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Thread: tv channel American XXXtasy

  1. #31
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    Get ready for a long first post!

    I have lots of fond adolescent memories of American Extasy/Exxxtasy! I got my first exposure to it shortly after my folks bought a big dish for our Christmas 1984 present! Of course, the first thing we sought out was the Playboy Channel, but a careful perusal of Satellite Orbit revealed something far "better" in the ensuing months! So, my first viewings of the channel were likely in early 1985.

    Fortunately (for me), my parents spent a lot of evenings out visiting friends, often really late, and I was old enough that they trusted me at home by myself, so I had many nights to watch this stuff!

    I remember the theme well, to this day, something you could whistle
    I know everyone's talking about "whistle" music. If you mean a tune you could whistle to, I understand. I certainly don't remember a theme with any whistling in it, though. The theme I remember (from circa 1985-86) was played as "between-show" bumpers, about 10-15 seconds in length. It was predominatly saxophone, with drums and guitar/bass in the background. There were several very brief clips played underneath (I remember a soapy derierre as one of them). I think the last shot was a close-up of a woman's lips (either licking her lips or speaking), then the frame froze, and "American Extasy" (with the single "X" really large) zooming onto the still frame). They continued to use this on their softcore fare when they split the channel's content into soft/hard.

    The network later became The Spice Channel
    Not exactly. When American Exxtasy went 100% hardcore, they spun off a second channel, called Spice. Think this was around 1989 or so?

    I used to watch AXXX in my middle-school days when my parents would go out for the night to bowling or whatever. Unfortunately they were always home by like 10 or so so I never got to see the fully uncut stuff
    As someone else said, when the channel first began, it was softcore only, and started late (10 or 11pm, as I recall). When they added the XXX subscription/scrambled content, they moved the softcore stuff back to 8pm. In fact, they started "preview" footage as early as 6 or 7pm by 1986 (it wasn't actual trailers, but a full softcore scene from a movie, with an on-screen call telling you to subscribe to see the "uncut" version).

    they edited out penetration shots when they aired things earlier in the day.
    True, but occasionally, they (accidentally?) let the occasional unedited bit of oral sex slip through. I remember seeing some fellatio ever time I saw Wild Dallas Honey (at least twice, probably more than that), and I certainly recall some uncensored cunnilingus between Richard Pacheco and Georgina Spelvin in The Dancers, another one I remember seeing more than once. As someone else said, they always edited out the pop shots on the movied, but you could occasionally see them in on-channel commercials (I remember seeing a Seka facial in a commercial for some video tapes, and the film footage was "slow cranked", best I remember). I think this was one of the first things I recall seeing on the channel, by the way.

    I can seem to recall several close calls as my parents pulled into the driveway and I had to hurry up and change the satellite I was watching...So I'd stand by the window, watching edited porn with one eye and the driveway with the other
    Me too! Luckily, there was a tall hill out in front of house that they had to come down before they got anywhere near the house, so with it after dark, I could always see headlights at the top of the hill (or the glow of them even before), so I had plenty of time to lower the dish to a "safe" bird (such as F4 or G1). This was especially critical if watching the Playboy Channel, since the dish was almost pointing straight up for that station. If I wasn't on my game and they were too close, I would move the dish to a very nearby bird like Anik A1, which was where the CBC feeds were (I seem to recall American Extasy's bird at the time was D4...)

    So were there any interview segments/shows in between films with porn stars of that era?
    Not really an interview, but when they rolled out their subscription service, I remember Veronica Hart recoding a commercial for them, telling about her exciting new movie and that you could see it unedited on American Exxxtasy. I think it ended a lot like the old American Express commercials, with a closeup of a membership card, and the name "Veronica Hart" appearing on it as if from an invisible typewriter.

    In-between shows, I remember many different types of commercials, including trailers for upcoming "new" movies (Dames is one I specifically remember), ads for uncensored pre-recorded tapes you could buy by mail order, and later, mostly ads for their very costly subscription service (seem to remember either 3 or 6 month plans were $250-300!). Plus, you had to buy the descrambler, too, and the original descrambler was a sorf of "proprietary" one. Later, they switched to the "industry standard" M/A Com VideoCipher II, after HBO, Showtime, et. al. started scrambling their signals. I think users of the "old" equipment had to even pay to cross-grade to the new descrambler.

