The 15th Annual Dallas Video Festival will present their prestigious Ernie Kovacs Award to Bill Camfield (aka Icky Twerp), the host of Slam Bang Theater, on May 18th, 2002 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater of the Dallas Theater Center. Paul Camfield will accept the award for his father.
In case Slam Bang Theater is new to you, here’s a bit of background on the show and its unique host:
On September 10th, 1959, the first produced episode of Slam Bang Theater went out to the viewers in the Fort Worth-Dallas area. Even though Paul does not know all the details, the story he grew up hearing was that at some point earlier that year, a performer by the name of George Nolen AKA “Captain Swabbie” who hosted a kids cartoon program was slated to go on vacation. In those days of live TV, no taped programming was possible, so a substitute character had to fill in. Bill Camfield was asked to create a replacement and he came up with a bumbling first mate type character called “Ickamore Twerpwhistle.” The fill in time went so well, that he was asked to create a show around which the character could stay on the air. Icky Twerp was born and the rest is history. Slam Bang Theater featured both cartoons and Three Stooges shorts.
From 1959 to 1964, Slam Bang Theater was seen in a two-hour format in the afternoon. In 1964, an additional 90 minutes were added in the morning so that by 1969, when the show hit the ten-year anniversary point, the afternoon broadcast had 2,600 performances and the morning show had 1,300. After ten years, it was estimated that about 200,000 kids and adults alike watched the show each day.
Previous Ernie Kovacs Award recipients include Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame and Paul Reubens.
A full schedule for the 15th Annual Dallas Video Festival, as well as more on the Ernie Kovacs Award, can be found at the Fest’s official site. And be sure to check out this great Slam Bang Theatre page, too.
Check out FILMTHREAT.com’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!