It used to be that one of the staples of local TV stations, in addition to the late night horror movie host, was the clown (literally) who hosted a kid’s show. A fine example of this can be seen in the Christmas program hosted by Whizzo the Clown over at Rifftrax. Shows of that type once were found all over the dial, all over the country.
Use this thread to delve back into your long ago youth and share with us memories of the local TV clowns you used to watch.
In the St. Louis area when I grew up, there were two main ones. First was Corky the Clown.
I don’t know what year he began his show, but I know it was on from the late 60’s to at least the late 70’s when I left the area. At some point, the Sunday show stopped as well.
It was hosted by the station’s (I think) weekend weatherman. Since we little tykes didn’t stay up for the 10 o’clock news, it was years before I discovered this fact. I admit, a little part of my youthful innocence died when I learned that truth.
His name was Clif St. James and apparently he passed away just a few years ago at the age of 91.
The funny thing was, as the years went by, he began to do less and less of the clown make-up. The ears were probably the first thing to go. Then I think the facepaint. Finally, he just hosted the show as himself. I don’t know why, but it certainly felt like towards the end these were just “contractual obligation” shows.
I remember on his show he had a puppet or two. He had Thor and I think Spiderman cartoons.
The other big local clown was Mr. Patches.
He had a Mon. - Fri. show on Ch. 30, a UHF station so reception was always pretty snowy where I lived. It was on in the afternoon, maybe 3:30 to 4:30? I know I would always watch it after school.
Every day, he had a birthday boy or girl who bought along maybe 10 or so friends and they were Mr. Patches’ guests for a party.
Looking at that picture now all I can think is “all those kids and all that sugar!”. If you see a Golden Egg in front of each kid, that’s because Red Goose Shoes (“Half the fun of having feet is Red Goose Shoes” – Mad Ave, you did your job well) were a sponsor.
I remember he showed Ruff 'n Ready cartoons and maybe Yacky Doodle. I don’t know if it was his trademark saying, but he did always get a laugh out of the kids by reminding them to “keep your elbows out of your ears”. I also remember him having promotions for kids to hold backyard carnivals to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy.
The man behind Mr. Patches was Jack Miller, a lifelong St. Louisan who passed away in 1999.
So who were the TV clowns in your area when you were a kid?