Aired Friday January 7th, 2011 at 6:00 am on KUED World Ch. 7.2
Pioneers of Television "Local Kids' T.V." reveals the fascinating stories behind the locally-produced kids' shows that shaped the childhoods of millions of American children in the early years of television. Performers such as Willard Scott, who played Bozo the Clown, honed their skills performing on live TV with small budgets and little support. With second-hand store costumes and their own imaginations, they learned how to make kids laugh and think. "Local Kids' T.V." airs Tuesday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m. on KUED Channel 7.
One early talent, Stan Freberg, got off the bus in the middle of Hollywood, became a cartoon voice talent and created "Time for Beany", a show that captured seven out of 10 viewers, including Albert Einstein, during its run in Los Angeles. Freberg's story is told along with the stories of legendary Muppets creator Jim Henson, actor Chuck McCann, the creator of New York's "Puppet Hotel" and Nancy Claster who developed the Baltimore kids' series "Romper Room," the first franchised show in television history.
Willard Scott explains the surprising physical challenges of playing Bozo the Clown ("...I nearly expired."). Mary Ann King documents the chain of events that led to a lion escaping on the set of "Romper Room" in Los Angeles. And Dan Castellaneta reveals the local kids' show that inspired "The Simpsons'" Krusty the Clown. Viewers will see the prototypes of Jim Henson's muppets and watch Steven Spielberg as he recounts the Arizona kids' show that shaped his career.
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