Thu, 29 Sep 2005 When I watched Circle
4 Roundup the hosts were Gene Archer and Eddie McIntire. Eddie played the ORGAN and Gene was the "emcee." Why are they not listed? I don't even remember Joe
Campbell and never heard of Jim
Henson until the Muppet Show.
Wed, 28 Sep 2005 Thank you for this beautiful tribute to this wonderful man, Ranger
Shaw. I have frequently hummed the show's theme as I'm writing and had
no idea where it was coming from. But his kindness, like that of the
next generations' Fred Rogers, really inspired and guided us. Thanks
for taking the time to put this beautiful piece together.
Mon, 19 Sep 2005 I remember one year, Claire
& Co Co
were at the Ice Capades (1967 or 8?) and I got her autograph. I
was 7 years old, and it made my day! I named my poodle Coco -
after hers. I remember watching her in the mornings before
school, and thought she was so glamorous. The places she took
young viewers was amazing.
I am grateful to you for encapsulating on the internet the youth of people like myself. I remember Romper
& Co Co, and Shirley Temple and Blondie movies on the weekends, and the Creature Feature that made me too scared to look under my bed.
I don't live in the DC area anymore
- but got to return the summer of 2004 and was astonished at the
changes. I almost wished that I had left it as it was from
Thu, 25 Aug 2005
I was the writer for the Uncle
Show, so I was delighted to see your website. The show was
incredibly unsophisticated. Artie was a comic in strip clubs who
was trying to go legit with the kiddie show. He went on the air
with the opening of WDCA-TV. I came on board in June 1966 and
lasted until September 1966 when I started college. That's right
- I was a high school senior and Artie's only writer.
a kind man. The Batman/Bathroom story was true. The show
was live; having kids tell jokes at the end of the show when no
commercials or cartoons were cued was high risk poker. I used to
tell Artie not to let the kids tell jokes, but if they did and he
realized that a joke was inappropriate, to kill it and move on.
One day a kid offered the following joke, "What did Adolph Hitler say
when he found out that Eva Braun was pregnant?" I was out of
camera range, but gesticulating wildly to cut away from the kid.
Artie say me and said, "Uncle Artie knows that joke. Are there
any other jokes?" That started a rebellion among the kids who
demanded to hear the punchline. Artie, blood drained from his
face, anticipating that he'd be back doing blue humor between
strippers, begrudgingly aimed the microphone back at the kid, mumbling,
"What did Hitler say?" The kid answered: "Hotsy totsy, another
nazi." There was complete silence from the kids. Finally,
one kid said, "That's not funny." The silence was interrupted by
my going into gales of laughter in the studio.
As the writer, I really
didn't have to do much: an opening, some intros to the cartoons, and a
3 minute monologue that Artie would do inside a refrigerator box with a
tv-screen shaped window cut into it (this was called Milton the Live TV
in honor of WDCA's station manager and former teen dance show host Milt
Grant). Three minutes of a static image inside a refrigerator box
was deadly, but I did my best with a myriad of characters for Artie
such as a cab driver (his idea) or a German inventor. After Artie
proofed the scripts, I would write up the cue cards - no TelePrompTer
in those days.
George, our director,
killed one of my jokes before we went over the air because it was
inappropriate for a children's show. Since no one ever got to
hear it, it is time that it was made available to the public.
Artie was the German inventor in this Milton-the-Live-TV episode, and
here's the joke. "Ze zree blind mice came to me unt gave me $3000
for a giant knife to seek revenge of ze farmer's vife by cutting off
her tail as she had done to zem. Zree zousands dollars - that's
an awful lot of money for an old vife's tail."
Our main sponsor was
Children's Supermart (now known as Toys R Us). Artie's hats, as
indicated on your website, were his signature, so we had a contest
where the kids could make their own Uncle Artie hat and win a gift
coupon for Children's Supermart. I had the distinction of wearing
the giraffe costume (the sponsor's corporate logo) thus being the only
live Geoffrey Giraffe that I am aware of in Toys R Us history.
Here's some super trivia for you: my first federal job was at the
Department of Agriculture. USDA had tie-ins with many of the
shows - Hal was a USDA Forest Ranger (rather than a Department of
Interior Park Ranger) and would appear on some of USDA's
broadcasts. Jim Henson's father was a entomologist with
USDA. And Jackson
was the voice of Smokey Bear, a creature heavily featured on Johnson's
show. When Jack decided to retire from doing Smokey's voice, I
recorded his farewell for national radio distribution, all of which he
ad libbed. Here's one of the highlights: "There comes a time in
every bear's life when he should put down the shovel, hang up the hat,
and let another little bear come along." Jack was nearly in tears
- he really took it that seriously. At the time, USDA thought
that a smaller, less authoritarian figure would be better than the
paternalistic, bass voiced Smokey. You may have noted that it was
a failed campaign, right along with Woodsy the Owl.
