For babyboomers, did your town have a local kids' show host?

Started by ChristineBCW, February 21, 2016, 01:50:06 PM

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ChristineBCW

So for the DC area, this is one example where a local-use of a nationally syndicated 'act' was reduced to a local-only movie host.  Interesting.  At least that station maintained the local-talent-as-MC focus. 

I'm fascinated that local TV stations apparently, in the late '70s into the '80s and even now, have abandoned the local-kids-host concept for TV.  And the after-school TV schedule is flat-out horrendous in the dearth of options for child-centric watching.  Channels like DISNEY seem to offer that, but their programs are often 14-minutes of 'programming' and 16 minutes of commercials.  Plus, of that 14 minutes, there are so many Disney product-placements that children are marketed AT with this shotgun affect.  Amazing.  Yet, during the West's Baby Boom generations with a proportionally larger child-audience, local stations had the revenues to maintain these local-talents/local shows, apparently almost everywhere.

Now, they seem to be limited to a few giant market monster-hosts that are comedic spoofs for nostagia's sake.

Universal Steve

I see a lot of great horror show hosts listed but I understand the question to be about kids shows hosted locally. When I was a kid in Texas we had Mr. Peppermint in the morning. He did his show and had Felix the Cat cartoons. Of course on national scale Captain Kangaroo and Soupy Sales. Our Bozo show was locally produced and we had Miss Carols Clubhouse which I was on 2 times when I was a kid. Since it was in Texas it was western themed and she had rodeos and kids games and showed Popeye and Looney Tunes cartoons. I haven't thought about these shows in years. I am a little surprised I still remembered them. After all it was about 56 years ago and a lot has happened since then.
Universal Steve
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Monsters For Sale

Quote from: Universal Steve on February 22, 2016, 06:54:13 AM
I haven't thought about these shows in years. I am a little surprised I still remembered them. After all it was about 56 years ago and a lot has happened since then.

I still remember kids' shows from 62 years ago - and can sing some of the commercial jingles all the way through.

(But don't ask me about anything I learned in school.)
ADAM

ChristineBCW

Quote from: Universal Steve on February 22, 2016, 06:54:13 AM
...in Texas...
What size of town, and what years did this Mr Peppermint and Miss Carol's Clubhouse run?  This will be the first woman I've discovered that was show-host, by the way. 

Kidagain

In NYC Romper Room was hosted by a woman that I had mentioned in my first post.

Mike Scott

Quote from: Kidagain on February 22, 2016, 01:28:13 PM
In NYC Romper Room was hosted by a woman that I had mentioned in my first post.

They were mostly for the pre school set, often playing a teacher conducting classroom activities. I remember one, but can't remember the show title or the host's name. She would start the show by ringing a large hand bell.
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ChristineBCW

I know there was a woman sock-puppeteer, Shari Lewis, with Lambchop and ?? Charley Horse ?? centered out of NYC and she achieved some national fame, if not syndication. 

I'm surprised that the maternal angle wasn't played more often, in fact, especially to younger-audience but perhaps the Cowboy, the Grizzled Ol' Miner, the Farmer, etc, were simply too well-established characters and easily assimilated by local audiences. 

I understand the Austin actor was also a stalwart for that TV station's other on-camera duties - ad pitchman, weatherman, sports announcer, etc, all in that late '40s into '80s time frame.

Mike Scott

Quote from: Mike Scott on February 22, 2016, 04:15:38 PM
She would start the show by ringing a large hand bell.

It was called "Ding Dong School" (no seriously) with Miss Frances.

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Universal Steve

Quote from: ChristineBCW on February 22, 2016, 12:53:49 PM
What size of town, and what years did this Mr Peppermint and Miss Carol's Clubhouse run?  This will be the first woman I've discovered that was show-host, by the way.

