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Romper Room / Los Angeles - 1968

From Dr. Herschel Knapp comes this amazing footage shot on the set of Romper Room in L.A. in 1968.

The film was shot by his father, Jay J. Knapp on the occasion of his daughter Debbie's appearance on the show (she's seen at right in the green dress).

Romper Room - LARomper Room was hosted in 1968 on KCOP channel 13 by Miss Mary Ann (King) who had the role from 1966 until 1975.

Footage from any Romper Room episode is rare, but these behind the scenes shots are super-rare. The film was shot with a Super 8mm camera (with no sound, naturally) and offers us a glimpse into the inner workings of the show.

Dr. Knapp tells us, "After the show, Ms. Mary Ann was truly charming; she posed for pictures and was gracious and patient with the children and all family members."

This may be the ONLY surviving footage from the KCOP version of the show. In it, we get to see the director and stage hands as they produce the live episode, along with Miss Mary Ann doing commercials.

Romper Room - LASign of our times: sadly, Miss Mary Ann was assaulted and robbed in a parking lot in the City of Industry on December 17, 2003.

The thieves made off with nothing less than the Magic Mirror itself! The seriousness of this crime notwithstanding, what chaos can we expect now that crooks are in control of the magic mirror? The ability to see into anyone's home at will is something every criminal dreams of.

The former Romper Room hostess feared the mirror was lost forever - "I'm sure those hoodlums who did this just looked at the mirror and said, 'What in the world is this,' and just discarded it," King told the LA Times. (She wasn't seriously injured.)

Miss Mary Ann carried the Magic Mirror with her because so many former viewers walked up to her and said, "You never called out my name!" With the prop on hand, she could whip out the Magic Mirror and make their dream come true on the spot. King was president of the Puente Hills Area Chamber of Commerce at the time.

This film is a bit longer than 8 minutes, there is no sound.

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From You Tube: Miss Mary Ann talks about her experience being mugged.

Romper Room - Los Angeles1979 / KCOP Los Angeles
Miss Soco (Socorro) Serrano

Short Clip - This clip is from an interview in the nineties, where we get a brief look at this wonderful television personality.

Here's what Ms. Serrano told TVparty:

"I was the Romper Room teacher in L.A. from 1975 to 1989 on KCOP-TV. I was called Ms. Soco and I absolutely loved doing the show. Parents called or wrote in to get their kids on and I scheduled three boys and three girls for each week.

"I made sure that the kids were between 4 and 5 years old. Younger kids could not keep up with the other children and six year olds acted too cool by then. I also made sure that we had a good ethnic mix, since this was LA after all.

"Even after 12 years off the air, I still get recognized by my Romper Room graduates -- as I call them. They are now in their late twenties or early thirties. It's really wonderful when this happens because it means that I was a part of their lives and I may not have changed all that much.

"Anyway, thanks for your website. It's been fun."
- Socorro Serrano - "Ms Soco"


Here's video of Miss Soco.

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