Minnesota KidVid

Classic Minnesota children's shows

Minnesota KidVid Timeline

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The following timeline was compiled from many sources, most notably the documentation made by Julian West.   Further dates come from the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting website.   Addition research by Steve Iverson

Some of the dates are unconfirmed.   Please send any further information!

Updated November 2017.  Updates are in blue.

1948

  • Riddle Griddle, which began as a radio program, premiered on KSTP-TV, channel 5, on May 8, 1948, starring Jimmy Valentine (who also hosted the radio show).
  • Uncle Toby’s Tune Time and Toby’s Talent Hunt aired sometime in 1948-49 on channel 4, which was known as WTCN-TV at the time.   Both shows featured Toby Prin

1950

  • Cowboy Bob of the X Bar Four Ranch is portrayed by Bob Fransen on WTCN channel 4 (now WCCO)

1952-53

  • Channel 4 changes from WTCN to WCCO in August 1952.   WTCN is reborn on channel 11 in September 1953.
  • Kartoon Kapers with Skipper Darl starring Daryl Laub premiered on WTCN-TV, channel 11 in the fall of 1953.  (Note: The first reference to Skipper Darl in TV Guide seems to be April 1954, so further research is needed.)
  • Merle and the Squirrel debuts on WMIN on Sunday mornings.   It features Merle Edwards and a squirel puppet reading comics.  Another program The Weather Bird airs weekdays and features Merle Edwards and a bird puppet delivering the weather.
  • J. P. Patches, The Carnival Clown also starring Daryl Laub debuts shortly afterward (This may not have debuted until May 1954)
  • Sheriff Sev with Sev Widman is another early WTCN kids show.
  • Stories of the West with Wrangler Steve featuring Steve Cannon debuted in late 1953 on WMIN.  The show aired on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings.   WMIN and WTCN shared channel 11 at this time.  Eventually the two stations merged to become WTCN.
  • Uncle Dave and Pete, featuring Dave Lee and Pete the Penguin, premieres on WKJG in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1953.  In 1958, Dave would move to the Twin Cities.

1954

  • Captain 11 starring Jim Lange (later of The Dating Game) premiered on WMIN-TV, channel 11 on February 1, 1954.   The show replaced Wrangler Steve in the afternoon.  It featured a different serial each day.    Jim played the role until entering the Marines in November 1954.
  • Noon-Time Express starring Roger Awsumb as Casey Jones premiered on WMIN-TV, on June 21, 1954.   
  • Axel and His Dog premiered on WCCO-TV (Ch 4) at 5:00 p.m on August 5, 1954, starring Clellan Card as Axel Torgeson and Don Stolz as Towser the dog, who was unseen except for his large paw. Tallulah the talking cat joined in September.   Mary Davies joined Axel and His Dog in a recurring role as Carmen the Nurse in October and The Little Rascals (Hal Roach’s Our Gang comedies) debuted in December.
  • Wrangler Steve returned to weekdays in May 1954.
  • Jack Rebney takes over as Captain 11 in late 1954.

1955

  • Captain 11 is now played by Chris Wedes, taking over the role from Jack Rebney on WTCN-TV (Ch 11). The exact date is unknown, but Rebney was Captain 11 at least through January 1955.
  • Joe the Cook, played by Chris Wedes joins Casey Jones Noontime Express in February 1955.
  • Chuck Wagon Chuck debuts in February 1955 on WTCN, replacing The Wrangler Steve Show.    The show features Chris Wedes as Chuck Wagon Chuck hosting westerns and presenting 15 minutes of Superman.    Wedes originated the role of Chuck Wagon Chuck on Steve Cannon’s program.  Steve Cannon left the Twin Cities for San Francisco. 
  • In February 1955, Commander Saturn debuts on KSTP-TV, channel 5.   Saturn is played by Lan Singer.  The show was canceled in the fall.
  • In April 1955 – WTCN-TV and WMIN-TV merged under new ownership as WTCN-TV (Ch. 11), which remained an affiliate of ABC.
  • Johnny .44! starring Jack Hastings premiered on WCCO-TV on August 29, 1955.
  • Captain 11 and Sheriff Sev end in September 1955.
  • Juvenile Auction hosted by Jimmy Valentine was broadcast on KSTP-TV.
  • Romper Room with Miss Kaye broadcasts on WTCN, channel 11 on December 12, 1955

