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When WTTW Pledge Master Marty Robinson Kept Interrupting Doctor Who

"Nearly 15 years ago, Marty Robinson appeared before a WTTW-TV camera on his first pledge night reading from a script written by the engineer," the Sun-Times reported in 1986. "Since then, Robinson has become a star of improvisational fund-raising for the station."

The Video Archive Project uploaded a reminder of why to YouTube this week, accompanied by this text:

"Anyone growing up in Chicago between the mid 70s all the way to 1998 will remember the face and voice of Marty Robinson - a Chicago broadcasting legend and the host of many WTTW subscription drives.

"This one was put to VHS because it was during Doctor Who, my favorite show on the network. This was also at a time when Channel 11 was being very aggressive in its purchasing and broadcasting of Doctor Who and this particular evening kicked off 'The Trial Of A Timelord' - one of the seasons during Colin Baker's tenure as The Doctor."


And previously from FuzzyMemoriesTV:


"In addition to real fund-raisers, he also has appeared in a spoof of pledge drives," the Sun-Times story said. "Wearing torn clothes, Robinson warned viewers that the station would be torn down unless they sent money. Suddenly a beam fell into the set, and an actress told construction workers: 'You've killed Marty Robinson!'"

In 2007, Robinson posted this on a WTTW message board:

"I'm still doing an occasional voice-over and am training professionals in tv techniques as I have been since 1973. Right now, my wife Mary and I and our standard schnauzer Diva are enjoying our annual Winter hiatus in Florida. To the previous writer, I was at WTTW from 1971 to 1998. Thanks for remembering."

No, Marty. Thank you.


Comments welcome.


1. From Adrienne Doherty:

Chicago was lucky to have Marty Robinson at WTTW. With the possible exception of WFMT radio, it seems that there is almost no broadcast talent with his wit, polish and intelligence available today. Should we be wondering why?

Mr. Robinson's consummate performance is a reminder of how things have changed . . . sadly, for the worse. (Certainly, PBS has.)

It is encouraging to know that Mr. Robinson was/is active in training others in his field.


Posted on January 19, 2012

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