    The channel also had at least two on-air personalities at the time, who did most of their "house" ads. The first one was "Ginger", who to me looked kind of like a hot older woman. She was probably in her late 30s or so. Kind of reminded me of a cross between Tracey Adams and Porsche Lynn. Wonder who she really was and whether she had any ties to the industry, or appeared in any movies?

    The other one was "The Dish Guy" (I think), who wore a hat and sometimes did commericals with Ginger, and later, flew solo (I think she disappeared soon after the duo commercials). I think they brought him out when they started switching descramblers, etc. He was also used to hawk their new Home Dish Only service that was supposed to be a rival to HBO. I don't think that channel ever really got off the ground, though.

    Before that channel went hardcore, I remember there was another hardcore satellite channel, called F.U.N. (the Fantasy Unrestricted Network). I don't think they were around too long, and they used a different scrambling system, so I couldn't watch it too clearly (I still tried though!).
    Another channel I remember from the era that had "soft" late night programming was a service called SelecTV. After 11pm (I think), their programming switched to softcore porn movied in a block titled "Adult Theatre." Also of note, SelecTV was on the same bird as Extasy, and unlike HBO and Showtime, they aired R-rated movies througout the daytime. I remember coming home from school and seeing Porky's 3 and Reckless around 3:30 Eastern. Also, after HBO and Showtime scrambled, SelecTV was still in the clear (at least, as long as our dish continued to function at that time).

    I also remember another unscrambled soft X late night channel around 85 or so, but only ever caught it the once. Don't think it lasted long. I belive it was on one of the "middle" birds (like Extasy) but not the same one.

    I think it used to always say American XXXtasy in the bottom right corner, or did that come and go?
    The station ID used to just come and go. I think it was like old "local station" IDs, where it only came on for a few seconds each hour.

    remember a few specifically that I would love to know the names of but probably never will.
    I still remember the names of a lot of the movies I saw some (or all) of on the "soft" version of the channel. Titles included Co-Ed Fever, Sex Star, The Dancers, Wild Dallas Honey, Flash!, Summer Camp Girls, Please, Mr. Postman, Virginia, High School Memories, Jack-n-Jill 2, Sex Drive, Bordello, Between the Sheets and The Ecstasy Girls. Everything I saw on the "soft" channel in '85-'86 was "shot on film" stuff, and most of the movies seemed to be from 1979 or 1981. I also remember seeing the name "Herschel Savage" in the credits a lot!


    Our dish died in the summer of '86 and after most of the stations scrambling, and the "modded"/bootleg receivers being so costly, my dad felt he got "burnt" and didn't have it repaired until several years later, when he saw that they were still using the same descramblng technology. I think he got it fixed around 1989 or 1990 (the year before American Exxxtasy were forced to cease broadcasting). During this time, I was only able to record a couple of the unedited flicks, which I did over the holidays, as I was away at school the rest of the year. Flicks I recorded were Hot Legs, 2002: a Sex Odyessy, The Younger the Better and Loose Lifestyles. Those last three I never got "complete", as my folks came back home before I could finish (really frustrating on Younger the Better, as it was on the last scene, and that's a flick that's no longer distributed!

    I still have my tape from '89-'90 with the complete Hot Legs on it (and a between-movie thing called "Hot Shorts" (which is, I think, just a clip from another movie), so I do have an artefact from the channel, though sadly, I don't have any footage from the channel's more nostalgic early days (including that "theme music bumper").

