Saturday, June 9, 2007

Cleveland Television-Just for Kids (and Grownup Kids Too)

Left to Right:Franz The Toymaker (Ray Stawiarski) Woodrow The Woodsman (Clay Conroy) Barnaby (Linn Sheldon) and Ron Penfound (Captain Penny)..From
This Picture is taken from a Early Mc Donald's Ad-Probably mid 1960's. The Caption on top reads:"Look For The Golden Arches...where Quality starts fresh... every day" I find it intersting that all 4 hosts..from competing stations..would take a picture together..though they were probably friends outside the studio..

The following edited text was taken from a posting of mine at the Golden Age Cartoons Forum over a year ago

"Some of my fondest memories as a youngster in Canton, Ohio from 1963-71 or so was watching many of the wonderful Children's show hosts out of Cleveland...I am probably biased, but I dont think there were many better hosts outside of New York or Chicago..

Baranby on KYW/WKYC 3 afternoons arond 4:30 and Saturdays from 7-9 AM with Popeye, Dick Tracy, Mr. Magoo, Wizard of Oz Cartoons, etc..It was said he did his shows ad lib..with only a prop chest to help him along..Linn Sheldon had been a stage and movie actor before doing a lot of early Cleveland TV from the beginning (1947-48)..He played Barnaby from 1957-88..ending at channel 43..His memoir, Barnaby and Me, is quite entertaining though sad at times..A good read if you can find it..

Captain Penny (Ron Penfound) from WEWS-TV 5, did shows at Noon and late afternoon, usually 4:30 or 5..He showed Deputy Dawg and other Terrytoons as well as Magilla Gorilla, Quick Draw McGraw, Rocky And Bullwinkle, Peter Potamus, Batfink, the Three Stooges and Cliff Norton "Funny Mann's" Live action show..He along with Barnaby had a gentle way about them that translated well to the kids..He had Jungle Larry from Cedar Point and Pooch try and give dogs a new home.He was on from 1957-71.

Woodrow Woodsman (Clay Conroy) was at first Barnaby's sidekick at KYW-3 but later got his own 9AM show..He had an "Enchanted Forest" with puppets Talkington the Owl and Voracious the Peanut Butter&Jelly sandwich eating elephant..He was in Cleveland from the early 60's to 1965, 1970-72 (WKYC) and 1997-2000 (WJW-8) from 1966-70 he took the Character to Detroit's WJBK-2..

Link to a nice bio..

Franz The Toymaker (WJW-8) roughly 1964-70...As we didnt get channel 8 very well in my location, I never saw him, but he wore a Bavarian type outfit (see above) in pictures I've seen and he did crafts from what i heard.

Mr Jingeling-Created for Halles Department Store, Mr. Jingeling began appearing on WEWS-TV 5 during the Christmas season I believe in 1956 or so..He would appear on Captain Penny's Cartoon shows beginning either Thanksgiving or the day after and would continue Monday-Friday visits until Christmas Day.. He was Santa's "Head Elf" who would have a multipart story for the kids each day.. Portrayed first by Max Ellis, who passed away, then Channel 5 staff member Earl Keyes from 1964 on..Keyes continued as Jingeling..even after the TV shows stopped until his passing on December 26, 2000..Jingeling made the rounds of Channel 5, 8, 3 and 43 till the mid 1980's..Was always a highlight at Christmas to a kid from a degree it made Halles and Cleveland seem so much closer if that makes sense."

.There is yet another carrying on the Jingeling tradition..


With the retirement of Big Chuck and Little John from Fox8, it has been said by some friends of mine that Local TV will have lost it's "soul". I couldnt agree more..There was a "connection" to the if the host was talking directly to one person in the audience..While I am talking about the Cleveland hosts here, you could name any city in the USA..Viewers had their "connections".. and with the cookie cutter, generic Television of today there is a loss of value to the viewer if that makes sense..The viewer is just a commodity to sell rather than a human being..Sorry to be overdramatic..but there is something lost..maybe innocence, that we will never get back..Great to have the memories though..

Cleveland area TV Schedule
Thursday February 14, 1957
TV Guide

KYW 3 NBC Cleveland
WEWS 5 ABC Cleveland
WJW 8 CBS Cleveland
WFMJ 21 NBC Youngstown
WKBN 27 CBS/ABC Youngstown
WAKR 49 ABC Akron

3-21 Today
8-27 Good Morning-Will Rogers Jr.

