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Philly Local TV Shows
HAPPY THE CLOWN
and other musings...

One of the early shows on Philadelphia television was "Happy the Clown." I could blame Happy for making me repeat first grade, but it was myself who decided to stay home "sick" and watch a neighborhood kid play with Happy on the show one morning.

In fact, it was alot of fun to stay home from school and watch kiddie shows throughout first grade! A few years later, I heard that Happy was going to make a live appearence at Our Lady of Peace school carnival in Milmont Park, Pa. I decided to get there a bit early to avoid any crowds. After all, we were going to be treated to a real TV Star.

Apparently the other kids didn't think like I did. I was the only kid there and immediately spotted a not so Happy the Clown, sitting on the outside lunch tables, and alone. We chatted a bit, at least as much as a little kid can. I remember he even talked kinda sad. Talk about the irony of a clown with a name of Happy. Memory may fail me, but I believe this was either late 1950's or early 1960.

I know the show ended at some point and Happy departed the airwaves and the world.

Growing up in Philadelphia for 10 years with a black and white TV in front of me, awarded many interesting TV shows, including Gene London. He came in at the tail end of my Philly viewing, since my family moved out of state around 1960. Gene didn't have that super out-going nature of mosts hosts, and that made him more credible.

I never could get into a Bunyip. As a kid, I somehow didn't think of that raggy puppet as a dog. Happy the Clown seemed not so happy, Sally Starr was fun, but as I grew older, I needed an additional change. Something new to enjoy.

I do remember Gene offering some kind of science kit to the kiddoes in his viewing audience. I believe there was a charge for this, though slight. Of course, with a 25 cent allowance, it was probably a fortune. Do any TVpartiers remember this? After sending in my money, I kept waiting by the front door for the delivery of this magical kit. And yes, I waited and waited. Like all kids under 10 years old, I assumed it got lost in the mail or that Gene pocketed the money (or someone on the staff did), or perhaps the mail man was treating himself, wife, and kids to a summer vacation in WIldwood New Jersey. One day, (was it months or years later?) the package arrived! Actually it was probably 6-8 weeks, I believe. All I remember inside the package was a prism, that when you looked through it, you would see cool colors. Moving away (eventually to Southern California) brought new kiddie show hosts, but not one was as interesting as Gene London.

- Mike Lefebvre former resident of Milmont Park, Pa. now residing in Yorba Linda Ca. (Yes, someone once told me that another famous clown was born in Yorba Londa and is buried there too. I asked who? They said Richard Nixon. Um, ohhhh k!)


The Happy The Clown Show was a Philadelphia kids show in the early '60's on Channel 6. It was on in the morning. I really liked it and my Mother surprised me one day with tickets.

Happy the Clown was off the day we went - another character, Sawdust Sam, was filling in. Evidently Sam was not too fond of kids, especially little fat boys of which I was one! One of things on the show was to get "Marching sticks" that you got to keep, everybody paraded around tapping their sticks together to the music, at the end you climbed up a ladder and slid down a sliding board. When it was my turn old Sam stopped me and said "you're too fat little boy" and would not let me climb the ladder, which of course sent me running off the stage in tears straight to my parents. This was live TV. I told my Dad and I thought he was going to get up and punch old Sam!!

It's a memory - maybe not a happy one. Pretty funny now though, 37 years later. My mom saved the sticks and still has them!

- Dennis
Coatesville, Pa


Someone on site commented he vanished so I'll update you at least through early 70's.Howard C. Jones was my landlord at the Downington,PA farmer's market which he sublet from the Tabas Bros and operated with his wife. He was a most disagreeable individual as was she, wore expensive suits, smoked vile cigars and never had a good word for anyone.

Thanks for the site, Art Comers


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