Q: What are the four cities that make up the Quad Cities?
A: Technically it’s: Davenport IA, Rock Island IL, Moline IL, and East Moline IL... but there is also Bettendorf IA horning in on the fun, so it’s actually five cities.
Q: Was “Live on Tape” a cable access show?
A: Hell no.  Live on Tape was a locally produce TV series broadcast from KLJB-TV in Davenport, IA.  When KLJB signed on the air in 1985 it was an independent UHF station but KLJB became a FOX station in 1987 (the same year that “Live on Tape” premiered).
Q: But it looks like a cable access show.
A: Shut up.  Now you’re just being mean.  But you’re right... the show was a no-budget one-man (me) operation for the most part.  I did get TREMENDOUS help and support from friends who appeared on the show, and the other producers and engineers at KLJB, but I was the only full-time paid person working the series.  Scripts were written in a day, then shot in the studio in one morning, I would pick up location stuff the next day or two then I’d lock myself up and edit it all together to get it on the air on Saturday night.  And then it would all started again the next day, writing, shooting, editing...
Q: How many episodes of Live on Tape were produced?
A: 56 half hours- not including a special 3-D Day event that Live on Tape hosted.
Q: How long was “Live on Tape” on the air?
A: Just about three years.  The show was in production from 1987 to late 1989-- then “Live on Tape” continued to air in re-runs on Saturdays at Midnight early into 1990.
Q: Why was “Live on Tape” cancelled?
A: I killed a man and had to flee the country.   Actually, an employee working at KLJB (in a different department from my own) had been fired and their position needed to be filled in a hurry, and this firing happened in the same department where I used to work at the station, so I was the logical choice to fill in until a replacement could be found.  In the meantime “Live on Tape” continued to air in re-runs for about three weeks pending my return.  During that time, Gary Brandt (the General Manager of the station) felt that “Live on Tape” had had a great run, but that my talents could be better utilized on the commercial side; meaning I could make more money for the station writing and producing commercials for KLJB.  So I got promoted and put in charge of the commercials being produced at the station.  It was a mixed blessing for me, I felt like “Live on Tape” was really going well,  I LOVED doing the show--- however, I was exhausted and ready for a break.  Getting a raise and more normal work hours was nice though. We were able to do one final episode, which is still one of my favorites--- and that last episode was written and produced in less than five days.
Q: Are the people involved with the show still in the Quad Cities?
A: Most still live either in the Quad Cities or nearby and are active in local theatre and improv.  But a few (such as myself) have moved away due to family and employment needs.
Q: July 4th, 2007 was the 20th anniversary, did you think about a reunion show?
A: I thought about it.  However, KLJB is a different station than it was back when I was doing LoT, and it’s also under new management. So producing something through their studios was unlikely.  We’ve thought about doing something on our own and putting it up on the web or releasing it on DVD. Time permitting I’d like to do something again with E.J. and the old characters.
Q: How’d you get the job?
A: Back in 1987 I was just out of college and had been working at KLJB for about a year and a half. During this time I’d been doing a lot of local theatre.  Gary Brandt, KLJB’s General Manager at the time, wanted to start up a local late-night show.  Something using local talent that was  produced at the station.  He wanted the show to be a mock news format of some sort, to be cut-in during the breaks of bad horror and sci-fi films, but he did not want it to be a “horror movie host” type of thing.  I was the new guy at the station and Mr. Brandt noticed that I was active in theatre and he felt like I was the one to do it.  So, it was blind, stupid, luck that got me the gig.  Not only was it was the best thing that ever happened to me, but it was the best job and the most fun I’ve ever had.
Q: What do you do now?
A: I live in Los Angeles working as a writer and producer in animation.  I’ve worked for Warner Brothers, Disney, Nickelodeon, Universal, MGM, and several other studios.  Some of the shows I’ve written for include: Kim Possible, Dave the Barbarian, and Earthworm Jim.  Most recently I was the executive producer on Get Ed for Jetix/Disney, and just completed the final (fourth) season of Kim Possible.
Q: Why hasn’t anyone ever killed you?
A: Many have tried.  But I move a lot.
These are some of the questions that are continually asked---
Q: Where the heck are the Quad Cities?
A: On the border of Iowa and Illinois, where the Mississippi River runs east to west... seriously.
Copyright © 1987, 2006 Thomas Hart