July 19, 1997: A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Atomic TV Debuts on Baltimore City Cable
Saturday, July 19, 1997
Baltimore City Cable, Channel 42

"ATOMIC TV - What the hey?"

“ATOMIC TV – What the hey?”

Mark your calendars, time travelers, for at 1 a.m on this day, the 200th day of the year 1997 in the Gregorian calendar, Atomic TV debuted on Baltimore City Cable Channel 42.


As Seen on TV: ATOMIC TV vidiots Scott Huffines (left) and Tom Warner (right).

Sensing the momentous, historic nature of this event, Atomic TV creators Tom Warner and Scott Huffines (then the owner of Atomic Books) put out the following flier to introduce Charm City idiot box  viewers to the cathode ray horrors that would soon hit their airwaves:

ATV Flyer0001

“It’s something to watch” indisputably proclaimed the other side of the flier, while the flip side program guide detailed the one-hour show’s content as follows:

“Coming on July 19 to Baltimore City Cable Channel 42, Saturday nights at 1 AM, ATOMIC TV will offer a decidedly adult mixed bag of sleaze, mayhem, rock ‘n’ roll, violence, freaks, humor and entertainment, mixing poorly conceived and ineptly shot shaky-cam live features with rare found-footage of such topics as civil defense, sex hygiene, post-War nuclear paranoia, 50s and 60s retro commercials (for products you don’t need and can’t have anyway!), eye-popping 60s go-go chicks shaking their shag-a-delic money-makers with uninhibited pre-AIDS abandon for the Austin Powers that be, 70s chop-socky kung-fu phooey, and educational scare films covering everything from poor posture (you’ll end up in a brace, ya spineless slackers!) to the red asphalt and charred flesh that results from poor highway driving (speed kills, joyriders!). All presented with the 10th generation, guerrilla TV production values of the likes previously seen only in VIDEODROME, terrorist hostage tapes, amateur sex vids and animal pornography!”

Atomic TV eventually petered out in early years of the New Millennium, with only occasional transmissions over the course of the post-9/11 era. But like September 11, 2001, July 19, 1997 will always be remembered as a day of tragedy and horror – a day that truly will forever live in infamy!

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