Television show which ran briefly on the Nickelodeon network in the mid-1980s. It was produced by the company of Roger Price who had done You Can't Do That On Television. (An interview on that show's web site mentions that "Turkey Television had flopped (largely because of Nickelodeon's meddling)" by mid-1986. I can't find any more explanation of the reasons it was on for such a brief time.

It was put together of clips from other sources: bits of stand-up comedians' performances (this is where I first saw Dana Carvey do his Chopping Broccoli song, before Saturday Night Live), classic film comedies (W.C. Fields going out to milk the elk and such), music videos and commercials in foreign languages, anything that was kid-network friendly and funny. Animations of Thurmon Turkey ran over the theme music and before and after commercials.

The theme music words:

Long Intro:
Four score and many years ago, we're talkin' pre-TV
Thurmon Turkey strolled along his shores to see what he could see
He sniffed the flowers, felt the breeze, as thought a thought or two
As he was quoted later, "There was nothin' else to do"
One day ol' Thurmon Turkey showed up missin' from the flock
He had schlepped to Massachusetts where he perched on Plymouth Rock
A ship he spotted frightenin' that made his blood run cold
It was packed with pudgy pilgrims from the bowsprit to the hold
"Here comes the neighborhood"
Now he's heard about those pilgrims and was ready for their flack
Ever since the Magna Carta they ate turkey for a snack
He invented something drastic that brought them to all fours
And it turned them into zombies, when they settle on our shores
That's how a turkey created TV ... That's right!
That's right, a turkey created TV
It sounds stupid but, oh, take one look and you'll know
That a turkey created TV!

Shorter Version of the intro:
All around the world, from Paris to the Taj Mahal
They're watching TV everywhere, and you can see it all, on
Turkey... Turkey TV, Turkey... Turkey TV
Anywhere they've got TV, Thurman Turkey's there
Bringin' it home to Hollywood, and puttin' it on the air
He won't fail, though the world's on his tail
Turkey... Turkey TV, Turkey... Turkey TV

A long-lost memory unearthed by this node:

Three of four times a year my family would make the pilgrimage from our home in Upstate New York to Pittsburgh, PA where every one of my relatives lived. Among the many little thrills that awaited my sister and I at the end of a six-hour car ride was Grandma's cable hook-up. Y’see, my family has never had television programming from the magic little black box.

In the mornings at Grandma's house my sister and I would run downstairs to watch Nickelodeon while Grandma herself made coffee and burnt the waffles. I remember enjoying both You Can't do that on Television and Turkey TV out of all the programs we sampled.

Not having cable, I remember little about the programs, although the Turkey TV theme song has been stubbornly lodged in my brain for at least fifteen years. There was, however, one re-occurring sketch that I can still vividly recall: A neatly-dressed man sits down at a small table, facing the camera. On the table is a normal place setting and some sort of food-y edible thing: a banana or a donut and a cup of coffee. The gentleman tucks the napkin into his collar, and begins to eat, but as he does the food begins to scream. Yes, the food started to wail like a damn banshee as the man ate.

Example: The man picks up a donut and dunks it in coffee. The donut lets out a blood-curdling scream of horrible, horrible agony as the coffee scalds it, and then another as it is bitten into. The man is completely oblivious as he eats, and the food continues to plead and scream as it is devoured.

I can’t recall whether I thought this was funny at the time; I must admit I'm a bit taken by it in retrospect. It's most definitely sillyI think it's funny—yet it's just so damn creepy.

/msg me if you remember this.

In response to Pretzellogic:

Ah, you must be thinking of the Day in the Life of a Food segments. They were one of my favorite parts of TTV.

I remember a press article that interviewed the show producers about where most of the material came from. It mentioned that these particular bits came from a New York local kids TV show. The guy eating/torturing the food was the host of the show, IIRC. I think this show also provided TTV with full screen comic book style skits as well; it was one of these skits where I first heard about the existence of the mythical place known as Yonkers.

I also remember a very funny bit from that same show depicting a war between two kingdoms. "One was ruled by a king, the other was ruled... by a clown." The show host did Carl Sagan-like narration over a battlefield of tanks made of hamburger boxes. That's right, World War III as fought by the Burger King and Ronald McDonald.

Another bit from TTV I remember, "This was... BOOM! NUUUUUUTS!" I'm pretty sure that was the intro for a European comedy show.

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