Help get Dave Lee into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Each year, the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting inducts a number of prominent veterans of the broadcast industry to the Hall of Fame. Past inductees have included Roger Awsumb (Casey Jones), Lynn Dwyer (Roundhouse Rodney), John Gallos (Clancy the Cop), Clellan Card (Axel) and many other legendary kids show hosts. Please take a moment to help award Dave Lee this prestigious honor.
To nominate Dave Lee, please visit the webpage for the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame
You can also go directly to the Nomination Form.
We have until January 3, 2022, so it is very important that you submit your nomination today.
I would encourage you to tell the nominating committee of your memories of Dave Lee and Pete, Omar, and Fragrant. If you were on the show, please tell them about that.
Thank you for your help and consideration. Dave Lee was an important part of our childhood and a big part of the broadcast community.
Dave Lee came to the Twin Cities in 1958, joining KMSP to do news, but also ended up hosting two kids shows. KartoonTime at NoonTime featured Dave and his wife Pegge, and Looney Tuners Club aired in the early evenings. The shows featured the puppets Pete the Penguin, Fragrant the Skunk, Omar the Alligator, and many others.
In 1960, Dave Lee joined WTCN. Dave would have an audience of children, giving each a grab bag of snacks and other items. One child would be chosen each day to be an announcer. Dave would interview the kids, along with Pete the Penguin. Pete was known to yank the pony tails of girls and tug on the ties worn by boys. The program had several names over the years including Popeye and Pete, Beetle and Pete, and finally, The Dave Lee Show.
Dave Lee’s broadcast career started in 1944 in Wisconsin. He worked as an announcer at several stations in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. He helped launch the Fort Wayne Press Club and served as its president. In 1948, while working in Waterbury, Connecticut, Dave created his characters for a children’s radio show. He then moved the show to television and combined the characters with puppets.
While at WTCN, Dave Lee was closely associated with fundraising for Jerry Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Children were encouraged to host local “MD Carnivals” to help raise money for “Jerry’s kids.” They could send for a Carnival Kit, which included a letter from Dave Lee, thanking them for their help. Dave’s picture was featured prominently in the Carnival Kit.
In addition to hosting his kids show on Channel 11, Dave Lee was also a hospital administrator. In 1970, he left the television industry to work full time in the health care industry. He was a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. He also published a children’s book called Baylor the Tailor and his Two Button Day.