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Here a comedian, there a comedian . . .


Baltimore may be of big city size, but it's still pretty small-town in attitude, as shown by a "gee-whiz" local hour on WBAL-TV about the making of movies in and around Charm City. Viewers will learn some interesting things -- but not, as some studio audience members discover, how to break into films.

* "Special Edition: Maryland's Hollywood Connection" (7 p.m.-8 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Host Ron Shapiro interviews, and a few studio guests get to question, four Maryland residents involved behind-the-scenes in the recent surge of production in town: producer James Robinson, writer Norman Steinberg, casting director Pat Moran and "Homicide" executive producer Henry Bromell. Actor Steve Guttenberg, recently here filming "Home for the Holidays" for Jodie Foster, joins the panel. Look for lots of clips of Baltimore in the movies. WBAL.

* "The Great Elephant Escape" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Stephanie Zimbalist, last seen on "Remington Steele," turns up in Africa in a youth-oriented TV-film in which two teens, a visiting American and a native youth, team up to save an orphaned pachyderm. The movie was filmed on location in Kenya. ABC.

* "Outdoors Maryland" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 & 67) -- James Michener may have based his huge novel "Chesapeake" upon Poplar Island, a now heavily eroded body off the mouth of Eastern Bay on the Eastern Shore that once supported a thriving plantation. The Chesapeake Bay landmark is among the subjects of this periodic Maryland-discovery series.

* "Bob Hope Young Comedians" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Whew! Did someone open a vocational school for stand-up comics? The breed proliferates wildly, as proved by not one but two specials tonight. Here, one of America's oldest living comedians welcomes a group of young practitioners, including Kevin Meaney, Margaret Smith and Wayne Cotter. NBC.

* "Saturday Night Live" (11:30 p.m-1 a.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Dan Aykroyd appears on the show that launched his career, to help support the band Tragically Hip, which hails from his Canadian homeland. John Goodman ("Roseanne") is guest host. NBC.


* "1995 Young Comedians Show" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., HBO) -- See? They're everywhere! Five more performers are welcomed here by top HBO comic property Garry Shandling, of "The Larry Sanders Show."

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