Wonderama & Other Boyhood Shows

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Frank Sanoica, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Supreme Member
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    [​IMG]

    I watched it totally enthralled with the technically-advanced stuff they showed and used, though I think I first saw it at about age 9. It played for a number of years, till mid-50's, I think. Captain Video and his Video Rangers!

    There were over 1500 episodes! How they could keep up with such a rigorous schedule, I dunno. About the actual footage, I'm foggy, it's been well over 60 years. The one name I recall, but don't know why, is Don Hastings, as it was mentioned in the end of show credits. Turns out, as I just learned, Hastings went on to portray a character for one of the longest running shows: "He played Bob Hughes on As the World Turns from October 1960 until the show's final airing on September 17, 2010."

    50 years!

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    Don Hastings (left) and Al Hodge (right)

    Note the absolute simplicity of the set, yet, it's believability for a young audience becoming scientifically interested! Frank
     
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  2. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    It strikes a vague bell, Frank, but I cannot recall much about the show...so I guess I CAN forget Captain Video.
     
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  3. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Supreme Member
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    Me I could forget it...because I've never heard of it.... :D
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    We didn’t own a television set until I was well into my teens, so I don’t remember most of the shows that everyone watch when they were young. By the time we did get a television, I was way past the age of being interested in kid’s shows, like “Howdy Doody Time” or “Mr. Rogers”
    Sometimes, I did watch Mickey Mouse Club after school, or that dance program that was so popular back then. Dick Clark ? Can;t remember the actual name of the show.
    Usually, the television was only on when my mom or dad turned it on, and since I was not a big fan of Lawrence Welk or similar shows, I grew up without television being a part of my life, for the most part.
     
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  5. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Veteran Member
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  6. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
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  7. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    American Bandstand was the show, Yvonne, and it was staged in Philadelphia. There was a strict behavior and dress code--standard for those days, but not so much now.
     
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  8. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
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    Captain Video Flying Saucer Ring with Glow in the Dark Saucer, 1951

    captvideo2.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Supreme Member
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    @Beatrice Taylor @Nancy Hart
    Thank you so much for these posts! I do not recall the flying saucer toy at all, and Gleason's portrayal was typical: he bulged his eyes when he first saw Norton!
    Frank
     
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  10. Hedi Mitchell

    Hedi Mitchell Supreme Member
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    Which means you are probably mentally and emotionaly more stable than any of us ;):p
     
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  11. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Supreme Member
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    My most feared, yet most anticipated show was, I think, called "Lights Out". At the start, a narrator frighteningly spoke of horrible things gone alive, then a burning candle was shown to slowly go out, no movement of the flame, not blown out......frightened the sh!t out of me! (they did it by slowly pulling the wick downwards until it extinguished, I learned much later).

    "The camera is tightly focused on a set of eyes. It slowly pulls out to reveal the disembodied head of the narrator, suspended in the darkness, ominously setting the stage for tonight's tale of horror or the supernatural. The narrator declares, "Lights out!", blows out a candle, and the story begins. This creepy anthology series began in 1934 on Chicago radio station WENR, the creation of writer Wyllis Cooper. Arch Oboler, however, is more closely associated as the series' writer/director, taking over after a couple of years when Cooper moved on to other projects. Lights Out was a pioneering television effort, with Fred Coe producing four episodes on WNBT-TV in New York during 1946. Once network television began in earnest in the late forties, the series was an early success, airing on NBC from 1949-1952."

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    The most unsettling episode of all, and I can picture it to this day, was entitled "Dune Rollers". They were medicine-ball sized creatures, round as could be, which rolled to get about. When they stopped, stalks popped out of their surface having each an eyeball on the end! Looked incredibly real. I cannot resurect anything at all about the presentation, though it remains as my most chillingly memorable one.
    Frank
     
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  12. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    The original Outer Limits used to scare the heck outta me when I was younger. I also used to sneak to my door and watch a show called Medic that depicted real surgical procedures on TV. That didn't frighten me, but it sure fascinated me.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    We didn't have a television until the mid-1960s, so the earlier stuff that I am familiar with had to do with syndication, but Captain Video doesn't ring a bell.
     
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  14. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    We got a TV in 1949 and lived in suburban NYC, so we had channels 2 through 13 by 1954, so I saw many of the early shows, but I was in a neighborhood with lots of kids, so we spent most of our time outside.
     
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  15. Vinny Waccio

    Vinny Waccio Very Well-Known Member
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    I was a member and got the decoder ring which was mostly about products to eat or buy if I recall correctly.
     
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