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America’s Top Ten

Knit wit“HELLO, I’M CASEY KASEM,” beamed the garishly-sweatered host at the start of this imported Billboard countdown-cum-cheap syndicated overnight time filler, standing behind a director’s chair, sweeping his arm and clenching his fist in a matey fashion. More famous in this country as the voice of Shaggy (“like, make with the club sandwich with an olive in the top, Scoob, while I hide from the janitor in the vampire costume!”), the Kase soon became a familiar face to post-pub revellers over here, although it’s said that AT10 was the pawn in a game for bored ITV regional schedulers, who attempted to place it at a different time every week. Music largely risible: the likes of Atlantic Starr, Starship, “…aaand from Shrews-burry, England, at number eight with China In Your Hand, it’s T’Pau!” There was always a dreary trivia question at the end too, usually sent in from poor fat sod watching the show on WXKZ or something. Sadly, the Kase’s all-time classic quote concerning U2 never made it to air: “The band members are Bono on vocals, lead guitarist Dave Evans, nicknamed The Edge, and – oh, this is bullshit. These guys are from England and who gives a shit?” You tell ’em, jumperboy.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Angryhead

    November 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    As is still the case, a lot of American Top Ten hits later become as equally successful in the UK. During a pre-internet / illegal download era, this show – however trashy and camp – did introduce Pop fans to singles that would attack the British charts months on down the line.

  2. Dave Nightingale

    November 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    “Until Next time,keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” πŸ™‚

  3. Glenn A

    November 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    It introduced the British public to New Kids on the Block a year before they became famous over here, but more importantly I discovered Guns n Roses through it.

  4. Angryhead

    November 15, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Re; Dave Nightingale…. Oh MAN !! I’d forgotten all about the “feet on the ground” line!!!!! Well remembered !!!!!!
    There were a number of slightly odd and creepy things about this show. I really used to scratch my head and wonder how a man who looked like he was creeping towards his sixties was allowed to front such a ‘Yoof’-orientated programme.

  5. Cindylover1969

    November 15, 2009 at 11:15 am

    This was actually the TV version of the radio show “America’s Top 40” (which the voice of Mark from G-Force – Casey did “Battle of the Planets” too – also hosted for years).

  6. Martin M

    November 15, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    β€œThe band members are Bono on vocals, lead guitarist Dave Evans, nicknamed The Edge, and – oh, this is bullshit. These guys are from England and who gives a shit?”

    The ‘Snuggles’ out-takes are pretty funny too….

  7. Adrian

    November 18, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I liked his sweaters..

  8. stellarossa

    November 18, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    A friend of mine who was *really* into AT10 claimed Kasem did that thing with his arm 43 times in one show.

  9. Richard Davies

    November 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    My Dad & Brother would often video this off ITV’s Nightime. Granada did start showing it on Saturday lunchtimes at one point.

    There were lots of songs I first heard/saw on AT10, as well as some oldies featured on the “#1 this week X years ago” slot.

    There were a few specials, such as one celebrating Michael Jackson’s 30th birthday & a few top 10’s of the most successful act in a certain style.

  10. Lee James Turnock

    May 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Fun fact – one of Johnny Depp’s inspirations for tackling the role of Ed Wood Jr in the film ‘Ed Wood’ was the estimable Mr Kasem. His characterisation also contained trace elements of Jack Haley as the Tin Man from ‘the Wizard of Oz’ and Ronald Reagan.

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