8-27 Captain Kangaroo

3 News-Jay Miltner-Longtime Station ID Announcer
5 News-Bill Prentice
8 News-Jim Doney-Would host "Adventure Road" Years Later

3 Morning Surprise-Tom Haley
5 Fun Farm-Kids
8 All-Star Theater-Drama Anthology reruns
21 Adelaide Snyder

8 Maggie Wulff-Women

5 Paige Palmer

3-21 Home-Arlene Francis
5 Western Reserve Telecourse
8 Garry Moore
27 Movie-To Be Announced

3 Window
5 Movie-Bombay Waterfront
8 Arthur Godfrey

3 Home (retruned in progress)

3-21 Price Is Right-Bill Cullen

27 Esther Sonntag-Fashions

3-21 Truth Or Consequences-Bob Barker
8-27 Strike It Rich-Warren Hull

5 News-Ron Penfound

3-21 Tic Tac Dough
5 Captain Penny-Penfound
8 Valiant Lady-Serial
27 Cartoon Carnival

8-27 Love Of Life

3-21 It Could Be You
8 Search For Tomorrow
27 Playhouse-Drama

5 Beulah
8 Guiding Light

3 Movie-Annabel Takes A Tour
8 Our Miss Brooks
21-27 News
49 Movie-TBA

27 Stand Up-Women

5 Stu Erwin-Comedy
21 Kitchen Corner-Mariner

8 As The World Turns
27 Movie-Man From Thunder River

5 Susie-Ann Sothern
21 Hal's A Poppin-Hal Fryar

8 Alice Weston

5 Liberace

3-21 Tennessee Ernie Ford
8 House Party-Linkletter
49 Life With Elizabeth-Betty White

5 Music Masters-Songs
27 Casteel's Carousel

3-21 Matinee Theater-COLOR
5-49 Afternoon Film Festival-All Over The Town (English 1949)
8-27 Big Payoff-Randy Merriman

8 Bob Crosby
27 Movie-Western (TBA)

3-21 Queen For A Day-Jack Bailey
8 Brighter Day-Serial

8 Secret Storm

5 Little Rascals
8 Edge Of Night
49 Joe Palooka

3-21 Modern Romances

3 It's A Great Life-Comedy
5-27 Mickey Mouse Club
8 Movie-American Empire
27 Fun House Gang
49 Movie-Dawn Riders

3 Headline ("Big Town" Reruns)

3 Six O Clock Adventure-Sheena, Federal Men
5 Three Musketeers
21 Popeye
27-49 Looney Tunes

8 News-Roger Kennedy

5 News Commentary-Dorothy Fuldheim
8 Ohio Story-Big Timber In Ohio
21-27-49 Sports, News

8 News-Roger Kennedy

5 Weather-Bill Prentice
8-27 CBS News-Douglas Edwards
49 Social Whirl-Stillman

5 News-Paul Wilcox, Ron Penfound

3 News-Tom Field

3 Soldiers Of Fortune
5 Charles Boyer
8-21 Dr. Christian
27 Crunch And Des
49 News, Weather

3-21 Dinah Shore
5 Lone Ranger
8-27 Sergeant Preston
49 Movie-The Homestretch

3-21 NBC News-Huntley/Brinkley

3-21 You Bet Your Life-Groucho Marx
5 Circus Time-Paul Winchell/Jerry Mahoney
8-27 Bob Cummings

3-21 Dragnet
8-27 Climax!

3-21 People's Choice
5 Danny Thomas
49 Movie-TBA

3-21 Tennessee Ernie Ford
5 Bold Journey
8-27 Playhouse 90-Mickey Rooney in "The Comedian"

3-21 Lux Video Theater-COLOR-Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy in "Dark Victory"
5 Public Defender-Syndicated

5 Movie-The Large Rope
49 Movie-TBA

3 News-Tom Field
8-27 News-Warren Guthrie-The Sohio Reporter
21 News

3 Weather-Joe Finan
8 Sports-John Fitzgerald

3 Sports-Bob Neal
8 Weather-Ken Armstrong
27 Movie-TBA

3 Jungle
8 Movie-Lucky Legs
21 Living Word-Religion

3 Twin Hearts Ball-SPECIAL
21 Tonight-Jack Lescoulie

3 Tonight-Lescoulie

5 News-Court Stanton

3 News-Tom Field


  1. Tim,

    Thanks for the great post on the local Cleveland kid shows. My favorites were Franz the Toymaker and Captain Penny. When I was a kid I was really fascinated by the antique crank telephone on Franz's wall, and in a couple of old Hoolihan & Big Chuck skits you can see it in the background when they had to borrow Franz's set for one their antics.

