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.Washingtonian Magazine Photo, March 1977
"Willard Scott"
A Very Young Willard Scott (Donated By Skip McCloskey)
From The 1963 AFTRA Directory.
(Donated by Skip McCloskey)
Willard Scott, born March 7th, 1934,
was raised in Alexandria, Virginia.

On 9/16/50, at the age of only 16,
(and while attending high school),
he began working as "Weekend Page"
at the National Broadcasting Co.
(NBC) in downtown Washington DC 
while holding two part-time DJ jobs;
"High School Hit Parade" (WOL-1450AM) and "Dancing Party" (WCFM-99.5FM).

He still appears on NBC-TV
more than a-half-century later!

 Click to read his online biography

"Barn Party"
Aired on WNBW-TV 4, 
Broadcast Live, in B&W
One-Hour Program
Various Airtimes
1/23/54 - 12/18/54
Betsy Stelk and Dummies (Photo From Bob Porter's Collection, Courtesy:Tim Hollis)
(Bob Porter's Collection, Courtesy:Tim Hollis)
First Host: Betsy Stelck;
w/ girl dummy "Cindy Lou",
and a boy dummy.

Not shown; her live
female cocker spaniel,
"Little Bit".

Hear Willard Talk About "Barn Party" at Kidshow Klips
Ad From TV Guide magazine, Early 1954 (Donated by Ralph Bull)
1954 TV Guide magazine... donated by Ralph Bull
In "Whatever Happened To Those Kiddie Show Hosts?", Willard Scott told Trisha Katson that Barn Party marked his kid show debut.

 In "The Joy of Living", he stated:
"My first chance to do kiddie shows professionally came before I was in the Navy, on a Saturday TV show called Barn Party. I was 'Farmer Willard' and I played opposite 
a very refined lady named Betsy Stelck, who had a fairyland
aura about her..."

In June of 1954, the top brass at Channel-4 shifted the station's Saturday sign-on time from 9:45am
to 1:30pm...  perhaps to coincide
with Summer vacationtime.

Barn Party survived the shake-up,
moving to a 4:30pm start, but the
fate of hostess Betsy Stelck 
or Willard Scott is not clear. 
(Were they also on vacation?)

This Washington Post ad
from Saturday, June 12, 1954 
identifies Mike Hunnicutt
(of the "Mike Hunnicutt Show"
for kids on weekdays) as the
host at the new airtime.

Ad For Barn Party and Circle 4 Ranch - June 12, 1954 Post
Read "WNBW-TV's 'Barn Party' Newest Child TV Show Clicks"
 Sources: Top Betsy Stelck photo from Bob "Cousin Cupcake" Porter's collection, donated by Tim Hollis, (author of "Hi There, Boys and Girls! - America's Local Children's TV Programs")
"Whatever Happened To Those Kiddie Show Hosts?" by Trisha Katson, (Summer 1977; George Mason University's "Phoebe" publication; donated by John Ahmad & Jack Maier),
Willard Scott's 1982 autobiography, "The Joy of Living".
Ad from a 1954 TV Guide magazine... donated by Ralph Bull.
Sound klip excerpt from an interview by Sean Hall; heard on an edition of WTOP RADIO's "Issues".
"Bozo" TM & 2004 Larry Harmon Pictures Corp. All Rights Reserved
Afternoon Ad - Washington Post, 05.31.55
Aired (Live)
from WRC-TV 4


to 5/1956 

Willard Scott was co-host with Mac McGarry (from debut until late Spring '55) on a weekday variety and news show with one or more hosts, singers, a jazz quartet, and Jim Henson's Muppets.

The cast and show length was often revamped in hopes of better ratings, but Inga and the Muppets stayed
on-board until the very end. As of 11/7/55, the
show would be called "Afternoon with Inga". 

