trippy kids' show from the 50s :P
August 1, 2009 5:55 AM   Subscribe

Andy's Gang - 1 2 3: "The green puppet, Froggy the Gremlin, appeared in a puff of smoke, and was always interrupting the story."

Yes, sir, we're pals and pals stick together. And now gang, don't forget church or Sunday school!

-Soupy & Pookie
-Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob make Ice Cream Sodas! (Ernie makes Bert an ice cream soda :)
-Clarabell Speaks
posted by kliuless (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!

posted by BlueMetal at 6:57 AM on August 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I remember when I was a kid, I occasionally asked my dad what he used to watch on TV when he was my age, and Froggy was one of the things he mentioned. The descriptions of Froggy sounded largely nonsensical to me, as I had no sense of context or any visuals. Seeing Froggy now for the first time, over twenty years later, it doesn't really make any more sense. That's kind of rad!

He also described Midnight The Cat, which I was equally baffled by, having no idea whether it was a real cat or a puppet. Looks like both, I see! And look at Squeaky go! Would that we all had a Midnight who could play so relentlessly as a backdrop to all of our poor decisions.

Play him off, Midnight Cat.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:21 AM on August 1, 2009 [3 favorites]

This puts some of George R. R. Martin's The Armageddon Rag in context. In strange, incomprehensible, "how did that pass for television?" context.
posted by adipocere at 7:58 AM on August 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

Ha ha, yeah, that book. When I read it I had no idea if Martin was talking about a real TV show or making it up. Why didn't I just google it? There was no google at the time god I feel old
posted by fleetmouse at 8:23 AM on August 1, 2009

Kim Deitch's wonderful take on Froggy touched on here, but look for the complete work in comic form.
posted by eccnineten at 8:26 AM on August 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Good a place to ask as any:

I was just reading in How the Beatles Destroyed Rock & Roll about a television show that aired briefly in Philadelphia called Whirligig. Here are a couple sentences from the book: "In the early, local years, before network offerings were available for afternoon and late-night time slots, many TV stations did feature deejay shows, often augmented with odd visual effects: Philadelphia's Whirligig had 'a combination electronic and optical device which transforms musical sounds instantaneously into myriads of constantly moving geometric patterns of light.' Detroit's Pat 'n' Johnny Show displayed "parakeets, canaries, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, tropical fish and other animals while records spin.'

Whirligig sounds pretty neat, huh? But when I did a little Googling, the only mention I could find was >this one, which says " I attended a television show at WPTZ called "The Whirligig Show" with host George Skinner, this was an early version of "Bandstand" that had no success. The reason for the name "Whirligig" was that they used an oscilloscope with the wavy line jumping caused by the sound of the music playing and used a double (two TV cameras) exposure of the kids dancing and the oscilloscope, very much like they did on Bandstand with a 45 RPM record player."

Maybe it's me, but I don't think 'oscilloscope' has the same evocative power as 'a combination electronic and optical device which transforms musical sounds instantaneously into myriads of constantly moving geometric patterns of light.' Still sounds kinda neat, though. Were there a bunch of other shows like this, in other cities and whatnot? Do you remember watching them? Any clips survive?
posted by box at 8:35 AM on August 1, 2009

I remember Froggy from this later incarnation. Poor Froggy.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:50 AM on August 1, 2009

I remember this.
(Get off my lawn.)
posted by Drasher at 12:06 PM on August 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Billy Gilbert, comic foil of Laurel and Hardy and Hal Roach Studios comedy tough guy, was a regular on "Andy's Gang."

I loved "Andy's Gang." It was surreal--every bit as lunatic then as it appears today. 1954's precursor to "Freakazoid."
posted by rdone at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2009

adipocere, I thought I was the only one who read that very, very entertaining book. I also always thought that Froggy was made up for the book.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:34 AM on August 3, 2009

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