Ray Rayner ruled. You’d watch his show before you went to school in the morning. His show was just a stupid WGN stage: there wasn’t a big elaborate set like on the PBS shows, where you could almost be transported someplace else; the show was just a desk and some dumb kiddie stuff off to the side, and a camera crew you could hear sometimes, cracking their shit up at Ray Rayner.
Ray Rayner’s show was what you’d watch when you couldn’t handle Bozo’s Circus with all its regimented fun: all those games with rules, with nervous kids being shuffled around and told to stand here and throw this before being sent back to their seats. Bozo was the show with the six-year wait for studio audience ticketsï¿½a SIX YEAR WAIT; we’re talking total Soviet bureaucracy in the Republic of Bozo here. But with Ray Rayner, you could relax.
I don’t think there was a long wait to get tickets to see Ray Rayner’s show. I don’t think there was even a studio audience to see Ray Rayner. I mean, you’d like Ray Rayner and all, but you wouldn’t want to meet him in person; you knew he wasn’t magical or anything. He would let you hang out and watch him stumble around in his jumpsuit. He’d mangle craft projects with toothpicks and Styrofoam; in his hands everything returned to elemental states of white glue and pure crap. He did not sing well and sometimes a duck would chase him. It was excellent.
Look, you really had to be there.