Willard's 1982 autobiography, "The Joy of Living", tells of his early days in television, interacting with " ... an innovative bunch of puppets created by a guy named Jim Henson. They were called the Muppets. ... I worked with a bald- headed Muppet with a big nose, named Sam, sort of the way Fran Allison worked on Kukla, Fran and Ollie.  Then there was the frog named Kermit. I used to do a commercial for a local peanut butter called Schindlers. He'd open his mouth, I'd give him a big spoonful, and he'd go 'ahh'". 
Read An 1955 Article About Afternoon, "The Straight Man Totes The Load"
Sources: Willard Scott's 1982 autobiography, "The Joy of Living".
Ad from The Washington Post and Times Herald, page 39, Tuesday, May 31, 1955.
Article from The Washington Post and Times Herald, TV-Radio Week, page J3 Sunday, May 15, 1955
Muppet images courtesy of The Jim Henson Legacy & the Henson Family, TM & 2003 The Jim Henson Company
All Muppets, photos, and likenesses 2003 The Jim Henson Company.
Muppet, Muppets, characters & elements TM The Jim Henson Company.
"Bozo the Clown"
Photo By Reni Photos, Courtesy: Willard Scott (from America Is My Neighborhood)
Photo By Reni Photos, Courtesy: Jack Maier
(from "America Is My Neighborhood")
From August 1959 to August 1962,
Willard Scott portrayed
"Bozo, the World's
Most Famous Clown."
for DC area audiences.
Click For Details at the
"Bozo the Clown" Pages
Click on BACK Button
To Return Here.
."Bozo" TM & 2004 Larry Harmon Pictures Corp. All Rights Reserved
"Mickey Mouse Club"
Aired on WRC-TV 4
(Film w/Live Drop-ins)
Mondays through Fridays
5:00 to 5:30PM,
Fall 1962 to 1964
Willard Scott 
as "Uncle Willard"
Scott filled the time between segments of the re-packaged 1950s Disney "Mickey Mouse Club" reruns. In "The Joy of Living" he writes:
"I wore mouse ears and a blazer, and my job was to simply
open and close the show and do commercials.
"Ronald McDonald"
Willard Scott created the
"Ronald McDonald" character
for two businessmen who had the
DC area McDonald's Drive-in
Restaurant franchise;
John Gibson and Oscar Goldstein,
(doing business at the time as
"Gee Gee Distributing"). 
The McDonald's Corporation
eventually hired
a different actor
for the national commercials.
Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald (from an article in Parade Magazine)
From "Parade Magazine"  Courtesy: Jack Maier.
.The McDonald's trademark used herein is owned by the McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates.
McDonald's website acknowledges Willard as the first Ronald McDonald.
Hear Sounds of Willard as "Ronald McDonald" at Kidshow Klips
The caption to the above color photo (from Parade Magazine) stated that
Willard played Ronald from 1963 to 1966, and that "Scott says Ronald
evolved from Bozo, whom Scott played on a Washington TV show."
Willard Scott (as Ronald McDonald) visits Captain 20 (John Kallimonis) c. 1969
Willard Scott, right, (as Ronald McDonald)
visits Captain 20 (John Kallimonis) c. 1969
(Photo Donated By Dick Dyszel)
Skip McCloskey
"Willard wanted
to keep the
Bozo thing going
although WRC
dropped the contract
with Larry Harmon.
Willard took
the Bozo costume
and made
a few changes
to it.
The result
was Ronald."
Hear Willard's "Ronald McDonald" TV Commercials at TheJoyBoys.Com
"The Ronald Show"
Aired on WRC-TV 4 (Pre-taped)
 Broadcast "In Living Color"
8:30 to 9:00AM
3/4/66 to 9/10/66
TV Guide, Week of July 9th 1966 (Courtesy:John Bevilacqua)
The show was promoted by Bonnie Aikman's
D.C. Studios column in the 3/13/1966
Sunday StarTV Magazine
"FOR MOPPETS: WRC-4's Bozo the Clown - Willard Scott - has added another outlet to his humorous creative talents. He's the emcee on WRC-4's new children's program, 'The Ronald Show'. The series has a studio audience of some 30 youngsters each week who participate in games, dramatic skits and chats with Ronald (a clown-type character)."
Also featured was  "B'Wana Don in Jungle-La"
about a safari leader (played by Don Hunt) 
and his trouble-prone chimp.
In a 1977 interview with Trisha Katson for
"Whatever Happened To Those Kiddie Show Hosts?", Willard Scott called the show - "One of those
magnificent rare treasures ... featuring
dramatizations and dance contests."
.The McDonald's trademark used herein is owned by the McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates.
 Sources:"Whatever Happened To Those Kiddie Show Hosts?" by Trisha Katson, (Summer 1977; George Mason University's "Phoebe" publication; donated by John Ahmad & Jack Maier),
Bonnie Aikman, D.C. Studios in the 3/13/66 & 9/11/66 Sunday StarTV Magazine, Courtesy:Jack Maier. Advertisement from the 7/9/1966 TV Guide Magazine, donated by John Bevilacqua.
"Commander Retro".
Willard Scott as COMMANDER RETRO (and friend)
(Photo courtesy of Jack Maier)
From 9/17/66 to 2/24/68, Willard
starred as "Commander Retro"
in what will be his last kid show
as a WRC-TV Staff Announcer.
Click For Details at the
"Commander Retro" Page
Click on BACK Button To Return Here.
Other Willard Facts
In the Fall of 1951, (his freshman year at college), Willard met Ed Walker at American University's campus radio station; WAMU.
The duo were hired by WOL-AM Radio to do a weekend comedy show titled "Going AWOL" for $25 a week.
When Willard was hired as a WRC Staff Announcer in 1953, the team moved their act to 980AM where (except for Willard's tour in the USN),
the zany "Joy Boys" were on-the-air until 1972.
Bob Bybee's "The Joy Boys" Web Site
Willard Scott, Radio Announcer (Early 1950s)
(Photo Courtesy: Howard Allen,
from the Sun Gazette paper, 6/22/00)
Donated by Jack Maier
Joy Boys Ad in the 1963 AFTRA Directory (Donated by Skip McCloskey)
From the 1963 AFTRA Directory
(Donated by Skip McCloskey)
The Joy Boys... Ed Walker and Willard Scott ... Photo By Ernie Newhouse
(WRC-AM Photo By Ernie Newhouse)
When WRC-AM rolled-out a new
"Great 98" rock music format
in October of 1972,
The Joy Boys moved their act out
to Brookville Road in Silver Spring
and broadcast from WWDC-AM
1260 until the Summer of '74.
Before he ever did
a weather forecast
on TV, Willard
presented regular
weather reports 
on WRC-AM radio
from 1956 to '72.

