Tribute to Rod Hull and the Emu
Recently a friend lend me a VCR cassette with recordings of an old TV series. I have no idea how he managed to record it because in 1972, when the series aired in Germany, no VCRs were invented. But who cares?
The series is called “Riptide” (in Germany entitled “S.O.S. Charterboot”) and starred Ty Hardin as Moss Andrews, an American who has a charterboat service in Australia. He looks like the brother of Colt Seavers and was my hero in the seventies. Beside this there were lot of girls in bikinis and for the girls there were lot of half naked men. The fun part comes when you watch the episodes back to back because they always use the same cast for different episodes. So you can see the villain of one episode being the victim in the next episode, and a barkeeper in the third. It was a bit confusing, but the series is very entertaining – even at this age.
In one of the episodes the villain had a funny sidekick whom I immediately identified as Rod Hull. His face is so recognisable and the end credits confirmed my assumption. But who is Rod Hull? Why do I recognise a guy who was so famous in the seventies?
The answer is simple: He was famous all over the world for his chaotic appearances on tv shows with his partner, the EMU. Yes, you heard it right. He was never seen without this handpuppet of the emu and when he appeared on a TV-show the host of the show was a victim of this aggressive, chaotic bird.
In Germany he became famous after his appearance on the famous TV show “Am laufenden Band” (known in UK as “The Generation Game”). Host Rudi Carrell always invited great comedians from all over Europe to appear on his show. In most cases he even took part in the comedy acts. In the case of Rod Hull and the Emu it became one of the most famous acts he ever invited. Thanks to youTube you can watch this piece. Even when it`s partly in German, I promise you, you will laugh.
Rod Hull appeared on several shows and terrorized Michael Parkinson and Lena Zavaroni too:
I remember in those days the Emu was availble as a toy puppet. My brother had one. He took it with us when we travelled by car on our holidays. Whenever we stopped at a traffic light my brother used the puppet to amuse people in the neighbouring car or on the pavement by playing with it in the backseat making it “watch” out of the windows. The other people had great fun when they spotted the Emu sitting next to him.
Rod Hull appeared on several shows and died a horrible death when he tried to fix his TV-antennae on the roof during a football match. He slipped from the roof and crashed into a greenhouse where he suffered severe skull fractures and chest injuries.
It was nice to spot him in “Riptide” and I remember his appearance on German TV so well. Good to be able to show the legendary appearance on youTube.