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Captain Video rehearsal
As a little kid, I remember taking the Radio City tour. We walked through a studio where Captain Video Al Hodge, and Ranger Don Hasting, were rehearsing a show. It was supposed to take place under water. The two actors were sitting on barstools, scripts in hand for the read through. The camera was shooting them through a fish tank, with goldfish swimming around. No special effects budget, indeed! All us kids watched the show, which was very imaginative.
In those early days of TV, the first family in a neighborhood to get a TV would often have to host the neighbors' kids, especially for popular shows. As has happened with flat screen TVs, and the first color TVs, they went through the "tavern stage," where bars would buy the first expensive sets most families couldn't afford, to attract customers with sports events, etc. As sets became more affordable, families bought their own. Today's sports bars seem derivations of the tavern stage.
Also interesting to note, in the early days of TV, there were only a few channels, so audiences pretty much all saw the same shows. With today's proliferation of satellite and cable channels, each has a much smaller share of audience. Except for major sports events, and things like the JFK funeral, presidential inaugurations, etc., we share fewer common experiences than in those days.
Lucky Pup (1948)
Lucky Pup, Doris Brown, and Foodini
Doris Brown, the actress who conversed with the puppets, died several years ago. I believe her son lives in Southold, NY. As children, my brother and I had matte 8 1/2 by 11 photos the show sent out, and I hazily recall our own Pinhead puppet. Foodini was supposedly insultingly named after Eugene Fubini, an engineer at the CBS network, who gained prominence during the war jamming Nazi radar and later did outstanding work for the Department of Defense and IBM.
Here's a review of "Lucky Pup" from Time Magazine: "In Lucky Pup CBS has the most literate children's show on Eastern TV. A considerable part of its adult-appeal is supplied by telegenic Doris Brown, who introduces the various characters: Lucky Pup, a dog playboy with a $5,000,000 inheritance; Foodini, an evil but outstandingly inefficient magician; Pinhead, an amiable stooge, and Jolo, a clown."