He also hosted a 
15-minute music
radio program called
"The Compact Show"
on WRC-AM for many
years, which aired
just before the
"Joy Boys" show.

From the 1963 AFTRA Directory
(Donated by Skip McCloskey)
During WRC-AM's
"The Great 98" era,
Willard was a real-live
"rock personality"
in the 2pm to 6pm
air shift...
(for a while, anyway). ... The Great 98, WRC Radio
Learn More at Skip McCloskey
and Mike Berry's
"The Great 98" Web Site

Willard Scott at *The Great 98*. Circa 1974 (Donated by Skip McCloskey)
(Donated by Skip McCloskey)
On the TV side,
from 1968 through
the entire decade
of the 1970s,
Willard Scott
was the popular
News-4 Weekday
He also found
time to sell fresh
eggs from his
rural Virginia
farm to fellow
Channel 4/NBC
staffers at
"4001 Neb. Avenue."
Willard Scott (December 1979) Washington Post Photo by Craig Herndon
 Photo by Craig Herndon,
Washington Post  December 1979 
Willard Scott Autographed Photo
From "Capital Comment"
Washingtonian, Magazine, March '77,
"TV Scenes: Topless Weatherman":

"Willard Scott was at the desk,
ready to do the weather, and
Bill Sternoff was introducing him,
when Willard got up and left,
leaving Sternoff and NewsCenter
in momentary panic. 

