11 kids TV shows that entertained generations of Dayton children, from Uncle Orrie to Clubhouse 22

Some Daytonians remember watching local children’s television shows back in the 1940s through the ‘70s. Back then, kids shows were an important part of a TV station’s programming. At one time, nearly every station had its own kids show.

The names Uncle Orrie, Duffy the Dog, Charlie Goodtime and others bring back fond memories. Back then, puppets, songs, games and cartoons were the mainstays of children’s TV.

» PHOTOS: A look back at kids TV shows in Dayton and Cincinnati

Many of the shows were on for years and developed loyal followings. Here are a few you may remember.

Lucky 13 Ranch House (WHIO, Channel 7)

Nosey the Clown, who made his debut in 1949 on a WHIO kids show called Lucky 13 Ranch House, was just one of many characters created by Jack Jacobson. Others included Whittlin’ Jake, an old cowboy with a droopy mustache, and Ignatz Hammerslob.

The Kenny Roberts Show (WLW, Channel 5), (WHIO, Channel 7)

If you remember jumping up and down in front of the TV, singing songs like “The Chocolate Ice Cream Song,” you were probably a Kenny Roberts Jumpin’ Pal.

The show aired weekdays at 4:30 p.m. and would start with Roberts singing the theme song, “Going Down the Country.” After a couple more songs, Roberts would visit with his puppet pal Windy Dan, Kay, and Herb Adams. Then he would hand out Jumpin’ Pal buttons to the kids in the studio.

Before saying goodbye, Roberts would tell the audience to “eat your carrots and drink Blossom Hill Dairy milk.”

The television show ran from 1948 through 1950, when Roberts, known as “The Jumping Cowboy,” decided to tour the country with his Western show.

Uncle Bob’s Playtime Party (WHIO, Channel 7)

Uncle Bob’s Playtime Party was a weekday morning show in the early 1950s. It aired at 11 a.m. and featured Uncle Bob Campbell, Jack Jacobson, who played a clown and cowboy Whittlin’ Jake, and Joe Rockhold, who would later star on The Uncle Orrie Show.

Uncle Al Show (WCPO, Channel 9)

Al Lewis and the Uncle Al Show debuted in 1950. The show turned out to be quite a hit. The show started out with 15-minute episodes, but before long, Uncle Al was an hour-long show, airing three episodes daily.

In 1956, the show also featured Captain Windy, played by Lewis’ off-camera wife Wanda.

Captain Windy would handle the educational aspects of the show, assisting kids with crafts or cooking projects, while Uncle Al asked kids to help with puppets or to play games at Uncle Al’s circus.

The show became a Cincinnati institution for 35 years, ending its run in 1985.

Then ...“Alakazaam one, Alakazaam two, Alakazaam three and Poof!” the show was over.

Tic Toc Toy Shop (WHIO, Channel 7), Larry Smith Puppets (WXIX, Channel 19)

Larry Smith was a puppeteer on several others shows before getting his own afternoon children’s show.

A group of puppet characters he created started on Tic Toc Toy Shop in the 1950s, and then the show changed names and networks, ending up as Larry Smith Puppets.

His most popular character, Hattie the Witch, was a fan favorite. “Hattie was always a troublemaker,” Smith said in a 1985 Dayton Daily News interview, “No matter how big or elaborate her plans are ... it always backfires.”

Other characters on the show included Snarfie R. Dog, Teaser, Rudy and Nasty Old Thing.

Skipper Ryle (WKRC, Channel 12)

Glenn “Skipper” Ryle played a riverboat pilot in this Cincinnati kids show that first aired in 1956.

The set was a pilot house, with a wheel and an engine room, and other river-oriented props.

The program started as an hour-long, Saturday morning show. Because of its popularity, it was expanded to two hours, and then was moved to Sunday mornings. Later, weekday shows were added in front of a live audience.

Sometimes the cameras left the studio. The show also occasionally filmed on tow boats, steam ships, paddleboats and Coast Guard Cruisers.

In all, it was on air for 17 years.

“All of us felt that kids like to watch other kids having fun, whether it be playing games or performing skits in a costume,” Ryle said. “As long as you were having fun it was one gigantic party-time.”

The Uncle Orrie Show (WHIO, Channel 7)

Dayton’s most successful children’s show was The Uncle Orrie Show, which made its debut on Channel 7 in 1955. Over the next 13 years, more than 600,000 Miami Valley kids were members of the show’s studio audience.

The show was done live without a script and was a mix of cartoons, games and studio adventures with the cast.

The show, with a live audience of about 50 children, opened with kids yelling and waving with music playing. Some of the kids would be asked where they were from. Then games would be played and prizes were given out. After that, a cartoon would be played and the kids would settle down. At the end, the kids would get another chance to “wave at the folks back home.”

Uncle Orrie was played by Joe Rockhold. His costume consisted of wire-rimmed glasses, a Civil War-era hat and a string tie. Jack Jacobson, who played Nosey the Clown, became a main character on the show.

In addition to Nosey the Clown, the show featured Ferdie Fussbudget, played by Ken Hardin. Ferdie, who wore a striped jacket and bowler hat, became a main character when Jacobson left the show.

The Ken and Don show (WHIO, Channel 7)

After the Uncle Orrie show was canceled, the short-lived Ken and Don Show took its place.

The hosts were Don Smith and Ken Hardin. Hardin had played Ferdie Fussbudget on The Uncle Orrie Show.

Smith left the show after one year and was replaced by Don Chandler, also known as magician Phil Chandler.

The six-day-a-week show ran from 1968 through 1970.

The Cool Ghoul (WXIX, Channel 19)

The Cool Ghoul appeared on a variety of shows and commercials during the 1960s and ‘70s. His character was a mix between a hippie, a monster and a clown.

With long orange hair, a plaid cap and cloak, he was known for his high-pitched “Blah! Blah!”

The Cool Ghoul was played by Dick Von Hoene. He started out hosting a Saturday night “Scream-In” show that showcased horror movies. That show lasted three years and then Von Hoene returned to other work at the television station. When an afternoon time slot opened up in 1974, The Cool Ghoul made a comeback with a kids cartoon show that lasted one year.

Charlie Goodtime (WHIO, Channel 7)

For silly antics on a Saturday morning in the 1970s, it was hard to beat Charlie Goodtime.

Dave Eaton, who played Charlie Goodtime, said he tried to aim his show at young and old alike. Kids in the studio, would watch Yogi the Bear and Bugs Bunny cartoons between waving to viewers and playing games.

Clubhouse 22 (WKEF, Channel 22)

From January 1970 through 1979, the “Clubhouse,” which aired from 3:30-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, was an afternoon playground for the kids of the Miami Valley.

Clubhouse 22 came about in 1970, created and hosted by Malcolm MacLeod. By 1974, MacLeod had left the show and Joe Smith hosted and produced the show with Barry Hobart (Dr. Creep). The biggest change to the show after Smith took over was that it now included a live audience.

There was always a lot going on: Cartoons, Our Gang short films, The Wide World of Shorts, and games like “Pick-A-Door” with Duffy the Dog and Dr. Creep. But the big question was always, “Who would get the pie in the face?”

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