I hear it's your birthday. I was a fan of Captain Tugg when I was
growing up, and I hope you have many more birthdays to come. I
remember in high school sitting around talking with classmates about
favorite shows from childhood (I was born in 1957) and many of them
mentioned your show. One said "That parrot had me fooled for
years, I thought it was real!" (So did I.) At least you're
Tue, 23 Aug 2005
My father and brother and sister were on Cindy Lou's Melody Ranch
show as youngsters. My dad won the quick draw contest and won an orchid
for his mother. Is there ANY way possible to obtain through purchase a
copy of that segment or show?
reply: Sorry... Cindy Lou's show aired "live", so no surviving episodes are known to exist.
Tue, 9 Aug 2005
There was one of Bill
Gormly's characters I didn't see mentioned anywhere....
"Flatus T. Breezeway"
Of course my father told us what flatus was right away. We all
got a big laugh out of it. I wonder, did the people watching ever
write in or call in about that? Any comments?
(born in Washington in 1947 and raised in the Washington metropolitan area)
Fri, 5 Aug 2005
Was happy to find the memories on your website. I had been looking for Billy
Johnson's name for years now! Thank you!
On one of the Pete
Jamerson shows (probably Pete
& His Pals),
he had two puppets as German characters. One spoke with a German
accent. He had an underling named Schultz, who never spoke, but only
responded by sneezing. The sneeze sound effect for Schultz was
accomplished by a quick forced exhale through top teeth contacting a
lower lip (I can do it, but it's hard to describe). I would like to
know the name of the skits they did, and the speaking German's name.
Question for you all: there was an old cartoon series that we used to
enjoy, back in the era of the cartoon character "Bosco", that starred a
very tall thin guy and his buddy, a short guy (not sure if he was fat
or not). I seem to remember one cartoon where they were riding a
rickety old train, and fishing for their dinner between the rails. One
of their cartoons may have included a stereotype of a Chinese guy. Any
idea of a name for these guys or their series of cartoons?
Mon, 01 Aug 2005
For the last couple years I've been telling my husband about the
"sputnik" thingie I had as a child. It was a round thing with two
funnel like projections on each end. You put ice cream in the
middle part put one end in a bottle of pop and presto! An ice cream
float in a bottle.
He thought I was crazy. I grew up in Oregon and he grew up in
N.Y. City the hub of the universe. How could I have
something in hickville Oregon that this city slicker hadn't even heard
Well thanks to your website, which not only talks about the
Fizznik/Astro float but shows a picture as well, my commitment papers
have been shredded and I am now free to continue to gloat over my
THANKS I knew I wasn't nuts....well not too nuts anyway.
Sun Jul 31, 2005
My memory of the early Sam
show was that it came on @ 6:25 right after Huntley/Brinkley WRC
Channel 4 news. I used to watch the news just to be sure not to
miss it. I rode the bus with a boy I called Sam & he called
me Berniece, who was Sam's girlfriend. I was sad to see no
pictures of Berniece on your website of Sam
as she was my alter ego. Later, I took on the Ms Piggy persona
& even have some of the dolls. I've often wondered what
happened to my friend Sam from the bus. Last I knew he was
working @ Safeway in Culpeper, VA, but I think most of the area
Safeways have gone on to their final reward just like Jim Henson...RIP.
Does anyone else remember Berniece? She was blond &, er, assertive, although not as voluptuous as Ms Piggy.
Thu, 28 Jul 2005
What a wonderful site for memories!! I turned 5 years old in January 6, 1958 and my birthday treat was a trip to the Pick
Show with my best friend, Barbara. We both had brand new cowgirls
outfits completed with shiny silver revolvers! I have a picture
of the two of us dressed up and ready to go to the show.
At the studio, all the chidren sat on hay bales under the wooden roof
of the hayloft. The show is something of a blur except for one
part; I was chosen to ride the pony around the hayloft!!! (For all
these years I thought the pony was named "Pickles," not "Piccolo"!)
I remember those 5 minutes vividly. I told Pick my parents' names
and that I intended to be a Congressional secretary when I was 24 years
old. I think this must have been my mother's secret ambition
since I hadn't the slighest idea what a Congressional secretary
was. Pick boosted me up into the saddle, steadied the ponies
head, then walked us around the hayloft. We circled the back and
headed around the other side where there was a wishing well. I
leaned over to look into it and Pick warned me not to fall in. I
reassured him that it was only a PAPER well, not at all dangerous.
Thank you for the many smiles your site has given to those of us who remember a sweet childhood TV show.
Janice (Cooper) Godlove
Mon,25 Jul 2005
...Just wanted to say how cool it was
to find your site. ... they certainly don't make them like that any
more. As someone else mentioned, I'm 41 going on 8. Thanks for
reminding me what it was like in the days of yore.
Tue, 19 Jul 2005
What an unexpected trip through old memories I've had at your web site! I was looking for an image of "Bozo
to put on a "thank you" card to my folks, when "Google" presented your
site. I watched so many of those shows, and even appeared on "Pick
Giant Ranch" for my 5th birthday in 1959...including getting to ride
"Picolo" up to the camera and say my "Heidi's" to family and friends. I
quickly recognized the "Pick and Lady" birthday card...I got at least
one of them. My mother has an enormous cookie tin crammed with
photos...I wouldn't be surprised if there was even a crinkly snapshot
from my 5th birthday.
