

I’m a hero too

You’re a hero to me — HERO!

Opening Credits Lyrics


I went out the schoolhouse door — HERO!

What was I heading for? — HERO!

I didn’t have a clue

Pretty much like you

You’re a hero too

Whatever changes you’ve been through

You’re a hero to me, yes it’s true

You are my hero

I’m gonna hang around — HERO!

At a place downtown — HERO!

And meet somebody new

Pretty much like you

You’re a hero too

I got a place to sleep — HERO!

I got a dream to keep — HERO!

I got a friend or two

I got a dog named Boo

He’s a hero too

You’re a hero too

You’re a hero to me  . . .  Hero!


In those scenes where it seems like there is a live studio audience for the band performances, it was actually HHS staff and their friends and family. According to Sherry Coben in our interview, “Taping sessions were not long by industry standards, and it was difficult to get audiences in and out. Just a couple of songs shot usually once or twice.”

It Was Short While it Lasted

It is with some irony that in a Jan. 18, 1980, article in The New York Times, Fred Silverman, then president of NBC, cited Hot Hero Sandwich, which had already aired its last first-run episode on Jan. 12, and was likely already cancelled, as one of several shows that demonstrated the network’s commitment to “informational children’s programming.”
Hot Hero Sandwich aired on NBC Saturdays between 12 pm to 1 pm. Schedule-wise, this proved to be problematic. By noon, most kids had already been sequestered in front of the TV watching cartoons for several hours, and by that time, my parents, and many others, were pushing their kids out of the house or to do their chores. The main competition for Hot Hero Sandwich included the live-action Shazam! and the first half-hour of the animated Tarzan and the Super 7 on CBS. On ABC, the Hot Hero Sandwich faced off against the ABC Weekend Special and the first half-hour of American Bandstand. Also, as I found out in regards to such shows like Space Academy (1977) and Jason of Star Command (1978), starting at noon, network affiliates could sometimes opt-out of shows aired at that time slot so they could switch to local programming. 
Further frustrating viewers were FCC regulations that allowed shows to be blacked out on cable television if a local network affiliate was scheduled to carry the same program. However, if that affiliate switched from network to local programming, then there would be no way to actually see the show. I don’t recall that happening to Hot Hero Sandwich as it did to Jason of Star Command, but for whatever reason that time slot didn’t help the program and it was cancelled after just ten episodes, with the last original show airing Jan. 19, 1980, and reruns reportedly airing through April 4, 1980. A Nov. 12, 1979, article in People reported production on the first season was set to wrap up in February 1980, so probably only half a full season (approximately 13 episodes) was planned in any event.
In addition to the competition was the format of the show itself. The variety show format of Hot Hero Sandwich, while a staple of television from the 1950s through the mid-1970s, had fallen out of favor with the public by the time the show debuted in late 1979. Sketch comedy, music, interviews, filmed segments, and reality show-type chats with the studio audience, the experimental nature of the program aspired to accomplish many things, but perhaps a bit too much. Also, the show debuted on Nov. 10 (moved back a week from the planned original Nov. 17 start date), while the Saturday morning season itself kicked off in mid to late September. By November, audience viewing patterns were well-established and less likely to change.
“Kids on Trial” sketch from the first episode See clip above under the “Acting Out” section.
According to an article by Katie Leishman in the Mar. 29, 1980, issue of TV Guide about the demise of Hot Hero Sandwich, there does seem to have been a disconnect between the preteen and teen viewers. Children 6-12 years old were not fond of the interview segments, preferring instead the sketches. The teenagers enjoyed the music, but they found the issue-oriented material a bit pedantic (which was also my feeling at the time). In trying to satisfy two age groups, the show managed to do neither. One young viewer, 13-year-old Rob Tickle of Hopkins, MN, summed it up quite succinctly when he told TV Guide, “Sometimes you'd wonder who this thing was for. It would seem too dumb to a teen-ager, but a really young kid wouldn't understand it. 
While NBC had the scripts reviewed by child psychologists and experts, there were almost no test screenings for youngsters, who could have offered vital feedback (Leishman). Pitted against more traditional Saturday morning programming from the other networks, the ratings were low with just 13 percent of the Saturday morning audience tuning in. Nevertheless, it managed to snag an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Entertainment Series, honoring Bruce and Carole Hart as executive producers and Howard G. Malley as producer.
With a sixty-minute runtime, the show was probably thirty minutes too long. If it was trimmed down to a half hour and aired during an after-school timeslot, such as 4:00 or 4:30 PM on a weekday afternoon, the show might have survived for at least a full season’s worth of episodes rather than the eleven it just managed to squeak out.

