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Series / Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer

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Confused about the cosmos?
Can't tell a planet from a star?
Then give us just five minutes
And we'll show you what they are.

Greetings, greetings, fellow tropers! Let me show you this trope description!

Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer is a five-minute Chroma Key program produced for PBS by Miami's WPBT. From the show's humble beginning in 1976 until his untimely death in October 2010, the eccentric Jack Horkheimer taught and entertained even casual astronomy enthusiasts about where and when to find specific constellations, planets, and eclipses, along with scientific & historical information about these events. It would usually air five minutes before midnight on most PBS stations, when they would sign off, which is just perfect for those who wish to see the stars for themselves.


Up until 1997, the show was known as Jack Horkheimer: Star Hustler, which was even reflected in the opening (Some people hustle pool/Some people hustle cars/But have you ever heard about/The man who hustles stars?). With the rise of the Internet and search engines, people — particularly children — were frequently getting pornographic results with the name, often from Hustler Magazine. This forced a name change.

Following Horkheimer's death, the program's name was changed to simply Star Gazer, with the host being Chris Trigg of the Miami Space Museum, who occasionally guest hosted during the end of Jack's tenure. Not long afterwards, the program became Star Gazers, with a group of three hosts: Dean Regasnote , James Albury note  and (occasionally) Marlene Hidalgonote .


This show contains examples of:

  • Catchphrase: Jack has spawned many of these, the most recognizable being his opening ("Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers!") and closing lines ("Keep looking up!").
  • Chroma Key: The entire show is done like this, adding to its Narm Charm.
  • Dualvertisement: Horkheimer once did a Cartoon Network spot promoting their Fridays block in his signature style, chroma key and all.
  • Early Installment Weirdness / Growing the Beard: From 1976-84, Jack's hosting style was more serious, like a documentary. When the show went national in '85, the executive producer told him to appeal to a general audience, not just astronomers, hence the wildly enthusiastic style most viewers know him for today.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: The reason for the name change, since "hustler" wasn't just sexual in nature.
  • Advertisement:
  • Long Runner: Airing since 1976.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In the early 1990s, this is how Jack Horkheimer usually said his Signing Off Catchphrase ("Keep...looking...up!")
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Isao Tomita's electronic rendition of Claude Debussy's "Arabesque No. 1" was the theme song, up until the program's becoming Star Gazers in October 2011.

Keep looking up!


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