On another occasion than that Pick Temple birthday, I had the exquisite pleasure of squeezing Willard
"nose" (he was in his "Bozo" regalia) at a promotional event at Glen
Echo Amusement Park in that same era. Of course, the nose-squeezing gag
was that, as a child squeezed his fake nose, Willard would honk a
Fri, 15 Jul 2005
I grew up in the Alexandria VA area and watched Romper
with my older brother and sister in the late 60's and early 70's.
I have this vision of a man dressed in a black graduation cap &
gown. I think his name was Professor Cool or Professor
School. I also remember a witch that kept coming out that we
could see and he kept looking for her. Was this a clip from Romper
Room ? I have asked and asked and no one my age remembers this. Maybe I was dreaming????
I love your
website! It brings back many a fond memory. Have you
ever thought of putting a book together? I'll bet it would sell
very well in the DC area.
responds: The KaptainKidshow website is my ever-growing interactive book.... free for everyone!
Thu, 30 Jun 2005
One night I was confronted with a situation beyond my control and I really don't know if I handled it at all.
WTTG did have an evening program schedule. The Arnold Fine Show, the Les Sands Show, Club Video and The Happy Am I Preacher and His Choir, Elder Lightfoot Solomon Micheaux.
Eventuallly Mathew Warren came along to do the 15-minute, 11 O'clock
News. He did a superior job bringing interest to a more or less one
shot visual presentation with news from the UPI wire.
I recall I usually "called it a day" as Matt went on the air. Going
down the steps from the Mezzanine to 11th Street, N.W. I usually said "
goodnight" to the phone operator on duty and ducked out the door. On
this occasion, as I was saying good night, a woman came through the
door and asked for Matt Warren. As I looked her up and down, I noticed
she had a chrome pistol pointing at me. I don't know what I did, but
the experience was not pleasant. I think my shoes were shaking because
my legs were shaking and I think I was almost scared to death and I
didn't want my potential cowardice to show:
"Where's Matt Warren?" she said, "I want to see Matt Warren."
You can't see Matt now, he's on the air.
"I don't care, I want to see him now ...I've got to put a stop to what he's been doing to me"
What's he doing?
I was gradually moving around so the switchboard operator could see her
gun and she would be engaging me rather than noticing the switchboard.
I hoped Vickie would catch on and react.
"He's vibrating me"
Vibrating, through the TV?
"Through the TV and I can't stand it anymore, where's the studio, is it up these stairs?"
He's on the air. You can't get up there and this is no way to settle this. He's a nice guy and you can talk with him later.
Suddenly the potential shooter was distracted because two staff members
started down the stairs as two policemen came through the door. Vickie,
on duty as telephone operator, had made the emergency call deftly.
Matt's potential "killer" sheepishly gave the gun to the cop.
The incident was over and I must have staggered off to the Raleigh Hotel Bar.
I am a 50 year old man who was born in Washington, DC in 1955. I was watching Countdown Carnival
when I was in 3rd grade growing up in DC, and will never forget the
letters WTTG-TV. That's because, for one thing, that I had memorized
the address on the show to send drawings for the Sidewalk Art Fair.
Though I didn't get the thrill of seeing my artwork on the show, I did receive an autographed portrait of Bill
Well, guess what? It's the same picture I see on his webpage.
Yes it's true, I am one of the many children who had the pleasure of squeaking Bozo's nose, who returned the gesture, much to my surprise. (Always wondered how he squeaked my nose!) My brother, Bob, and I did not meet Bozo on his show, but during
a downtown Christmas shopping trip with our Dad, while we, like most
shoppers in DC, were looking at the popular window displays. There, to
our surprise, was Bozo, greeting all the children who came by (Lucky
Us!) and exchanging nose squeaks. There was a TV camera man at the
I also saw Cap'n Tug and Miss Connie in a DC parade, riding in a
convertible and waving at everyone. A big sign on the car said WTTG-TV.
As I got older, and the people I work with got younger, I have become
increasingly aware that the world I grew up in no longer exists.
Every day I meet and talk to people who don't remember Huckleberry
Hound or Yogi Bear. (I remember seeing their pictures on Kellogg's
cereal boxes!) I became very sad when I found that few people I know
remember the Real McCoys, although most of them do remember Walter
Brennen. Then one day, I found myself at a party where most of the
guests were my age or older. It gave me great pleasure to be talking
about "Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys and the family known as
the real McCoys." I almost broke down and cried. For some reason it
gave me a great feeling of reassurance.
Now when it came to Cap'n Tugg, Ranger Hal, and Bill Gormley, I learned
that only people who grew up in DC have ever heard of them. This
discovery I have made soon after leaving the Washington area. It was
nearly 30 years after moving to NC that I finally met someone here who
remembers Cap'n Tugg. We spent the next hour and a half talking about
During the last 10 years, it became a common occurrence that I'd be
watching the news and learn that another person has died who I used to
watch on TV. (The big one last year was Kaptain Kangaroo) Before I knew
it, the nostalgia bug had bitten me.
