Of Bunyips, Shrimpenstein and Ladmo Bags
December 30, 2006 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Before purple dinosaurs roamed the earth, back when sponges went pants-less, children in the US had to rely on their local TV stations for entertainment. Even “national” programs such as Romper Room or Bozo the Clown had a local component. From coast to coast and in between, everyone ate their cereal in front of someone different.
posted by jrossi4r (80 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Believe it or don't, but I was on the Bozo show in NYC back in the early 1960s (when it was on WPIX). I was very excited because Bozo was sponsored by Bosco chocolate syrup and they gave some of the kids Bosco and milk. Unfortunately, I was not one them.

The bitterness has stayed with me to this day.
posted by tommasz at 12:20 PM on December 30, 2006

I have great memories of Wonderama (I think it was on WPIX 11 in NYC).

WPIX also had this awesome afternoon tidbit around 1980. I can't remember the name, but basically, kids would call up and get to "play" a videogame. They would say "PIX!" and your spaceship, LIVE ON YOUR VERY OWN TV, would fire, etc! I tried calling every afternoon. It was truly the coolest thing ever (at the time).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:32 PM on December 30, 2006

I have some hazy memories of being a kid in the "Wallace & Ladmo" audience back in...1971? 1972? I got one of those cool "Ladmo Bags" full of candy and sweet snacks.

Ah, memories.

And you know - maybe I'm wrong, but I honestly think that shows like this could make a huge comeback, under the heading of "hyper-local" programming. Not just kids' shows, either.
posted by davidmsc at 12:33 PM on December 30, 2006

Anyone else here remember Addy Bobkins?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:33 PM on December 30, 2006

Oh right..the games were from an Intellivision if I recall - so it may have been as early as 1979.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:33 PM on December 30, 2006

I remember that, Cat Pie Hurts. We used to get WPIX on cable at my grandparent's house down the shore. I always wanted to play along, but I think it was reserved for local kids (or at least that's what my mom told me).
posted by jrossi4r at 12:37 PM on December 30, 2006

In eastern Iowa, it was Dr. Max & Mombo. Dr. Max championed our daily fix of a 3 Stooges short against the write-in campaign of some MOM (Mothers Opposing Moe) group concerned we'd all start poking each other's eyes out. Sweet guy but tended to tip a few before visiting small towns in the viewing area. My older brother took me to one. When we were close enough to get an autograph, he asked "Where's Mombo?" and I'll never forget the good Dr.'s slurred answer:
"Mombo's in Hawaii, the lucky shit."
posted by hal9k at 12:40 PM on December 30, 2006

My favorite lawman was always Sheriff John.
posted by wendell at 12:40 PM on December 30, 2006

Weird. On the subject of kids TV shows from our childhood, just yesterday I was talking with one of my co-workers and he got on the topic of the Gordon Robinson character from Sesame Street. He was amazed to discover that the actor had started off his career as a bad ass pimp.

Not that this has anything to do with this thread really. I just felt like sharing.
posted by quin at 12:46 PM on December 30, 2006

Ray Rayner
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 12:48 PM on December 30, 2006

Big ups to Captain Chesapeake!
posted by dhammond at 12:52 PM on December 30, 2006

We used to watch Captain Ahab on UHF and I remember the day he read my name on TV after I sent him a letter. Huge thrill.

Wonderama was great though. Wakadoo Wakadoo.
posted by gfrobe at 12:59 PM on December 30, 2006

also here. I miss Mr. Peppermint. He was Gibby Haynes' dad!
posted by unknowncommand at 1:07 PM on December 30, 2006

I loved Wonderama. I used to sing and boogie to the exercise segment of the show which drove my mom nuts because I'd sing the song loooong after the show was over (a touch autistic, I am).

"Exercise, Exercise,come on everybody,do your exercise!"

