Ernest P. Duckweather, a general-store clerk, invents an interplanetary television set, thus developing a friendship with a puppet named Johnny Jupiter.






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1954   1953   Unknown  


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Series cast summary:
 B-12 / ... (32 episodes, 1953-1954)
Cliff Hall ...
 Horatio Frisby (31 episodes, 1953-1954)
Pat Peardon ...
 Katherine Frisby (31 episodes, 1953-1954)
Wright King ...
 Ernest P. Duckweather (29 episodes, 1953-1954)
 Ernest P. Duckweather (12 episodes, 1953)


Ernest P. Duckweather, a general-store clerk, invents an interplanetary television set, thus developing a friendship with a puppet named Johnny Jupiter.

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Family | Fantasy | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

21 March 1953 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The DuMont version ended on 13 June 1953; the series ended (over ABC) on 29 May 1954. See more »


Narrator: This is the story of Ernest P. Duckweather, who invented the strangest television in the world. On this set he could look through endless space, six hundred million miles away, to far-off Jupiter. In a Jupiterian television station he found three friends: Johnny Jupiter, a human, more or less; Major Domo, chief of the robots; and Reject, the factory-rejected robot who was able to appear and disappear at will. Soon Duckweather found that he could turn to the Jupiterians for help whenever he was ...
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Featured in Science Fiction: A Journey Into the Unknown (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Early Science-Fantasy & Funny Bone Tickler utilized puppets, veteran talent and Plenty of 'Redeeming Social Content'. (Like just plain old Golden Rule stuff.)
11 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

NOW here's a title that harks to a far different world and time than we now know. The series was a part of the kiddie schedule on both ABC,as well as the old, historically important and long defunct DuMont Television Network. Our memory of the series, as rusty and hazy though it may be, is from those days a mainstay on ABC's Sunday afternoon, pre-primetime family time slot. If the old memory serves us right, it was probably on at 2 or 3 P.M.; as it seems that there was always bright daylight out side during episode's showings, no matter what the season.

TO begin with, we must confess to be operating on mainly whatever this 60+ year old memory can conjure up. We have seen very little in print about the JOHNNY JUPITER TV Series; although there was a fine article published in FILMFAX Magazine several years ago that covered it some, as well as the careers of cast members.

WE do recall that the main character, Ernest P. Duckweather (Wright King) was a sort of bumbling store clerk in what would be called a General Store in Small Town and Rural America; but in the Urban Centers (such as our native Chicago) were referred to as Ma & Pa Stores. In addition to his seemingly endless duties and constant presence at the place of business, Mr. Duckweather managed to accidentally invent an interactive, 2 way, interplanetarilly capable TV Set/Communicator. He did so by accidentally leaving out a tube* required for this particular set's operation.

COME to think of it, Duckweather did bunk in the area at the rear of the store, as it was there that he first communicated with the title character while attempting to "fix" the TV Set.

TYPICALLY, Mr. Duckweather would have some sort of impending crisis or a crisis involving his blustery, blow-hard of a Boss in Mr. Horatio Frisby (Cliff Hall). Otherwise, we could count on some involvement or intervention by the Love of his Life, Katherine Frisby (Pat Peardon), who was ironically enough, his Boss' Daughter.

MR. Hall's characterization came after a long career in Vaudeville, Film, Radio and finally this new medium of Television. Mr. Hall had long played Straight Man to Jack Pearl's 'Baron Munchausen' and more recently been a semi-regular on the JACKIE GLEASON Show's 'The Honeymooners' segments; appearing as the High Ruler of Kramden & Norton's local Raccoon Lodge.

USUALLY the problem of the day would wind up with discussion via Duckweather's customized Inter-space 2 way TV in which he would ask or just voluntary receive aid from Johnny Jupiter, himself. Although JJ would stay on his home Planet (Jupiter, we guess!), he would send a Robot Deputy to render aid, assistance and comical complications to young Mr. D's situation.

DISPATCHING his Robot aid to Earth, Johnny Jupiter would issue his order; after which we would be treated to observing the many light years flight to Our World along with accompanying music; although it would be cut down to no more than two minutes. The Robot that we remember the best (there may have been more than one) had the name of 'Reject', 'Reject, the Robot', that is. Much like IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE's Angel, Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), Reject seemed to have been a sort of a slow learner at learning the ropes of his chosen Robotic Field.

THE notion of having a 2 Way Interplanetary TV Communications System seemed to be both a neat and plausible concept. I mean, after all, on CAPTAIN VIDEO (DuMont TV Network, 1949-55) they communicated in that manner. Emperor Ming the Merciless had such a system in the perpetually playing FLASH GORDON Serial (Universal, 1936). We even had an interactive Television system operational for a half-hour on WINKY-DINK AND YOU (Barry-Enright Productions/CBS TV, 1953-57).

IN the final analysis, we must conclude JOHNNY JUPITER to be a clean, decent and sort of soft-sell for decent behaviour of our up 'n' coming humans; or what we call our Children (aka 'Kids'). And we knew that it was not to be taken too seriously as it was obviously designed as a comedy-fantasy-kiddie romp.

AND that was obvious; even to a 7 year old member of the "Boomer" Generation.

NOTE: * Ah, how nostalgic were those days when Radios and Television Sets had all those different tubes in their chassis in order to make 'em work properly. Remember, Schultz, when every Walgreen's Drug Stores had the old free to use Tube Testing Machines? Now a days we have transistors and miniaturization; all the by-products of our Space Program. Now, who says that we didn't get anything out of that for us commoners? THANX to President John F. Kennedy for initiating the Race to the Moon and all the ex-Nazi Scientists at NASA.


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