New Satire Brings Classic TV Characters Together in One Place

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Where do America's classic TV characters go when their shows are no longer on the air? To Cathode Ray's Bar & Grille, where they arrive at different times each night through its blue-tinted, glass front door. Cathode Ray's is a humorous satire of classic television and some of its best-loved and well-known characters.

With the 2010-11 Fall TV schedule making its debut, a humorous new satire explores what becomes of classic TV characters once they are no longer on the air, and presents what would happen if some of the most famous and beloved of those characters were to come together in one place.

“Cathode Ray’s,” a new parody from Gainesville, Fla.-based author Frank J. Diekmann, features the more than a half-century of cherished friends and mischievous villains who have filled America’s living rooms. The hilarious book is available for download at Barnes & Noble (, Sony ( and Smashwords (, where it can be quickly accessed in a variety of formats for e-Books and even as a PDF for readers who prefer to download to their PC.

In a joint where the cast of characters is a cast of characters, Bartender Archie Bunker has one, firm rule at Cathode Ray’s Bar & Grille: No televisions. Yet Cosmo Kramer and Ralph Kramden have a scheme to get rich quick and install “TV sets,” even if that means sneaking around below Archie’s always out-of-joint nose. But their plan soon goes astray, and faster than you can say “We’ll be right back after these messages,” cops and private eyes are investigating, super-heroes and super-models are debating, and Old West doctors and Korean War surgeons are offering prescriptions for the curious events suddenly taking place at Cathode Ray’s.

Yet as this satire brings to life, even though the game show hosts are physically incapable of not smiling, there’s a mysterious, dark rumor circulating at Ray’s about “cancellations.” Indeed, quicker than a mustache twist, Groucho Marx has apparently gone missing. Was he cancelled? Did Kramer and Kramden have anything to do with it? Why are J.R. Ewing and Blake Carrington offering competing rewards? Does Baretta’s cockatoo, Fred, know more than he’s letting on? And who is this crazy Nielsen family everyone seems to have heard of but no one has ever met?

Talk show host Phil Donahue sees an opportunity for big ratings inside Cathode Ray’s and, determined to get answers, stages an unintentionally hilarious, three-night trial during which Lassie proves to be the most rational member of the jury. Before the real Groucho Marx can please stand up and name that mystery, confusion and absurdity reign as characters from different places, different times and even different planets play their own roles.
It’s just another night at Cathode Ray’s.

About the Author: Newspaper reporter and frequent conference speaker Frank J. Diekmann has spent a lot of time in hotel rooms with a TV on in the background. Too much time. So much time he got to wondering about what happens to classic and beloved TV characters when they are no longer on the air. Now where do they go at night? To Cathode Ray’s Bar & Grill, of course. Mr. Diekmann can be contacted at cathoderaysbook(at)gmail(dot)com.

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CONTACT: Frank J. Diekmann,


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