Your kiddie show host

In other words, the guy who introduced the cartoons on your local teevee stations when you were a kid. What was his persona? Did he wear a copstume? (Zyada mentioned her personal kiddy host on the “Stuff the Youngsters Will Scratch Their Heads Over” thread, and it got me curious about everyone’s experiences.)

Me, I was a kid in Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid-1960s. We had two (they occasionally appeared on each others’ programs, and it was a big deal, like Ally McBeal and that other lawyer show).

The first was Barnaby, who wore a red-and-white striped blazer and straw boater, like zyada’s guy. However, he included the classic touch of Cleveland surreality by being some sort of giant elf. He wore big phoney pointed ears, like an early Mister Spock. No other attributes of the supernormal, just the rubber ears. And his voice was a kind of “Mr. Rogers” takeoff…Barnaby spoke softly and sweetly and referred to his viewers as his “little neighbors.” I believe the guy who played him was the owner of the station, or something.

The second host dressed in Lincoln green tights, like a cast-off Merry Man. He went under the name of Woodrow the Woodsman, and wore a Prince Valiant haircut and a weirdly incongruous Teddy Roosevelt-style moustache. I remember that he had big saggy bags under his eyes, and a drinker’s nose. I also remember that he showed much cooler cartoons…things like the old Hercules series, and Felix the Cat, and the nightmarish vintage classics like Candyland.

Uke, were you still in Cleveland when Superhost was hosting monster movies and Three Stooges episodes on Saturday mornings on WUAB-43?

Barnaby . . . man, that brings back memories. Scary memories.

We had Blinky the Clown, who wore white face paint and a red nose, etc. plus a derby hat and a red plaid jacket. He hosted “Blinky’s Fun Club” on channel 2.

I loved him as a child but one day when I was about 16 he came in to the department store where I worked (not in full Blinky costume) and as I helped him, he said, “Do you know who I am?” After looking at him a minute I igured it out and exclaimed, “Blinky! You’re Blinky the Clown!” After which, he proceeded to give me a lecherous wink and ask me in a very cheesy voice what time I got off work.


Phil: I’m a little vague on Superhost. Was he a short, dark-haired, and phenomenally ugly guy who wore a Superman outfit? I am impressed that you recall Barnaby; I coulda sworn he was off the air by the time you were out of diapers.

I may have to start an alternate thread on regional horror-movie hosts. As Clevelanders, we were singularly blessed to have the immortal Ghoulardi…and by the late '60s, the politically incorrect Big Chuck and Houlihan.

Sunshine: What part of the country was this? (Folks don’t have to post years if they’re shy about giving away their ages, but let us know just what municipalities foisted these eccentrics on their children.)

WJBF Channel 6 Augusta, GA: Trooper Terry
Terry Sams was his name, I think. He dressed up like a (surprise, surprise) State Trooper. He showed cartoons like Bat Fink and Little Rascals. Don’t recall if he was the Channel 6 weather guy or not, but it does seem familiar. (Kids don’t watch news much.)

WBT Channel 3, Charlotte, NC Fred Kirby
Fred Kirby dressed up like a cowboy. He had a sidekick, Uncle Jim (aka Jim Mahaffie sp?), who dressed sorta derelictly. Fred Kirby showed Little Rascals mainly. Jim Mahaffie did other work for Channel 3, but I don’t recall what, other than commercials.

WFBC Channel 4, Greenville, SC Monty & Doohickey
Both were weather guys for Channel, Monty Dupuy (sp?) and Stowe Hoyle. Monty was always nattily attired in a coat and tie. Doohickey wore a hat (the kind you wear when you’re driving an MG), a grey shortish beard, and a blue smock padded to make him look stouter than he really was. He also talked with an old geezer voice. They showed the silent Little Rascals (called “Mischief Makers”). I also remember the cartoon “Cool McCool.”

WLOS Channel 13, Asheville, NC Mr Bill
Bill Norwood was the weather guy for Channel 13. He showed all kinds of old comedy shorts. I specifically remember Andy Clyde, but there were tons of others that I didn’t know back then, but probably would now. One series was called “Mr Funny Man.” His only “dress” was a pretty plain (bluish?) smock.

And, last, but not least. . . .

WIS Channel 10 Columbia, SC Mr Knozit
Joe Pinner, a Columbia institution for many, many years–and, the WIS (all together, now) weather guy. His uniform was just another bluish smock. He showed Little Rascals and all sorts of cartoons over the years. Columbia is not exactly snow country in the winter, but Joe is ever optimistic about the chance of our seeing some of the white stuff. I’ve been in restaurants where he was also a customer, and I’ve walked by him on the street. In all cases, even when the person he’s speaking to is right beside him, he uses his incredibly booming “announcer voice” that you can hear thru a soundproof room.

