Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hot Hero Sandwich Project Archives: The First Official Press Release

by G. Jack Urso

In the course of my research, from several sources, including the invaluable support and archives donated from series writer Marianne Meyer, I have accrued a large number of original documents on hard copy. What better way to inaugurate this new category in the Hot Hero Sandwich Project than with the first official press release from the show’s production team (see images at end of article).

Dated June 7, 1979, producers Bruce and Carole Hart encapsulate the shows mission:

Carole Hart said: “There will be a variety of themes, including: physical changes common to adolescence; the emotional and psychological hang-ups common at that time of life; the new awareness of sex; relationships with the family; new friendships; secret terrors; coping at school; out-of-school activities.”

“We’ll note that this age group feels uniquely isolated, helpless, misunderstood. Our sub text will be:  ‘Look, you’re not crazy – you’re normal, this is just the way things are.’ Our aim is to encourage viewers to think while they are being entertained. But always we’ll have a light touch, with the accent on humor and music.”

Bruce Hart said: “The situations we will touch upon are universal – everybody has faced them. But today, they seem more difficult for youngsters because of the times in which we Iive.  The celebrities on our show will talk exclusively about some of their experiences in growing up and how they survived their teen years.”

In the release, Dr. Tom Cottle is only identified as a “permanent interviewer,” and the main cast’s age range is given from 16-19 — stretching the truth juuuuuuussssst a bit. Vicky Dawson was the youngest at 17, and then L. Michael Craig (Michael Longfield) at 19. The rest of the main cast clocked in over 19 with Paul O’Keefe the oldest at 28.

Interestingly, a series premiere date of Oct. 20, 1979, is given. Later NBC promotional materials advertised a planned start date of Nov. 17; however, the show actually debuted Nov. 10. While start date changes are not uncommon, for Hot Hero Sandwich being a Saturday morning children’s show, the November start dates were, frankly, deadly. The Saturday morning fall TV schedule typically kicked off mid to late September, so an Oct. 20 start date, while a little late, was still fairly early in the season. By November, however, viewing patterns are already established, and a 12 Noon start time didn’t help either.

The original press release is provided below (click on image for larger size).

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