Synopsis by Hal Erickson
One of Australia's most popular and enduring children's programs, Hey Hey It's Saturday was launched as a weekly, two-hour Saturday morning extravaganza on October 9, 1971. The series was originally hosted by Daryl Somers and Ernie Carroll, the latter performing double duty as puppeteer, and as the voice of the series' most famous character, Oswald Q. Ostrich. From 1980, the hosts were occasionally replaced by radio DJ Ian "Molly" Meldrum. A dizzying combination of audience-participation games, comedy sketches, musical numbers, movie/TV/CD reviews, talent contests, zany sound effects, cartoons, and eminently repeatable tag lines, the series proved too popular to remain in the a.m. hours, and within a few years of its inception it was moved to Saturday Prime Time. Among the many guest stars were such American favorites as Clint Eastwood, Danny De Vito, and Patrick Swayze. Two special versions of Hey Hey It's Saturday were produced for American cable TV in 1991, though the series itself never gained a foothold in the U.S., despite its enormous following "down under."