Hot Hero Sandwich segment: Behind the Scenes with KISS.

If the kids of the late 1970s had it rough, kids today have it even rougher. Now, they have to deal with cyberbullying, climate change, natural disasters. gender, sexuality, racism, mass shootings, police brutality, riots, and a pandemic, among so much more. As a late Baby Boomer (born 1964), I only wish we had left the world in better shape than we received it. The effort now required by the next generation to get us back on course will be nothing less than heroic.


Hot Hero Sandwich Episode Guide

Advertisement in the New York Times, Jan. 19, 1980.

There were eleven first-run episodes of Hot Hero Sandwich produced from Nov. 10, 1979, to Jan. 19, 1980, with repeats continuing through April 5. This episode guide was compiled with the help of various TV Guides, the New York Times TV listings, Hot Hero writer Sherry Coben, and Richie Annunziato and Mike Ratti of the Hot Hero band. 

The TV Guide had the most accurate descriptions. The New York Times listings were helpful, but inconistent when compared with the TV Guide. While the New York Times has a good reputation, TV listings are an afterthought for them while for the TV Guide it is their job, so I'm going with them for the episode descriptions, which appear below verbatim, as originally published. 

Nailing down the correct number of episodes proved a challenging, particularly when it came to Episodes 10 and 11. In an interview with Aeolus 13 Umbra, the Emmy Award winning writer of Hot Hero Sandwich Sherry Coben, and her husband Patrick McMahon, who was an editor for HHS and also has three Primetime Emmy nominations, reported that due to college basketball preemptions, some parts of the country, as in the West, never saw some episodes. The last episode, according to McMahon, may have only run in four or five markets. 

All the episode descriptions a provided below are verbatim from TV Guides except for episode 10, which was provided by Coben and episode 11, prepared by myself. 

Prior to this list, there was little information about individual episodes. In fact, I could not find any descriptions on anywhere on the Internet in my many hours of research. This represents, to the best of my knowledge, the first comprehensive episode list with descriptions for the series published anywhere.
Episode 1, Nov. 10, 1979: Debut: A potpourri of interviews, music, and comedy characterizes this series aimed at young people. On the first show, Erik Estrada (“CHiPs”), Bruce Jenner, Olivia Newton-John and Donna Pescow (“Angie”) talk about subjects ranging from dating to divorce. Music: “He’s the Greatest Dancer” and “We Are Family” (Sister Sledge). (60 min)
Note: Episode 1 Celebrity interview guests also include Hal Linden and McLean Stevenson. 

Episode 2, Nov. 17, 1979: Coretta Scott King, Pam Dawber of “Mork and Mindy,” Jimmy McNichol of “California Fever” and “Superman” star Christopher Reeve are interviewed: the Little River Band performs “Lonesome Loser.” (60 min)

Note: Episode 2 Celebrity interview guests also include Gloria Steinem.

