The Yellowjacket was a
twice-weekly five-minute feature on WBT's afternoon drive time with Bill Curry, sponsored by Zenith. About 1967, after the demise of the Belmont Tunnel series, several of us around the shop had withdrawal pains and came up with something closely akin to—but more outrageous than—ABC-TV's Batman (then the current rage), and heavily influenced by The Green Hornet, Stan Freberg, Peyton Place, Bob & Ray and National Lampoon.

Sound Vault | The Yellowjacket

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Promo Taping

In this cut, Rex Mundane (Bill Curry), the lead character of the drama, is recording a promo with the assistance of Sandy Claysoil (Jim Scancarelli), ace reporter of the Daily Clarion.

Play track 1.

Episode: Dry Cleaning Man

If it isn't one thing, it's another. Rex's leotards aren't back from the dry cleaners (the pressing machine was broken--oh, the iron-y of it all) and there's crime-fighting to be done. Just another exciting day in the Mundane household. Rex is, of course, played masterfully by Bill Curry. The hand-cupped-behind-the ear baritone of announcer Kelton B. Goodfellow belongs to Reno Bailey. Shirley's is the voice of Leslie Wright, who in real life was the secretary to WBTV Sales Manager Tom Cookerly. The name of the "actor" portraying the dry cleaning man is, fortunately, lost to the ages (unless he steps forward).

Play track 2

Episode: Jack Oakie Film Festival

No pun is let unturned as Rex and his confidant Calvin go to the Bijou Theater looking for clues as to the wherabouts of Mr. Big. We continue to dig through the archives to find who played Calvin. Production note: Listen to the background sounds in the movie theater. Unable to find an actual movie soundtrack, the producer used an old recording of the U. S. Senate's Army-McCarthy hearings. You may even be able to hear attorney Joseph Welch say, "Have you no shame, Senator?"

Play track 3.

The Yellowjacket Song

Secretary Candy Ferrell insisted she couldn't sing worth squat, but of course we paid no attention. What did she know? The intervening years have proven her right: she was awful! We don't remember who wrote the lyrics (probably Loonis McGlohon), but—for your reading pleasure—they're over on the right. Willie Nelson, if you're tuned in, take these lyrics with our blessing and make yourself another hit. And finally, our eternal gratitude to the Baja Marimba Band for flying to Charlotte, at their own expense, to record the track.

Play track 4.

The Back Story

He was mild-mannered Rex Mundane, a brickmaker by day, crime fighter by night. When the State Attorney General flashed the dreaded Yellowjacket signal on the back of the Mundane garage, Rex and his devoted spouse, Shirley, would don their leotards, crank up the Beige Beauty, their '37 Nash
(with the luggage carrier on the back), and race out to confront the current peril threatening the denizens of Centerville.

Other characters in this real-life drama were Calvin, Rex's semi-bright sidekick, and Warden Borden Gordon, of State Prison, and the many evildoers without whom there would have been no show: Mr. Demeanor, Lenny Lomax, Dr. Albatross, Mr. Shoehorn, Dr. Intern and the not-so-diminutive Mr. Big.

Song Lyrics

The Yellowjacket Song

(To the tune of "Cu cu ru cu cu Paloma")

He is Rex Mundane,
Goodness gained him fame,
Crime fighter.
Speeding through the nigh-igh-ight,
With Shirley.

Thirty-seven Nash,
With a padded dash,
Beige Beauty.
It will get him there-ere-ere,
With Shirley.

When the State Attorney General shines the dreaded Yellowjacket signal on the Mundane garage, it wakes up all us girls in the neighborhood. But I

don't mind. 'Cause it just means that my Yellowjacket is headin' out, movin' on, ridin' around.
Deep down in my heart I know he's protecting me and all the other girls in the neighborhood. I know he's making Centerville a safe and happy place
to live.
Everytime I see him my heart says "yes," but I realize I must control my teenage emotions, and I also realize that he has his own love...Shirley.

Villains by the score
Lurk outside his door.
They're eee-vil.
Hope he'll bait the tra-a-ap
With Shirley.

Yellowjacket man,
I'm your faithful fan.
My heee-ro.
But I'll have to share you
With Shirley.