Fade Up From Black To Channel 7 Action News set circa 1980.
Bill Bonds stands at a desk as the hourly update logo plays.
Cut to Bill:
BONDS: This is Bill Bonds. We keep reporting that the economy is improving but the long lines for new jobs are still forming in this Metropolitan Detroit Area, Today hundreds of people are expected to apply for car selling positions with Ford dealers. Also today some poor people in Detroit are without a place to go. Tough shit. (Laughter comes from off-camera crew)
BONDS (Cont'd): What the fuck does that mean? (Looking off camera for help) What the fuck? Kill this fucking thing!
Fade To Black - Audio Continues
Crewmember1: Aw, come on Bill, we gotta do this.
BONDS: (exasperated) I can't - well, I don't know what it means! What the fuck does it mean? "Are without a place to go"? Fuck 'em! Let 'em go hungry!
Crewmember2: Come to your place!
BONDS: What is all this shit? What is, what are those two fucking things mean? What the fuck does that mean!?! Tell 'em to go down! If they're fuckin' short, tell 'em to go up!
Fade Up to Bonds who puts on glasses and reads copy.
BONDS: What the fuck do those two first things mean?
Crewmember2: No place to live.
Crewmember1: I would assume that's what they mean.
Crewmember2: No place to live. (reading) Tim Fritz finds out what's being done to give them shelter.
BONDS: Aw shit....Jesus Fuckin' H. Christ! What the fuck is wrong with a short declarative sentence like... (takes off glasses for effect) Good evening, this is Bill Bonds. Nothing is new. Good night. (Off camera laughter)
Crewmember3: That's a keeper!
Crewmember1: You ready Bill?
BONDS: (defeated) Yeah, I'm ready.
Crewmember1: I'd roll but I want to wait 'till this is over with before we (garbled) straightened again. You all set Bill?
BONDS: Yeah, I'm all set. God damn it.
Fade To Black
BONDS: I could write this whole fucking thing in eight minutes.
Twenty Seconds of black and silence.
Fade Up To Channel 7 Action News set. Logo plays while Bill stands at his desk speaking inaudibly to someone off screen. He appears agitated. Cut To Bill:
BONDS: This is Bill Bonds. The American economy is getting better. Car sales are up and so is profit. But there are still a lot of people unemployed in this Detroit area. Long lines forming today, hundreds of people expected to apply for (pauses) selling jobs with Ford dealers. Also today, poor people in this Detroit area who, really, are kind of hopeless. Bill pauses, sucks at his teeth and makes a wide display of unusual faces.
Crewmember2: That it? Bill crosses his arms and looks skyward, perhaps in search of divine inspiration.
BONDS: I mean, you've gotta change so much of it.... By the time I finish this fucking thing I'll be out of a job.
Crewmember2: That's true. (Off screen laughter) BONDS: I'll be covering my own story. No, Rich Fisher will be covering me. I'll be in the fucking unemployment lines. Doris [Biscoe - ed.] will be saying (in best Ebonics imitation) "I wanted the blue-eyed mutha fucka to get fired."
Crewmember4: Boy, you got that right!
BONDS (laughing): Shit! Fuckin'.... (gains composure and fixes his tie) Can you imagine if they had switched those stories and I hadn't caught those numbers? (Bill is VERY impressed with himself although the numbers that he refers to are a mystery. Bill stews in his own praise for a few minutes, nodding and eyeing the crew knowingly. Whistles).
Fade To Black - Audio Continues
Crewmember4: No question about it, Bill, you're indispensable to the news team. (pauses) You ready? (Laughter from crew) (Smarmy laughter from Bonds)
Crewmember1: Okay, let's see if he's got one more in him here.
BONDS: Good evening. Seven news is off today. We're attending Terry's funeral. Bill killed him last night for a smart remark and for that remark cost Terry his fucking life.
Fade Up To News Footage of two soldiers sitting on a tank while a woman reporter speaks inaudibly behind a pile of sand bags.
BONDS (Cont"d): His mother is throwing a party. She hated the little bastard from the day he caused her the stretch marks - Cut from News Footage to Bill
BONDS (cont'd) - that ruined her temporary beauty. (Smirks)
Crewmember1: Speaking of temporary beauty, you ready Billy?
Crewmember1: All right, let's try it.
Nine seconds of Black and Silence. Fade up to Action News set. Logo plays and then cut to Bill.
BONDS: This is Bill Bonds. The economy is picking up. It is getting better. But there are a lot of people unemployed in this area. Long lines for new jobs are forming in this Detroit Metropolitan Area. Today hundreds of people are expected to line up trying to get jobs with Ford dealers. Also today, some poor people in Detroit (pauses) are homeless. Channel 7's Tim Fritz will find out what's being done to shelter these people. And the Tigers? They keep winning. So do those Baltimore Orioles. Those stories and the weather tonight at five right here on 7.
Cut to final logo, Action News theme ends. Fade to Black.
It took at least four minutes to coax a thirty second teaser out of local celebrity Bill Bonds. I'm sure there are a thousand of these tapes floating around Metro Detroit. I don't mean a thousand copies of this particular tape but a thousand different instances of Bill spouting off on camera. Maybe it was his stunning toupee or it could have been his unforgettable performance in ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES that earned Bill the first million dollar contract for a newscaster in Detroit (and, thus, the self-conceived nickname of "Bill The Mill" that he relished in, according to one former script-writer). But I'm sure it was these kinds of antics that earned BTM the big bucks and a daily feature in the "Detroit Free Press" that charted his outbursts on the evening news: objectivity was the last thing on Bill's gin-soaked mind when reporting the world's events! After years of service, several DWI charges, and suspensions, Bill made the recent move from television to radio, hosted a radio show on WXYT 1270 AM and has since been replaced by Don Imus.