One of the things I really enjoy about authoring this blog is that I can pursue any topic that I feel my readers will enjoy when it comes to Pittsburgh. When I come across something that I feel is a winner, it's almost like hitting a jackpot. This occured yesterday while doing some research on another story I'm planning for you. I came across the name of a person that I thought all of you would enjoy reading about, the venerable Bill Cardille.
Cracked Cardille: "The only thing I didn't do was sing the national anthem."
Bill Cardille will always have a large place in the pantheon of Pittsburgh television. He was one of six original announcing voices ever heard on WIIC (now WPXI) and his was the very familiar face that hosted popular shows like "Studio Wrestling" and "Chiller Theater".
"Chilly Billy" was certainly among the most popular TV hosts ever in Pittsburgh and he also managed to do a pretty good weatherman imitation from time-to-time as well.
Above: Bill looking positively natty in a double-breasted suit with Pirate baseball legend "Pie" Traynor.
There are some things that you never forget about your childhood. That day was one of them for me. My sweet little 4' 8" Italian grandmother was so incensed that she was moved to chase me with a broom! She would have hit me with it too if it wouldn't have been that she hit her dining room chandelier first and broke a globe on it! She then sat down and started crying!
Do you have any idea how bad you can make an eight-year-old feel when you first chase him with a broom because he broke a lamp and a picture of his deceased grandfather and he then sees his grandmother sitting down crying because he inadvertantly caused her to break her chandelier too? This day was what I'll call a "Bad day at black rock" and leave it at that.
So revolving around the career of Bill Cardille are two of the greatest locally-produced shows of all time, "Studio Wrestling" and "Chiller Theater" as well as one of the top three horror films ever, "The Night of the Living Dead". Not too shabby "Chilly Billy".