PUTTIN' ON THE HITS" (Saturdays at 6 p.m. on Channel 11) is asyndicated half-hour show that discovers new talent whose only talent is lip-synch. It presents six great lip-synchers every week. The show "that makes you the star you always wanted to be" is hosted by Allen Fawcett, a man who smiles all the time, even when he talks (his smile must be lip-synched). The sort of show you accidentally see while you're waiting to catch Siskel & Ebert's movie previews, it consists of people who dress up and lip-synch to songs by famous artists. And when they rate them at the end, one of the categories is "originality."
Richard Brown, formerly of Seaford, spent the first two weeks of July in Universal City, having earned an audition for "Puttin' on the Hits." Unlike the 40,000 Madonnas and Princes and Michael Jacksons who showed up at the Sunrise Mall (in Massapequa) Regional Auditions, Brown and his two friends did their rendition of Perry Como's "Papa Loves Mambo." It was the most inspired interpretation of Como since Eugene Levy did Como in concert on "SCTV." That was the ultimate in laid-back. Levy was so laid back he fell asleep on a chaise lounge on stage during the song.
"The creator of the show, Chris Bearde, gave us a little pep rally before each taping. It was frightening to witness the frenzied mass as Bearde whipped them up. He's a hero to me because of his creation of `The Gong Show.' But I still think he has to get rid of that Aussie accent. During rehearsal I had a line that cracked Bearde up. When Rack saw Bearde laughing, then he started laughing, too. It was surprising. Because Rack kept stressing how straight we were supposed to be when Fawcett asks us what we were going to do with the prize money."