I loved HR PufNStuf too.
posted by hojoki at 1:09 PM on December 30, 2006

WPIX also had this awesome afternoon tidbit around 1980. I can't remember the name,


That link talks about some Channel F-based games; my best recollection (confirmed by the (yeah, I know) Wikipedia) is that TV PIXX was Intellivision.
posted by Opposite George at 1:14 PM on December 30, 2006

Speaking regionally, peeps from Southern Alberta most likely remember Buckshot. It had a distinctive theme song, and all the puppets looked like dirty carnival midway prizes.

Buckshot was quintessential 70's-80's Calgary, but was bland in comparison to other Canadian kid's programming: Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant, The The Edison Twins, Harriet's Magic Hats, The Polka Dot Door, Hammy Hamster and my all time favorite, Jeremy The Bear.

I had some serious technolust for that magical silver suitcase that could turn into anything.
posted by isopraxis at 1:18 PM on December 30, 2006

Ya gotta mention Soupy Sales, he of White Fang and Black Tooth fame. Snopes covers two of the better stories about the show, the first of which is true:
On New Year's Day 1965, Soupy, miffed at having to work on the holiday, ended his live broadcast by encouraging his young viewers to tiptoe into their still-sleeping parents' bedrooms and remove those "funny green pieces of paper" from their pants and pocketbooks. "Put them in an envelope and mail them to me," Soupy allegedly instructed the children. "And you know what I'm going to send you? A post card from Puerto Rico!"
Unfortunately, Snopes debunks the rumor that he intentionally sneaked smutty jokes onto the show:
• "What starts with f and ends with uck? A fire truck!"
• Singing a ditty entitled "If you see Kay ..."
• Playing a game with White Fang in which the dog grunts the alphabet but consistently misidentifies the letter f as the letter k until Soupy blurts out in mock exasperation: "Everytime I see f, you see k!"
• Telling his audience: "I climbed up a tree and kissed my girl between the limbs."
• Announcing: "I took my wife to a baseball game — I kissed her on the strikes, and she kissed me on the balls."
posted by rob511 at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2006

Damn, the Tulsa TV Memories link has been... MeFied? What's the term for Slashdotting on MeFi?

Which sucks, because not only did we have Uncle Zeb, but we also had some colorful weathermen in Tulsa. Don Woods, e.g. drew Gusty to highlight the forecast. And over on channel 6, Lee Woodward would bring out King Lionel (a lion puppet with crowd and throne) to comment on events of the day.

Both were eventually pushed out by a younger generation of weathermen with actual degrees in meteorology.
posted by dw at 1:21 PM on December 30, 2006

oops, my bad for the crap angelfire links.
posted by isopraxis at 1:21 PM on December 30, 2006

Oh, jrossi, you stole my post! ;-) Around Halloween I started trying to compile a post on late night local TV horror hosts (spurred by my own memories of Ashley Ghastly in Charleston) but all I ever found was this, so I shelved it. So cool, now I get to add it to the sum of metafilter knowledge.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:22 PM on December 30, 2006

And no discussion of local kids shows would be complete without JP Patches, who Seattleites love even though he's been off TV for well over a decade.
posted by dw at 1:23 PM on December 30, 2006

For anybody who grew up in the DC area, as I did, the fact that Captain 20 can DJ your wedding is so disturbing as to be kinda beautiful.
posted by escabeche at 1:31 PM on December 30, 2006

Anyone from Denver remember Blinky's Fun Club?

And I remember "Captain Dooley" though he may have been syndicated.

My weirdest memory of Romper Room was a very strange cartoon where a little angel-type character became a trickster and they had to shoot him while he was a choo-choo train, and he died.

But then, it was the 60's....
posted by rougy at 1:41 PM on December 30, 2006

Apparently, everyone here is much, much older than I.
posted by Bageena at 1:44 PM on December 30, 2006

No mention of Soupy Sales & the Stripper? Ah, Live Television!
posted by jonson at 1:45 PM on December 30, 2006

I'll throw in a shout-out to Bob Wilkins, known to the SF Bay Area as Captain Cosmic. I had the Captain Cosmic membership card, and I was crushed when he left the airwaves (for Sacramento) in 1978 in his silver flying saucer.
posted by JDC8 at 2:23 PM on December 30, 2006

