gerbil gimmick had played out, so "Monkey Races" were born. Instead of
galloping gerbils, a randomly chosen tape of racing chimps would air.
recalls: "The animals were 'The Saboo Chimps'.
They had a nasty habit of pulling-down zippers. I couldn't hold one
for more than a minute before they would unzip my uniform to get at my
mic. We often suspected that they were initially trained as part of a strippers
scored a coup in '74 when Walt Disney Studios allowed their pre-recorded
cartoon characters to race. Thus, began the Disney Races.
Dysel as Captain 20 in 1975 on the
of his new and second spaceship set.
station founder and General Manager Milt Grant
with the "Channel 20 Club Card" promotion.
promotion for Grant's own "Record Hop" on WTTG-TV
late '50s and early '60s had been a huge marketing success.)
were distributed to kids by mail (self-addressed, stamped envelope) or
through local retail outlets and Captain 20 personal appearances.
the 3 years they were valid, some 250,000 cards were handed-out.
card's number matched a numbered stub in the contest drum. Five
a day, Captain 20 picked a number at random to read on the air.
a winner returned their card to WDCA, they'd receive the prize.
very first Grand Prize was "Christmas in Disney World".)
20 & the Banana Splits cruise the Potomac.
'77, his bits aired various times each weekday. But when TV stations were
pressed for a commitment to "quality" (meaning educational) kid's programming,
Captain 20 got his first real show. His alien features were softened and
"Captain 20's World" hit the air.-
Dyszel as Captain 20 the bridge of his
and last spaceship set. (1977)
show was produced with close cooperation of the DC school system and focused
at first on preschoolers. Over the next year, it evolved into the
"Channel 20 Club" and was expanded to cover early school age kids.
20 (Dick Dyszel) Gets His 1st Real Show
20 continued to run contests and awarded different prizes using a variety
of methods. By 1979, he was also doing public safety PSAs.
20 in a new uniform and without "alien ears" greets
Elementary School students from Gaithersburg. (c.1979)
of WDCA kid shows was the ongoing display of viewer's
Introduced in 1972 as "Bozo's Art Gallery", the display
Captain 20's "Space Gallery" when Bozo's Circus departed
The feature ran 15 years altogether... until May 1987!
Dyszel still gets mail from folks who say how
it meant to them to see their drawings on TV.)
Dick Dyszel would soon also be responsible for
innovative local educational shows "WOW!"
and "Kids' Break".