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A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: SuperStar Television

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Today, we’re continuing to celebrate Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening-day attractions with a look into SuperStar Television, an attraction that let learn about and even participate in “live” television broadcasts.

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At SuperStar Television, guests were cast in roles in popular TV shows like “General Hospital,” “Bonanza,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “Cheers”, among others. The guests, paired up with the SuperStar Television cast, would act out their assigned roles on sets or in front of a screens, while the live studio audience could watch the finished product air on screens above.

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One of my favorite scenes that guests got to take part in was the famous scene from “I Love Lucy,” in which Lucy and Ethel take on a speeding conveyer belt of chocolates. The guest would take on the role of Ethel.

Were you ever chosen to participate in SuperStar Television? Tell us about it in the “Comments” section below!

Comments

  • My nephew and I were selected to be in the General Hospital scene back in 1996. What a hoot!! I only wish they provided a video of it, or at least allowed you to videotape it. I would loved to have seen it!

    • Such fun memories!

  • Didn’t they have the Golden Girls? Sis was chosen to be a singer, can’t recall what show.

  • In the spring of 1990 I was chosen to play a Jimmy Stewart role on the Johnny Carson Tonight show. Sitting at a replica of Johnny’s desk, I would watch Johnny on the recording, then read my lines from a nearby screen. I still remember, my lines were about Jimmy Stewart watching a movie that he was in, and it was so bad that people were walking out. The punch line was that he was flying on an airliner at the time!

  • Back in 1990, we were enjoying a family vacation as adult children. My father was chosen to be the Today host and my grandmother was picked for Ethel. They did a fantastic job and later that day in the park, someone recognized my grandmother and called her “Lucy”! My only regret is that you couldn’t get a souvenir tape of the show. What a magical memory.

    • How fun!

  • We were at WDW in 1997, celebrating my mom and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary when I was chosen to be Ethel. It was sooo fun! I was a painfully shy chld, so my mom was shocked at my enthusiasim when I was jumping up and down and yelling, hoping to be picked. Many, many WDW trips later I still think about my “15 seconds of fame” every time I walk past that theater.

    • What a cool memory to have, Kathy. Thanks for sharing.

  • On a rather amazing day, I was at the Today show desk, handing off a news report to Dave Garroway….later that day, I was pulled out for Indiana Jones, as well as getting drenched in the dunk tank! Disney magic….

    • That’s a LOT of magic for one day!

  • My husband was the butler with the Three Stooges who got a pie in the face. It has been over 20 years and I still smile when I think of it. I feel bad that my kids will never see it.

  • I was picked to be Mr Howell on Gilligan’s island. I had to fan out the money for the opening credits. I had told my kids about it when we last went to Hollywood studios, hoping that they could partake as well, but unfortunately the attraction was gone. What year did it stop?

  • I remember doing this when I was little! I believe I was the baseball player! can’t remember what I had to say but I so wish they would bring this back!!!

  • I’m disappointed that I never got to hit a home run against Nolan Ryan. I’m thinking about trying out for American Idol Experience and instead of singing doing a Howard Cosell impression.

  • Me and two high school friends were in line when the Cast Member started talking about needing volunteers who had rhythm, could sing and dance and of course we started dancing in line. I guess we impressed him with our skill (or our goofiness) and become the background singers during the musical number. I can’t believe it was over 20 years ago!

  • My dad was the newscaster near the beginning of the show, my brother was Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, and I made the suggestion to David Letterman to throw nylon stockings filled with lard off a building. Somewhere in storage is the video my mom shot of us doing this, and now I need to find it!

    • Sounds great, Daniel!

  • This attraction was a favorite of my family. Every time I go back to Hollywood Studios now, I remember and miss Superstar Television. The interactive attractions at Disney are the best! I hope new ones are in development! :)

  • My son “volunteered” my husband and I to be patrons on cheers! We had a blast and he still talks about it! In three weeks we’ll be taking his son to disney! The memories go on and on!!!

    • My mom was also once chosen to be an extra in “Cheers.” Love that she volunteered.

  • My friends and I went on opening day, skipped the ceremonies, and ended up in line for the first performance of the show. They “volunteered” me and I will now forever have the honor of being the first paid guest to take a pie in the face in the Three Stooges scene. After being up all night waiting for the park to open, a face full of cold whipped cream was actually a welcome treat.

    • Fun! :)

  • My cousin was Ethel and my grandmother and dad were in the General Hospital. It was hysterical and one of my favorite Disney childhood memories.

  • One of my favorite memories…my Mom was interviewed by Johnny Carson and my husband got a pie in the face with the 3 Stooges…all in the same show!

  • I got picked to do this, I was in the baseball scene, and I hit the home run!!!….Only home run I think I have ever hit. I remember afterward I couldn’t figure out which camera to look into, there were just too many things pointing in my direction…oops. Fun though :-)

  • I visited the Studios in its grand opening summer, when the entire park offered only a half-day of attractions. I lucked out that particular half-day, having been chosen to be one “Cheers” patrons in SuperStar Television and a sound effects operator in Monster Sound Show next door!

    • Lucky!

  • My dad was Tim Taylor (or Al Borland) from Home Improvement. Such a fun memory of him making it up stage and performing. I enjoyed the attraction! I also remember the I Love Lucy scene too!

  • I was chosen when I was around 6 to be Ginger in Gilligan’s Island (Probably because of my red hair!). I do not remember much else other than I had a lot of fun!

    • Very cool, Jennifer.

  • I hope that you will do a post that flashes back to Super Soap Weekend. That was always such a highlight event and really showcased just how awesome Hollywood Studios is as a park.

  • WOW!!! I remember this attraction!! I was very little when they chose me and a little girl to play Mr. and Mrs. Howell, from Gilligans Island. We had no lines, we just stood on the moving stage and I had to wave some fake $100 bills to the crowd. It was for a brief moment but I had such a blast! Getting to wear a costume and everything, best experience EVER!

    • That’s awesome, Hamor!

  • Such a fun memory – thanks for sharing, Kyle. :)

  • I was chosen to be in the show back when i was 6. I was the baseball player being interview by the tonight show host. The host had to say all the lines to me cause i was so shy but it was fun. My mom and dad where also chosen to take part in The Golden Girls scene. I miss this show cause it was just so much fun to take part in.

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