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The Straight Dope is on TV!

Official press release from the show's debut


[Press contacts on request.]

Where do Lava Lamps come from?
Can singers really break glass with their voices?
Why does lint always collect your navel?
When are coconuts in season?
Do close-door buttons in elevators really work?

Only Cecil Adams knows the answers!



Premiering Sunday, September 1 at 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. ET/12 midnight PT

LOS ANGELES, AUGUST 9, 1996 -- Since 1973, an elusive genius named Cecil Adams has been penning a hysterically irreverent, highly intellectual question-and-answer column for a rabid following of educated readers. No subject is too difficult, no issue too obscure, no inquiry too off-the-wall for Cecil. And now, with highly innovative visual techniques, A&E is turning this cult print phenomenon into a unique television series, a new age info-comedy for adults! THE STRAIGHT DOPE makes its world premiere on A&E Sunday, September 1 at 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. ET/12 midnight PT.

THE STRAIGHT DOPE on A&E is set in a junk-strewn, post-industrial warehouse resembling a cross between the Honeycomb Hideout and Andy Rooney's office. Hosting is Mr. Adams' assistant and personal trainer, Mike Lukas, Generation X's proud answer to Mister Wizard by way of Sam Donaldson. Viewers, readers, and net surfers write, e-mail or fax questions to the never-seen Cecil, who relays the answers through Mike, who brings Cecil's wisdom to life in a fast- paced, hilarious half-hour of truly alternative television.

Sardonic, ironic, and sublimely bald, Mike examines and explains the mysteries of the universe as solved by his notoriously cranky and all-knowing boss. Cecil answers most questions off the top of his head and tirelessly circles the globe to research the rest. Though he occasionally makes his presence known, he never actually appears on the show -- indeed he has never been seen in public. Like Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster, Cecil Adams is always one step ahead of the cameras.

"As his many fans will repeatedly tell you, Cecil Adams is simply the world's smartest man," said Michael Katz, Vice President, Specials Programming, A&E. "It will only do to make A&E's version of THE STRAIGHT DOPE every bit as entertaining, educational, and supremely edifying as its creator."

Each episode will answer five or six questions, and as soon as Mike introduces the first one, he's off to explain Cecil's answer. Location footage, animation, special effects, guest experts, corporate flacks, or human guinea pigs may be called in to aid in illustrating the response. If the question is "How do they put the M's on M&M candies," Mike's off to the factory. If the subject is cow tipping, he'll yank up his hip boots and head off for the pasture.

"The Straight Dope," a syndicated weekly column, has 2 million subscribers in 30 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada and just launched [a site] on America Online.

A&E is an entertainment network featuring the original series BIOGRAPHY, mysteries, and specials. The network's 24-hour-a-day schedule is available to 70 million households in the U.S. and Canada via more than 10,000 cable systems. Since A&E began in 1984, the network has received more CableACE Awards than any other basic network. A&E has been nominated for 13 1996 Emmy Awards, the most in its 12-year history. The network has also received four nominations for the Golden CableACE, cable's highest honor. The A&E website is located at .

Produced by Untamed Inc. in association with Chicago Reader Inc. for A&E Network.

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This page last modified Fri, May 23, 1997.