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Uncle Al Show, The

USA



Original Air Date:
1949
Channel:
ABC
Prod. Co.:
WCPO TV Ch.9 Cincinatti,Ohio
Genre:
Live Action
 

0
Votes
Characters & Voices
Host/ Performer/ Instructor/ Co - Crreator
Capt. Wendy - Mrs. Wanda Lewis
Princess Twinkle - Marilyn Green
Head Puppeteer/ Puppet - Maker
The Scarecrow - Larry Smith
Happy The Clown - Jack Williams
Uncle Patches - (Actor is unknown)
Bozo The Clown - Al Schriver
First head puppeteer/ puppetmaker - Larry Smith
Second Head Puppeteer/ Puppetmaker - Tom York
Third Head Puppeteer/ Puppetmaker - Jack Williams
-
Puppet Characters: -
-
Hattie The Witch - Larry Smith
Teaser The Mouse - Larry Smith
Roger Robot - (Actor Unknown)
 
This popular variety kids tv series was created by accident. Al Lewis (Not to be confused with the performer who played "Officer Leo Schnauser" on "Car 54: Where Are You?!" and "Grandpa Dracula" on "The Munsters") joined WCPO TV Ch.9 in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1949 as the station's art director.

Lewis (His real name is Al Lewis Slowik) not only built and designed sets and props for the station.
He also produced, wrote and mc'd musical/ variety tv shows for adults "Get Off The Hook" and "Club Till Midnight!" were some of the programs that Mr.Lewis conceived and hosted at Ch.9.

In 1949 he also began hosting a weekday morning musical/ variety show "The Corner Drug Store" (dressed as a soda jerk who made sodas and ice cream treats at the soda fountain of a local drug store). The show wasn't doing very well until some kids happen to wander into the studio one day and Lewis invited them to appear on the show. He played some tunes for them on his accordian and sang some songs and made "Barqs" Brown Cows for them ("Barqs" is a beverage co. that makes Root Beers and Cream Sodas and a "Brown Cow" is a "Barqs" root beer with an ice cream float in it). The kids loved it and Lewis invited the youngsters to return to the show the next day and bring their friends. The kids returned the next day with their friends and they did this for weeks until the parents called into the station and they asked how can we get our children onto the kids show?

Recalled Lewis in a 1989 interview "What Kids Show?" replied the station execs at Ch.9 "There is no kids show?" But Lewis saw a golden opportunity and he revamped "The Corner Drug Store" and the series evolved into "The Uncle Al Show". For a time the series had no backdrop just a plain flat that the entertainer used to draw illustrations upon it. He also continued to wear his soda jerk outfit until some shows later he created a fantasy backdrop where he lived in an enchanted land where a castle resided and the lady ho lived in the castle "Princess Twinkle" would come out to sing and tell stories to the kids who were in the studio.

Actress and singer Marilyn Green appeared on the show as "Princess Twinkle". She was joined by The Larry Smith Puppets and by "Bozo The Clown" (played by WCPO TV's resident funnyman Bob Schrive). Ms.Green and Mr. Schrive would leave the show and they were replaced by Mr. Smith (Who played "The Scarecrow and he continued to built and manipulate his puppets on the show).

Lewis soon changed his costume where he sported a bow tie, checkered sports jacket and a straw skimmer. Eventually Smith was replaced by Tom York and later by Jack Williams as the show's puppeteer and puppet-makers. (Williams also played "Happy The Clown" on the show) and an unknown actor played "Uncle Patches" (A kindly old relative who sported a sweater with a collection of patches on it.)

Mrs. Wanda Lewis also appeared on the show as "Capt. Windy", a singer and artist who flew thru the air Ala "Supergirl". The show added craftmaking, hobbies, informational segments and interviews with guest performers and personalities. Dick Van Dyke, Art Linkletter, Shirley Temple and "The Great One", Jackie Gleason made visits to "The Uncle Al Show".

The show was seen locally on WCPO TV Ch.9 in Cincinatti weekday mornings and for a time on The ABC TV Network on Saturday afternoons from 1958 to 1959. Unfortunately, ABC TV dropped WCPO TV as an affillate in 1959. CBS TV picked up WCPO TV as a new affiliate, but the network refused to air "The Uncle Al Show" on CBS. The show was cancelled and replaced by "Lunch With Soupy Sales!". "The Uncle Al Show" remained a local kids tv program on WCPO TV Ch.9 in Cincinatti until the series was finally cancelled in 1985.
 
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