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1947: The Genesis of 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie'
October 13, 2017  | By TV WW  | 4 comments
 
On this day in 1947, WBKB in Chicago introduced the children's show, Junior Jamboree. A little over a year later, the show moved to WNBQ (later WMAQ) and was renamed Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

The man behind the puppets was Burr Tillstrom, the show's creator and sole puppeteer. The other human involved with the show was Fran Allison, a singer and radio performer who performed opposite Tillstrom's puppets, Kukla and Oliver J. Dragon (better known as Ollie). Other puppets appearing on the program (as part of the Kuklapolitan Players) included Madame Ophelia Ooglepuss, Buelah Witch, Fletcher Rabbit, Cecil Bill, Colonel Crackie, Mercedes and Dolores and Olivia Dragon. The shows were completely ad-libbed.

NBC first broadcast the show from Chicago in January, 1949, and the show proved as popular with adults as kids. The show was perform lived, and without a script. From 1954 through 1957, the show aired on ABC. Later incarnations appeared on PBS and in syndication.


 
 
 
 
 
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4 Comments
 
 
Donna L Dale
Lucky enough to be an impressionable young child in Chicago. Absolutely enthralled by this magical creation.
Oct 13, 2017   |  Reply
 
 
I saw their first tv show on 10/13/1947 on WBKB-4, Ironically, it was the first image on our new RCA tv on that date. It was like you say called Junior Jamboree,however it changed its name before going over to WNBQ. I used to watch the show at both locations. The 1st at 190 N.State on the 12th floor, and when they moved to the NBC studios at the Merchandise Mart on the 19th floor.
Mar 27, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
Barbara
Talk about stirring some memories. This was the very first TV show I ever watched on a tiny little round screen way back in 1949 when we got our first TV. My world stood still when Kukla, Fran and Ollie were on! Thanks for stirring the old gray matter a bit!
Oct 14, 2015   |  Reply
 
 
And to celebrate, we just announced Vol. 3 of Kukla, Fran and Ollie: The First Episodes! Read more here:

http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Kukla-Fran-Ollie-The-1st-Episodes-Volume-3/19065
Oct 13, 2013   |  Reply
 
 
 
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