A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Stress doesn’t really go with my outfit” (7/24)
“Instagram is down. Just describe your lunch to me” (7/24)
“My life is like a romantic comedy except there’s no romance and it’s just me laughing” (7/24)
“If you can’t tell a spoon from a ladle, then you’re fat!” (7/24)
“So you hate Facebook? Thanks for sharing that with me on Facebook” (7/24)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from August 14, 2013
“57 channels and nothing on” (television saying)

American singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen wrote the song “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” (1992), describing the lack of worthwhile programs on cable television. “500 channels and nothing on?” was cited in print in 1993.

However, the saying might have been popularized in the 1980s by Providence (RI) Journal television reviewer Mark Patinkin. “I believe that on most nights, cable TV means there are now 60 channels where there’s nothing on,” wrote Patinkin in March 1989. “8 pm: Pick up Cable Guide, study all 60 channels and decide there’s nothing on,” Patinkin wrote in June 1989. “"There’s nothing on. Sixty channels, and there’s nothing on,” Patinkin wrote in April 1990.


Wikipedia: Mark Patinkin
Mark Patinkin is an American author and nationally-syndicated columnist for the Providence Journal. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for international reporting, and he has won three New England Emmy awards for television commentaries. He is also the author of several books. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

30 March 1989, The Capital (Annapolis, MD), “At times, you’ve got to believe” by Mark Patinkin, pg. B2, col. 5:
I believe that on most nights, cable TV means there are now 60 channels where there’s nothing on.

7 June 1989, Providence (RI) Journal, “My TV habits may persuade Nielsen to flip to another business” by Mark Patinkin, pg. E1:
8 pm: Pick up Cable Guide, study all 60 channels and decide there’s nothing on. Turn on television anyway and start to flip randomly through the spectrum.

29 April 1990, Hutchinson (KS) News, “Click. Click. Click. The life of a TV watcher” by Mark Patinkin, pg. 10, col. 4:
“There’s nothing on. Sixty channels, and there’s nothing on. Now what do we do?”

Buffalo (NY) News
AROUND THE DIAL, AROUND THE BEND AND ‘INTO THE NIGHT’
RICK DEES’ TALK SHOW IS LARGELY USELESS, BUT HE HAS AT LEAST ONE
WINNING SEGMENT
Published on July 29, 1990
YOU KNOW how it goes—there’s absolutely nothing on TV, but you’re dialing aimlessly around anyway. All 40 cable channels are occupied by bilge, bad ballgames or something you’ve already seen.

19 November 1990, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “People,” pg. 38:
New material the Boss performed included a bluesy tribute to redheads such as Raitt and a spoof on cable TV: “I got 57 channels and nothing’s on.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Human touch
Author: Bruce Springsteen
Publisher: [S.l.] : Columbia, P 1992.
Edition/Format: Music : English
Contents:
Human touch ; Soul driver ; 57 channels (and nothing on)

OCLC WorldCat record
500 channels and nothing on? Americas’s superhighway to Communicopia
Author: W Phillips
Edition/Format: Article
Publication: ADMAP, 28, no. 7, Part 331 (1993): 7
Database: British Library Serials

OCLC WorldCat record
57 channels and nothing on
Author: Michael Lower; Adam Leaver
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Edition/Format: Article : EN
Publication: Information & Communications Technology Law, 12, no. 3 (2003): 247-262
Database: ArticleFirst
Other Databases: British Library Serials

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRadio/Television • Wednesday, August 14, 2013 • Permalink