Life of American humorist Erma Bombeck examined on WPSU-TV

"Erma Bombeck: Legacy of Laughter" examines the life and career of American humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), whose honest tales of domestic life gave voice to millions of homemakers. Tune in to WPSU-TV at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, to see archival photographs, video clips and personal memorabilia that trace Bombeck's life from her childhood during the Great Depression to her work as a women's rights activist. The program is interspersed with interviews with Bombeck's family, friends and colleagues, including an on-camera introduction and narration by her neighbor and friend, former talk-show host Phil Donahue. Other highlights for the week follow:

Monday, July 24
-- 8 p.m. "Antiques Roadshow: Houston, Hour 1"
"Antiques Roadshow" rolls in to Houston, where host Mark Walberg visits the Beer Can House, a local home adorned with hundreds of beer cans that even boasts curtains, wind chimes and sculptures made out of cans, to talk with "Roadshow" appraiser Andy Ourant about these collectible containers. At the Reliant Center, appraisers find a rich brew of objects, including a scrimshaw walrus tusk depicting the Almira, America's longest-working whaling ship; a collection of rare, unopened packs of Topps football cards from 1958, featuring such legends as Johnny Unitas and Bart Starr; and a book of Mexican War battlefield illustrations.

Tuesday, July 25
-- 7 p.m. "To the Best of My Knowledge"
The topic is the prevalence of steroid abuse among professional, high school and college athletes. Guests include Charles Yesalis, professor of health policy, administration and kinesiology in Penn State's Department of Health and Human Development, and author of "The Steroid Game," and Wayne Sebastianelli, sports medicine staff physician in the Penn State College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. They will discuss the scope of the problem and how to prevent anabolic steroid abuse with host Penn State President Graham B. Spanier.

Wednesday, July 26
-- 8 p.m. "Secrets of the Dead: The Sinking of the Andrea Doria"
On a foggy night in July 1956, two trans-Atlantic passenger ships collided in a tragic accident that spurred the largest naval rescue operation in history. The world watched in horror as the Andrea Doria, one of the grandest luxury liners, sank before their eyes. Now, on the 50th anniversary of the disaster, "The Sinking of the Andrea Doria" combines archival footage, survivor accounts, interviews with divers, exclusive underwater images of the decomposing ship and computer-generated imaging to lay bare exactly what happened that night, explain why so many divers have lost their lives on the wreck and reveal a startling insurance company cover-up that has remained hidden for the last 50 years.

Thursday, July 27
-- 9 p.m. "Globe Trekker: Ultimate UK"
The "Globe Trekker" team visits the highlights of the United Kingdom's green and rich countries. Starting in one of the world's most exciting cities, the travelers follow the trail along some of London's most famous landmarks -- Soho, St. Paul's Cathedral and the London Eye -- and then explore the alternative London of Bangladeshi Brick Lane, Brixton and the Notting Hill Carnival. From here they travel through history from Stonehenge to the Battle of Hastings, and they pay homage to Liverpool's most-famous sons. The travelers see the islanders' taste for eccentricity in Scotland's Highland Games and the Edinburgh Arts Festival. The team also offers tips on unusual and exciting ways to get around and to find the best fish and chips, Cornish pasties and Scottish whiskey.

Friday, July 28
-- 7 p.m. "Pennsylvania Inside Out: Issues"
Host David Price and guest Kathleen McGinty, Department of Environmental Protection secretary, discuss mercury pollution.

Saturday, July 29
-- 6:30 p.m. "Erma Bombeck: Legacy of Laughter"
The program examines the extraordinary life and career of American humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), whose honest tales of domestic life gave voice to millions of homemakers. Archival photographs, video clips and personal memorabilia trace Bombeck's life, from her childhood during the Great Depression to her work as a women's rights activist. The program is interspersed with uplifting and humorous interviews with Bombeck's family, friends and colleagues, including a touching on-camera introduction and narration by her neighbor and friend, former talk-show host Phil Donahue.

Sunday, July 30
-- 8 p.m. "Nature: A Mystery in Alaska"
Alaska is home to one of the world's most complex and spectacular ecosystems, and also one of the greatest wildlife mysteries. Many animals decline dramatically in number with no clear explanations why. Against the breathtaking backdrop of magnificent mountains and seacoasts, this film attempts to unravel at least part of the enigma.

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Last Updated April 22, 2010