Episode 3, Nov. 24, 1979: Leonard Nimoy, Donna Pescow (“Angie”), Richard Pryor and Sally Struthers are interviewed. Also, Eddie Money Sings. (60 min)
Episode 4, Dec. 1, 1979: Interviewed are Henry Fonda, Ron Howard (“Happy Days”), country singer Loretta Lynn and Marlo Thomas. Also: Stephen Stills performs “Love the One You’re With.” (60 min)
Episode 5, Dec. 8, 1979: Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, Pam Dawber (“Mork and Mindy”), Robert Guillaume (“Benson”) and Michael Learned (“The Waltons”) are interviewed. Also, Joe Jackson sings “Radio,” and the Hot Hero Band. (60 min)
Dec. 15, 1979: Preempted for NFL special. See notes below.
Episode 6, Dec. 22, 1979: Happy and sad Christmas memories are recalled by Robert Guillaume, Bruce Jenner and Marlo Thomas. Also, Barbara Walters discusses her much-publicized salary; Eddie Money performs “Jealousy.” (60 min)
Episode 7, Dec. 29, 1979:  Stockard Channing, basketball’s Julius Erving, Sally Struthers and McLean Stevenson (“Hello Larry”) are interviewed. Also: a film about the rock group KISS. (60 min)
Episode 8, Jan. 5, 1980: Erik Estrada, Richard Pryor, Gloria Steinem and Cheryl Tiegs are interviewed. Also: Latin disco by the Palmieri Brothers. (60 min.)  
Episode 9, Jan. 12, 1980: Author Judy Blume, Hal Linden, Olivia Newton-John and Christopher Reeve are interviewed. Also: the Persuasions sing “Return to Sender.” (60 min.)

Episode 10, Jan. 19, 1980: Levar Burton, Michael Learned, McLean Stevenson and Stockard Channing are interviewed. Musical guest Rex Smith performs "Tonight."

Episode 11, Jan. 26, 1980: Loretta Lynn, Leonard Nimoy, Richard Pryor are interviewed, the Puberty Fairy visits Ym and Ur, and the infamous marijuana sketch. Musical guest Joe Jackson sings "Are You Really Going Out with Him," and Andy Breckman leads the Hot Hero Band in a rousing rendition of "Here We Come, and There We Go."
Notes: Hot Hero Sandwich did not air on Dec. 15, 1979, as the show was preempted for a broadcast of an hour-long NBC NFL special at 11 am EST on the career of Dick Butkus, who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1979. This was followed by a Jets vs. Dolphins game at Noon. Unlike a "breaking news special report" preemption, this was planned in advance, so the episode for that week would not have been scheduled. Typically, that means rescheduling it for the following week.
Confusing matters, however, in my research of TV Guides for various markets, I found one station, WBAL (Ch. 11, Washington/Baltimore), ran an episode of Hot Hero Sandwich at 8 am-9 am Sunday, Dec. 16; however, no synopsis is provided, so it is unclear which episode they aired, Of the other TV Guides, the NY Times, and the microfilm records of the Times Union (Albany) of the listings for WRGB, Ch. 6, my local station, which aired the show, no episode was aired that week, so the WBAL listing seems to be an anomaly. Granted, this was not a comprehensive study due to my limited resources, but it does suggest a pattern. 
The NY Times does not specifically begin to list the (R) symbol (indicating a repeat broadcast) in the episode descriptions until Feb. 9, 1980; however, as my interview with Sherry Coben and Patrick McMahon of HHS establish, the last episode was definitely Jan. 19, 1980. 

As a side note, it should be mentioned that two episodes of Hot Hero Sandwich were later rebroadcast in 1982 and 1983 as part of the NBC Special Treat, an afterschool anthology show geared towards teenagers, much like the ABC Afterschool Special and the NBC Schoolbreak Special. The episodes re-broadcast included HHS Episode 1 on Nov. 2, 1982, and HHS Episode 5 on Mar. 3, 1983. 

The post-mortem for the show was written up in the TV Guide for Mar. 29, 1980, The last repeat of Hot Hero Sandwich on NBC was reported by the NY Times on April 5, 1980. On April 12, the show was replaced with reruns of Weekend Special, the NBC version of the ABC Afterschool Special series. 
Here is the list of the markets covered by the TV Guides I obtained.

