Minnesota KidVid

Classic Minnesota children's shows

The Happy Hour with Fred and Friends

Henry Novotny

The Happy Hour was WTCN’s follow up to the Dave Lee Show starting in 1970.   The program was hosted by Henry Novotny as “Uncle Henry” and featured Phil Johnson as Fred and the program’s puppeteer.   Warren Martin was the program announcer.

Phil Johnson

Phil Johnson remembers, “The WTCN days were almost always fun. During the school year our show was the top show in its time slot, and we always new we had a gratifying little spotlight on our efforts.    I was Fred and all the puppet characters. The set survived many years after that and was lugged all over the United States for stage shows and TV shows. It ended its life in the dumpster at KARE-11 in 1987. Pretty beat up by then, too.”

After The Happy Houre ended in 1973, Phil Johnson teamed up with Roger Awsumb for “The New Casey Jones Show” on KMSP for a year.    You can read more about that on the Lunch With Casey page

Sources:

Photos and memories from Phil Johnson.  Adopted from the Lunch with Casey website.

 

 

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