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*7/21/11: Updated to ''Weekday Heroes'', an excellent retrospective of 1950s Los Angeles TV kid shows!* 15 Old Time TV Kid Shows Packed Into 7 Vintage Hours On 4 DVD Regions DVDs!
ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS (1959 ABC)
Did you know Rocky & Bullwinkle originally had a laugh track? Or that there were various versions of the opening, closing, segues and feature segments of the show? No? Most late Baby-Boomers & Generation X'ers don't. Now that you do, you must see these two episodes, complete with rarified commercials. Both episodes feature Moon Men searching for a Rocky & Bullwinkle's secret rocket formula.. The first episode's feature segments include Fractured Fairy Tales - Rapunzel; Peabody's Improbable History - Napoleon. The second episode's feature segments: Fractured Fairy Tales - Goldilocks; Peabody's Improbable History - King Arthur.
CAPTAIN GALLANT OF THE FOREIGN LEGION (1954 NBC)
First aired in 1955, the Father & Son team of Larry "Buster" Crabbe & Cullen "Cuffy" Crabbe brought weekly stories of life among the French Foreign Legion in Morroco. In this episode, Cuffy learns the true meaning of Christmas when he gets lost in the desert in search of a caravan of Christmas goods. CIRCUS BOY (1956 NBC & ABC)
He may play a blonde 10 year old named Corky, but "Mickey Braddock" is still Mikey Dolenz & he's great! Tag along as he & his circus mates help revive an old steam train line to get the show to town on time!
MIGHTY MOUSE PLAYHOUSE (1965 CBS)
Two made-for-TV Mighty Mouse cartoons - one with a shipwrecked sweetheart, the other with a Coney Island cutie - with two Terrytoon cartoons in-between & commercials featuring Bugs, Elmer, Yogi and - believe it or not - Louis Armstrong for Suzie Cutie Dollies!
THE RUFF & REDDY SHOW STARRING CAPT BOB (1963 NBC)
Join buddies Ruff the Dog & Reddy the Cat in their sheep ranching misadventure as Captain Bob's magic viewing screen monitors cut-out character Jasper's escape from a pursuing cut-out cat - and be sure to check out the incidental music also used in Python's "Spanish Inquisition" sketch!
CARTOON EXPRESS WITH ENGINEER BILL (1960 KHJ-TV LOS ANGELES)
A greatly admired show particularly for the frank niceness of Engineer Bill whose presence dominates the show
between cartoons as well as while he hosts young viewers, reads fan letters, announces upcoming live appearances, plays games and pledges children to do moral things in their lives.
CHUCKO THE BIRTHDAY CLOWN (1950s KABC-TV LOS ANGELES)
A short excerpt from an interview this beloved character had with two L.A. helicopter firemen featuring an airborne water drop.
JOHNNY JUPITER: DUCKWEATHER AND THE PROFESSOR (10/25/53 ABC)
"Nerds" are not a new commodity as we see in the personage of Ernest P. Duckweather, a kid with a self-built tv that picks up Jupiter instead of the local yokel stations. The puppets Johnny Jupiter and Major Domo communicate with Duckweather through his tv, and they even sent him a robot, B-12, to help him. In this episode, Duckweather tries to deliver up a radio show Professor to speak to a culture club & ends up impersonating him along the way.
THE ADVENTURES OF PATCHES (1951 NBC)
A quarter-hour early puppet tv show about a little orphan boy and his adventures through space with his best friend, Wacky Rabbit.
SHRIMPENSTEIN (1960s KHJ-TV LOS ANGELES)
Two half hour episodes of the unique 1965-1967 daily show starring Gene Moss as both Dr. Von Schtick and his puppet sidekick Shrimpenstein, filled with winning humor much in the Soupy Sales tradition.
THE EMMET KELLY SHOW (1963, B&W, 12:25)
As surpassing great as he was as a circus clown, this pilot makes it entertainingly clear that a sad clown is not the best vehicle for the presentation of cartoons to kids on TV, no matter how talented the presenter, no matter how rare the cartoons (in this case, rarely seen Warner Bros. stock).
A DAY WITH DOODLES (1965, COLOR, 4:55)
I like many of my schoolmates watched this show over a bowl of Campbell's chicken soup & sandwiches during our school day lunch break. It was hard for me or any of my friends at any one time to figure out what he was on about in his crazy skits until the end. It didn't matter, because at the end we'd see that great closing sequence!
MACK & MYER FOR HIRE (1963, B&W, 34:30)
Three episodes of the series by the baby boomer's answer to Laurel & Hardy, Joey Faye & Mickey Deems - "Dueling Fools", "Friendly Enemies" & "Finders, Weepers".
THE MAGIC CLOWN (1950, B&W, 28:50)
Two quarter hour episodes featuring what must have been the creepiest, sleaziest clowns every to premiere on television. Though there's a different clown in each of these episodes, the "evil eye" is in each of them as they attempt to mezmerize kids into buying Bonomo Turkish Taffy using every device they can think of. "This is the last time I'm going to make this offer" should so surely not be posed to children that it's surprising to have to point out - but it makes for entertaining viewing in our day into what was and what should never be again!
WEEKEDAY HEROES (1984, Color, 10:34)
Tony Dow, who played Wally in "Leave It To Beaver", narrates this excellent retrospective of Los Angeles kid show hosts of the 1950s and 1960s and introduces us to these great hosts, his pals Chucko the Clown, Engineer Bill and Sheriff John. A classic piece that all those who were lucky enough to be kids at this time in this place must see.
NOTE: Due to the age and condition of the source media, the picture quality falls below regularly accepted standards. It should nevertheless not prevent you from greatly enjoying what few old time childrens television shows still exist. Enjoy!
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