Jim Fowler goes out to the field for the last time.

If you were a kid in the 1960s, on Sunday night you watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom before 60 Minutes. Host Marlon Perkins always seemed to be leaving partner Jim Fowler out in the field while he went back to the studio to shill for Mutual of Omaha insurance. It got to be a running joke with us. “While Jim wrestles the Tiger, we’ll talk about your coverage.”

Fowler died at the age of 89.

After Wild Kingdom he was a regular on shows like The Tonight Show, bringing strange and often endangered animals to the show and raising public awareness about extinction. He’'ll be missed

He had some truly hilarious moments with Johnny Carson. The time he brought on a goliath beetle was pants-wettingly funny.

That’s the first thing I always associate with Jim Fowler.

Johnny: You didn’t tell me it could fly!
Jim: I didn’t know it could fly!

Sorry to hear this news.

What I found funniest about that incident was Johnny trying to escape and run away from his own arm as the beetle climbed toward his face.

“No, you idiot! Hawks eat squirrels.”

RIP, Jim. May you enjoy some margaritas in the tent with Marlon instead of wrestling the constipated alligator in the swamp.

I was born in 1966 so most of my childhood was in the 1970s and 1980s and I remember watching this show. According to Wikipedia, after 1971, the show continued to air, but mostly as syndicated repeats. So that’s what I remember.

In my market, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom came on prior to the Wonderful World of Disney, on Sunday evenings.

My favorite memory of Jim Fowler was the time he wrestled the anaconda in the river for like 10 minutes, appearing to be close to drowning the whole time. After awhile I realized that if he really was in mortal danger, the cameraman wouldn’t still be filming. Ten-year-old me learned a little bit about “reality” TV from watching that episode.

I also just love that he was on Seinfeld. Kramer’s “talk show” (with Newman as sidekick) was one of the funniest things they ever did.

RIP Jim!

For some reason, I always thought he was Australian. Maybe it was the bush outfit. I can imagine him saying things like “Mind you, Bengal tigers are tricky beasts. Can’t take your eyes off 'em for a second!” in the corresponding accent.

RIP. :frowning:

I’m not having any luck finding video of the goliath beetle show. :frowning:

That would be the late Steve Irwin, a.k.a. “The Crocodile Hunter”. But yeah, I can see the “guy in khaki outfit” thing. I often confused Jim Fowler and Jack Hannah.

Me too, so much I realize now that I had mixed up some of their appearances on late night shows.

Fowler was on Carson a lot, Hannah was on Letterman a lot. That’s about the only way I can tell the two apart. If you asked me, I would have guessed that it was Hannah who did the bit on “Seinfeld”. :smack:

Poor Jim, he always did Marlin Perkins dirty work.

Marlin, sitting calmly in the studio, here is the magnificent water buffalo.

Camera cuts to animal in heat trying to mount Jim Fowler. :wink:

Marlin: drinks a fool glass of water, hey Jim I see you’ve made a friend.

Jim: uh yeah Marlin, he’s so cute. ( Jim starts running for his life)

This running gag got started by Johnny Carson.

Marlin & Jim were quite a team. I miss them both.

RIP Jim.

I was thinking of this when I heard the news. Note that there are two stages of coolness in making that happen.

Cool 1: Seinfeld people thought it would be cool to have Fowler appear on Kramer’s mock show.

Coo 2: Fowler was cool with appearing on the show.

Given the vast difference between a “show about nothing” and a wildlife guy, such meetings of the minds can’t be common.

Looking at his IMDb page, this is his only appearance as himself on a scripted show.

He’s listed as an actor playing a character in 3 things. One of them seems apt. The other two I wonder about. Esp. the listing for him playing a senator in the R-rated Little Laura and Big John. Maybe one of the many other Jim Fowlers?

I remember watching the original MoO Wild Kingdom on rainy Sunday afternoons as a kid, purely because the other two shows on were even worse.

Marlin Perkins was creepy.

I know they resembled each other, but I knew about Jim *long *before I ever heard about Steve.

Yep, Sunday afternoons were definitely a dead zone where TV was concerned (still are, actually). I always hoped there would be a war movie on one of the local channels whenever I was stuck at home on Sundays.

Marlin was avuncular, like that uncle of yours who smelled of dentures and nicotine.

Jim was one of the Kings of Awesome in my childhood, behind the eternal #1, Evel Knievel. Caught it in syndication, MoOWK was one of the few shows allowed in my grandparent’s house when we visited each summer:

  1. Church
  2. The stock market ticker
  3. Wall Street Week
  4. Washington Week in Review, and
  5. Wild Kingdom

Got them to watch an episode of Mork and Mindy once, I’m surprised they didn’t have a coronary.