  • Carolina-Tennessee
  • Denver
  • Evansville-Paducah
  • Illinois Wisconsin
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire Edition
  • NY Metropolitan (WNBC. See Note above.)
  • Penn/NYS edition
  • Portland
  • Spokane
  • Tucson
  • Washington/Baltimore (WBAL. See note above.)



Internet Movie Database “Hot Hero Sandwich” and cast member profiles:

Mark Cunningham’s Website (Hot Hero Band guitar and vocals):

People, Victoria Everett, “Bruce and Carole Hart Give Teenagers Food for Thought in Hot Hero Sandwich,” Nov. 12, 1979:

Rich Steele’s Website (Hot Hero Band guitar and vocals):

Sherry Coben and Patrick McMahon (writer and film editor, respectively, for HHS), interview with G. Jack Urso, Jan. 2023.

The New York Times, Les Brown, “Silverman Defends Children’s TV,” Jan. 18, 1980. C35.

The New York Times, Alexis Greene, “For Children, a Few Nuggets Amid the Cartoons,” Sep. 2, 1979. D25.

The New York Times, Television listings, Dec. 8-29, 1979, and Jan. 5-Apr. 12, 1980.

TV Guide, consecutive issues from Nov.10-Nov. 16, 1979, through Jan. 19-Jan. 25, 1980. 

TV Guide, Katie Leishman, “Hot Hero Sandwich’: The Audience Didn’t Bite,” Mar. 29-Apr. 4, 1980.

TV Shows 1925 through 2007. Georgia State University, ARTS 105: 

Photo posted in the TV listings of the New York Times, Nov. 4, 1979. The quality is poor, but since there are so few publicity photos available, I include it here as a matter of record.

Note: This article, originally published Sep. 24, 2020, was updated in Jan. 2023, following an interview with Sherry Coben and Patrick McMahon, writer and film editor, respectively, for Hot Hero Sandwich. The interview is available at Hot Hero Sandwich — A Second Serving! 



  1. This is fantastic, one-stop Hot Hero Sandwich shopping.

    I recently did a reviews on several of my beloved "after school" movies from the Big Three Networks . . . and have fond memories of this short-lived SNL for kids.

    Again, nice job!!

    1. Thanks! I really thought I was probably one of the few who remembered the show, but in doing my research I was pleasantly surprised to discover so many others remember it as well! Thanks for reading it, appreciate it very much!

    2. I would like the find the last song of the last episode. I think the title was "Here We Come, There We Go".

    3. This hasn't been seen since it first and last aired in 1980 before I posted it. Enjoy!

  2. Why is it the good die young, even with TV shows that try to raise the bar of program quality. Excellent research, thanks for the memories.

  3. Replies
    1. Got a kick out of that one too. That was definitely surreal. He was one of the writers.

  4. I’m the drummer that played in the Hot Hero Band…

    1. Mike Ratti! I would love to interview you and ask you questions about the band! As you can tell from the article, I totally loved you guys. Please email me at aeolus13umbra @

      Nothing but love from this Hot Hero band fan!

  5. The photos are great and bring back good memories. Your research work is impressive.

  6. Good article, Jack. One note of clarification.

    Casey Kasem not only was the announcer for HHS, but he had been hired on as a studio announcer for NBC around that time, to go along with American Top 40, Scooby-Doo, Super Friends, and a number of commercials (i.e. Chevron), so he was heard on NBC all day on Saturdays.

    As a fellow denizen of the Albany-Troy market, I salute you.

    1. Ah, so that explains why he was everywhere on NBC. Thanks for the background. Appreciate it coming from my home market!

  7. I LOVED Hot Hero Sandwich. I have distinct memories- my dad would go play racquetball- they had a TV/kids area- I would watch Hot Hero Sandwich at age 8 with my Lenders bagel for lunch. I was bummed when it went away. I remember Christopher Reeve talking about the sex talk from his dad. Haha.

    1. Lenders bagels! I loved them as a kid too! We were probably eating the same thing watching the same show.