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Jack Maybury, John Maybury, John Maybury Jnr, New Zealand show business, entertainers, entertainment, Rotorua Soundshell, Sydney Radio 2SM, Melbourne Radio 3KZ, Auckland Royal Easter Show, Auckland Newstalk 1ZB, Christchurch Radio 3ZB, Colgate Palmolive, Woolworths Supermarket Miracle Story
 

Name Drop Zone

Jon Zealando
I’ve worked with this remarkable New Zealander forever and always got big kicks out of it.   On a Timaru job we were actually sharing a bedroom so I got to hear the full post-mortem he goes through after every performance.  He was still telling me of the plans to alter this bit or that when exhausted I dropped off to sleep.  It didn’t matter, he was ready to talk it all over next morning at breakfast.  He’s a zealot.  He’s a fanatic. He is monumentally meticulous.   And often runs over time.

We were both working at a new Night Club at Manurewa and John was doing his fire-eating routine and a hundred other tricks when the manager called me to the side and said “get that bastard off the stage - he’s costing me a fortune” as the customers were so rapt in John’s act they weren’t refilling the drinks, the bar-take was a doing nose-dive. So I had to grab a mike and announce that was it - let’s hear it for Jon Zealando. He looked shocked, went a kind of pale colour and was still going through his patter as he loaded up his van for the night.

Nothing I could do would hurt him; I’ve blown darts into his back (he was supposed to be in a trance but the blood still flowed freely), I’ve swung a sledge-hammer to split a building block sitting on his chest while he was lying on a bed of nails.  I’ve slammed a car-boot on his fingers as he attempted an escape routine while trussed up like a Xmas turkey in the boot of a flash Ford car.  He should hate me really but I’ve still got a lot in common with Jon. Only thing - he’s inclined to drop his H’s.

 
Phil Shone
An Auckland icon. I never heard him live but know so many of the wonderful episodes that thrilled his 1ZB audience, nothing better than the brilliant wasp attack.  He was master at building up a situation and then scoring with a devastating final scene. The knock-out? The let-down? Call it what you like.

A star at the Easter Show over many years with his Talking Shop. His style so laid-back, his patter always engaging.  But you couldn’t hurry him.  If he was due to start at 11am and finish by 10 pm - he’d never get under way till midday - and when the Showground gates were due to close Phil would have a huge audience all to himself.

 
Peter Sinclair
No other announcer could cover the broad territory he did. Both on radio and television.  Pop music - love songs - quiz shows - Telethons - Happen Inn - he was the consummate compere. He just never made a mistake. That, along with the series of articles he wrote preceding his death from cancer showed an unbelievable honesty and humility.  Truly a remarkable man.

 
Merv Smith
The doyen of radio performers.  He was the quickest with a quip, the master of mime and a huge talent all round.  Now he’s even rounder.

 


Paul Holmes

Paul has more knockers than a row of chorus girls but look at what he’s done.  All these years on radio and television and he still comes up with a fresh approach.  And hangs in there. When you’re making so many decisions these days about controversial issues and take a punt to make a point you’re bound to annoy someone.  He’s no yes-man.

 
Paddy O’Donnell
The radio rogue of all time but how about the energy?  Paddy moved so fast - got several laps ahead of himself. We can all have lapses. OK?  If you’re a legend.


Lyndsay Yeo
A voice that really vibrated. Full of up and go and knew how to package the whole product over the airwaves and at the venue as well.

 
 

Kevin Black
Keeps on keeping on.  And when you’re cracking funnies every day sooner or later there’ll be an original.  I had the same Joke Book but not that gutsy sound.

 

Dick Weir

He’s as smooth as golden syrup over marshmallow and looks so clean. I saw him reading poetry by candlelight in a restaurant and thought he’d blow it.  But never - he’s a class act.

 
Martin Devlin
A total new breed. A skinny voice and a hundred mile an hour delivery. Had we aired some of his lines we’d have wound up behind bars.  With a VB in-hand and a DVD playing, guess it wouldn’t matter.

 

Barry Holland

Mr. Nice Guy. Can handle anything but prefers a jug.  Newsreader.  Sporting Guy.  Leads tours to exotic places.  I shared radio commercials with him for the Auckland Boat Show four years in a row. Next time we’ll try an outboard.

 
Winston McCarthy
Nobody gets the same pitch of excitement as old Winny. Got a flying start being with the Kiwi side.  I had one great tiff with him on the night the ‘53 All Black side was named when he proclaimed in the Midland bar that Kevin Stuart didn’t make the team because he didn’t have enough heart. Pat Creedy ex teammate of Kevin for Christchurch Marist sprang to his defence. But all Winston could say to Creedy was “I’m glad YOU didn’t make it (Pat was in contention as half-back) and I did (Mac was going as commentator again) but good luck to him. That error of judgment aside he made every rugby game he called come to life.


Peter Sellers 2ZB and 4ZB
What a memory this man had for so many different sports. Total recall. Just one major slip-up at Athletic Park on questioning the catering staff on the morning of a Test as to the number of pies being prepared for sale that day and hearing a quote of 24,000 Said “that’s a bloody lot of pies” His technician raced to his side and said “Peter you just said bloody on air” Peter’s response “Jesus I didn’t did I?”


Keith Quinn
Quinny has the touch well and truly.  He thinks like a Kiwi, talks from the heart - and throws no crap in the mix.  He reacts with enthusiasm to all that’s good in rugby, athletics and the world of sport.