Oooh, this is fantastic. Anyone remember Popeye & Friends? I wanted to be in that audience so much!
posted by skilletfish at 2:29 PM on December 30, 2006

Am I remembering correctly that Ray Rayner had a double-billed reversible baseball hat — Cubs / White Sox — which he wore while giving the baseball scores? Talk about one, spin it around, talk about the other?
posted by MarvinTheCat at 2:35 PM on December 30, 2006

In Oklahoma it was Foreman Scotty, and Lunch with Ho-Ho the Clown.
posted by Nyrath at 2:38 PM on December 30, 2006

In Toronto it was Commander Tom from Buffalo, (which seemed to be perpetually on fire in Lackawana or Tonawanda or some such place,) and Uncle Bobby.
One day when I was in grade 7 Uncle Bobby was driving our schoolbus.
posted by chococat at 2:44 PM on December 30, 2006

From way before I was born, Chattanooga had "Funtime With Miss Marcia." Host Marcia Kling is still associated with the same ABC affilliate (WTVC), doing health reports.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:55 PM on December 30, 2006

Gigglesnort Hotel was utterly Satanic. There was nothing cute or funny about it - it was horrifying and wrong.

Eg: The Blob of Clay didn't "talk" - it continually whimpered in agony and terror as the other characters molded, manipulated and taunted it... All except for the lone human, who would sculpt, re-face and attempt commiseration with his fellow prisoner in Gigglesnort Hell. Then along would come the Dragon, who would eat some coal, let fly a litany of insults, and then spew huge amounts of smoke from his nostrils. I used to hide in the corner when it was on TV. It's one of those things that the media establishment has tried to wipe from the collective memory, kind of like Rankin & Bass's "The Year Without A Santa Claus" (also fairly Satanic) - but it was real.

posted by washburn at 3:02 PM on December 30, 2006

I got the name slightly wrong. The Addie Bobkins Show (His name in real life was Bob Adkins, I'm told.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:06 PM on December 30, 2006

We had a national (Canadian) version of Romper Room, out of Kitchener, Ontario -- Miss Fran, along with Do-Bee and the others.

The only local show when I was growing up was the CBC's Switchback -- Bill Wright and some plastic chicken that was actually the star of the show.
posted by evilcolonel at 3:06 PM on December 30, 2006

I don't remember a damn thing about Romper Room so either they didn't have it in Columbus OH, or (more likely) I just didn't watch it.

In any case when I was 9 we moved to the DC area and I remember Captain 20 and Captain Chesapeake well.

Around 1980 or so channel 20 had some kind of contest where you'd send in cards to win a go-kart from Captain 20. I think it was a Herbie the Love Bug go-kart. I wanted to win that Herbie the Love Bug go-kart from Captain 20 some kind of bad. Some little kid from Southeast DC won it. Rotten little bastard.
posted by smoothvirus at 3:18 PM on December 30, 2006

I Connecticut in the 1960s-70s we had the Ranger Station with Ranger Rick. Though I watched it hundreds of times all I can recall now is one sing-along of "When the Old Man Died."
posted by LarryC at 3:21 PM on December 30, 2006

I grew up with Ramblin' Rod, a rather scary cartoon show host who wore an ugly brown jacket covered with buttons and sailed in a stationary boat. (A great page about Ramblin' Rod; an obituary; his Wikipedia. While he's dead, he still seems to have a few MySpace pages ...)
posted by liet at 3:36 PM on December 30, 2006

I had totally forgotten about Wonderama, but I absolutely loved that show.

Would the Great Space Coaster count as another one of those shows? I know it was on around the same time.
posted by emelenjr at 3:38 PM on December 30, 2006

Don't forget the Magic Garden...
posted by horsemuth at 3:45 PM on December 30, 2006

Nyrath, I was on the Foreman Scotty show once.
posted by yhbc at 3:45 PM on December 30, 2006

And I believe I mentioned it before. (no, that's not a doublepost callout - just an observation)
posted by yhbc at 3:46 PM on December 30, 2006

As important as those shows were to me, I gotta give it up for Don Mahoney and Jeana Claire on local Houston TV for shaping the twisted pervert I am today.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:58 PM on December 30, 2006

You should still put that post together, mygothlaundry. I loved Son of Svengoolie and Creature Double Feature (although the latter doesn't count as I believe it was hostless).
posted by jrossi4r at 4:21 PM on December 30, 2006

Thanks for the Captain 20 link. I can still recite this PSA, verbatim, to this day, 25 years later.

