Uncle Lou (Michael Nise)
Hall of Fame Counselor Uncle Lou was one of the great 1960s counselors who spawned the campers that are now behind the rebirth of SGF.
But how many old SGF-ers know that Uncle Lou...
"Dancin' on Air", the forerunner of "Dance Party USA", was created and produced - from 1981 to 1987 by Michael Nise and his father, Frank. The program was broadcast live to seven states on the East Coast. The Nises worked out of their 4,900 sf offices and studios located in Camden, NJ. The show's TV studio and broadcast facilities were always located in Philadelphia.
In 1985, Michael Nise began the process of syndicating "Dancin' on Air" on the West Coast. He met with little success at first. Many TV execs of the day rejected the opportunity saying that no one on the West Coast would be remotely interested in watching kids from Philadelphia dance. This was exactly the same objections TV execs gave to Dick Clark when he tried to bring American Bandstand to the west coast.
Taped live, and live-to-tape, it was then broadcast by USA Network to over 56 million household in all 50 United States, all US territories, parts of Canada, Mexico, Guam, and even Central America. It was on the air for over 1800 hours from its debut on April 12, 1986 to its final airing on June 27, 1992.
The creative and production work for "Dance Party USA" was done in the offices and studios that were owned by Nise's company located in Camden, NJ. The actual taping of the shows was done primarily on Saturdays at various studios located in Philadelphia, PA including E.J .Stuart, WPHL-TV Channel 17, and WPSG-TV Channel 57.
The program was often taped live on-location at Hershey Park, Great Adventure, NJ, Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, Ocean City and Wildwood, NJ, Dorney Park, Allentown, PA, Covington, VA, Mandan, ND and several cities in the Midwest and South. Thousands of fans showed up for each taping hoping for the chance to meet the regulars” and celebrities, and to dance on the show.
From 1986 to 1992, over 400,000 everyday kids danced on "Dance Party USA." Kids from Canada as well as from every state in the nation flew to Philadelphia to appear on "Dance Party USA." Fan letters and contest entries were postmarked from unexpected places such as Guam and the Virgin Islands.
Both "Dancin' on Air" and "Dance Party USA" jump-started the careers of hundreds of music artist onto the Billboard charts, many who had their very 1st TV appearances on "Dancin' on Air" or "Dance Party USA" including Madonna, Will Smith (Fresh Prince), Deborah “Debbie” Gibson, Jody Watley, The Jets, New Kids on the Block, Kelly Ripa and Ricky Martin.
Check out Uncle Lou at his OMNI 2000 website.
The Many Faces of Uncle Lou - Hall of Fame Counselor