Now I agree with people who say that we should live in the present, not
the past, but that's not what the nostalgia bug is about. It's about
remembering our childhood, and the world we grew up in. It's about
history. It's not just the TV shows I remember, but the assassinations
of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the impact that had in
our own lives. It's about the Civil Rights Movement, and the many
changes it has made in our society. It's about seeing a man walk on the
moon for the first time ever. I feel it is important for people who
lived in these times to remember them, and better still, to write about
When I was a child, my parents bought watermelon from off a horse drawn
wagon that came through our neighborhood, for us kids to enjoy in the
summertime. Today I own a computer, a VCR, an answering machine, and a
cordless phone. I also carry a plastic card in my wallet that I can put
in an ATM and get cash. I live in the 21st century. The children in my
family keep in touch by e-mail. I don't live in the past, I just
remember it well, and teach the younger folks about it whenever they
When I found your website, it was like coming home. What a tremendous
feeling of reassurance it gives me to know there are still people in
this world who remember the world I grew up in.
Bill Widman (aka Wild Bill)
Fri, 24 Jun 2005
Your site is wonderful!!!!!
Having been on Pick
it really brings back memories. Now I something to show my kids and
grandkids when I talk about these shows. I have a question. Where did
you find this information? I am trying to find clips or stills from an
old DC TV show called TV Beauty School. The hostess was Inger
something. My aunt was a regular on the show and I was looking for info
on it to have for an "It's Your Life" theme we are doing for her
birthday. Any research leads would be helpful.
Patti Rego Belisle
Kap makes this suggestion:"As of October 2005, you can visit an online exhibit at the Library of American Broadcasting that profiles Inga Rundvold, the hostess that you are seeking. Just click:
I was on the Pick
Show around 1952-53; and at the Giant Food store on Indian Head Highway
in Glassmanor across from Eastover shopping center. It was not far from
my house on Oxon Hill Rd. I lived in an old school house; near Fort
Foot. I will never forget old Pick....I wore an all-black Hopalong
Cassidy outfit; black hat and all. I started playing Guitar at age 8
and later on was on the Wing Ding show in 1966. The band was THE FALLEN
ANGELS. Also i had a cousin that was on the Milt Grant show with a
band; he was called 'Washington's own ELVIS'.
I remember a show called "The Magic Door" that aired in DC in the late
'60s and perhaps into the early '70s, but I don't think it lasted that
long. It featured a hostess who would introduce cartoons or other
pictures or shortsby opening up a little door in the wall at about head
height. They either started with or added a little puppet
sidekick (I want to remember that heappeared from a round,
porthole-like door on the other side of the hostessfrom the door
itself, but I'm sure that's not right...) that originally had no
name. They held a contest to name the sidekick who they
ultimately called "Jelly Bean" or "J.B." for short. ...
There was another host on between about 5:30 and 6:00 pm in the
evenings in the early '70s who was sort of a creepy, horror-inspired
guy. He was always talking about his slave-driving boss who was
actually a three-toed sloth, though he was never seen. Two things
I remember about that show were a contest to guess the name of
something given a short clue each day (it turned out to be Theodore
Roosevelt Island, which we had actually figured out from the clues but
didn't send in since we couldn't find it on a map, even though we drove
by a sign for it almost weekly!) and a game he was hawking called
"International Muhle" (the u actually had an umlaut over it) which for
a brief time was an impossible-to-find smash hit in the area.
Also, didn't Ranger Hal often issue an Indian greeting of "How" with
his hand held up palm- out? Or was that a different guy? I
always remembered a character named Ranger How (or Ranger Howe) but
that must be wrong also.
Robert P. Churchill
Monday, May 23, 2005
I remember Ask-It-Basket. I saw it at least once and remember
hearing it advertised many times. It aired weekends on
WTOP-TV. It was produced in association with either George
Washington University or Georgetown, I forget which.
It was hosted by a woman ... probably a professer from one of the above
institutions. As I understood it, she'd reach into a basket, pull
out a question, and pose it to young men and women seated behind
desks. It reminds me of "It's Academic," only earlier (before
1961) and with fewer on set students. So I guess you could call it a
locally-produced quiz show with
college-level questions. ...
My memory banks contain a recollection of an episode where
Ask-It-Basket took a tour outside of (the old) Broadcast
House. I can't say why. ...
Weds, May 18, 2005
My sister was on the Pick
Temple show around 1960 and to this day
remembers quite a bit but wonders if it is possible to locate or get a
copy of the tape of that show. Do the records have the names of the
children that came on the shows & the years?
This website is terrific! My sister and I have really enjoyed it. What great memories!
Mona Reid Spence
Tue, 3 May 2005
When I was a child I went on Pick
Temple and I was chosen to ride
Piccolo the Pony. Mr. Temple asked me what I would do if I had a
million dollars and I believe I said “buy all the peanut butter
at the Giant Food Store.” I could hear my mother and my
aunt laughing in the background.
Of course there are no reruns of Pick
Temple on TV now. Where are the
films of those shows? Would I ever be able to see the film I was
on? I would love to watch it with my family.
I still have the birthday cards Pick
Temple sent me from he and Lady.
(formerly Georgia Lekakos)
Tue, 26 Apr 2005
grew up in D.C. in the 1950's and remember going on the Pick
Show. As I recall, the studio was at the Shoreham Hotel off Conn.
Ave. We wore our cowboy outfits and you fired your shooter at the
camera to start the cartoon! We also got a bag of goodies from, I
think, the Giant grocery store.