(And although you didn’t ask for this, Uke. . .)
The B-movies (Horror, Sci-Fi, etc) that I used to watch in Hick Country, SC, late on Friday and Saturday nights were hosted by a the weather guy for WRDW Channel 12, Augusta, GA. He dressed up in a “Grim Reaper” sort of outfit, and his name was “Count Justin Sane.” I don’t remember the real guy’s name.
(Purists might go apoplectic over my use of “Little Rascals” instead of their original name “Our Gang,” but, hey, that’s the way they were presented.)

This was in Denver, in the mid-70’s.

From what I recall, Blinky was on until sometime in the 90’s, I think. I was also on his show once when I was about 3, as part of the “peanut gallery”. He probably saw my ruffled undies.

The TV station in Traverse City, Michigan, had Deputy Don and Friends. He once displayed some artwork that I had sent in.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say (again) that I have a crush on the girl who plays Loonette on The Big Comfy Couch, a series for preschoolers. Girl clowns are hot.

I posted this on the “Stuff the Youngsters Will Scratch Their Heads Over” thread as well but…

Tucson’s Bob Love started out hosting Marshall KGUN’s Western Circus on KGUN channel 9, the ABC affiliate, starting in the very late fifties or early sixties. I was on that show for my fifth birthday in May '66. My, the world has changed since a children’s show host could wear a gun on his hip, albeit a toy one. :smiley:

Bob moved to the independant KZAZ channel 11 in the late sixties to host the Uncle Bob Show, which took on a space motif around the time of the Apollo moon landings. There were contests, prize giveaways and the ubiqutous, second string Hannah-Barbera cartoons like Lippy the Lion and Touché Turtle.

In Spokane, in the 60s, the favorite host was Cap’n Cy, with (surprise!) a nautical theme. Maybe that’s why I recall Popeye as being the predominant cartoon that was shown.

It was a very exciting thing at the time to get to be a part of the studio audience. I never was, but friends would occasionally show up at school and casually mention that they were going to be on the show. They got a little camera time and there were prizes, as well as the privilege of meeting Cap’n Cy in person.

The Cap’n, in his offscreen persona, was a member of our church, although he was in a different congregation than mine. We would have occasional conferences, however, and I would see him there. By that time I was too old and sophisticated to feel the need to go up and meet him but he was always surrounded by a group of kids. I don’t think he got much out of the conference, but I suppose if he didn’t like kids IRL he wouldn’t be working where he was (Krusty the Klown notwithstanding).

There was also Wallaby and Jack, Wallaby being an actual kangaroo who was kept on a leash, with Jack as the sidekick. I don’t know if these shows were competitors or not. Cap’n Cy was definitely earlier. Mrs. Pluto, as a wee urchin, got to be on the Wallaby and Jack show and won the big prize (a bunch of candy, IIRC). Her happiness was somewhat moderated, however, by her being allergic to the kangaroo and having an asthma attack.

p.s. I now live in Seattle and I understand the local personality here was a clown named J. P. Patches.

pldennison/Uke - I’m pretty sure I remember Super Host, although it certainly has not crossed my mind in many a year. As soon as I read the name, though, I got a flash image of a kinda short, dumpy (and needless to say, rather creepy) guy in a striped red and white suit wearing a bowler hat and big round glasses. Am I thinking of the right person? (I think it was on his show that I saw “The Man with the X-Ray Eyes”, which I found totally freaky.) Though not a Cleveland resident, I was a big fan of WUAB as a child, as they were the station that ran my then-favorite show of all time, “Hogan’s Heroes.” Every night from 7 to 8 I religiously planted myself in front of the tv to watch - but not, of course, until I had finished marching to the theme song. :rolleyes: Was Fritz the Night Owl on the same channel?

Wow. We just had, um, shows and stuff. Cartoons. No host. I guess we hick kids don’t rate hosts.

Capt. 20 was the kiddie show host on Channel 20 out of Washington DC. The same guy played the horror movie host: Sir Graves Ghastly on Channel 9 at 11:30 on Friday nights.

That’s the guy–I can’t for the life of me remember his real name, but he also filled in on weekend newscasts on 43 once they got a news operation going. He retired about five years ago, IIRC.

