|Uncle Floyd Vivino|
October 19, 1951
Paterson, New Jersey, United States
|Occupation||Television, Film, and Stage Actor|
|Awards||Guinness Book of World Records - longest time playing a piano|
Floyd Vivino aka "Uncle Floyd" (born October 19, 1951) is a television, film, and stage performer primarily known for his comedy/variety TV show The Uncle Floyd Show (1974–1998).
The Uncle Floyd Show
The Uncle Floyd Show aired in the New Jersey and New York market from 1974 to 1998. It can be read as a children's show, or a parody of a children's show. Much of the humor has a twist aimed at adults in the style of Soupy Sales and Pee Wee Herman. The show featured slapstick comedy, puppetry, some audience participation, and piano music. Floyd's puppet sidekick (actually a ventriloquial figure) was named Oogie. His on-air interaction with off camera staff and sidekicks is somewhat in the vein of what Howard Stern and Chelsea Handler would later do. Local bands (Pussy Galore), along with such well-known performers as The Ramones, Bon Jovi, Peter Tork,The Shades and Cyndi Lauper also appeared on Floyd's program.
The show first aired on United Artists Columbia Cable of New Jersey on January 29, 1974 then starting in November 1974 on UHF-TV station WBTB-TV, Newark (broadcasting on channels 68 and 60), later becoming WTVG, then WWHT, as ownership changed hands. Part-owner and General Manager Gene Inger, was introduced to 'Uncle Floyd' at a performance. Gene Inger created a Monday-Friday time-slot after the station's stock market coverage wrapped-up. The first cast members were Pat Cupo and Bob D. Caterino. Later members were Scott Gordon , Craig "Mugsy" Calam, "Netto", Jim Monaco, "Looney" Skip Rooney, Charlie Stoddard and David "Artie Delmar" Burd. There was one album from the show, the titular The Uncle Floyd Show Album, released on Mercury Records, that is much sought-after by collectors, along with several singles self-released by Floyd on his Bioya label (he wanted to call his label "Vivitone", but that name was already being used) around 1980-1983. (Rumors abound that "Bioya" was an acronym for "Blow It Out Your Ass".) Floyd Vivino has also put out numerous CDs of his live performances.
In 1982, The Uncle Floyd Show went into a small syndication circuit which included 17 markets, among them WNBC-TV channel 4 in New York, then WTAF-TV channel 29 in Philadelphia, WPWR-TV Channel 60 in Chicago and WSBK-TV Channel 38 in Boston. It aired right after SCTV on WNBC. The national syndication deal was seen as a huge step forward for the show, which up until that point could only be viewed in and around New Jersey and New York City on a single UHF channel. The cast and fans alike were very excited about the possibility of "Uncle Floyd" becoming a national phenomenon.
From 1983 to 1986, The Uncle Floyd Show ran on the state-wide PBS network, New Jersey Network, which consisted of 4 channels: WNJS (Channel 23, Camden), WNJN (Channel 50, Montclair), WNJB (Channel 58, New Brunswick) and WNJT (Channel 52, Trenton).
Starting in late 1986, The Uncle Floyd Show was then seen on state-wide cable channel CTN ("The Cable Television Network Of New Jersey"). During this time, the show went through various incarnations with Floyd sometimes hosting a music-only show, showcasing local bands. Floyd also hosted a show called "Uncle Floyd's New Jersey", where he would visit various towns and businesses in the state.
First-run production of the The Uncle Floyd Show ended in 1992, with CTN showing repeats until the channel's demise in 1999.
From 1992 to 1996, cast member Mugsy started a spin-off show titled, "The Eleventh Hour", which ran overnights on CTN.
In 1998, production of The Uncle Floyd Show began in the Cablevision studio of Oakland, NJ. Approximately 100 shows were produced and aired on Cablevision systems throughout the region. Musical guests included Marky Ramone and The Misfits. Although viewer response was enthusiastic, the show was canceled by Cablevision management after the first cycle of episodes.
Vivino has appeared on several television shows filmed in New York City including Law & Order, 100 Centre Street, and Cosby and was a regular on the Sirius Satellite Radio program The Wiseguys Show on Raw Dog Comedy (channel 104) hosted by former Sopranos cast member Vincent Pastore. He performed the jingle (as well as appeared in the TV commercial) to the frontier-themed amusement park "Wild West City", located in Netcong, New Jersey, a jingle that is still in fact used today by the park. He has also had bit parts in the movies Good Morning, Vietnam, Crazy People and Mr. Wonderful. He also appeared briefly in One-Trick Pony in a deleted scene.
Since 1987, Vivino has been broadcasting on WVIP-FM 93.5 radio from New Rochelle, New York, where he plays a wide range of Italian music on his Sunday afternoon program, The Italian-American Serenade. He claims to have the largest collection of Italian records in the world.
In the 1990s, Vivino had a show called The Silk Dolls and Uncle Floyd, which featured appearance by actress Cice Rivera and several other Silk Dolls. It ran for approximately 20 episodes.
In 1999, he was placed in the Guinness Book of World Records for non-stop piano playing, having played for 24 hours and 15 minutes. His two brothers Jerry and Jimmy are full-time members of the Conan House band formerly called the Max Weinberg 7.
In January 2013, Floyd Vivino began the internet radio program The Uncle Floyd Radio Show which can be streamed twice a week from the show's website http://www.unclefloydradio.com and through various SHOUTcast mobile apps and links, and downloaded as a podcast from iTunes.
David Bowie, a big fan of the show, recorded the song "Slip Away" on his 2002 album, Heathen, as a tribute. The lyrics mention Uncle Floyd and his puppets "Oogie" and "Bones Boy". When asked how Bowie learned of The Uncle Floyd Show he replied, "John Lennon told me about it."
The song "Work for Food" by Dramarama, on the album Hi-Fi Sci-Fi from 1994, features the Uncle Floyd Show in the lyrics. Footage of Uncle Floyd as Cowboy Charlie also appears in the video for the song. The members of Dramarama were from Wayne, New Jersey and made their first television appearance on The Uncle Floyd Show.
The Ramones also recognized The Uncle Floyd Show in their song "It's Not My Place (In the Nine to Five World)", as well as in various live appearances. Also, Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone could often be seen wearing an Uncle Floyd Show T-shirt in pictures of the band.
- Staff. "UNCLE FLOYD - HIS TV PROGRAM GATHERS A CULT - IT'S SO BAD, IT'S GOOD", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 26, 1984. Accessed February 28, 2011. "He studied piano as a child, and like his brothers - Jimmy, an arranger for the vocalist Phoebe Snow, and Larry, for years a saxophonist for Frankie Valli - began making a living at music soon after his graduation in 1969 from Glen Rock High School in Bergen County."
- Floyd Vivino - IMDb
- Floyd Vivino: Information from Answers.com
- Big Money Hustlas (2000) (V) - Full cast and crew
- Leafe, Bob. "David Bowie at Uncle Floyd Show". Bob Leafe Photography. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- Ramones, The - It's not my place lyrics