“Tracy! are you OK?”

WLS scooter crashI heard about this when it happened a couple years ago, and never thought I’d get the chance to see it, but thanks to the dual magic of Tivo and Youtube, here it is: With mere seconds of instruction and an unbuckled half-helmet, WLS Channel 7 meteorologist Tracy Butler crashes a Vespa, during a PR piece with Vespa of Chicago’s Sam Tomaino. God bless you, Vespaway. Now if only I could find Les Nessman’s Vespa crash on WKRP…

6 thoughts on ““Tracy! are you OK?””

  1. Moe says Tamryn Hall did the same thing a few years ago, maybe that’s what I was thinking of, though I’m pretty sure this one is a few years old, too. How many TV newspeople have to crash a Vespa in one market before they stop the madness?

  2. That was awesome. She played it off perfectly!

    The same thing happened when I let that 14 y/o w/crabs drive us home from the Red Dragon in Minneapolis on my Aero80. Diz-ass-ter. Luckily I fell off the back before she crashed (and there was no camera).

  3. http://archer2000.tripod.com/wkrp/secondseason.html

    Episode 0028
    “Bad Risk”
    Written by Gene Fournier and Tom Joachim
    Directed by Will MacKenzie

    “…Herb sells Les a ton of insurance — including insurance on a boat that Herb also sold to Les. When the newsman crashes his mobile news scooter through the front window of a luck-less British couple, all Herb cares about is finding out whether Les mailed in the policy…”

    Should be somewhere on netflix or something. (Couldn’t find it on Blockbuster.com).

  4. Nice work, Lalo!

    WKRP allegedly hasn’t come out on DVD because the music licensing would be too expensive (especially considering the low demand for it), the original series had contemporary songs and to use the real songs would be too expensive. I guess the reruns are partially edited and partially overdubbed to cut out the music, and the VHS version only had 8 episodes that were edited heavily. I saw that episode in reruns a couple years ago, but it was before I had Tivo. I don’t think it actually shows Les on his Vespa. IIRC, they hear about his crash on the news (a competing station?) and a while later, Les comes back to the studio, clothes torn up and helmet cracked, I think he’s carrying a Vespa headset or mirror or something.

    I think there’s another episode that actually had footage of him riding his scooter over one of Cincinnati’s many bridges, probably Chromekeyed or whatever. I just vaguely remember seeing that a long time ago.

    For whatever reason, whether they say “Vespa” by name or not, I’ve always had it in my head that he rode a Vespa. I’d love to find the proof, though. I grew up in Cincinnati while that show was originally on, and WKRP, the Afghan Whigs, and James Brown are pretty much the only three things we had to brag about until the XYLs came along. (naming the club “ten-year-lates” affirms that they have the same love-hate relationship with Cincinnati that I do)

  5. I’ve got a clip from The King of Queens where Doug Heffernan delivers chinese food on a Vespa.

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