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----- Chicagoland

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Children's TV Shows
Video Center
Chicagoland TV
1985 Chicago Bears
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Chicago Radio Legends
Famous People
Chicago Places
Amusement Parks

Ray Rayner

The Ray Rayner Show started out in 1962 as Breakfast With Bugs Bunny. It became Ray Rayner & His Friends in 1964.

Ray's special blend of entertainment, arts and crafts demonstrations, rush-hour traffic reports, and other segments appealed to adults and children alike. Sprinkled in between Bugs Bunny cartoons and Diver Dan shorts were trips to the Lincoln Park Zoo, chats with Cuddly Duddley, and visits from Chelveston the duck.

The show left the air in 1981.

Ray Rayner passed away on January 21, 2004 at the age of 84. You can read his obituary at the WGN site here.

Wikipedia: Ray Rayner
Wikipedia: Diver Dan

RealAudio sound clips:
Ray Rayner opening
Ray Rayner closing -bye bye BYEEEE!
Garfield Goose

Frazier Thomas created the Garfield Goose character at a Cincinnati TV station in the late 1940s. When Thomas came to Chicago in 1951, Garfield was a part of his new variety show on WBKB. By 1952, Garfield was so popular that he became the star of his own show.

Shortly afterwards, Roy Brown was hired as the new puppeteer. Brown created the additional characters of MacIntosh Mouse, Mama Goose, Beauregard The Dog, Christmas Goose, and Romberg Rabbit.

The show moved to WGN in 1955, where it remained until 1976 when Thomas and crew became the new hosts of Bozo's Circus.

Cartoons and live action shorts were a big part of the show. Especially popular were The Funny Company, Clutch Cargo, Journey To The Beginning Of Time, and the three nostalgic Christmas shorts Suzy Snowflake, HardRock Coco & Joe, and Frosty The Snowman.

Wikipedia: Clutch Cargo
Toonopedia: Clutch Cargo
Wikipedia: Garfield Goose & Friends
Frazier Thomas & Garfield Goose

Garfield Goose Theme Song

Scroll down to the Video Center to see Garfield's three classic holiday shorts in my YouTube playlist!

Cartoon Town
B.J. & Dirty Dragon
Gigglesnort Hotel

Bill's show included a segment where he wrote down the initials of a viewer's name and made an elaborate drawing out of them. Usually it was a picture of what the child wanted to be when he or she grew up. The child then received the picture as a prize. As an aspiring artist, I was very impressed with this, and often made similar pictures for the kids I taught or babysat for.

TV Party: Gigglesnort Hotel
BJ & Dirty Dragon

Cartoon Town Sound Clip

Kiddie a-Go-Go

Produced and hosted by Jack and Elaine Mulqueen, this junior version of a teen dance show aired from 1966 to 1970.
Bozo's Circus

Bozo was a lunchtime ritual for most kids in the Chicagoland area during the 1960s and 1970s.

Who's your favorite clown? -Ringmaster Ned & Bozo in RealAudio

TV Party: Bozo's Circus
Clown Hall Of Fame Inducts Bob Bell
Bob Bell: Forever Bozo

On January 22, 2001 Roy Brown (aka Cooky the Clown) passed away at the age of 68. In addition to performing as Cooky, he operated the puppets on both Garfield Goose and Ray Rayner.

Wow! Bozo Photos!
I received these two photos from Jeff, who was kind enough to let me post them on my site. He took them in 1968, when he attended Bozo's Circus as a kid. Aren't they awesome?

Jeff's view from the audience, showing the guest circus act.

After everyone filed out during the Grand March, Jeff hung around and snapped this photo of Oliver (Ray Rayner) and Bozo (Bob Bell). Like Jeff mentioned in his e-mail to me, can you imagine any TV star taking the time to pose for a kid with a camera these days? These guys were true professionals.

"Bozo's Circus
is on the air!"

For 40 years, Bozo and his pals made the children of Chicagoland just a little bit happier. August 2001 marked the end of an era in children's TV programming when Bozo's Circus aired for the last time.

The character of Bozo The Clown was created in 1946. He was voiced by Pinto Colvig and first appeared on book & record sets for children. He starred in his first local TV show in 1949. In 1956, Larry Harmon purchased the rights to the character and began creating Bozo shows in various cities on a franchise basis.