San Jose, CA
Sun, 24 Apr 2005
I am Gordon Williamson... the first TV announcer south of the
Mason-Dixon Line. Our station was WTTG, Channel 5, the first station to
go on the air in Washington in mid-November of 1946.
I was hired as a part time announcer (the only announcer) because I was
doing a morning show on WSID Radio and doing a kids hour on WARL Radio
in Arlington. I was hired in October '46 and had the good luck to be
the guy who said "WTTG, the DuMont Television Network station in the
Nation's Capitol is on the air." I was hired by Leslie G. Arries,
Sr. prior to the coming of Walter Compton, the manager who relieved
Arries, Sr., so he could go back to New York.
Beside the "Mickey Mouse" and "Felix the Cat" movies, we had some
regulars on The Moppet Shop. There was Jim Spear, the Magician;
ventriloquist Mike Mehalic; "Debora, the personality pup" (a cocker
spaniel who did tricks); "Thunderbolt Left Hand" (a real live Native
American who did Indian Dances); and several other participants on a
less regular basis. At each program we had 20-25 local kids who also
were part of the show.
The Moppet Shop star "Hoppity
Skippity" (Jules Huber), was also the
station's film director. I was also a producer-director of many other
shows and did a late night news show at 11 pm, which was sent to the
DuMont Network. Each day at 6:30 pm I introduced "FROM WASHINGTON
IT'S WALTER COMPTON & THE NEWS"... the first network TV
newscast originating in Washington. I also co-produced with Arnold
Fine, and directed the "Club Video" program which had the most famous
guest of the time. I directed Billie Hoiliday in her first TV
appearance outside of NY.
For the first 4 years, my show was called "The Moppet Shop... starring
Hoppity Skippity" and not "The Hoppity
Skippity Show" until after I
left the show to go into management. In 1953, not being too smart, I
went to manager Walter Compton with a complaint that I was not making
enough money. He replied the only way he could increase my take would
be for me to begin selling ads. So I started to sell and appear
on the show too. There were times when selling and acting got in each
others way So I started to sell full-time and left the show.
Jamerson replaced me for a while and I think there was someone
else, but eventually it became a Jules Huber, (a very bright guy and
Since the idea and the names "Moppet Shop" and "Hoppity
mine, I copywrited the format and have retained Hoppity
Skippity as a
corporate entity. At one tine I had a lawyer who wanted to sue Jim
Henson. He said the "Muppet" name was close enough. I didn't like that
idea at all.
Actually I got the idea from Frank Faye, not one of my favorites, who
was appearing on Broadway at the time in a little piece called "Harvey".
Temple was with Channel 9 when I was in Washington. I spent 30
years in broadcasting and am a member of the Broadcast Pioneers.
Sun, 24 Apr 2005
I would just like to say thank you for the very special memories I have of watching Romper
I am now nearly 41, but thinking about it makes me feel warm
inside. I remember so clearly the day Miss
Anne read out a letter
from my sister Susette.
Now with 3 children of my own, I don't feel that there are the same quality of programs, which is sad.
Tue, 19 Apr 2005
When I was about 6 or 7 (I think), I was on an episode of the Claire
& Co Co show which was filmed at the Smithsonian Institute. The
year would have been around 1965.
Does anyone have any recollection of this particular show and if so, is
there anywhere I can get more information about it? I would love
to remember more about this show.
Fri, 15 Apr 2005
Your web site is
"fun"tastic...thanks for maintaining it! I am in my mid 40s now and
moved here (Falls Church) in 1963. Sometime in the early 60s, I recall
Room and still remember just one thing-- the special
means of how the teacher could see us kids at home--thru the TV!!!
Funny and also prophetic!
I was on the Ranger Hal show around 1968...as a result of hosting a
Muscular Dystrophy carnival in my neighborhood. I was about 9
then. The reward for having the carnival (I raised $9 approx),
was to go on the show! Do you know where the archives exist, if
at all? I would dearly love to see me, as a kid!! I would
I did contact Channel 9 but they said it was all thrown out when they moved to the new location.
Mon, 11 Apr 2005
You will not beleive this.
I was having some memories of the good variety lately. Due to a very
traumatic childhood my memories are not so pleasant and I have
supressed many of them. There is one however that has stayed with me
over the years and I thought it may have been a fabrication or wish
At about 7 to 9 years of age I was home alone from school ill one
day. Our phone in Severn, Md rang and I answered it.
The called asked " Do you know who is this?" I answered, "Bozo
the Clown." I had recognized the voice from a program I had watched
for sometime. The caller said, "you are right" asked my name and said I
had won a "Toychest full of Toys". It was a Radio Contest.
About a week later a box arrived at our home full of all kinds of toys
and delightful things to play with. There were 3 of us, brothers
and sisters who raised each other while our mother was hospitalized in
a State Facility for Mental Health. Our father was a truck driver
away from home most of the time.
This is the most vivid, happy memory I have from childhood. The year
must have been 1961 or 62. Every time I hear Willard
Scott on the
Weather I kept remembering this event. I searched a Biography of Willard that led me to your information.
A real dream come true would be to meet the Jolly Ole Man, Willard
himself. What happiness he is responsible for we may never know, but he
is sure a highlight in my life.
