"The real credit for starting The Old Sourdough and Wachikanoka show should rest solely with Andy Moore. He had originally been performing as The Old Sourdough on KEMO before I even came aboard. Andy based The Old Sourdough on a character on a children's television show he'd seen, and he had been performing solo for a couple of months (with some "guest stars"). Initially, I had come on the show as "The Lavender Kid", a camp stereotype gay cowboy, and another time as a stereotype Mexican character (whom we discarded due to pressure from the station management). Andy had requested a permanent co-host for the show, since the weekly grind of hosting the show solo was becoming a burden. Since we had theatrical experience working together (more on that in a bit), Andy requested that I be allowed to join him as his sidekick, Chief Wachikanoka. We chose the American Indian character partly because American Indians were then much in the news: a group of American Indians had, within the previous few years, settled on Alcatraz Island for 18 months starting in 1969. This was big news, especially considering our shows were filmed at KEMO studios in San Francisco, and the character Wachikanoka was our tongue-in-cheek reference to that recent bit of history."
"I selected the name Wachikanoka to honor the semi-famous American Indian snake handler Wachikanoka, who had made quite a name for himself with his public appearances, including one instance where, as a publicity stunt, he was buried in a pit with a great number of poisonous snakes. He emerged unscathed a day or so later. I had heard that the real Wachikanoka died several years later, when, as he was leaving a lady friend's house, her husband arrived home early and shot him dead. Of course, this is all hearsay; stories change and details mutate as time passes by."
"Andy had asked that I be allowed to join him on The Old Sourdough show since we'd shown before that we could work well together, playing off each other's character while improvising. We first realized we worked well as a team when we were both in a local theater production of "My Sister Eileen" (or something like that). Andy at the time only infrequently worked on the stage (he spent more of his time working behind the scenes) and I were on stage, and our stage manager missed a cue and forgot to play the "telephone ring" sound we were supposed to react to. We paused briefly, then, when it became clear that the ring wasn't going to happen, we proceeded to improvise our lines. My character was an airline pilot, and my costume was a traditional airline pilot uniform: blue jacket, wings on the left chest, stripes on the sleeve, and so on. Andy started the improvisational ball rolling with "So, you're an airline pilot?" I answered back that I was, and he started to ask questions about the type of plane I flew. I picked up his cue and we started a dialog about how you could tell the pilots who flew large planes from those who flew smaller planes by their clothing; a large plane required a full, professional uniform, while one could, conceivably, fly a small plane in nothing but shorts and sandals. We kept this up for almost 5 minutes, the audience most likely none the wiser, while the rest of the cast on stage stood with "owl eyes", wondering where this would lead next. Finally, I'd had enough; I broke character for a moment, and directed a not-so-quiet whisper to our stage manager (who had given up flipping through his copy of the script trying to find where the heck we were): "Would you please make the phone ring?" I immediately slipped back into character, and told Andy's character "I'll bet the phone rings in the next minute, and I'll bet it's for you". Andy didn't hesitate for a moment, and took the bet. The phone rang almost immediately after that, and the play continued, more or less as written. "
"Since that play, Andy and I discovered that we possessed a rare quality; to stay in character during improvisation, and we could both be pretty funny while we did it. Since the OS&W shows were not scripted, we relied heavily on our skills to improvise and "feed off each other". Also, despite the fact that we were friends off-camera, we seldom if ever discussed our characters or lines on the show with each other. What the audience saw was pure improvisation."