Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Wenlock and Mandeville Variety Hour

Wenlock and Mandeville was a briefly popular 1970s variety show starring a pair of marginally talented pop stars who did mime and topical skits and sang almost-folk songs. Their only hit reached number 12 in 1976, 'Disco Sinatra', when they had dropped the folky pretense and put a Sinatra medley to a depressing Disco beat.

The show was subsequently cancelled, and Mandeville was later convicted of embezzlement from the unitarian church where he worked as an office manager. Following release from prison, he took up work at a dude ranch in Montana, and became a master at fly fishing using a guitar, duct tape, and carrots.

Wenlock became famous again as 'Wacky Wenlock' the children's songwriter, whose performances before maniacal throngs of the newly-continent set were accompanied by giant whales, rainbows, and fluffy bears.

However, the hit song Give The Dog A Bone soon came under attack for its double-entendre title, fueled by a photograph of Wenlock coming out of a peep show in 1983. At that point, his second career was over.

His current whereabouts are unknown, but Minneapolis residents swear they hear strains of his trademark tune Itchy Palms in the downtown skyways each November.

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