Sally Starr. Chief Halftown. Pixanne. Bertie the Bunyip. Captain Noah. Gene London. For two generations of Delaware Valley children, these colorful personalities brought a new brand of entertainment to daytime television -- a place where worms could talk, fairies flew, an ark came to life and imaginations ruled!
WHYY-TV's newest original production, Philly's Favorite Kids Show Hosts, explores the bygone era of local children's television programs through new interviews with local stars and archival footage from classic shows. South Philly native and longtime local broadcaster Dick Sheeran narrates.
"This documentary gives us an opportunity to catch up with many of the people who ignited so many imaginations, and also introduce them to a new generation of fans," says the program's producer, WHYY's Ed Cunningham.
Watch a preview clip from the program.
Watch the entire show online
Congratulations to WHYY's "Tell Us Your Favorite Host" contest winners! Each winner receives a DVD of Philly's Favorite Kids Show Hosts:
- Gina LoBiondo, Havertown, PA
- Edward McAninch, Philadelphia, PA
- Stephanie J. Smith, Collingswood, NJ
Here's what our viewers (near and far!) said about their favorite hosts:
"I think my all-time favorite is Pixanne. She was cute and spunky, and I loved watching her fly! I always wished I could do the same!"—Gina LoBiondo, Havertown, PA
"My older sister, Janice, and I would wake up early to watch Pixanne—our favorite show! We even had our hair styled like Pixanne's!"—Annette Stenek-Busch, Temple, PA
"Chief Halftown was my all-time favorite kids show host because of his gentle, warm and calming presence…He was a trusted friend to all."—Kathy Siciliano, Rosemont, PA
"My favorite is 'Uncle' Pete Boyle because he was a man who genuinely loved the children in his studio audience and had true talent as an artist."—Maureen Diamond, Portland, OR
"Captain Noah and Wee Willie Webber. The Captain saw me off to school, and Wee Willie welcomed me home. They both gave me very fond memories of my youth."—Edward McAninch, Philadelphia, PA
"My all-time favorite Philly kids show host is Sally Starr. She was the best, and she showed the funniest cartoons. I love Our Gal Sal!"—Ola Cannon, Chester, PA
"My favorite Philly kids show host was Gene London. He was a great storyteller, and he kept me enthralled as a child with his drawings and various guests."—Doug Meliodon, Chesapeake City, MD
"Sally Starr of course! A day without Miss Sally was like a day without sunshine."—Kate Green, Centreville, VA
"My all-time favorite Philadelphia kids show host is Gene London. I cannot think of anyone more creative, talented, and artistic, and he was one of the best storytellers that I have ever encountered."—Stephanie J. Smith, Collingswood, NJ
"Captain Noah. The beautiful song 'I Can Sing a Rainbow' made a lasting impression, and I've taught it to my kids."—Ellen Trachtenberg, Bala Cynwyd, PA