Backstory? OK. Lots of us (of a certain age) remember the kind of late-night TV that gave rise to satires like Monster Chiller Horror Theatre on SCTV. But in the '60s, it wasn't satire: there really were late-night shows like that, with hosts much funnier than the lame movies they hosted.
Living in Chatham, which is near Windsor, which is near Detroit, which is sort-of-near Cleveland, we could at least get scratchy versions of Cleveland radio (WKYC, eleven-double-oh!), and eventually, these guys. Hoolihan and Big Chuck had rattled around in the broadcasting biz for years, doing this n' that, the weather, filling in for sick people. By accident they started doing comedy bits together, and somehow the chemistry was right for some very lame, very funny late night TV. So they kept at it for years and years. Big Chuck went on even longer after Hoolihan left, taking up with a dwarf, but that is most definitely another story.
Every so often I'd be allowed to sleep on the pull-out bed in the den and stay up as late as I wanted, and when that happened, I always watched these guys.
It was plain that they stole shamelessly from Ernie Kovacs (and don't get me started on Kovacs, because I periodically begin to write about him and can't stop: at one point I really, really, really wanted to write a novel about him but couldn't because he doesn't seem to be around any more to be "tapped": did too many people steal from him, I wonder?). Their collapsing cardboard sets and the props that fell to pieces in their hands weren't much better than the paper-and-black-marker that Kovacs was allowed in his meagre budget. Hoolihan and Big Chuck weren't geniuses like Kovacs, but they had a blast doing this show and communicated their laugh-your-ass-off style to a very loyal audience. They were wacky and insane and satirized the Polish culture in and around Cleveland (such as Parma: I remember a long-running soap opera called Parma Place) in a way you'd never get away with now.
I stumbled on this one - don't know if I actually saw it or not, maybe not coz this skit came on a few years after we moved away and I couldn't get Cleveland TV any more. (Or anything else.) But it's one of their best, or, at least, it's pretty good, or, um, OK or something, pretty cheesy actually, but funny as hell.