Barbara M Bellehumeur
Mon, 11 Apr 2005
My grandmother, Juanita Monroe, was Pick
Temple's maid at one time.
I was a newborn when he ended his show, but my grandmother "Nana" used
to talk about it from time to time. I'm assuming he was a nice
person to her, she really did speak very highly of him. She
passed on September 10, 2001. The day before the World Trade
Sheila M. Sims
Fri, 8 Apr 2005
Wow! What great TV memories from my childhood, while growing up as a
little kid in elementary school in the Fairlington section of
Arlington. I do remember that on Countdown
Carnival, Diver Dan's
nemeses was actually Baron (not Barry) Barracuda. The rat fink
collection on Countdown
Carnival undoubtedly added to their poplarity
among us third grade boys. I had a collection of the plastic rat finks
from the bubblegum-style vending machines. These rat finks had a little
round hole in their backs, which allowed them to be attached to a
plastic ring that had a small post, so you could wear a different rat
fink on the ring each day. In my collection were rat finks in a wide
variety of colors -- some had "real" whiskers -- most likely made
of polyester or some such material.
I remember having the TV tuned to Channel 5 watching the Bill
Show in the morning, while getting ready to walk to school. Then in the
afternoon, we'd watch Countdown
Carnival. Space Angel was probably my
favorite of the Countdown
Carnival cartoons, but I liked Hercules too.
I cannot recall what cartoons were shown during the morning show, but I
remember Bill made it great.
I forget if it was Bill Gormly
Tugg who showed us kids a secret coded message, "2 GOOD 2 B
FORGOTTEN!," which, of course, was translated as, "TOO GOOD TO BE
FORGOTTEN!" in praise of the commercial product was being featured
(Hostess Cupcakes? Heinz Soup?).
Carnival was a great show to a little kid growing up in the
DC suburbs in the early 1960's! I loved that show! Bill Gormly was
indeed a very talented guy!
Tue, 5 Apr 2005
I grew up in Dumfries, Virginia (Prince William County), and I seem to
be the only person who remembers this particular show, so I am trying
to confirm that it did exist. It aired early Saturday mornings in 1981
or '82; I don't know on which channel. It was a live-action kids show
that centered around four kids (two girls and two boys), and a friendly
alien that I think was supposed to be male but was played by a woman,
very David-Bowie-androgynous. I think that one of the kids' names was
Malcolm and the alien's name might have been Roz. The kids dealt with
Afterschool-Special-type problems such as Malcolm's video-game
addiction, and then they would all get together and lipsync a pop song;
the two I remember are "You Can Do Magic" or "Be Good Johnny." The show
may have only aired a couple of times. I want to say it was called "Our
Gang" or "Our House," but both of those are titles of different shows.
Any ideas? Having wondered about this show for 20 years, I am starting
to question my sanity! Any info you can provide would be appreciated. :)
Thu, 24 Mar 2005
Wow! I could not beleive how much I forgot from Afternoon TV in
the '70s. Every afternoon was filled with fun watching Captain
Chesapeake and Mondy the sea monster and Captain
20. I also remember sitting up late watching Creature Feature on
Saturday nights. That was so much fun. I wish TV were like
Living in Frederick, we had the best of both worlds as we got clear
reception from DC and Baltimore. I also remember Romper
Room with Miss
Sally and at the end of each show they would show how Hood College,
here in Frederick, was a sponsor of the show. The Bozo Show was
also a favorite. My best memory of that show was watching it with
my older brother and he would accuse Bozo of switching the ping pong
balls on the kids while they were trying to get them in the little red
buckets to win a prize. I still laugh about that.
I also remember a great show on Sundays called Wonderama. Anyone
remember that show? I think it was a nationally syndicated show
and I remember the little jingle..."Wakka du wakka du wakka du!"
I think I saw the Jackson 5 and Abba on there. That was in the
early to mid 70's. I could be wrong about the musical guests
though, but I have a faint memory.
Anyway, thanks for the memories and the great site!
Mon, 21 Mar 2005
(The first "Captain
20") John Kallimonis had been a theatre student of
mine at Prince George's College in 1968 and my wife E. Raye LeValley
designed the costumes for both him and Tony A (the second "Captain
College Park MD
Sat, 19 Mar 2005
I recently ran across your website and was happy to see your picture of
my grandfather, Art Lamb. Unfortunately, he passed away when I
was young, but I am glad to find sites that remember his work.
Sat, Mar 12 2005
I have enjoyed reading your website about Children's TV Hosts of the
'50s and '60s. It sure brings back memories. Believe it or not, I
was thinking about Pick
Temple, and wanted to know what ever happened to him. I searched him out (actually googled an image) and linked to your site.
Pick used to come to my school (Patrick Henry Elementary in Arlington)
and we thoroughly enjoyed his singing. I remember one song in
particular, "Come on Blue, I'll Be There, Too" that had the whole
audience in tears. It was about a man and his dog, Blue.
They were the best of friends for Blue's entire life--each verse ending
with, "Come On Blue, I'll Be There, Too." The last verse is about
burying Ol' Blue---Go On Blue, I'll Be There, too. Pick will
always be remembered fondly by the children of the '50s.
