Saturday, February 5, 2011

American Cultural Observation 331: RFD-TV’s Polka Fest

Now, I know I am a foreigner visiting foreign shores, but wow! I had no idea... While channel surfing tonight, I came across RFD-TV's Polka Fest and found that I could not move on to the next channel... On my TV screen were a gaggle of people hopping and skipping to real Polka music! Who knew it was so popular! A quick look on Google said that "The polka is a lively Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas."
I never really listened or watch Polka before and I found myself mesmerised. I racked my brain to where I first learned about Polka and remembered it was the movie Home Alone when Kevin's mom (played by Barbara Babcock) managed to hitch a ride with a man named Gus Polinski (John Candy) and his polka band, the Kenosha Kickers, who were driving to Milwaukee after their flight was canceled due to a blizzard.

I had to know more.. so, I turned to my trusty source, good ol' Wikipedia and found this gem!

One of the very first programs to be aired on RFD-TV was "The Big Joe Polka Show", a Polka and dance variety program hosted by Omaha resident Joseph "Big Joe" Siedlik, which continued to be popular among the network's estimated (approximately) 40-plus million available households until its final RFD-TV airing on 01 January 2011. In 2010, litigation commenced between RFD-TV and Polka Cassettes of Nebraska, the creators/producers of "The Big Joe Polka Show" involving several lawsuits and counter suits (mostly over a contractual dispute). RFD-TV contends they had an option to air the program until December 31, 2010, while Polka Cassettes of Nebraska contends that the show was being aired against their wishes, and after cessation of the effectiveness of the previous contract, which expired on December 31, 2009. In August 2010, a multi-million dollar "slander and defamation" suit was brought against Polka Cassettes of Nebraska by RFD-TV.[Source= PUBLIC RECORD:The Fourth Judicial District Court of Nebraska Clerk of Courts, date of inquiry Monday 30 August 2010 Douglas County, Nebraska]

The show was replaced by "The RFD-TV Polka Fest" on 05 January 2011, and airs during the same time schedule.

I might have to go find myself a Polka Fest to go to in person!


  1. Another casualty of a legal hassle. Big Joe was enjoyed by many in California.

  2. New episodes of "The Big Joe Show" can be seen on-line at . Additionally, the show is expected to be in syndication prior to the fall-2011 start of the 2011/2012 television season. Stay tuned to your local listings for times in your area.

  3. Nice post