[Joe Cummings at WBBM #3]

Raw tape from the 1978 documentary "Overnight Man," which follows WBBM/Chicago radio news man Joe Cummings. Similarly enjoyable behind-the-scenes banter with Cummings in the WBBM studio.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with audio but static picture. Cummings and Weinberg are mid-conversation in the WBBM studio. Weinberg asks him not to say their names while they’re filming, or they’ll have to take it out.

00:22Copy video clip URL Clearer picture of Cummings seated at a desk in the studio with a microphone. Commercials can be heard in the background. Cummings has a cigarette, but wishes he could quit. Weinberg and Cumming’s banter dies down and the camera shifts to angle up at Cummings and the light he flips on to go on air.

01:34Copy video clip URL Cummings flips the switch and goes on air. He begins with the weather report, which he is reading from off camera somewhere. He says “flowers” instead of “flurries.” His facial expressions throughout are interesting.

03:16Copy video clip URL Cummings switches to the local news. The Israeli Minister of Justice was in Chicago to attend a dinner for the Illinois Secretary of State. Cummings switches to a soundbite of the Minister. While temporarily off air, Cummings banters a bit and gets ready for the next clip.

04:14Copy video clip URL Cummings goes back on air, finishes up the Israeli Minister story, and changes to a story about the Soviet military buildup, which also leads into a soundbite, requiring Cummings to go off air.

04:53Copy video clip URL Cummings goes back on air. Weinberg seems to be having camera issues, but then shoots people working on the controls through the window. Cummings finishes the military story and switches to one about three Chicago men who are missing since a United Airlines cargo plane crashed in the Utah mountains.

05:35Copy video clip URL Weinberg switches camera shots to a closeup of the on air button in front of Cummings. The tape had been shut off while he switches but Cummings is still in the middle of the plane crash story.

05:52Copy video clip URL Cummings talks about lawyer specialization from an ABA poll.

06:21Copy video clip URL The tape suddenly goes to static and then to black. Apparently it’s recording but it’s too dark. Weinberg walks into an office, the same one whose window he was filming through earlier. There is no audio until 6:48: it’s Cummings, still giving the news.

07:50Copy video clip URL Weinberg walks back into the studio as commercials play. He sits down behind Cummings, who banters a little before giving a live commercial for a chain of camera stores. In front of him, the clock on the wall reads about 1:15.

08:46Copy video clip URL Cummings goes back to the news, about three white teenagers from Wilkes County, Georgia, have been “taken into custody and given a statement concerning the fire destruction of four black churches.” Other topics, including Saudi oil prices, the Cairo peace negotiations, and a Swiss airliner crash investigation follow. Cummings then does station identification and identifies the contributors, including Weinberg as producer.

09:42Copy video clip URL Cummings talks about a special report, produced by Tom Weinberg, “on who is Joe Cummings? You’ve heard my voice. Now you’ll be able to see me, the pear-shaped Irishman.” Cummings pushed the off air button and an editorial takes the airwaves. While the editorial plays, Cummings banters about his pear shape and telling his wife he’s going on Weight Watchers after seeing Weinberg’s tape of him.

11:28Copy video clip URL Cummings goes back on air and introduces the sports tape, then goes off air again. Banter between Weinberg and Cummings continues, mainly about Cummings’ fans. This segues into how Cummings thinks Star Wars is a racist film.

12:50Copy video clip URL Cummings goes back on air and supplies some more sports scores.

14:25Copy video clip URL Cummings goes off air and banters about how the Bears beat the Giants 12-1 and other topics: “You know, I never listen to myself. I keep this headset on so I can hear the engineer when he tells me when I goof.”

15:22Copy video clip URL Cummings goes back on air and corrects the Bears-Giants score, which was actually 12-9. He seems to have said the other score to get callers, but no one called. The program goes to commercials, and Cummings banters and jokes about nothing in particular. The camera has technical problems for a moment but the audio continues.

18:06Copy video clip URL Cummings: “Let’s see if Santa Claus is still talking about Ireland.” As the commercials change to a tape from Dateline America, Cummings speaks on the phone to “Santa.”

19:21Copy video clip URL Cummings hangs up. He and Weinberg wait for the Dateline tape to end. Cummings: “Notice how I always find out how long a piece runs before I get into it.”

20:26Copy video clip URL Cummings goes back on air to give a commercial about smoke detectors, then gives another weather report.

22:17Copy video clip URL Cummings goes off air and starts packing up.

22:36Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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