In the early years of U.S. television, virtually every local station had a locally produced program aimed at children. For the most part, they had several things in common: they were broadcast live, operated on a shoestring budget, had a central character (often a clown), included puppets and a live studio audience made up of local children. Shows such as Bozo the Clown (1959) and The Wallace and Ladmo Show (1954) ( also known as the Wallace and Ladmo Show) made celebrities of Chuck McCann, Pat McMahon and Willard Scott. By the 1960s, Jim Henson had his own take on puppets, which he called Muppets, which became nationally known with the advent of Sesame Street (1969). One major innovation was to franchise a children's show for local production. Perhaps the most successful program of this type was Romper Room and Friends (1953) which at its peak was being produced in over 100 locations. For Bill Cosby, his Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972) was the first platform for African-American...
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Although uncredited, this episode features footage from the local Atlanta, Ga. edition of "The Popeye Club". See more