Shore-to-Shore Entertainment


    By Newt N. Minnow

    When the Five Lakes Unified Broadcast Entertainment channel began operations barely ten years ago, viewers were primarily treated to a series of un-spellchecked slides featuring sometimes accurate telephone numbers of town government offices, backed by a beguiling loop of top 40 elevator music. 

    This programming coup was spelled only by the occasional unedited one camera featurette focusing on the process of obtaining gazebo use permits from the Parks and Recreation Department, and similarly compelling fare.

    Today, FLUBE has grown into a full fledged production center.  The channel provides prime time entertainment that effortlessly sinks to the level of popular major broadcast and cable channel offerings, including insufferably embarrassing reality shows that humiliate viewers almost as much as contestants. 

    Yet FLUBE’s schedule transcends nationally available fare by offering programs that uniformly express the unique interests and lifestyles of the Five Lakes area and its populace (for better or worse). 

    Illustrating the point, here’s the first in our series of previews of new FLUBE programs most likely to drive conversation around the martini cooler this fall.



    Can comedians successfully wrap funny lines around 10 pound test while hooking the largest piscine offerings in our lakes?

    That question has been driving record numbers of viewers to the hit series “Catch A Rising Trout” for the past two years. 

    The show spotlights local yukmeisters on double duty, as they try to bait an audience with humor at the same time they’re attempting to snag a real fish on the line.

    The canny comics troll for bass and trout from a Boston Whaler while chumming for laughs from a group of “judges” on a pontoon boat nearby. 

    The judging group gets thumbs-up-or-down rights every 30 seconds as to whether a contestant has cast enough funny lines to “keep the Captain’s Hat” or if the hat will be passed along to the next comedic contestant, who then has to lure the judges’ approval with his own material. 

    Comics who haul in a fish while wearing the Captain’s Hat get one point for a bass, two points for trout, and four points for anything over three pounds that isn’t wearing a bikini. 

    If a hatless comic catches a fish, he has to release it through his shorts, a lake-borne answer to a pie in the face, always good for a worm-bucket full of chuckles.

    The series has produced a piranha’s school of memorable moments, like the time a trout came flying off a hook right into humorist Donny Dekay’s mouth just after the judges had voted the hat off his head, leading Dekay to riff, “I guess I should have scaled down my act.”

    Only local talent was involved when the show first aired, but now comics from across the country are clamoring to get in on the fun and impress some of the many entertainment industry luminaries who live in and around our shores.

    And FLUBE producers have answered the call. 

    Which means there’s sure to be triple the fun this year when “Catch A Rising Trout” is joined by two new shows with highly similar formats:

    “Hook, Line and One-Liner” requires funnymen to fool a majority of the pontoon boat audience with “funny facts” that may or may not be true in order to score points when they land a fish, and “Take My Bait, Please!” will intersperse actual Henny Youngman footage with contestants’ own angling for mirth while they fish and play a musical instrument at the same time.

    It should all be great entertainment unless the overload kills the ratings of all three shows and they’re summarily ripped from the schedule mid-season like lily pads from a three-pronged hook.

    If you’d like to be one of the judges on any of the shows, send a 25 word email to FLUBE Programming Director Grace Lacking stating “why I know the difference between ‘funny’ and ‘watered down shtick.’ ”

    The email address:


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