"Hi kids, it's Captain 20 flying without an airplane right? Wrong!"

posted by smoothvirus at 4:23 PM on December 30, 2006

Am I remembering correctly that Ray Rayner had a double-billed reversible baseball hat — Cubs / White Sox — which he wore while giving the baseball scores? Talk about one, spin it around, talk about the other?

I believe you are correct. And leave us not forget the other Chicago kiddie stalwart: Garfield Goose.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:54 PM on December 30, 2006

Ooooo, I just had a giant Magic Door flashback too.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:57 PM on December 30, 2006

More on Chicago kids shows.

Bozo was huge back in the day. At one point there was a 10-year waiting list for tickets! Parents would get on the list when their kids were born, if not before.

I was in the audience for Bozo's Circus in Chicago when I was in second grade. I didn't get to play the Grand Prize Game, but I did get to do the Grand March.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:11 PM on December 30, 2006

Captain Kangaroo!! with Mr. Moose and Mr. Green Jeans and guests like sweet sweet Dolly Parton! Knock, knock. Who's there, Mister Moose? Alaska. Alaska, who, Mister Moose? Alaska to duck, 'cause here they come!"
posted by roboto at 5:12 PM on December 30, 2006

I used to watch a kids show called ZOOM. In the lyrics to the opening theme song they said, "Come on give it a try... we're gonna teach you to fly! High!"

I was afraid to miss it, because I just knew the episode I missed would be the one where they taught you to fly.

To this day, a small part of me believes they did, and I missed it.
posted by JWright at 5:42 PM on December 30, 2006

Washburn, Gigglesnort Hotel was fucking creepy. That dragon still haunts my nightmares. Somehow or other we got in in Philly. I had no idea it originated in Chicago.

Philly also had something called Al Alberts' Showcase, which was another one for the creepy-ass-old-man files (or, as I like to call them, the pedo-files). Imagine a room full of JonBenet Ramsey-looking kids singing songs. Now imagine them taking turns on Al's lap, as he prompts them to say cute things.

Scary shit. Scary shit.
posted by hifiparasol at 6:00 PM on December 30, 2006

Chicago represent

Remember the Bozo episode where the kid missed the last Bozo Bucket (the one with the silver dollars and you won a bike)

and he said "fuck!" on live tv?

And Cookie or Bozo said "oh oh oh thats a Bozo no-no"?

could be an urban myth, but in the days before TiVo everyone seemed to have seen that one.

Ray Rayner forever!
posted by tsarfan at 6:08 PM on December 30, 2006

Many, many hours of my youth were spent practicing singing "The Rose" by Bette Midler in the hopes that I'd one day be on Al Alberts, hifiparasol.
posted by jrossi4r at 6:16 PM on December 30, 2006

The Commander Tom reference reminded me of the companion, Rocketship 7. Lots of nerdy/nostaglic fan sites out there!
posted by stevil at 7:14 PM on December 30, 2006

I had totally forgotten about Wonderama, but I absolutely loved that show.

Ah yes... one of my first brushes with greatness was at the ninteen-seventy-something IBM Family Christmas show* @ the Americana Hotel in NYC. Wonderama's Bob McAllister was the entertainment. When I used the rest room after the show, he was in there washing his hands. It had never occurred to me before that TV people actually did stuff like use the bathroom before.

One of the great things about Wonderama is the weird guests they'd have on - I think their booking agent must've moonlighted in the Catskills as Wonderama was my introduction both to Morris Katz, the World's Fastest Painter and Lou "Simon Says" Goldstein of Grossingers fame. I'm pretty sure Neil Sedaka showed up once, and either Neil Adams or Charles Strouse. Krusty the Klown interviewing George Meany really wasn't too far off from Wonderama's guest list.

