Thank goodness somebody other than myself remembers this incredible children's show.
Wonderama - with Bob McAllister (1967 - 1977) was a revolutionary children's variety show for its time. It combined music, exercise, learning, dancing, contests and all out fun. Bob McAllister was the host in those ten years that I watched it and his ability to interact and connect with children on an equal level was amazing. He was never condescending. You could tell he was actually having as much fun as the kids. Whether he was running the dance contest, choosing a child for the snake can game, leading the entire audience in exercise or performing as Professor Fingleheimer, his energy and excitement never waned. To this day, there has been nobody to match his ability to entertain and enlighten a child.
I can remember being on the edge of my seat to see if the first child picked would pull that bouquet of paper flowers out of the can and get all the toys, or get a snake and only get to pick one toy.
I jumped out of my seat for the exercise portion and even to this day know the words to the "Fingleheimer" song. "Has Anybody Here Got An Aardvark" still goes through my mind as I'm singing away in the shower and watching those kids on the "disco" segment dancing to music of the "1910 Fruitgum Company" and the "Archies" still makes me long for my youth. Why is it the best dancer never won that contest?
I remember seeing Tata Vega for the first time in my life on Wonderama.
Unfortunately, it was only when I looked up this listing that I found out Bob McAllister had passed away. If he only knew what an incredible portion of my childhood he played a part in. I was raised in Southern California, but through Bob, I learned about kids from all walks of life and realized that with different skin colors, different accents and different locations, we were all just kids that wanted to have fun and win toys!!
Bob, I miss you.
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