1956

  • In March 1956, Daryl Laub leaves WTCN, channel 11 for KSTP, channel 5.
  • Kaptain Kartoon and Circus Sideshow with T. N. Tatters debuted in March 1956 on KSTP, channel 5.  Both shows feature Daryl Laub.
  • Cartoon Carnival with Joe the Cook runs in the afternoon on WTCN with Roger Awsumb as Roo Roo the Kangaroo
  • Carnival Clown continues on WTCN with Chris Wedes taking over the role of J.P. Patches on WTCN.  For a while, the J.P. Patches and T.N. Tatters programs air against each other at 9:30am.
  • Joe’s Popcorn Party, with Chris Wedes as Joe the Cook and Roger Awsumb as Roo Roo the Kangaroo debuts in August 1956 on Saturday mornings.  The 60 minute show replaces Chuck Wagon Chuck.
  • Captain Darryl on Cartoon Island has Daryl Laub dropping the name Kaptain Cartoon in late 1956.  Roger Kent also appears as First Mate Muldoon.

1957

  • Popeye’s Clubhouse starring Mel Jass premiered on WCCO-TV on April 1, 1957.
  • Bugs Bunny featuring Commodore Cappy starring John Gallos premiered on April 1, 1957 on WCCO-TV.
  • Miss Phyllis Keller replaces June Greiner on Romper Room in June 1957
  • Mel Jass leaves WCCO and joins WTCN in August 1957.
  • Popeye’s Clubhouse is now hosted by Dale Woodley and Bob White in August 1957.
  • Carnival Clown ended on WTCN in August 1957.  Cartoon Carnival continued another month, ending in September 1957.  At this time, Chris Wedes left Minneapolis,  for KIRO in Seattle, where he became hugely popular as J. P. Patches. 

1958

  • Lynn Dwyer joined Casey Jones on WTCN-TV  as Roundhouse Rodney.
  • Johnny .44! starring Jack Hastings ended on WCCO-TV.
  • KartoonTime at NoonTime with Dave and Pegge Lee debuts on KMSP, channel 9.
  • Looney Tooners Club also debuts on KMSP in the afternoon.   Dave Lee’s puppets included Pete the Penguin and Omar the Alligator.
  • In early 1958, T.N.Tatters is now on for 15 minutes at 1:00 PM, followed by 15 minutes of Captain Daryl
  • Shock Theater debuts February 1, 1958 on WTCN.   The program is hosted by Mel Jass and the first movie is the 1931 Frankenstein.  The program runs at least a year.
  • In May 1958, the Casey Jones program is now called Noon Lunch Club, and then the program mysteriously disappears from the schedule, replaced by movies.

1959

  • In late 1959, Clancy the (Keystone) Cop debuted on WCCO with John Gallos picking up where Commodore Cappy left off.  
  • Popeye’s Clubhouse on WCCO-TV is hosted by Jack Hastings, who took over from Dale Woodley.  The show ran until 1960.
  • Sigfried begins on WCCO with early morning cartoons.   The first listing I can find is January 1959.
  • In 1959, it appears that both Casey Jones and T.N.Tatters are off the air.   More research is needed.
  • Bozo the Clown starring Roger Erickson premiered on WCCO-TV in August 1959.
  • Casey Jones returns to WTCN at 5:00 PM in late 1959, opposite Axel on WCCO.

