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Before There Was Pee Wee Herman, There Was Pinky Lee! See This Powerhouse Sing, Dance & Entertain The Kids In The Manic Manner That Lead To His On-Air Collapse! 90 Minutes Of Vintage Television In All Regions DVD Format!
As years go by, often things of great importance go by the wayside in the memory. Pinky Lee was that to the early history of TV kids shows. When Pinky lead into The Howdy Doody Show from 1954 to 1955 on the NBC Television Network, wearing plaid in both hat and coat and tap dancing with frenetic speed and energy, he insisted himself into historical territory on a number of different levels, some that have been overly and repetitively trafficked, others that have rarely ever been visited. First there's his voice, with a lispy childlike wonderment about it, that has been heard many times by such fellow kid show practitioners as Pee Wee Herman and others. A consummate vaudvillian, his especial attention was fixed on providing powerhouse entertainment at a speed common to the kids while practicing his craft on a high level. It was not until The Electric Company years later that this vaudvillian craft was again fully brought before the eyes of a young audience, and even then, cast member Rita Moreno was warned against doing the show by those who specifically cited Pinky Lee as a lesson in what would happen to her career if she took the job. Then there's the audience participation that filled up his shows - for all the necessities of a performer having to interact with a studio audience in the early days of television, Pinky Lee is all over them, and he makes certain he gets them onto the stage at one point or another. But most important of all, Pinky Lee did all of these things. It is sad that such versatility resulted in his on-air collapse in 1955, a tragedy that cost him a year's invalidation and lost him his show. When he did come back to TV for a short stint on The Gumby Show With Pinky Lee, though he still had the magic, his soul was in pain. When that show was canceled, it effectively ended his career as a kid show host, in spite of another short stint on KABC's The Pinky Lee Show in 1965. For this brief span of time, however, a legacy has been left that, for all its brevity, is nevertheless a greatly important landmark in the history of childrens programming, and it deserves to be so recognized, celebrated, and enjoyed.
01: The Pinky Lee Show 1954 #1
02: The Pinky Lee Show 1954 #2
03: The Gumby Show With Pinky Lee In The Fun Forest (November 1957 :Last Pinky Lee Show)