Mr. Peppermint did skits and learning things like Captain Kangaroo and showed Felix The Cat cartoons. Miss Carols Clubhouse was a studio show where the guest kids sat on bleachers and she had games and prizes and some western themed shorts and clips of rodeos in the area.  She showed Looney Tunes and Popeye cartoons. This was in Sherman Texas. Not a big place as I remember.
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ChristineBCW

Quote from: Universal Steve on February 24, 2016, 06:20:32 PM
...Sherman Texas...
This is due-north of Dallas, just on the Texas side of Lake Texoma, which I learned about, first hand.  Sherman is about 40,000 now, but Hubby said it was 20-30k in the '50s and '60s.  It was the largest town between Dallas and Oklahoma City but then I-35 was created west of Sherman and left it at roughly the same size.  From Dallas, take 75 north to Plano to the McKinney, home and temporary refuge of Manson killer Charles 'Tex' Watson, then the next stop is Sherman, Denison and the OK border.

My trip to Lake Texoma was an early trust-experiment with Hubby, who forced me to buy $2 sneakers, crummy jeans (which he immediately turned into cut-offs and some ratty one-piece bathing suit.  A day of playing in Lake Texoma, then he tossed away all of our garments - shoes, cut-offs, undies, everything.  Because they were stained rust-iron red from the iron-rich mud at Lake Texoma.  It's what it's famous for.  Infamous. 

But, back to the tale at hand... Sherman would have been competing against 'distant' Dallas TV stations and probably being the better signal for the locals.  Yet the area may have only had 100,000 population within 50 miles, and here we have two local shows in that relatively small market.  That's pretty cool.  Temple, Texas - 130 miles south of Dallas had two TV stations and they also had local kids' show hosts for a 60,000 pop viewing market.   Roswell, NM (about 40k in 1965 because of a big airbase but much smaller after it was closed in the late '60s) had a locally-hosted kids' programming, too. 

These are about the smallest markets I've found, but those lasted for 15 or even 20 years, which I find remarkable that they could maintain revenues.  Then the national networks took over and have gutted those services.

I'm delighted to hear that, at least in some local markets, a monster show-host is still a treasured commodity. 

Universal Steve

Quote from: ChristineBCW on February 24, 2016, 07:28:25 PM
This is due-north of Dallas, just on the Texas side of Lake Texoma, which I learned about, first hand.  Sherman is about 40,000 now, but Hubby said it was 20-30k in the '50s and '60s.  It was the largest town between Dallas and Oklahoma City but then I-35 was created west of Sherman and left it at roughly the same size.  From Dallas, take 75 north to Plano to the McKinney, home and temporary refuge of Manson killer Charles 'Tex' Watson, then the next stop is Sherman, Denison and the OK border.

That would be about right. I was there in the 60's. My dad was in the Air Force and there was a base there, Perrin A.F.B. which was between Sherman and Dennison. The station had to be local because when kids in my class had a birthday party and got on Miss Carols Clubhouse, everyone in the party went to the station and were on the bleachers on the show. I was on the show twice and I was supposed to be on one other time but I was sick and Miss Carol was told about this and she mentioned my name and gave me a get well wish. That was a big deal for a kid my age at the time.
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Jim Bertges

I landed in Southern California in 1961, it was San Bernardino to be specific, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. LA is where most of our TV came from and we had a plethora of local channels, aside from the three networks. I'll try to recount to the best my memory can muster the Kiddie Show hosts and horror movie shows I can remember. Here we go--

In the after school time slots we had Chuck Jones, The Magic Man on channel 13, he showed Felix the Cat and did magic, there was Sailor Tom Hatton who did sketches and ran Popeye cartoons (he was also an afternoon movie host) on channel 5, we had Engineer Bill on channel 9 who had a great model train set up and played "Red Light, Green Light", encouraging us kids to drink our milk, around lunch time there was Sheriff John who had a list of Birthdays every day and sang, "Put Another Candle on Your Birthday Cake" to all the birthday kids, in the early evening we had Beachcomber Bill who ran Hanna Barbara produced Wally Gator and Touche Turtle cartoons and we had Winchell Mahoney Time featuring ventriloquist Paul Winchell and his array of puppets. I didn't mention Hobo Kelly yet, because she originated from KCHU in San Bernardino, not LA. Those are all the kid show people that come to mind immediately, I didn't mention Shrimipenstein (my favorite) because someone already did.