I hope Pick
Temple and Billy
realized how they inspired an entire generation of guitar
players. We may not have actually picked up a guitar until the
folk music movement of the mid-sixties, but the seeds were planted when
we were watching those wonderful programs in the '50s. I
personally spent the early- through mid-seventies pickin' and singin'
my way across the Pacific Northwest: Missoula, Boisie, Tacoma,
Seattle....a real troubador!
a long association with the U.S. Forest Service. Not only was he
the original voice of Smokey Bear, the U.S. Forest Service mascot, but
each Christmas for many years Mr. Weaver donned a Santa suit for the
Forest Service Christmas party which was attended by hundreds of
children of Forest Service and Dept. of Agriculture employees.
(The U.S. Forest Service is a division of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture.) Jackson Weaver was the BEST Santa, ever!
My father, Richard W. Mosher, was Chief of Audio-Visual for the U.S.
Forest Service, and it was part of his job to handle the Smokey Bear
public relations campaigns. I have spent the day going through my
Dad's old photos. I was sure that I had one of Billy
Johnson on the set, but I was wrong. I do remember meeting him on several occasions. He was very nice.
Dad's career began in the late 30's with Disney (Fantasia--3-D
Multi-Plane camera operator). The multi-plane camera and two of
its operators (including Dad) wound up in the OSS, housed in the old
Paramount Building in New York. Later to D.C. When WWII
ended, OSS photography staffers split into two groups. One group
became CIA and the other group went to the State Department. Dad
went to State Department and later transferred to the U.S. Forest
Service where he made many, many films. From cameraman, to
director, to editor and supervising producer and finally to a
department Chief. He also had office space at the White House as
a P.R. liason working for Pierre Salinger.
I have still photos of the shooting of the Smokey the Bear song being
played by Eddy Arnold. Local children dressed as campers are
gathered around the "campfire" on the set as he sings. ... This took
place around 1953 or 1954 and was filmed at a local studio.
I also have pictures from the mid-sixties when Lassie visited the White
House during the Johnson administration. Lassie received a
Congressional Commendation for P.R. for the Forest Service. At
that time the story line had Lassie living with Forest Ranger Corey
Stewart (played by Robert Bray). I have photos of Dad directing some
location work as well as some with Rudd Weatherwax coaching Lassie.
Do you remember Professor Felix Von TopsNik or Topschnack (Sp?)?
He hosted the Three Stooges for awhile and was associated with Tops
Drive-Inn... The professor wore a top hat and a monocle. Spoke
with a phony German accent. Perhaps the reason he isn't
well-remembered is because his character was so annoying!
As for Tops Drive-Inn, I remember the Sir Loiner--far superior to
anything McD's cooks up today. ... There was a Tops located near
the intersection of Glebe Road and Arlington Boulevard (near St. Thomas
Moore). I remember they not only had car hops, but inside there were
tourquoise-colored phones at the tables for placing your order, and
also those little mini-juke boxes at the tables. How many people
remember that Tops was the original server of Col. Sanders' Kentucky
Fried Chicken made with Seven Secret Herbs and Spices?????
Here's another local memory: DUCK PIN BOWLING! First there
was the two-story bowling alley located in the building housing the
Arlington Theater at the intersection of Filmore and Columbia
Pike. This closed in the mid-sixties. But duck pin bowlers still
had Play-More Lanes not far from Parkington--straight up Glebe
Road. Does Play-More Lanes still exist? There were youth
bowling teams for many years. When I left the state to go to
college, and mentioned "duck-pin" bowling, nobody knew what I was
talking about. The idea that there were three throws with small
(5-8 lb.) bowling balls (hand-held--no finger holes) was completely
foreign to people in other parts of the country. Remember Johnny
Bachelder's TV show featuring local teen duck-pin bowlers?
Does Gifford's Ice Cream Parlor still exist? I remember there
were pony rides across the street (Columbia Pike at Bailey's
I'm really waxing nostalgic today. Could probably go on and
on. Barcroft Park was THE place to play baseball and
softball. There were REAL dugouts. It made us feel so
"professional". And the creek was still a real creek, not
diverted to sewer pipes.
Marshall Hall Amusement Park could be reached by cruising on the S.S.
Mount Vernon. What a beautiful vessel. In the early 60's it
sank--its sides crushed by ice. What a loss! It was
replaced by the S.S. George Washington--a school bus yellow eye-sore
that had none of the charm of the Mount Vernon.
...And Marshall Hall had SLOT MACHINES. I'm sure that's the only
reason my parents took me there. That was the adult-draw.
As long as they were winning they gave me money to go on rides! I
believe the demise of the park began with the removal of the slot
machines. No more fun for the adults, so why bring the kids?
And last but not least: Remember when you could buy a four-bedroom house for $25,000?
March 5, 2005
I will be 51 this year, and feel like a kid. I loved the Cap'n
Tugg show, and remember it like yesterday.
I am so glad for the Internet because it is like living inside the
Library. I downloaded information about Cap'n
Tugg, and learned so
much by seeing through my young-boy eyes as well as my adult eyes.
Thank you for your valuable website, and God bless Mr. Lee
Reynolds wherever he is!
