Episode 53: Aunt Mary’s Great Tryptophan




Holiday backfill intern first helps, then blames a turkey


MILWAUKEE, November 30 – Call it what you will but after a year of soul searching, it seems as though WLKE-TV3’s Aunt Mary’s Great Trip has finally found a reason to live.  And, a failing intern from Milwaukee State Community College (MSCC) is to thank for it.

As a cost saving measure this Thanksgiving, station owner Honus Knox III put most of his locally produced shows on hiatus for the week and “gave full time employees the weekend off to spend with the family”, enrolling a full roster of 12 MSCC students to be at the transmission helm.

The fortunate error occurred early Thursday morning when intern Dale Toxford, 19, misread WLKE-TV3’s archaic broadcast transmission carbon paper order forms.  Instead of airing Aunt Mary’s Great Trip at its usual 12:25pm time slot, he errantly cut into a repeat of Matlock at 12:25am and began airing ‘Aunt Mary’.

As numerous calls from viewers came in to Toxford about the slip, there was no one else other than Toxford during the station’s graveyard shift to field their calls.  For his part, Toxford claims to have fallen asleep due to the free super-sized turkey submarine sandwiches Knox had splurged for interns as a holiday perk for the long weekend.

“Mary’s Great Trip tripped up by tryptophan” is how a shrugged-shouldered Knox summed it up this morning, referring to the sleep inducing chemical found in the seasonal bird.  “That dozy kid unfortunately made the same mistake three nights in a row”.

But WLKE-TV3 execs pondered this afternoon if it was a trip-up at all when the ratings came in for the holiday weekend.  The 12:30 to 1 a.m. slot, widely regarded as a wasteland for ratings, drew unparalleled numbers, eclipsing both Nightline and Late Night with Seth Myers during the early Saturday morning broadcast.

For her part, the show’s star Mary Margaret was stymied by the technician’s error.  “How could this happen?   I thought the show was pre-taped?!” Mary wondered.


The rigors of local daytime TV can’t be denied.  Especially after you see this week’s clip from a very special two-part episode of Aunt Mary’s Great Trip during which they were airing a one hour Lost In Space episode.

“The shooting day was long and intense,” according to the show’s star, Mary Margaret.  “I was wrapped in tin foil for over an hour under intense studio light and heat.  I was slowly baking….”

This clip says it all as you will see a visibly shaken and weary Margaret trying her best to keep it focused as she dutifully delivers her lines to camera.  As well, you will note the life-altering fall at the end of the scene which sets up the scenario for another character and another for show for the next broadcast….

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