An afternoon teen dance program that aired on Baltimore’s WJZ-TV from 1957 to 1964, the Buddy Deane Show was the inspiration for John Waters’ Hairspray (1988). Similar in format to American Bandstand, the Buddy Deane Show introduced Baltimore to the Madison, the mashed potato and the twist.
At one time, the Buddy Deane Show was the popular locally produced program in the nation. It was taken off the air near the height of its popularity because the station, owned by Westinghouse, did not want to integrate the show.
Hairspray was the last film of Divine, who died shortly after its premiere. It was adapted into a musical for the stage, which enjoyed a long and successful run on Broadway and returned to the big screen as Hairspray with John Travolta in a fat suit playing Divine’s part.
Like many live television programs of the era, the show was not recorded. Clips of the Buddy Deane Show are rare. According to Wikipedia, when Barry Levinson asked WJZ-TV for clips to use in Diner, he was told that no footage exists.
In December 2003, Maryland Public Television produced The Buddy Deane Scrapbook: Shake, Rattle & Roll, which featured clips from the show.
Buddy Deane died in 2003 at age 78.
Thanks to Maryland Public Television, these rare clips of the Buddy Deane Show are once again accessible to the public.