 

Dave Clarkson / Reon Murtha / Keith Haub
Have to admit I’m no racing man but I do appreciate how much these guys have satisfied their listeners over so many years.  It’s a photo finish between the three of them because they all sounded the same to me.

 
Also Ran - Jack Thompson (The Toff - 3ZB circa 1952)
The Toff was a racing tipster and Sports announcer of long-standing.  He coughed a lot and even in the middle of reading results. He would casually leave the mike, walk to an open studio window, four paces away and have a big spit. ‘Toff - the Cough’ was his nickname.  He was also forgetful.  He’d read a whole day’s sports results one Saturday night. He’d read them well but they were from a week before.  The Toff was generous to everybody - he’d always bring in hot food for anyone on duty over Saturday breakfast.  But this was a Friday, Show Day in Christchurch and after winding up my time on air, I thanked the Toff for the beautiful sausages bacon and eggs we’d enjoyed together.  Being a Doolan who shouldn’t eat meat on a Friday I’d blown my sinful saga to the entire Catholic congregation. Watch out Hell, here I come!

 

Quizmaster’s Stories

When asked on Take the Stake to name the 9 provinces of Canada a woman contestant replied “I’ll name the whole ten. Your father asked me the same question three years ago.” She won five hundred pounds worth of prizes.

(I’d sourced the question from an almanac that was printed before 1949 when Newfoundland became the tenth province.  The Dad bit was a one in a million coincidence).

In ‘It’s on the Cards’ in 1962 the question to a young man was “Can you name the three Australians who have won the NZ Open Golf title between them over the past decade?  He said “yeah I’ll give it a go. “One Kel Nagle, Two Peter Thompson.” I interrupted, “that’s great to there. How about the third one - this is the toughie?”  “No trouble“he said “that’s the easy one - I caddied for him when he won it - Harry Berwick an amateur from NSW.” The crowd went mad and the man from Waipukurau won a Deep Freezer and one hundred and twenty pounds cash.

Running a ‘Triple Switch quiz’ with a bunch of Intermediate pupils at a Royal A&P Show in Wanganui, there were about 60 on stage to start and the idea was to whittle them down to a couple for a simple play-off.  You designate three zones on stage and the contestants opt for which one of the three equates to the right answer. The question?   “Which of these three countries do you connect with the Boxer rebellion: Australia, the USA or China? Of the 60 contestants 40 opted for Australia 19 for the USA and ONE all on his own for China - which was the correct answer. So a winner was found far too quickly but they’d all made their choice and that was that. I called the young fella up to the mike, told him about the prizes he’d won and said “be honest with me son, you guessed that answer that the Boxer Rebellion was connected to China? ’’ “No sir,” he said frank as you like “I used to learn boxing.”

On stage at the Easter Show in Auckland for a parcel of the sponsors fine products the question thrown to an amiable laid-back contestant, about 40 years of age was “on what special day of the year does the Sydney to Hobart Boat race start?   The answer required was Boxing Day of course. He hesitated a while and I accented the point again, “think carefully now, it’s a special day of the year and the race is from Sydney Harbour to Hobart?” “I know it I know it” he said “Arbour Day”

A young man about 22 yrs of age won a new car at the Wellington Winter Show by winning a major draw but under the rules he still had to answer a qualifying question.  I helped him along the way by holding the answer where he could read it; to do with the current cost of a Drivers Licence.  This was on a Sunday and when I asked him to come back to the show buildings the next day at lunchtime to collect the car and pose for a PR photo, he said he wouldn’t be allowed time-off from work.  When we said those conditions were on the reverse of his ticket and if he didn’t adhere to them he’d forfeit the prize.  He quickly changed his mind.

A dour Scot in Dunedin had won a Refrigerator and one hundred and eighty pounds but as we squared off backstage after the show he asked me to add exchange to the cheque!

 
Questions and Answers

Which month has 28 days?

All of them

What’s the highest award a man can win for bravery?

A Marriage License

Who played for the All Blacks and the Springboks at Athletic Park in 1956?

The Onslow Brass Band

What’s the nearest thing to silver?

The Lone Rangers arse

What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is at any time?

A widow

Why is Ireland the richest country in the world?

Its capital’s always Dublin

Who was the last man to box John L. Sullivan?

The Undertaker

What do you call an Ozzie with half a brain?

Gifted

 
Awards for Bravery

My two heroes have to be Sir Edmond Hillary and Colin Meads who both showed the ultimate guts to achieve greatness.  One other doesn’t quite fit that mould but man he was brave. Lex Kempton, a photographer, who was regularly on the job at the Easter Show in Auckland. Lex could sniff a party in a Wellington gale, loved a nip or two and was a great admirer of females especially the pretty variety. One in particular he took a fancy to was the wife of a knife-thrower from the USA. He recklessly pursued this very attractive lady every day of the Easter Show knowing full well the husband had the sharpest set of knives you’ve ever seen and was a dead-eye when it came to hitting a target.  During his act, the lady in question was attached to a rotating board and he’d dispatch each blade in a sequence that silhouetted her gorgeous body. Lex attended most sessions camera at the ready, hoping to get her in a dark room and see what developed. Each day on arriving at work my first enquiry was to do with Lexie our Lethario - has he arrived in yet?   Were any male body parts handed into lost property overnight?  Happy to say the season came to a close without any tragedy. The American couple flew out of Auckland and Lex shook off his melancholy in a matter of days, looking for conquests anew.

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John Maybury 2006
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