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Smilin' Ed McConnell and His Buster Brown Gang

USA



Original Air Date:
1950
Channel:
NBC
Prod. Co.:
NBC
Genre:
Live Action
 

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Characters & Voices
Host - Ed McConnell
Host - Andy Devine
Buster Brown - Jerry Brown
Froggy the Gremlin - Ed McConnell
Ghanga the Elephant Boy - Nino Marcell
Indian Little Fox - Nino Marcell
Maharaja of Bakore - Lou Krugman
Midnight the Cat - June Foray
Old Grandie the Piano - June Foray
Pasta Fazooli - Vito Scotti
Percival Shortfellow - Alan Reed
Poet Algernon Archibald - Alan Reed
Rama - Vito Scotti
Tige - Bud Tolefson
Various - Bill Gilbert
Various - Bill Rodriguez
 
This beloved children's program starred host Ed McConnell, who, with the aid of a revolving cast of characters and puppets including Midnight the Cat and Squeaky the Mouse, told stories and introduced filmed segments like Ghanga the Jungle Boy and Buster Brown (the shoe manufacturer was the show's sponsor).

When Smilin' Ed hollered, "Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy!", it meant an appearance from one of the show's most popular characters, Froggy the Gremlin. For some reason, Froggy delighted in causing destruction, not just to Ed and his gang, but all over the world. One of his “harmless” pranks involved changing the weather in Alaska because he wanted to hurt the Eskimos.

Smilin’ Ed McConnell had honed his kids' show hosting chops on radio, and he headlined Smilin’ Ed McConnell and his Buster Brown Gang for four years until his death in 1954. When Smilin' Ed passed away, the network aired a season of reruns before finding a suitable replacement.

Gravel-throated Andy Devine took over as host in 1955, and the show was retitled Andy's Gang. The retooled show was broadcast only locally in New York for the rest of its run, apart from one season on NBC in 1957-58.
 
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In 1954, Hi and Lois bought their first house.