Montgomery Village, MD
Sat, 29 Jan 2005
I just looked at your site on children's TV in the 1950s in D.C. I
was born and raised in Washington and remember all--or almost
all--of the programs and personalities you've mentioned or
profiled. But what brought me to the site was a search for Bill Wells,
who hosted the "Bill Wells Tells" and "Black Phantom" shows.
I was a devoted viewer of "Bill Wells Tells," because he was an
excellent storyteller with considerable artistic ability, and the
centerpiece of "Bill Wells Tells" was his reading, with his own
illustrations, of classic stories such as "Treasure Island" and "Tom
Sawyer." He would also give drawing instruction, and in fact taught me
to draw in perspective.
As I recall, he, like Pick
Temple, had a companion dog--in his
case a St. Bernard named Charmondely, pronounced "Chumlee."
He also hosted "The Black Phantom," a rather silly program in which he
dressed in tight pants, a big black cape, and a bat-shaped
mask--he fooled nobody, He was clearly Bill Wells.
I once wrote to him, asking if I could come and see a live broadcast of "Bill Wells Tells," and he actually called me
on the phone and explained that there was no live audience for the show
because it was done in a very small studio where there was hardly room
for him and Charmondely and the crew, but he invited me to "The Black
Phantom." I was thrilled to have spoken on the phone with a man
who I thought must have the best life imaginable, telling stories and
drawing on TV.
Unfortunately, by the time I went to the broadcast, the role had been
taken over by another host whose name I don't know but who was pretty
lackluster after Bill.
I was very puzzled by Bill's sudden disappearance from television, and
it wasn't until some time later that I was told he'd been
arrested in a police raid. At the age of eleven I had no idea
what this meant, but later on my mother told me somewhat
circuitously that it had been a raid on a gay bar or at a gay party. I
have no idea whether this is true--I have no reason to
doubt it, and it would certainly explain his sudden departure. Such an
event would certainly have instantly destroyed the career of a
children's TV personality in the fifties. It's interesting to me that I
absolutely didn't care about this part of his personality; he'd
shown himself to be a kind and caring person, and that was all that
mattered to me, notwithstanding that so-called "queers" were almost
universally vilified in that time and place.
So I do from time to time think of him and wonder what became of him. I'd be grateful for any information.
David Wade Smith
Kap adds: George Awlyward was reportedly the other host of "The Black Phantom".
Thu, 13 Jan 2005
I was on Grandpa's
Place in late '50s or early '60s. I
still remember drawing a horse on Grandpa's board. While the
camera zoomed in, or close up, (I don't think they could zoom in those
days) in on my horse, it hit Lee (Grandpa) out cold. I then
introduced the cartoon while they helped Grandpa. I was about 12
years old and it has been my 15 seconds of fame.
Kap adds: I checked with "Grandpa" himself, Lee
Reynolds, and he does not recall ever having been knocked-out cold on TV.
Wed, 12 Jan 2005
I'm trying to find out information on a childrens TV show in the early
to mid-1950s in the Washington DC area. The show had a small
indian character named Herky and he had a human friend that played the
guitar and sang "Up the Lazy River " in the opening of the show.
You could purchase this little Rubber Indian (which I have kept all
these years) by mail .. No one believes me . Help if you can forward
Kap delivers: The human friend was Billy
Johnson. I contacted Mr. Johnson and he offered this explanation:
"Herky" was used when I first went on the air at WTOP.
It was a rubber replica of the mascot for the Cleveland Indians that had a
sort of jerky movement and exaggerated Indian features. I
used a Genty-like chatter with it. Genty was to come later.
"Herky" came in this way: a baseball catcher for the Cincinnati Reds in the late '30swas
named Hershberger. His antics behind home plate led to the
nickname of "Herky Jerky" by the baseball announcer. An avid Reds
fan, I listened to radio when I could. When I decided to use this rubber
mascot on my new show, the peculiar movement of its rubber motions brought
to mind "Herky" the baseball player.
The doll became quite popular in
a very short time and it occured to me that my using the Cleveland Indians
"logo" without permission might lead to complications. Thus Genty and Wally
were quickly created by my wife, introduced to the show, and the short presence
of "Herky" was gone. Billy
Johnson, "The Singing Woodsman"
Tues Jan 11, 2005
In the early 60's
there was a man named David Ginsburg who had a show dog named Rusty.
They performed in many of the local theaters for several years. Do
you have any information on this particular show?
I have several
promotional pictures of "Uncle Dave and Rusty" "Putting on the Dog".
(This could have been the name of their show.) He was connected to the
Sidney Lust Theaters in DC and MD. They performed live shows in old art
deco theaters that my parents and grandparents told me about. Their
involvement with him was during the 50's and 60's. My sister has a few
pictures of them and her where he used her in the show maybe 1962 time
frame. David Ginsburg was born in 1904 and died in 1990. Up until 1982
he performed Christmas shows for Coca Cola Company parties and several
local nursing homes.
There could be more
performances but I do not know. I feel that at some point he may have
been somewhat of a local celebrity. Maybe someone can remember him or
Kap replies: I've been told that Uncle Dave used to put-on shows at
the Hyattsville movie theatre in the late '30s or early '40s,. He would also conduct Duncan yo-yo contests.