Not only was Mary Margaret’s jaw dropping rendition of “Black Velvet” something to behold, it once again made Milwaukee Talk something that had to be seen. A week later she was still the talk of not just Milwaukee, but all of Wisconsin.
“That one show turned out to be a game changer,” executive producer Allen Kew remembers. “After that, people were lined up in front of the station doors every morning just to get a glimpse of her.”
“People would randomly gift me with bottles of Black Velvet whiskey,” co-host Mary Margaret recalls. “I was getting so many I was probably giving two or three bottles to Vic and the crew every morning.”
MILWAUKEE, November 23 – Based on the success of last Friday’s show, executives from WLKE’s Milwaukee Talk have signed an agreement in principle with The Ballast Casino and Events Center to broadcast every Friday from their location.
“It was electricity city last Friday and we’ll be looking to re-capture that tingle every Friday morning going forward”, concluded longtime Milwaukee Talk gabman Vic Shell. “I’ve been pushing Hoeney (Honus Knox III) and Allo’s (executive producer Allen Kew) buttons trying to get them to see the potential in turning our program into a bonafide variety show. Current affairs yes, but why not a musical number and why not some laughs in there too? We do have to punch five hours on the dance card every week.”
Starting on January 4 and every subsequent Friday, Milwaukee Talk will broadcast live from the newly designed casino and entertainment center.
Vic Shell couldn’t be happier about the casino move. “Hanging out at a casino, having a couple of libations (drinks) and getting kooky (silly) with the staff is totally my bag (style). And Mary singing for her supper (performing for pay) Friday and Saturday nights and Saturday and Sunday matinees is going to be gravy like gold (lucrative) for “Stouts And Shouts”.
“Agreeing to do the show from the casino on Fridays may be a short term fix to a longer term problem”, Milwaukee Talk executive producer Allen Kew admits. “I know Mary’s people are talking to the Ballast people and they are interested in having her as the full-time house singer. If, God forbid, doing the nine shows, seven days a week gets to her and, she’s forced to decide one way or the other…if the money was right, I’m not sure which way she’d go.”
The show not only benefited from a huge uptick in ratings and notoriety from Mary’s performance, it also led to extra revenue via product endorsements like this one for the favorite morning meal of geriatrics everywhere, Soft Landing.
“Leave it to TV mastermind and executive producer Allen Kew to finagle another extra buck or two out of the show. It wasn’t enough that we already had 11 minutes of conventional commercial time reserved for the show every day, Allen had Mary and Vic shill during the show,” longtime stage manager Les Tremaine recalls.
In this clip, you will not only see Mary touting the virtues of the made-in-Wisconsin breakfast cereal, but also hear Vic Shell teasing viewers to stay tuned for an upcoming paid interview before throwing to an actual commercial break. “We would often call this the triple play,” Allen Kew mused. Enjoy….