Rekindling Early TV Memories

Several recent DVD releases have enabled me to revisit my childhood—and adolescence—and it’s been a blissful time trip. Some of the shows I enjoyed back then have held up quite well, none more so than Burr Tillstrom’s Kukla, Fran & Ollie. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to check out the series on video, but I’ve just spent some time with Volume 3, which includes 24 complete episodes from different periods in the run of the show (starting in 1949, winding up in 1957) as well as some terrific bonus features.Puppets were a mainstay of early television but Tillstrom, like some other talented performers, didn’t think of himself as a children’s entertainer. (One...

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