The Daily Planet, 1976

'Cathouse' Puts Alex Bennett in the Doghouse

A "Cathouse for Dogs," a non-existent bordello for canines, has contributed to Alex Bennett's fall from infamy as producer of Screw's "Midnight Blue" Cable TV show and may have been the cause of his hasty departure from radio station WPLJ.

Millions of New Yorkers saw "Midnight Blue" footage of the so-called cathouse on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News, spreding Bennett's embarrassment citywide. Joey Skaggs, who claimed to be the proprietor of the cathouse, announced on April 1, April Fool's Day, that it was all a joke - a conceptual art piece put together to hoodwink the media and publicity seekers like Bennett.

When Bennet was fired from radio station WMCA, hundreds rallied to his side and demanded that he be rehired. But this time Bennett's departure from the airwaves was without fanfare. The program manager of WPLJ said that Bennett's night-time show was dropped from the schedule "Because it didn't fit the station's all-music format." He said "technically Bennett was fired," but declined to state the exact reason.

Bennett had been spending less and less time producing his radio show and more and more time working for Screw's cable TV effort, creating a conflict of interest.

Disguised as a member of the counter-culture, Bennett at one time was earning $27,000 a year. He has had his long hair shorn by a fancy Village hair-cutting shop which in return got the right to use his razor cut countenance in its newspaper ads.

Among the media suckered into the supposed hoax was Channel 7's "Eye Witness News," radio stations in several major cities, the SoHo Weekly News and "Midnight Blue," a cable television program.


© 1997 Joey Skaggs