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Posts Tagged ‘David Thiel Superstar’

At Least They Didn’t Spell It "Thief"

November 24th, 2008 No comments

I was extensively quoted in Sunday’s State Journal-Register in an article about the upcoming analog TV shutoff. To my annoyance, I am once again David “Theil,” despite my specifically pointing out to the reporter that many people screw up my name, and carefully spelling it for him.

Four More Years

November 2nd, 2008 No comments

Today marks the fourth anniversary of this blog. And I want to say “thanks” to my hundreds dozens ones of readers!

Peace Out, Man

September 8th, 2008 No comments

Tonight we shot a pitch for the upcoming ’60s Live pledge event. If the producers of the special like it, it may air on PBS stations nationwide. Tune in Saturday, September 13 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time to see if I make the cut!

Updated: Just got a call from the producer of the show! He loved our spot and will be using it as part of the live, coast-to-coast feed! Tune in this Saturday at 8:00 pm ET (5:00 pm PT) to see ’60s Dave on the air!

Categories: Weird Tags:

Putting On The Dog

June 9th, 2008 No comments

I’ve just updated my WILL-TV blog with a story about my stint last Saturday inside an inflatable dog suit.

Welcome To My Domain

April 24th, 2008 No comments

For no good reason outside of sheer vanity, I’ve registered a domain name for this site. Welcome to thielavision.com!

Any old bookmarks will still work, as the thielavision.com address redirects to the same place. But at least I can tell people about my site without having to spell “slithytoves” or explain what a tilda mark is.

I’d thought about being thielavision.org, as .org domains were on sale. But I don’t really feel like an organization. I don’t feel like a .com either, but .name is just .lame.

Oddly enough, someone is cybersquatting on davidthiel.com, perhaps in hopes that I (or, more likely, David Thiel the DIY guy or David Thiel the videogame designer) will pony up some cash for it.

Categories: Website Tags: ,


January 23rd, 2008 No comments

One side benefit of Vicky’s current obsession with the Australian Open tournament is that we needed to buy a DVD recorder to dub off some of the non-tennis stuff taking up valuable space on our TiVo-Like Device. While it’s certainly useful in that regard, the bonus for me is that I can finally tackle the problem of my deteriorating VHS tapes. While I’ve substituted many of my old off-air recordings with shiny, store-bought DVDs, there’s still a lot of stuff that would be otherwise impossible to replace.

So, while the tennis balls ping back and forth in the living room, I’ve set up a DVD duplication facility in the basement, attempting to digitally preserve this old video before the tapes (some more than twenty years older) become unplayable.

Another benefit is that I get to share the “wealth.” Here then are a couple of clips that I dubbed to DVD, ripped to AVI and uploaded to YouTube PDQ. Both are from a mid-’80s TV show called Stingray, starring Nick Mancuso as a mysterious hero who helps the helpless in exchange for favors, which he then uses to help other helpless people. It was kinda clever, in that a guest star victim could reappear in a future episode as a favor-provider.

However, it also bore the sign of its times: an unbearably cheesy Miami Vice vibe. Here’s the opening sequence.

The reason I bring it up is that during the year I spent in Los Angeles fresh out of college, I was an intern at Stephen J. Cannell Productions at the time they were simultaneously producing The A-Team, Riptide, Hunter, Hardcastle & McCormick and, yes, Stingray. And while my duties as intern consisted almost entirely of standing around the set attempting to bond with the crew, I got to be an extra in a couple of shows.

That’s quite a long introduction to this brief clip, in which I can be seen in quite possibly the last place on Earth you’d likely find me: a revivalist tent meeting. The video’s a bit dark, but that’s me in the front row, pimped out in a ten-dollar thrift store suit and passing the collection plate with elan.

It wasn’t my last appearance on national TV, but it was the only one involving a 12-foot, illuminated cross.

Believe It Or Not…I’m On DVD

February 16th, 2005 No comments

This week saw the DVD release of the first season of The Greatest American Hero. Created by prolific producer Stephen J. Cannell, this early ’80s TV series featured William Katt as gawky schoolteacher Ralph Hinkley (briefly renamed Hanley after President Reagan was shot by John Hinkley), who was abducted by aliens and given a suit which, when worn, granted him super powers. Teamed with FBI agent Bill Maxwell, played by Robert Culp, he defended America from various spies and no-good-niks for three short seasons.

Included in this 3-disc set is the “unaired” pilot for a proposed sequel, The Greatest American Heroine. In it, Ralph’s secret is revealed to the public, and he is obliged to pass on the suit to another. He chooses a hot blonde (well, who wouldn’t?) with a “save the Earth” obsession.

Originally filmed in 1987 as a “presentation” (rather than a full pilot) for NBC, it was later padded out to full length with flashback footage and linking sequences features Robert Culp, and incorporated into the series’ syndication package.

The reason I bring this up is that I was an intern at Cannell Productions during its filming, and even performed as an extra in the crucial “unmasking” of Ralph Hinkley. As an intern at a union shop, I wasn’t allowed to do much on set, except on those occasions when they needed extras beyond the union-demanded quota.

Here’s the scene in question. Ralph has just saved a woman who has fallen from a building, but the rescue is actually a government set-up meant to expose him. Suddenly, a crowd appears…

Follow the arrow; there I am!

Oddly enough, I had pretty much the same beard back then. The suit is one I got from Goodwill for five bucks, and it looks worth every penny. God, those glasses look dorky. But at least I had hair!

And that’s the extent of my appearance. With this, nearly all of my Hollywood oeuvre has been released on DVD. (The last one is an episode of another ’80s Cannell series, Stingray. Hopefully they’ll get to that one soon!)

It’s Good To Be The King

November 24th, 2004 No comments

Last weekend I tried out for the Parkland College Theatre production of The Phantom Tollbooth, based on the classic children’s book by Norton Juster. I haven’t been in a play in years, but I’d been missing it. This production seemed like a good bet because I’m very fond of the book/movie and because it seemed like the sort of thing that wouldn’t attract many of the local thespians. (Which are legion around here, I can tell you.)

I decided that it would be really cool to be the Mathemagician, the King of Digitopolis. See, The Phantom Tollbooth is an allegory about the joys of learning, and tells the story of a young boy named Milo who brings together two kingdoms which are warring over whether letters or numbers are more important. (You can guess which the Mathemagician favors.)

After an audition during which I proved that I could be a complete fool on stage, I was invited back last night for callbacks. Instead of reading dialogue, I was asked to count in a “kingly” voice. I hammed it up for all it was worth, and apparently, it paid off, for today…

…I AM the King!

Rehearsals start soon, and the first performance is on January 19 at the Parkland College Theatre in Champaign.