  2. Being from Canton, do you remember "Milton the Milkman" show on WJAN channel 17? I think he showed cartoons.

  3. Though I never saw Channel 17 much until the early 1970's, I definitely remember Milton The Milkman. He showed very old prints of "Looney Tunes" and "Linus The Lionhearted"..Also remember "The Cool Ghoul" filling in for him on occasion..What was Milton's real name?..Does anybody know (I want to know myself)

  4. Yes, the "Cool Ghoul". His real name is George Cavender. I think he has a website somewhere. If you look him up on Google, you will find it. I'm not sure, but you might be able to find out the real name of Milton the Milkman if you contact the original owner of WJAN... Janson Industries. I think they still exist in Canton.

  5. Janson Industries:

    George Cavender, The Cool Ghoul:

  6. On local TV talent, do you have anything on Big Chuck and Lil John? Their last show was last weekend and there is a good primetime special coming this Friday on FOX8 at 8 pm.

  7. About a month ago, I had a tribute to the whole Horror Host tradition at Channel 8. I mention the special coming up as well..Plus Hoolihan/Big/Cuck/Lil John/Ghoulardi werent primarily "kids" hosts..Which was the focus of the blog entry..

    Link to May 25 "End Of An Era" Post.

    I may write more in the future about Big Chuck and Lil John, etc..
    Just keep watching the blog..

  8. For those who remember rushing home to see Jungle Larry on Captain Penny, you can share memories at

  9. Does anyone remember the Gene Carroll show? I used to come home from church on Sundays to watch the show. Are there any videos of this show?

  10. Captain Penny may have been known for his train engineer's costume but I can clearly remember him hosting his evening show in a business suit and tie. As a kid in nursery school and morning kindergarten I would often see him in costume on his noon show but in a suit and tie on his evening show. I know Ron Penfound did other things at channel 5 in a suit but,at least in later years the Afternoon Captain Penny show was definitely one of them.

  11. What was the name of the song that was used for the Pooch Parade segments ?

    I remember it being a popular intsrumental around the time but the name continues to escape me.

  12. I do remember the lady from the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Her name was Pat Schiller. Captain Penney had her on every Wednesday. It was indeed called Pooch Parade. I thought the song for Pooch Parade was How Much Is That Doggie In The Window. I may be wrong. I do remember that the song was sung by a female. Does this help? Another thing, I always though Captain Penney's first wife commited suicide by jumping off of a Cleveland bridge to her death. I could have sworn that Captain Penney commited suicide on the same bridge? Where the heck did I get that info from, I don't know.

  13. i just found this site when i googled ron penfound. although i now live in arkansas, i grew up in canton, and graduated lehman high school in 1972. thanks tim for the trip down memmory lane. also, i didn't know big chuck and little john went off the air. all good things must come to an end,...unfortunately.

  14. I always heard too that Captain Penney commited suicide, I heard that while living in Lorain, Ohio.

  15. Any photos of Professor Jack, the dude with the silly giant glasses?

  16. I think I have a TV Guide Ad with Professor Jack somewhere..I'll try to find it and put it up on the Facebook Page..Thanks for stopping by..

  17. Help me out.
    I recall another Cleveland area kid's TV host,late 60s/very early 70s, that was either on channel 3,5 or 8. Saturday, or Sunday mornings. Kind of a quiet Geppetto looking character, he showed a lot of Popeye as I recall. He had a stuffed fake buzzard around the plce he called Hinkley.
    Appreciate it~


  18. Do you remember a show, I think it may have been a PBS show about a lady with a a very soft voice and she had a small treasure chest. She would pull clues out of the box and then show a video of what they were about..probably mid 70's..Akron area for sure....

  19. OK, here's one for you fellow NE Ohioans that I seem to be THE ONLY person to remember: Professor Jack. He wore this oversized red glasses and a professor cap and he played Betty Boop cartoons and I think he was on old Channel 61 if memory serves. I must have been the only one who ever watched his show, because nobody but me remembers it! There was also SuperHost, but I can't remember what channel he was on (43, maybe?). And I don't remember what he played, either. But these are old childhood memories of growing up here in NE Ohio where I still live today and have lived my entire life.

    1. Not only do I remember Professor Jack, I was in his live audience once! A cherished memory of growing up in Northeast Ohio.