Then there were the Monster Movie shows. When I arrived our only horror host was Jeepers Creepers on channel 13, Friay nights. We also had monster movies on other channels; Chiller on channel 11 Saturday afternoons and Strange Tales of Science Fiction on Channel 9. I'm sure there were others scattered about, but they don't come to mind, yet. The best was Jeepers Creepers who showed all the old Universal Monsters as well as some Monograms and other assorted black & white monstrosities. Eventually Jeepers left and was replaced by Jeepers Keeper who lasted for a few years and was also replaced by Ghoulita. It was hard keeping up with those guys. By the early 70s we were blessed with the Sinister Seymour who hosted movies from the vicinity of his "Slimy Wall" and referred to his fans as "Fringies" (as in lunatic fringe). Seymour was popular and made frequent public appearances, even coming to San Bernardino. Unfortunately, Larry Vincent who played Seymore passed away and that was the end of Horror Hosts in LA for a while. However, a few years later another movie host, or hostess, I should say, popped on to the scene. Channel 9 was the home of Elvira Mistress of the Dark before she became the national phenomenon she is today.

That's everything my poor old brain can churn out at the moment, but if anything else comes to mind or if anyone who grew up in the LA area has anything to add, I'm sure we'll be seeing it here.
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ChristineBCW

#27
("landed in..."  I just KNEW JimB was an alien!!) (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

It fascinates me that, at a time when so many local stations were in their infancy - and at some of their most expensive times - they were able to put together locally-hosted shows - kids' shows in mornings and after-school, Saturdays and the monster-movie slots of Friday and Saturday late-night.  The kids' show programming has apparently been destroyed since the '80s or even sooner. 

The monster-show hosts have lasted and still have some appearances in largest markets but when I see our local film festivals and the decades-long continuum known as ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW with full-costume, full-song, full-dialog attendees, I know the entertainment value of these 'hosted programs' remain. 

I found that Midland-Odessa had two hosted shows for their 2 stations of the early '60s.  (This was a fairly large market because of the oil-boom - at least 100k, maybe 150k, although the expanse of the Permian Basin probably made all shows similar to scariest monster events - scratchy video, fade-out audio.  It made every jump-out-of-the-dark scene all the more frightening as those audiences were so finely tuned to every creaking sound.)

Carlsbad, New Mexico did.  Lubbock.  Amarillo.  Colorado Springs, Denver of course.   I'm trying to head southwest thru New Mexico into AZ (did Yuma?  Flagstaff?), then probably central Calif from Bakersfield northward.  I'll assume San Diego had their own. 

The Disney Channel is built on this mentality but I find their radioactive-constant-product-placement to be unfit for wallets, much less kids' consumption. 

Something else I discovered.  There were several British programs brought over - produced by ITC, not so much BBC.  Shows like WILLIAM TELL, ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (with Richard Greene), THE BUCCANEERS (with Robert Shaw), THE INVISIBLE MAN (1958), SIR LANCELOT (or perhaps called KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE).  These seem to be dropped into the afternoon time-slots, alternating with LONE RANGER, SKY KING, HOPALONG CASSIDY, SUPERMAN and any variety of other titles.   It appears the Brit programming was only a few seasons, but they'd play for 10-15 years in a market, on daily rotation for a while, then disappear for months, then back again.

This lucrative state of TV fueled the growth of more TV stations in every market - so they had to be lucrative.  Then those stations started trimming back as one audience grew older and children/family programming was dismissed to the point of today - virtually nonexistent.

Universal Steve

As far as horror shows go, when I was in Alamogordo,NM our local stations came from El Paso, Texas. We had lights Out on Saturday nights which showed Universal monster movies and during the week after the CBS Late Night Movie there was Night Owl Theatre which ran all different kinds of movies but included more horror and suspense movies mostly. The ABC affiliate from El Paso ran Charlie Chan Theatre every Saturday night. They showed every movie and had trivia between the movie.
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ChristineBCW

Alamogordo was fed by El Paso stations?  Hmmm.  I suppose it's a straight shot rather than to Las Cruces, and certainly there are mountains to Roswell station (KBIM?  I can't remember).  We visit a place up on a mountain tippy-top in Cloudcroft, and pass thru AlamoG if we're going to Las C and Silver City, which is one of my favorite towns.  Farmington, way up north is another fave.  NM is great because geography changes so dramatically every couple of hours, rather than here in Texas - drive 10 hours, and it's only changed once! 

Were Mexican TV stations strong in AlamoG?  Do they have the same rep as Mexican radio?