Come to think of it, maybe my old-man tastes are a result of too much Wonderama as a kid.

*This was back in the days when IBM was the Great Corporate Father and they used to do stuff like this for employees and their families - holiday shows with cool acts and toys to take home were par for the course. This stuff got cut big-time in the eighties.
posted by Opposite George at 7:18 PM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

My uncle and my cousin would watch Kitirik with me every week. As a matter of fact, they would hunt me down and force me to watch it with them so they'd have an excuse. A kiddie show with a 23-year-old hostess in cat costume and fishnet stockings -- wanna guess the age range of that demographic?
posted by forrest at 7:26 PM on December 30, 2006

Wow, I loved Captain 20. That PSA is truely a classic.
posted by trbrts at 7:36 PM on December 30, 2006

Anyone from Denver remember Blinky's Fun Club?

I vaguely remember it from when I was a kid in the 70s in Colorado Springs. But I didn't watch too much TV back then and still don't, so I get to be all clawing at your window in the winter chill while you guys reminisce about the good times and I remember watching Dersu Uzala at the arthouse cinema with my parents.....
posted by eparchos at 7:43 PM on December 30, 2006

hifiparasol: I'm glad to find another Gigglesnort victim. I mostly agree with the person I quoted who found it "Satanic," with the proviso that "Satanic" here denoted Luciferian coolness.

The whole thing set in this towering ancient hotel, the basement of which was inhabited a smoking cursing dragon, and the first floor of which was periodically transversed by a howling head of clay which people would periodically seize and reshape, as it moaned in apparent agony (or ecstasy?). And of course, the hotel was owned by a elderly couple who spent their days on the roof as their memories slowly left them, believing that the hotel was ship on a journey to some unknown place.

What could be better! I think I may have just convinced myself to order the DVDs, though perhaps it is better in my memories than it would be if I watched it again.

Glad it made it out to Philly, too.
posted by washburn at 7:45 PM on December 30, 2006

Ok, Wonderama rocked! Seriously, where else could you see Joe Frazier & Mohammed Ali play marbles together?

Oh, I really wanted to win that bicycle...
posted by miss lynnster at 7:49 PM on December 30, 2006

where else could you see Joe Frazier & Mohammed Ali play marbles together?

Was it for a Ross Apollo Bicycle or a Talking Viewmaster?
posted by Opposite George at 8:33 PM on December 30, 2006

In 1955, my kindergarten went on a bus ride to Boise, where we appeared on the The Merry Milkman Show.

We all wore signboards of cut out cardboard apples, painted red, and sang

Oh, I wish I was an apple
Hangin on a tree
And every time that Cindy passed
She'd take a bite of me

My family didn't have a TV yet, so they went down to the Bancroft Hotel and watched me on the set in the lobby. I myself did not watch a TV show on a TV until sometime after my appearance. I understood the concept well enough, though--I used to peek at the tubes in back of our old console radio to see if there were any tiny people playing in tiny orchestras when there was music on.
posted by y2karl at 8:56 PM on December 30, 2006

jrossi4r, ah, what a fun post. I did like Romper Room as a kid and remember Miss Louise with affection. That twirly mirror thing always fascinated me. Even as an adult, there is something good, more than mere nostalgia, about watching little kids' shows. I've enjoyed many hours watching Teletubbies, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, Sesame Street and Peewee Herman's show. And not just for the kitsch factor, for the gentleness of it.

Loved Sonny Fox's Wonderama. It was a long show if I remember correctly, like 2 hours? I was on one show in 1964 and got picked to say something about my weird middle name (California). Sonny Fox asked the kids to say tongue twisters, like Unique New York. He turned to one boy and said, "Say Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper" and the boy unwittingly said, "Bugger bugger bugger bugger". True story, I saw it happen and it was aired too. In those days the word wasn't widely used in the USA and I can only imagine the producers thought most people watching wouldn't know what it meant?

