Posts Tagged ‘Early Houston TV Shows’

Early Houston TV Programs & Personalities

August 21, 2010

Bunny Orsak: Channel 13’s “Kitirik” mascot from 1954 to 1971.

Thinking for long on the subject of Houston’s early TV years brings to mind a ton of pleasant memories and so many unforgettable personalities. I’m going more for volume than explication this morning. with a look back at what’s still with me off the top of my pointed head by way of a Saturday morning notion of how each fits together by group association.

Here’s what I’ve come up with. Please feel free to add your favorites and all the others I’ve forgotten in the comment section of this column:

Local Station Caricature Figures: Kitirik of Channel 13, Milk Drop Mo, Cadet Don, Jock Mahoney.

Early Station Singers and Musicians: Howard Hartman, Marietta Marek, Don Estes, Johnny Royal, Paul Schmidt and the Tune Schmidts, Curly Fox, and Miss Texas Ruby.

Dick Gottlieb

1950s Station Announcers, News People, and Personalities: Dick Gottlieb, Lee Gordon, Bob Dundas, Bob Marek, Guy Savage, Paul Boesch, Pat Flaherty, John Wiessinger, Gus Mancuso, Lloyd Gregory, Bruce Layer, Jack Hamm (artist), Joy Mladenka, Page Thompson, and Jane Christopher.

1960s People: Carl Mann, Sid Lasher, Gene Elston, Loel Passe, Dave Ward, Dan Rather, Anita Martini, Larry Rasco, Doug Johnson, Bill Ennis, Bill Worrell, and Dan Rather.

Early Kiddie Shows: Crusader Rabbit, Mr. I. Magination, Mr. Wizard, Smilin’ Ed McConnell, Buster Brown, ┬áKukla, Fran, and Ollie, Howdy Doody, Mr. Rogers, Captain Midnight, Sky King, Batman, and Superman.

Arthur Godfrey, Hawking Aspirin.

Early Variety and Game Shows: The Texaco Star Theatre with Milton Berle, Arthur Godfrey Time, The Gary Moore Show, Stop the Music, Toast of the Town/Ed Sullivan, The $64,000 Question, Beat The Clock, Name That Tune, Who Do You Trust?, Twenty Grand, I’ve Got A Secret, What’s My Line?, ┬áThe Tonight Show with Steve Allen, George Gobel, The Jackie Gleason Show, and Password.

Early Sitcoms: My Little Margie, The Life of Riley, I Married Joan, Leave it to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet, Amos ‘n Andy, The Addams Family, and Mr. Peepers,

Early Westerns: Gunsmoke, Cheyenne, Paladin, Wyatt Earp, The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train, Sugarfoot, Grizzly Adams, The Rifleman, The Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry.

Early Drama/Adventure/Cop Shows: Dangerous Assignment with Brian Donlevy, Boston Blackie, I Led Three Lives, One Man’s Family, Playhouse Ninety, Studio One, Dragnet, Route 66, Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone.

Sports: Major League and Houston Buffs Baseball, plus one game of College Football every Saturday and a Red Grange telecast of the Chicago Bears or Cardinals from the NFL every Sunday – and it was all there for us on that tiny little fuzzy black and white TV screen with the visible horizontal separator lines running all across the picture, but so what? What did we know back then about the greater possibilities that lay ahead for us down the technological advancement line in years to come? Based on the “nothing” we had prior to TV, we thought we had died and gone to Heaven!

Family Famous Last TV-Related Words from Our Mom Back in 1952: “Hey, kids, why don’t we all sit down and watch ’em blow up that atomic bomb out in Nevada before you leave for school today?”