    From memory: Speaking of American Exxxtasy being forced off the air, no matter what your feelings on the "social value" of the programming, the channel got a really raw deal. For those who remember, some kids were caught selling videotapes at school of stuff they taped off-air from American Exxxtasy. The outraged parents decided to sue Home Dish Only (AmExxx's parent company name) and, somehow, won. What the defense never brought up (or the judge ignored) is just how the kids got the tapes anyway. This meant that either their parents were subscribers, and thus, hypocrites, or they had an illegal descrambler and were engaging in criminal activity themselves. Also, whichever it was, it was, I would think, the parents' responsibility to have blocked out the channel in the first place. American Exxxtasy was taken down, and paying subscribers had to make do with their remaning months being filled by the Spice channel until it, too, had to come down from the air. The court case was fought in Georgia, so in the brief time Spice continued to function, they wouldn't allow any subscriptions to come from that state.
    Last edited by AndyM; 02-11-2008 at 10:10 AM.

  2. #32
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    ha ha cool! Thanks for the info, bro.

  3. #33
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    With regards to SelectTV, in most areas it was an "over the air subscription service". It aired on a regular TV channel (In Los Angeles, it was Channel 22 and competed with ON-TV, which aired on Channel 52 and the Z-Channel. There is a good documentary on DVD about the Z-Channel, which did not show porn. In San Francisco, SelectTV aired on Channel 26.) and it aired during the evening hours after 7 PM. The LA SelectTV did show live sports during the end of its run (ON-TV showed live sports for much of its run and it was a big selling point.) The edited XXX fare usually aired after 11 PM. (The San Francisco SelectTV did not air sports, & it aired the adult fare after 11 PM as well).
    "The masses are a**es"

  4. #34
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    I spotted one of the old VideoCipher II / "Dish Guy" ads from American Exxxtasy on YouTube the other day. For those waxing nostalgic, it's worth checking out!

  5. #35
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    Here's the link, incidentally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2-R7bTPsC4

    Fascinating ad. Presumably that's the "whistling" that some people remembered? And what the hell is that small clip that scoots across the screen at the end of the spot, with the woman laughing maniacally and cracking that lever?!

  6. #36
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    I remembering seeing SORCERER, EXTERMINATOR 2, on SelectTV, which was cool!

  7. #37
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Boyer
    Here's the link, incidentally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2-R7bTPsC4

    Fascinating ad. Presumably that's the "whistling" that some people remembered? And what the hell is that small clip that scoots across the screen at the end of the spot, with the woman laughing maniacally and cracking that lever?!
    You heard the fellow! That was sexy!

    There's nothing saucier than, um, spinning a bingo wheel and cackling.

  8. #38
    A Devil in God's Country James Erickke's Avatar
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    My brother used to have this channel back in the day. So who can identify the 4 movie stills they show in that one part of the vid?

  9. #39
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    On a peripherally related topic, I heard a talk-radio host talking today about "SuperTV," which was a scrambled over-the-air service in the early 80s in the Washington-Baltimore area (see the Wikipedia entry) which showed (softcore) adult features in addition to uncut recent Hollywood films (sort of like a proto-Cinemax).

  10. #40
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    yep, that is the whistling I remember. In that clip when they show the four movies, who is the woman in the top left?

  11. #41
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd J
    yep, that is the whistling I remember. In that clip when they show the four movies, who is the woman in the top left?
    That's Brigitte Monet. Really beautiful actress, not the most dynamic performer though.

  12. #42
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    I think the "cackling" woman at the end is the "Ginger" character I mentioned above (the channel's main on-air personality until the "Dish Guy" came along).

  13. #43
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    There is another American Extasy ad on YouTube here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0tRjr6uImXs

    It features the "Ginger" character in overals with no top on underneath (you don't quite get to see any nipple though, dang it!). Anybody know who she is? Is she a porn star, or some anonymous someone?

    Incidentally, the music being played at the end of the ad is the funky "station ID bumper" music (with saxophone and other music) that I mention in post #31.

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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Tomkins View Post
    R.I.P., OnTV.
    oh yes.. I had Microwave tv. showing my age i guess.

    OnTV Rocked. free HBO.
    Ever heard of 'Irreversable'? My personal favorite movie.

  15. #45
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    Re: tv channel American XXXtasy

    I do recall ON TV (in LA) actually showing edited versions of XXX films, like Debbie Does Dallas & Neon Nights. (The Raincoat Theater DVD versions actually have those versions on the DVD as bonuses.)
    "The masses are a**es"

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