TV": My favorite local infomercial used to be, hands
down, "The Baird & Warner Home Show" on CLTV, which
doesn't return to the Sunday morning schedule until Jan. 18. But
this locally produced effort, a gussied-up, 30-minute ad for Berland's
House of Tools in Lombard and Palatine, makes a strong play for
my affections in its holiday episode, "Tools Not Ties",
the first "Tool TV" I've seen. As "B&W"
does with other people's houses, "Tool TV" lets you
gawk at a variety of muscular power tools without ever leaving
your couch. If you've ever enjoyed two hours in a hardware store
with nothing in particular to buy, you'll understand the appeal.
The show's host and Tim Allen equivalent is "The Tool Man,"
Berland's president Dwight Sherman, a seemingly no-nonsense guy
who spends much of the episode in absurdist holiday headgear.
I'm not sure all those implements--routers and bandsaws and generators
and more--could be such splendid bargains as Sherman claims, but
I'm not planning to spend $1600 on a table saw, anyway. What makes
this more than just salesmanship is the work of area communications
executive Roger Bain, the show's writer, producer and musical
director. Bain keeps the writing bright and crafts a song for
more episodes. The new tune, produced in music-video style, echoes
the episode title, calling for the loved ones of area males to
gift them with items for the basement shop rather than the neck.
"Tool TV" airs tonight at 10 p.m. and almost every other
night through the end of the month on WJYS-Ch. 62.