They don’t make TV like they used to, as evidenced by a Don Lane film clip that resurfaced ahead of the AFL grand final.
The clip includes a host of Australian celebrities, including Don Lane, Bert Newton, Pete Smith and Collette Mann, celebrating Australian Rules to the tune of You Gotta Be a Football Hero.
In the background, the famous Tony Bartuccio Dancers strut in bikinis in the colors of the jerseys of all the VFL clubs of the time.
The clip is believed to have been used on the Don Lane Show around 1981.
The Don Lane Show was a popular Australian television talk show broadcast twice a week on the Nine Network, featuring a mix of celebrity interviews, comedy sketches and musical performances hosted by American-born Lane from 1975 to 1983.
Don Lane and the Tony Bartuccio Dancers perform the American classic You Gotta Be a Football Hero to celebrate the AFL
The Don Lane Show’s all-star cast includes legends of the Australian silver screen like Bert Newton and Collette Mann.
You Gotta Be a Football Hero, written by Al Sherman, Buddy Fields and Al Lewis in 1933, is one of the most frequently recorded and performed anthems in American football history.
His cultural impact extends beyond sports, as he was featured in a 1935 Popeye the Sailor cartoon and in various films such as The Longest Yard (1974), The Cat in the Hat (2003), and Revenge of the Nerds (1984).
Lane, known as “Lanky Yanky”, was best known for his work in Australia, including hosting The Don Lane Show and he also had a successful career performing comedy in nightclubs in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vega.
Bert Newton was an award-winning Australian entertainer and media personality, whose seven-decade career spanned radio, television, film and theatre, with notable roles on In Melbourne Tonight and The Don Lane Show, which he earned four Gold Logie awards and one place. in the Logie Hall of Fame.
Collette Mann is a versatile Australian actress, singer, television and radio presenter, choreographer, author and writer known for her roles in Prisoner (1979), The Dish (2000) and Neighbors (1985) and for her work as a personality media.
Newton was a regular on the Don Lane Show, which propelled him to a huge career in television.
Mann’s performances on The Don Lane Show were a springboard to his career in the iconic Australian classic Prisoner.
Pete Smith, renowned for his distinctive voice, has had a diverse career on Australian television and radio, with roles ranging from host of ABC TV’s Sports View to National Nine newsreader, and notably as an on-camera host for numerous specials, including The Don Lane Show.
The Tony Bartuccio Dancers were a renowned dance group known for their performances in various shows and films, including Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1994), The Don Lane Show (1975), and the choreographies of Tony Bartuccio, who served as resident choreographer and creator. Director of the Nine Network.
While the song would have been loved by fans of Lane, Newton and Mann at the time, current AFL fans were quick to point out how horribly it had aged.
“Wow! To think that anyone thought this would be considered good TV!’ a position.
“Come to think of it, this particular style was already outdated then, let alone 40 years later,” said another.
American-born Lane forged an outstanding career in Australia and won numerous awards during his time on screen and was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame in 2003.
Bert Newton was a big screen star for seven decades before his death in 2021
“An essential visit a lifetime ago,” added another.
But for many others, it took them back to another era of television, when Lane ruled the airwaves.
“This is way ahead of what we’ve endured as ‘entertainment’ in recent years,” one fan posted.
“This was also normal weekday viewing,” posted another.
‘Mr. Show Biz, Don Lane. If your song, dance number, or interview fails, it won’t be because he didn’t do everything he could to get it across. And a really nice person (or so I heard). How those days have passed.