The Chicago Bozo Show first went on the air in 1960. It was 30 minutes long and consisted of cartoons introduced by WGN television personality Bob Bell. In 1961, the show was expanded to an hour and was renamed Bozo's Circus. The Grand Prize Game and "magic arrows" were added in 1962.

Chicago's Bozo was the most famous of them all. This was due primarily to the cast. In addition to Bob Bell as Bozo, the original cast included Ned Locke as the ringmaster, Ray Rayner as Oliver, and Don Sandburg as Sandy. Sandburg left the show in 1968 and was replaced by Roy Brown as Cooky. Marshall Brodien, a magician who had previously appeared on the show as a guest circus act, also joined the cast in 1968 as Wizzo. Ray Rayner left the show in 1971. The torch was passed in 1976 to Frazier Thomas when Ringmaster Ned retired, and again in 1984 to Joey D'Auria when Bob Bell retired.

In 1978, Bozo was introduced to the rest of America when WGN became available on cable TV. Between 1961 and 1981, Bozo's Circus was a live show, airing each weekday at noon. Starting in 1981, the show was pre-recorded for broadcast on weekday mornings. When Roy Brown and Marshall Brodien retired in 1994, new characters were added and the show was moved to Sunday mornings, where it became The Bozo Super Sunday Show.

In 2001, times were changing, and Bozo announced that it was ending its long run. The final taping was aired as a 40th anniversary special in July 2001, and the remainder of the taped episodes were shown until August.

Sadly, very few Bozo clips survive on videotape. In 2005, the best of these were included in WGN's Bozo, Gar & Ray, a nostalgic look back at the magic that was Bozo's Circus.

Larry Harmon passed away in 2008, and Alan Livingston, the man who created Bozo back in 1946, passed away in 2009.

Video Center

Check out the YouTube channels and playlists to the right, where you can see all sorts of fun Chicagoland videos!
My YouTube playlist

Fuzzy Memories TV
An unbelievable collection of commercials, PSAs, and bumpers

Chicagoland TV

The Museum Of Broadcast Communications

Video Veteran -fond memories of:
--Chicago kids TV
--Svengoolie and other horror movie hosts
--Pay-TV channels like Sportsvision, Spectrum and ON-TV
--and much more!

Broadcasting In Chicago 1921-1989


Jerry G. Bishop played the original Svengoolie on WFLD from 1970 to 1973. With Bishop's approval, Rich Koz became the Son of Svengoolie in 1979. He continued in that role until WFLD was taken over by Fox in 1986. In 1995, Sven shortened his name to Svengoolie (he was all grown up now) and found a new home on WCIU. He's been there ever since, adding his special touch to all those great old horror movies from the past. In 2011, the show became available nationwide when it began airing on the MeTV digital subchannel network.

In addition to hosting movies, doing personal appearances, and writing parody songs, Sven had the honor of hosting Chicago's first 3D television broadcast in 1982. Do you remember that? The film was Revenge of the Creature, and you could pick up a pair of cardboard 3D glasses at any 7-Eleven store.

Jerry G. Bishop's Screaming Yellow Theater

Creature Features

Check this out!
As mentioned on Rich Koz's Stooge-a-palooza show...."The Golden Age Of Chicago Children's Television" by Ted Okuda and Jack Mulqueen (Lake Claremont Press, 2004). Purchase a copy at

Family Classics first aired in 1962. It was hosted by Frazier Thomas, who personally chose the films and supervised their editing. After Thomas died in 1985, Roy Leonard took over as host.

Family Classics theme music

Max Headroom - Video Hacker!

On a Sunday night back in 1987, a video hacker broke onto the Chicago airwaves with his own version of Max Headroom, interrupting programs on both Channel 9 and Channel 11 for 90 seconds.

You can see the entire footage here!

The 1985 Chicago Bears
Super Bowl XX

1985 was a great year to be a Bears fan! What could be better than that? Well, how about winning Super Bowl XX in January 1986?

Just in time for the 1985 Christmas season, the Bears formed the "Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew" and produced a record and video titled The Super Bowl Shuffle. The song reached #41 on the Billboard charts and was even nominated for a Grammy! A substantial portion of the proceeds went to charity.

Watch The Super Bowl Shuffle!

How The '85 Bears Captured Chicago
Bears Super Bowl Win Turns 25
Wikipedia: The Super Bowl Shuffle

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