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Just For Fun!

USA



Original Air Date:
1959
Channel:
WNEW-TV
Prod. Co.:
WNEW-TV
Genre:
Live Action
 

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Characters & Voices
Sonny Fox -
 
During the fall of 1959 Sonny Fox' wife Gloria was giving birth to another child. Knowing that his salary for hosting "Wonderama" would not be enough to care for his family.

He went to the heads of Metro-media TV and asked them for a raise, according to an interview with former WNBC radio NYC talk show host, Alan Colmes in the fall of 1987.

Sonny explained "They (the heads of WNEW TV) said to me "No, we can't pay you more money for doing that show". "But, If you can create another another (kids) tv show for our saturday morning scheduale, we'll pay more money for that."

Not wanting to mc a saturday morning edition of "Wonderama", Fox began to think back to his childhood when he went to summer camp and he used to play"The Color Wars at camp".

The color wars were an event, where the campers would be set up as three teams and try to complete a series of stunts in the least amount of time in order to earn points and win prizes. Using this concept as the basis for the show, Fox contacted vetrain NYC tv producer and director, Bob Cahn, to help him create and develop the format.

They presented the idea to the station execs and they bought the show. "Just For Fun!" debuted on WNEW TV Ch.5 in NYC on Saturday morning October 3, 1959. Fox would guide three teams: The Blue, The White & The Gold Team; in a series of stunts. Ex: trying to throw records threw a target without breaking them, catching eggs without breaking them, trying to bite into a marshmallow on a string with their hands behind their backs etc.

The team members had to complete the stunts in the least amount of time in order for the members of the team to earn points and win toy prizes. An extra segment was "The Mystery Guest" (A kids version of the popular segment on Mark Goodson's/ Bill Todman's Prime Time CBS TV Game Show "What's My Line?!").

Three members of the teams had to try and guess the indentity of the famous person via questions, while being blindfolded. Famous performers such as Huntz Hall, Dayton Allen, Charolette Rae, Tim Conway, Billy Sands, Carl Ballentine, Paul Winchell, Jimmy Nelson and Chuck McCann and Paul Ashley participated in "The Mystery Guest" segment. "The Mystery Guest"concept would reused years later on WWOR TV Ch.9's "Steampipe Alley!"

Sonny would host "Just For Fun!" until he left the program following the Saturday July 31, 1965 broadcast of the show. Ch.5 announcer and cartoon show host, Fred Scott "Uncle Fred" became the series second and last mc on Saturday August 7,1965.

Mr.Scott would lead the teams in the games until Ch.5 ended "Just For Fun!"on Saturday September 4,1965. The theme music for "Just For Fun!" was the theme for The Bing Crosby movie comedy"High Time!" composed and arranged by Henry Mancini.
 
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