Soupy Sales was amazing. He had a raunchy edge somehow, for a kids' show, I thought. Here he is on YouTube taking a pie in the face with White Fang. I liked his mischievous wordplay jokes, like "You show me a kid who drives a race car and I'll show you a tot rod."

I liked Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop. (a blasphemous Lamb Chop as a drug addict on YouTube)
posted by nickyskye at 9:16 PM on December 30, 2006

The New Zoo Revue was interesting with its giant frog, hippo and owl (those costumes were way over-sized). The show had a weird christian hippy vibe too.
posted by hojoki at 9:24 PM on December 30, 2006

I recall Soupy Sales, The Giant Polka Dot Door, and a lot of canadian programs from my days living in Michigan as a kid, but I also remember Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo which were more nationally syndicated. Back then I didn't know the difference. I do recall not liking the shows that seemed to advertise stuff. Even that early an age I didn't like being manipulated by corporate media.

I was more interested in Electric Company, Sesame Street, Mister Rogers, and later 321 Contact, which was to my mind a more adult-like program that taught science. Gave me the illusion I wasn't still being a baby watching public television.

Strange that looking back on Soupy Sales now via YouTube, I can't help but see that objectively speaking he was a terrible joke teller. His improvisational skills consisted of laughing at the situation instead of staying in the moment. I remember him being a lot funnier, but then by the time I saw his show it was all in color, and I think it was mostly reruns by then.

About a decade or so ago, a local UHF channel tried to do local programming for children, by getting a guy to talk to a puppet in between cartoons. It was a throwback to these days. I think it was called like BJ and the Pooch Clubhouse or something weird like that. It lasted a couple years but just didn't have the staying power. I don't think there's a market today for "hyper-local" programming. Things have gone national and syndicated cuz it's cheaper to produce a program once and play it in multiple markets, rather than expect every market to make its own programming.

Mister Peppermint was a long-loved "guy who talked to puppets" here in Texas. I didn't live in Texas through the years where I'd personally have been interested in his show. What I have seen though? He was a variant on Captain Kangaroo that just never made it to true national status. He's still well loved around these parts though. They probably have his remains enshrined somewhere or entombed, like a peppermint pyramid or something.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:38 PM on December 30, 2006

As a wee Cub Scout I appeared on one of those shows in Louisville, KY. You got to sit up front if you told them you knew a joke. Cactus the Clown at least pretended to laugh.

Later, I got to assist another clown, Presto, with a magic trick.

I still get spooked by clowns.
posted by ?! at 11:22 PM on December 30, 2006

I don't suppose any of you ever watched Chez Hélène?

Astoundingly, Hélène Baillargeon turned out to be the citizenship court judge who later made me swear allegiance to HM Queen Elizabeth and all her hairs and successors. It was one of the nuttiest days of my entire life, and I've had a bunch of them since.
posted by tangerine at 12:05 AM on December 31, 2006

Grew up in Phoenix during the 70s and 80s and have fond memories of the Wallace & Ladmo Show. Like davidmsc I, too, won a Ladmo Bag but I know his was bigger and better than the one I got circa 1979.

This was one of those shows that got better as you got older. The cartoons and the junk food hooked the little ones, but the improv sketches in between all that were some decidedly grownup and local current event satire. Perhaps my favorite bit was Aunt Maud (local talk radio host Pat McMahon in drag) reading her twisted fairytales, at least one of which chronicled parents winning the lottery and abandoning their children to go on drunken gambling binges in Las Vegas.

Good times.
posted by dantsea at 12:05 AM on December 31, 2006

Does anyone recall Ranger Rick and Oswald Rabbit? We're talking late 50s, early 60s, in the D.C area. In the days of black and white TV, I was shocked to see the bunny in a parade (it was a puppet), he was blue!!!! Show sucked, cartoons were great.
posted by JABof72 at 12:20 AM on December 31, 2006

WTTV in Indianapolis (okay, they were really in Bloomington in the early days) was 500-lb-gorilla when it came to local kids programming. Anyone remember "Popeye and Janie"? "Cowboy Bob"? And, for kids allowed to stay up late on Friday nights, "Sammy Terry's Nighmare Theater"?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:52 AM on December 31, 2006