A newsclip and commercial were
hastily thrown in, and WRC people
wondered if it was a walkout. 
Willard returned moments later.
He’d forgotten his hairpiece."

In March 1980, Willard found national fame as the new Weatherman for NBC's "Today" show, broadcasting from NYC.
(He switched places with former Today Show meteorologist Bob Ryan, who is still the WRC-TV 4
Chief Meteorologist after
twenty plus years.)
Willard Doing Weather (On NBC's The Today Show).
Willard Scott's The Joy Of Living (Autobiography) Willard Scott Autographed Photo
Willard's best-selling autobiography "The Joy of Living" was published in 1982 (and in paperback in 1983).
In addition to his weekday
morning Today Show gig,
from 1987 until 1989,
he played "Peter Poole"
on "The Hogan Family" weekly
NBC-TV situation comedy.
Another of Willard's Publicity Photos
Willard Scott hosting The New Original Amateur Hour
Then, in 1992, he also hosted 
"The New Original Amateur Hour"
for cable's Family Channel network.
Willard also wrote
the non-fiction book
"America Is My Neighborhood"
 (with Daniel Paisner),
as well as two
Stanley Waters
mystery books
(with Bill Crider),
"Murder Under Blue Skies",
and "Murder in the Mist".
Willard Scott's VHS *The Old Farmer's Almanac*
While juggling his
other duties, 
Willard also found
time to host 
"The Old Farmer's
Video Almanac"
(with Jonathan Winters);
to edit "Willard Scott's
All-American Cookbook";
and to recall a few of
"Willard Scott's
Down Home Stories".
Willard's Downhome Stories
Mary and Willard Scott at the Delaplane Strawberry Festival (Sun Gazette Photo)
Mary and Willard Scott at
the 2000 Delaplane (Va.) Strawberry Festival 
(Photo by Madelyn Marzani, Sun Gazette paper,
6/22/00. Donated by Jack Maier)
According to Scott McCaffrey's 6/22/00 article -- "TV's Willard
Scott Loves the Local Living"--
in the Sun Gazette newspaper,
Willard is still going strong.

He says, "Life couldn't be better -
I work just about as much as I want. I do a lot of speeches,
a lot of commercials.
As long as my health holds out, I wouldn't want to retire.

Mary Dwyer Scott, Willard's wife of forty-three years,
died from cancer in October 2002.
Mary Dwyer Scott, born in Washington DC on December 27, 1935, died at Sibley Hospital on the morning of October 28, 2002 after battling cancer. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Willard Scott and daughters Mary P. Scott of Brownsburg VA and Sally S. Swiatek of Savannah GA, son in law Joseph Swiatek and two grandchildren, John Willard Swiatek and Sally Marie Swiatek. 

Mrs. Scott was extremely active as a volunteer and served on many different community committees including past Chair of the Delaplane Strawberry Festival, the Boards of Notre Dame Academy and Oatlands, and a docent at Mount Vernon. She was a volunteer for the D.C. Society for Crippled Children and a supporter of numerous animal advocacy groups. 

The Scotts met in 1958 while both worked at WRC, the NBC station in Washington, D.C.. Mrs. Scott was a beloved member of the New York Book Group. She loved to travel, going to many places around the world with both friends and with the Today Show. She was part of a group of friends who called themselves the "Geese" for over 35 years. These friends formed a mutual support group for each other as they went through life. She was also a long time member of the Middleburg Tennis Club. 

Contributions may be made to Breast Cancer Research, or to Winchester Medical Center, Winchester VA, or to Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC. Cards of condolence may be sent to Willard Scott in care of NBC, 4001 Nebraska Avenue NW, Washington DC 20016. 

Willard Scott 1981 Publicity Photo
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