Romper Room and Friends (1953–1994)
- Summaries (2)
Children's program that was often franchised rather than syndicated (meaning, local television stations could use their own hostesses in lieu of national hosts if they chose). A typical program featured a group of six to 10 children, ages 4-6, in a variety of games, songs and rhymes and simple moral lessons as guided by the hostess and recurring characters. One of those recurring characters was Mr. Do Bee, an oversized bumblebee who helped teach the moral lessons ("Do Bee a good sport when you lose"). The end always featured the hostess using her "Magic Mirror" to help her greet the show's young audience ("I see Brian and Mindy; oh, there's Jill and Donald," etc.)
Romper Room was a preschool children's program created by Bert and Nancy Claster in the USA (1953), which they later franchised in Australia (1963), Brazil, Canada (1970), Gibraltar (1966), Hong Kong (1965, Japan (1963), Puerto Rico (1971), New Zealand (1975), Spain (1966), Switzerland (1967), Taiwan (1972) and the United Kingdom (1963) (including England, Northern Ireland and Scotland). The franchise company was Fremantle International headed by Paul Talbot. The hosts of the original Romper Room were Nancy Claster (nee Goldman) from 1953-1964, her daughter Sally Claster Gelbard from 1964-1981 and Molly McCloskey from 1981 to 1994. The show was originally titled Romper Room. In 1981, the format of Romper Room was changed and it was given a new title - Romper Room and Friends. The major change was that the show introduced new puppet characters that included a costumed character named Kimble, with puppets Granny Cat and Up-Up.
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