One man in each century is given the power to control time. The man chosen to receive this power is carefully selected. He must be kind. He must be fair. He must be brave. You have fulfilled these requirements and we of the outer galaxies designate to you the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Atlas. YOU are Captain 11!
posted by rlk at 6:18 AM on December 31, 2006

In Boston, I was on BoomTown twice and Major Mudd had a studio audience, but I never made it. He ended every show with IBBY or I'll Be Blasting You! There was also Willy Whistle, an afternoon host-clown that never spoke, he had a whistle for a voice. Very early memories of Romper Room and excercising (Bend and Stretch, Reach for the stars...) with my grandmother.
posted by Gungho at 6:49 AM on December 31, 2006

Before Captains Chesapeake and 20, Baltimorons had Professor Kool (Stu Kerr, who had also played the local Bozo). One of his gags was playing musical chairs with the song "Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts".
posted by 445supermag at 8:17 AM on December 31, 2006

At last, proof to all the doubters that I didn't just imagine Gigglesnort Hotel! As a child I would wake myself up at 5 in the morning to watch it on Channel 9 in Orlando. This was around 1984 or so. I used to have a whole VHS tape full of episodes, but after twenty years the tape is worn out and gone.

So many classic characters on that show... Blob, Dirty Dragon, Gus-Gus and Gertrude the apes, Mr. and Mrs. Plumbtree, Maynard and Myrtle, the human B.J., Weird the elevator operator, W.C. Cornfields the house detective, and don't forget Captain Gigglesnort himself! And then there were the villains, Lemon Joke Kid and Dr. Doompuss. Ah, memories!
posted by Servo5678 at 9:26 AM on December 31, 2006

Cool memories!

tangerine, That's hilarious about Hélène Baillargeon . A little about Chez Hélène. It would be like the bank manager or pilot turning out to be Captain Kangaroo...uh oh...the twilight zone.
posted by nickyskye at 9:36 AM on December 31, 2006

Can we also talk about matinee and late-show B-movie hosts? A lot of these folks seem to cross over from early-morning to late-night pretty easily. Having spent many of my formative years near Cleveland, I've got a soft spot for Ghoulardi and Superhost, and a smaller soft spot for Barnaby, Son of Ghoul and Big Chuck and Little John.
posted by box at 10:55 AM on December 31, 2006

Late-show B-movie hosts? Do clay hands count? Thank the Lord YouTube has everything.

Gonna go have a nightmare now.
posted by Opposite George at 11:59 AM on December 31, 2006

someone, please help me. i need a Magic Door audiofile to stop this horrible loop of half-remembering. my anti-semitic mother was discomfited by my attachment to this show. which somehow made it better on Sunday morning. like i was cheating on Jesus.

and i'm amazed! and pleased! to see that Gigglesnort Hotel/BJ and the Dirty Dragon is available on DVD! in reminiscing conversation about childhood tv, i would always get derailed by people going on about HR Pufnstuff. it wasn't until i ran into a fellow chicagoan that my insane memories were verified by another victim. this show bothered me deeply, but drew me back, over and over. thanks for the link.
posted by RedEmma at 1:01 PM on December 31, 2006

stevil- thanks for the Rockship7 link! I especially enjoyed perusing the sight while listening to the Rocketship 7 Theme music (From the album Air Power by Norman Dello Joio). Just... wow.
posted by Doohickie at 2:48 PM on December 31, 2006

..especially the cymbal crash climax at 1:42.... just... wow. For those of you who weren't familiar with the show, it's hard to explain, but that cymbal crash was the beginning of the day for every weekday of my early life, and is heralded the promise of each new day.
posted by Doohickie at 3:35 PM on December 31, 2006

AH! Late to the party here, but I LOVED Wallace and Ladmo as a kid. It was, at the time of its end, the longest running show in the history of television. My father in his wisdom and techno-geekry, recorded our appearances on beta max circa 1977. Lots of fun, lots of great commercials about Star Wars- all viewable on you tube, (part 1/6).
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 9:51 AM on January 1, 2007

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