1960

  • Dave and Pegge Lee left the Twin Cities in early 1960 to work WSUN in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Dave was a newscaster and Pegge hosted her own kids show.
  • Cartoon Showboat (aka Cap’n Ken) starring Ken Wagner debuted on KMSP-TV, channel 9 on August 1.  The show originated on WOC in Davenport, Iowa.
  • Miss Betty Douglass is now the host of Romper Room on WTCN

1961

  • Grandma Lumpit’s Boarding House debuted in the afternoon on WTCN with Casey and Roundhouse.  Lynn Dwyer also plays Grandma Lumpit  (dating may be incorrect)
  • Casey Jones returns to his noon show and the program is now officially called Lunch with Casey.
  • Popeye and Pete returned on WTCN, channel 11, in April 1961, after Dave Lee returned from Florida.  The program changed names frequently and was variously known as Popeye and Pete, Dave Lee and Pete, Beetle and Pete (with Beetle Bailey cartoons) and finally The Dave Lee Show.
  • By late 1961, T.N.Tatters has returned to KMSP and is hosting episodes of Lassie and The Brave Stallion at 4:30 PM weekdays.

1962

  • Romper Room with Miss Betty Douglass debuted on KMSP-TV, channel 9 in August 1962.
  • Captain Darryl and T.N. Tatters end on KSTP
  • The Bedtime Nooz, with Dave Moore aired on Saturday nights on WCCO.  This satirical news show continued for ten years.
  • Sgt. Scotty featuring Jack McKenna debuts on WTCN
  • Clancy the Space Cop began on WCCO with John Gallos transforming from a Keystone Cop into a space ranger.  The earliest I have documented this is June 1962
  • Roundhouse Rodney has his own show on Saturday afternoon, following Lunch with Casey.    Roundhouse is followed by Magic Ranch, which may be the title of Sgt. Scotty’s program.   More research is needed.

1963

  • Clancy and Company started on WCCO, bringing John Gallos back down to Earth in the familiar role as Clancy the policeman.   Allan Lotsberg was a puppeteer, portraying the witch, Vivian Vulture.  Soon, he became Clancy’s sidekick, Willie Ketchem.
  • Bozo the Clown ends on WCCO.
  • Grandpa Ken with Ken Wagner took over from Cap’n Ken on KMSP, channel 9.

1964

  • A Date With Dino was local dance show on KMSP, channel 9, featuring Dino Day and a young Nancy Nelson.   The program lasted through 1965.

1966

  • Clellan Card passed away on April 13, 1966.   Axel and Deputy Dawg became The Tree House with Carmen the Nurse.  It is later merged into Clancy and Company.  

1968

  • Clancy and Carmen, followed by Clancy and Willie replaced Clancy and Company, weekday mornings on WCCO.

1969

  • Romper Room was hosted by Miss Karen on KMSP
  • Horror Incorporated debuted on KSTP, channel 5, on November 9, 1969.  The first movie was Bela Lugosi’s 1931 Dracula.   The program aired Saturday nights at midnight, as well as Saturday afternoons.
  • Hi Jerry with Sister Cardidi and her ventriloquist dummy Jerry airs on Saturday mornings.   Exact dates are not known.

1970

  • The Dave Lee Show ended its run on WTCN.
  • Shirley’s Wishing Well replaced Dave Lee on channel 11.   It did not last very long.
  • The Happy Hour began in the fall of 1970 on WTCN, channel 11.   The host was Henry Novotny as “Uncle Henry” and featured Phil Johnson as Fred and the program’s puppeteer.
  • Wake Up with Casey and Roundhouse began on channel 11.   At this point, Casey and Roundhouse had three daily shows on WTCN (exact date uncertain)
  • T. N. Tatters with Daryl Laub returned for a short run on channel 5.  Exact dates unconfirmed.

1972

  • Romper Room was hosted by Miss Nancy on KMSP, channel 9
  • Lunch with Casey and Breakfast with Casey and Roundhouse ended on December 29, 1972.

1973

  • Grandpa Ken on KMSP, channel 9,  ended on August 31, 1973
  • The Happy Hour ended on WTCN
  • Horror Incorporated began prime time broadcasts on Friday nights, hosted by Dr. Paul Bearer (Dick Bennick.)   He hosted through 1974 in Minneapolis.    Dr. Paul Bearer simultaneously hosted Creature Feature at WTOG in St. Petersburg Florida.  Both stations were owned by Hubbard Broadcasting.