No, I seem to recall him being on for quite some time, at least through grade school.

ON KTVU in San Francisco we had this guy named Pat McCormic who, apart from being the local weatherman and the host of the “Dialing for Dollars” afternoon movie, also hosted a kids show called “TV POW!” and did this really weird puppet show (took me years to realize it was Pat’s voice even though he didn’t even try to change it, even for different characters). I don’t think he ever went home.

Along with the au’rigeur Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker cartoons, TV POW! featured a game where kids could win prizes. Pat would sit in front of a bluescreen with some spaceship shoot’em up videogame (Intellivision I think) on it. Kids could call in, scream “POW!” into the phone, offscreen some hapless stagehand would press the controller and, hopefully, hit a spaceship or two.

My friend was on it once, Got a Orbit Pen (“The pen that went to the moon”) and tickets to Frontier Village.

Yuck. I found a picture of Marty Sullivan, Cleveland’s Super Host, and I wish I hadn’t. I remember now that if you were cool in the early '70s you watched The Ghoul, the logical successor to Ghoulardi…if you weren’t, you watched Super Host.

(Cool Ghoulardi links here, though…I’m using one as my wallpaper now.)

In order of my life:

1954-1958 St Paul: Pretty sure we had a TV but I didn’t watch it.

1958-1961 Chicago: “Lunchtime Little Theatre,” but I don’t remember the host. “Garfield Goose,” hosted by Frazier Thomas.

1961-1964 Virginia: Sailor Bob was our cartoon guy out of Richmond. Played a lot of “Space Angel,” which was like “Clutch Cargo Goes to Outer Space.”

1964-1965 Cleveland: I remember Barnaby and think I might remember that Woodrow guy. And Ghoulardi, for sure.

1965-1968: Mornings was Ray Raynor, who was one of the diggers for the RL Great Escape. Afternoons we still had “Garfield Goose,” still hosted by Frazier Thomas. Or we could watch “BJ & Dirty Dragon,” hosted by Bill Jackson, who was a rude neighbor of my junior high. Didn’t like it when he’d be washing his car (Model A Ford) and kids would ride by yelling, “Hey, BJ!” If he didn’t want to be recognized he shouldn’t have painted the show’s logo on the car.

Ghoulardi hijack: Jerry G was a DJ in Cleveland when I was there. He moved to Chicago at about the same time as I, becoming **Jerry G Bishop[/]. This made for some disorienting radio listening. He got into parttime TV announcing, including late-night horror movies. Ripped off Ghoulardi’s act (with permission, I’ve heard) and became Svengouli. Ghoulardi went to H’wood and became the primetime voice of ABC, as in “Tonight on the 'Love Boat”…"

Hey Uke, that’s who I was thinking of, the Cool Ghoul! Though I’m sure I got some of the details wrong, it’s the white-face makeup I remember best. Um, I didn’t click on the link; there isn’t an actual picture of him there, is there?

We got KPTV 12 out of Portland, OR, which featured “Ramblin’ Rod”. His real name is Rod Anderson, and from the time I was a tot (born 1973) until just a couple years ago, he hosted morning cartoons (mostly Warner Bros. and b/w Fleischer Popeyes). His schtick was a brown sweater covered in buttons; not button-buttons, but the laminated ones that feature slogans, cartoons, etc., etc. Kids in the “peanut gallery” (I don’t think he used that term) brought them for his collection. From what I hear, he’s really a jerk off-camera. My sister met him at the muscular dystrophy summer camp a few years ago and said when the camera was off, he’d go into “get these darn kids out of my face” mode. Classmates that appeared on his show told similar stories. All in all, he was pretty mundane; no creepy make-up or goofy gimmicks (button sweater notwithstanding).

In Los Angeles, the most popular host was Sherrif John, who hosted the midday “Lunch Brigade” on channel 11 from the beginning of time until the early to mid 70s. Since he was on at noon, I only got to watch him during summer or when I was sick. He showed the “Powwow, the Indian Boy” cartoons.

Some others I remember:

Chuck Jones, the Magic Man

The Pancake Man, starring Hal Smith - aka “Otis”, the town drunk of Mayberry - and sponsored by the International House of Pancakes.

Beachcomber Bill
Baby Daphne
Hobo Kelly
Dick Clayton, with his puppets Mickey and Michelle Mudturtle
Mr. Wishbone
Skip and Woofer

I watched entirely too much television when I was a lad.

we had (De-troit) Soupy Sales. Yes, he really did open a door to find a naked lady behind…(pun intended) :wink: