Monday, October 02, 2006

Geoff Wong's Charlie Chan Theatre debut on KCRA 3 on October 2, 1971

On Late Saturday Night October 2, 1971 (or early Sunday Morning?) at 12:30AM following the British TV Series "The Avengers" on KCRA Channel 3, debuted a "Charlie Chan Theatre" which was hosted by Geoff Wong. On this very night, Bob Wilkins (the previous Late Saturday Night Host) appeared on the show as Geoff's Caucasian Houseboy. A reverse of the so-called stereotypical Chinese Houseboys of the movies of the 30's and 40's. Essentially, Bob passes the baton to Geoff as his successor (Bob moved to crosstown KTXL Channel 40) on KCRA Channel 3. There is a bit of controversy on the name of this show. I have heard it was called "Charlie Chan Theatre", but others point out that it was called "Geoff Wong Adventure Theatre" or "GWAT" for short. I tend to believe both. Geoff hosted on KCRA from 1971 until NBC's "Saturday Night Live" debuted in 1975. At first he showed "Charlie Chan Movies" (the 20TH Century Fox ones) until the summer of 1972, then he showed the TV Series "Dick Powell Theatre", then assorted Adventure/Action Movies, which makes me think that it was renamed "GWAT" when he showed the Adventure/Action Movies. KCRA tried not to schedule Horror/SciFi Movies on Geoff Wong's show though Geoff did show "Corridors Of Blood" starring Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee in 1974. The very first movie Geoff showed on October 2, 1971 was "Charlie Chan In London" (1935) starring Warner Oland as Charlie Chan. "Charlie has 3 days to prevent the execution of a convicted person he believes to be innocent."

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