1974

  • The NEW Casey Jones Show starring Roger Awsumb (as Casey) and Phil Johnson (as Charlie Caboose) aired briefly Sunday mornings on KMSP-TV, channel 9
  • Romper Room ends on channel 9
  • The Roundhouse Show with Lynn Dwyer runs on KTCA, channel 2

1976

  • Lynn Dwyer (Roundhouse Rodney) passed away on September 3, 1976

1977

  • Carmen and Clancy and Willie ended their run on March 25, 1977.
  • Bugs Bunny and Friends with Allan Lotsberg debuted.    It became Allan’s Window in 1978

1979

  • Allan’s Window was cancelled.

1980 to 1989

  • Breakfast with Casey saw the return of Roger Aswumb as Casey Jones on WFBT, channel 29 in 1982   His sidekick on the program was Jim Barber.   The show runs for two years
  • Roger Awsumb as Casey and Daryl Laub as T. N. Tatters appeared together in commercial for a local automobile dealership in 1983
  • Roger Awsumb and John Gallos appeared as Casey and Clancy on a public access station in Anoka for a special Christmas show in 1985
  • Kids’ TV Nostalgia Hour aired on KTCA in 1986.  This special retrospective features Casey Jones, Axel, Clancy and Willie and more.  
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuted in November 1988 on KTMA, channel 23.   It quickly became a hit and moved to the Comedy Central network.

1990 to 1999

  • Ken Wagner (Grandpa Ken) died on December 10, 1990
  • Lan Singer (Commander Saturn) died in 1994
  • Dick Bennick (Dr. Paul Bearer) passed away in St. Petersberg Florida in 1995
  • Lost Twin Cities II, produced by Twin Cites Public Television featured a segment on Axel in 1995
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 officially ends in 1999, although reruns continued until 2005 on the Sci-Fi Channel.

2001 to now

  • Roger Awsumb is interviewed in KTCA’s The Almanac in 2001
  • Roger Awsumb (Casey Jones) died of a heart attack on July 15, 2002
  • John Gallos (Clancy the Cop) passed away on November 15, 2005
  • What A Card, the biography of Clellan Card (Axel) by Julian West is published in August 2008
  • Jack Rebney (Captain 11) is featured in the documentary Winnebago Man in 2009
  • Hi Kids: A Retrospective of Twin Cities Children’s TV  was held at the Heights Theater in Minneapolis.   It featured personal appearences by Daryl Laub (T. N. Tatters), Mary Davies (Carmen the Nurse), Allan Lotsberg (Willie Ketchem) and Betty Douglass (Miss Betty on Romper Room).  A second event was held in April 2010.
  • Dave Lee Memories, a documentary about Dave Lee and his television programs is released on DVD in April 2010
  • Dave Lee passed away on November 28, 2011
  • Chris Wedes (Joe the Cook, J. P. Patches) passed away on July 22, 2012
  • Mary Betty Douglass (Miss Betty on Romper Room) passed away on November 3, 2013
  • Jack McKenna (Sgt. Scotty) died December 8, 2013.
  • Mary Davies (Carman the Nurse) passed away February 7, 2014.
  • Jim Lange (Captain 11) died on February 25, 2014.
  • Don Stolz  (Towzer)  passed away February 14, 2015
  • Daryl Laub (J.P. Patches, Captain Darl, T.N.Tatters) died on August 28, 2015
  • Henry Novotny (Uncle Henry of The Happy Hour) died on February 14, 2016
  • Phil Johnson (Fred on The Happy Hour) died on August 30, 2016
  • Sister M. Cabrini Bongiovanni (Hi Jerry) passed away August 31, 2016
  • Roger Erickson (Bozo the Clown) passed away October 30, 2017

Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees

  • 2001: Roger Awsumb (Casey Jones) and Roger Erickson (Bozo the Clown)
  • 2002: Clellan Card (Axel), John Gallos (Clancy),  Jimmy Valentine, and Steve Cannon (Wrangler Steve)
  • 2003: Daryl Laub (T. N. Tatters)
  • 2004: Mary Davies (Carmen the Nurse)
  • 2006: Don Stolz (Towzer)
  • 2007: Mel Jass (Popeye’s Clubhouse)
  • 2008: Lynn Dwyer (Roundhouse)
  • 2015: Al Derusha (director for Casey Jones, Dave Lee)
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