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A Collage of the Three *Captain 20* Performers
The Third
"Captain 20"
Dick Dyszel as Captain 20 (Courtesy:Dick Dyszel)
Dick Dyszel (1972-1987)
Dick Dyszel as Captain 20 (c. 1972)
Dick Dyszel as Captain 20 (Circa 1972)
The third Captain 20, Dick Dyszel, had been hired to play "Bozo";
(a role he'd carefully-honed in a live one-hour weekday
afternoon show on WDXR-TV Channel 29 in Paducah, Kentucky).
Dick Dyszel as Bozo (with Snappy Pappy) in Paducah, Kentucky
Dick Dyszel as Bozo, along with "Snappy Pappy"
at WDXR-TV, Channel 29 in Paducah, KY.
Once he'd moved to DC, Dick was told he'd also be playing Captain 20.
The U.S. moon shots had wound-down, so Dick transformed Captain 20
from an astronaut to an alien, (hailing temporarily from Mars,
whenever the M&M/Mars Candy company was a show sponsor).
Captain 20 (Dick Dyszel) and friend promote the Monkey Races
The gerbil gimmick had played out, so "Monkey Races" were born. Instead of galloping gerbils, a randomly chosen tape of racing chimps would air.

Dyszel 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 routine!  Kinky!"

The Saboo Chimps Promoting Monkey Races on the Channel 20 Club

WDCA scored a coup in '74 when Walt Disney Studios allowed their pre-recorded cartoon characters to race. Thus, began the Disney Races.
Dick Dysel as Captain 20 in 1975 on the bridge of his new and second spaceship set.
Dick Dysel as Captain 20 in 1975 on the
bridge of his new and second spaceship set.
In 1975, station founder and General Manager Milt Grant
came-up with the "Channel 20 Club Card" promotion.
(A similar promotion for Grant's own "Record Hop" on WTTG-TV 5
in the late '50s and early '60s had been a huge marketing success.) 

Channel 20 Club Card, Front (Courtesy of Dick Dyszel)

Cards were distributed to kids by mail (self-addressed, stamped envelope) or through local retail outlets and Captain 20 personal appearances.

Dick Dyszel as Captain 20, c.1975 (Courtesy;The City Paper)

During the 3 years they were valid, some 250,000 cards were handed-out.
Channel 20 Club Card, Back (Courtesy of Dick Dyszel)
Each card's number matched a numbered stub in the contest drum. Five
times a day, Captain 20 picked a number at random to read on the air.
When a winner returned their card to WDCA, they'd receive the prize.
(The very first Grand Prize was "Christmas in Disney World".)
Dick Dyszel as Captain 20 with the Banana Splits on a Potomac boat trip
Capt. 20 & the Banana Splits cruise the Potomac.
 'Til '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.-
Dick Dyszel as Captain 20 the bridge of his third and last spaceship set. (1977)
Dick Dyszel as Captain 20 the bridge of his
third and last spaceship set. (1977)
The 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.

Captain 20 (Dick Dyszel) Gets His First Real Show
Captain 20 (Dick Dyszel) Gets His 1st Real Show

Captain 20 continued to run contests and awarded different prizes using a variety of methods. By 1979, he was also doing public safety PSAs.
Captain 20 with no alien ears working with Diamond Elem School students, Gaithersburg. (c.1979)
Captain 20 in a new uniform and without "alien ears" greets
Diamond Elementary School students from Gaithersburg. (c.1979)
A mainstay of WDCA kid shows was the ongoing display of viewer's
artwork. Introduced in 1972 as "Bozo's Art Gallery", the display
became Captain 20's "Space Gallery" when Bozo's Circus departed
in 1977. The feature ran 15 years altogether... until May 1987!

(Dick Dyszel still gets mail from folks who say how
much it meant to them to see their drawings on TV.)
Host/producer Dick Dyszel would soon also be responsible for
WDCA's innovative local educational shows "WOW!" and "Kids' Break".

Dick Dyszel as he looks today
Dick Dyszel
runs his own
CD mobile-DJ
Sounds Fabulous
in Chicago.
If you enjoyed
 reading about
 Captain 20,
 you'll also want
 to visit his scary
 distant relative,
Count Gore de Vol.
Count Gore de Vol
Learn more on
 Captain 20 &
 Dick Dyszel in
 a 1995 Dave
 "Nut World"
 profile from
 the Washington
 City Paper.
Photographs and Historical Data Generously Donated by Dick Dyszel David P. Samson (left) as Elmer Fishpaw in John Waters' POLYESTER
Public Library, District of Columbia, Washingtoniana Division
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Outstanding Sites you'll also want to visit... ... The Great 98, WRC Radio
WPGC Radio Tribute Site
PercyFaithPages.Org Web Site
Link To DC Radio & TV Website
WQMR/WGAY Memories Site Official Fan Site
Art By Terry Crews
Kaptain Kidshow
Saluting Vintage TV Kid Shows
Produced In Washington, DC

Page Revised: 8/26/04

Kappy's Top Twenty
Bozo by M. Fischer, © 1946 Capitol Records, Inc., Bozo TM & © 2004 Larry Harmon Pictures Corp. All Rights Reserved)
Bozo the Clown
Billy Johnson
Billy Johnson
Lee Reynolds as Cap'n Tugg
Cap'n Tugg
Howard Huge of Kids' Break
Kids' Break
Dick Dyszel as the third Captain 20
Captain 20
Pete Jamerson 1977 by Trisha Katson, GMU
Pete & His Pals
Cindy Lou Dahl of Melody Ranch
Cindy Lou's Ranch
Pick Temple and Lady
Pick Temple
Claire Lyons and Co Co
Claire & Co Co
Hal Shaw as DC's Ranger Hal
Ranger Hal
Bob Porter as Cousin Cupcake
Cousin Cupcake
Miss Connie on Romper Room
Romper Room
Bill Gormley of Countdown Carnival
Countdown Carnival
Sam & Friends
Lee Reynolds as Grandpa
Grandpa's Place
Curly, Larry and Moe as The Three Stooges
Three Stooges
Jules Huber as Hoppity Skippity
Hoppity Skippity
Darrell Drummond of Time For Science
Time For Science
Mike Hunnicutt
Mike Hunnicutt
Dick Dyszel on WOW
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