NYC Local TV Kid Shows     inspector gadget DVD New TV Lost In Space on DVD “The  

NYC Local TV Kid Shows

by Kevin S. Butler

Capt Allen Swift NYC local kiddie hostJanuary 17, 2024 marked the 100th birthday of entertainer/ scriptwriter/ producer/ cartoonist/ songwriter/ voice over performer and NYC based kids' TV host/performer Allen Swift who was the the first and the best of the three mc's of WPIX TV Ch.11 NYC's Popeye Show.

The son of realty agent Ira Stadlen had a natural gift for mimicry. He did imitations of his dad and his clients and other people in the family. He also was a very talented artist and won a drawing contest in school and performed magic tricks for his family and friends while he was in his teens. Enrolled in NYC's High School of Music and Art, he quit school to accept a bookings as a standup entertainer with some of the hotels in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York.

He performed magic tricks, mentalism, told stories, did satires of radio commercials and drew cartoons for the guests at the hotels.

Stadlen went on to perform on radio dramas and in nightclubs of NYC and even performed at the Mecca of Vaudeville: the Palace theater in NYC's Times Square.

Swift’s performing career was interrupted by his serving in the US Army Air Corps (Air Force) overseas during WWII. Upon his return to the states, Swift continued to perform in nightclubs and on radio. By this time, he had changed his name to Allen Swift (He took the name of radio humorist Fred Allen as his first name and the name of literary satirist Jonathan Swift, the author of the book Gulliver's Travels for his last surname). He made his TV debut on Robert Q. Lewis' comedy/variety series The Show Goes On on CBS and on three The Bob Hope Shows .

Swift's greatest television success occurred in 1953 when he was invited to audition for NBC TV's landmark children's series Howdy Doody by a fellow radio actor Jack Fallen who at the time was the program's associate producer.

Swift won the audition and not only appeared as several comedic characters liker Prof. Meriwether, a pompous art critic; Sandy McTavish; Abra k. Darbra the Magician; and Chief Thunderchicken. He also took over as the show's head writer when the former scriptwriter and songwriter Howdy Doody’s Eddie Kean left the series.

When Buffalo Bob Smith suffered a heart attack in 1954, Swift manipulated and voiced Howdy and also performed with the other members of the series puppet repertory company: Mr.Bluster, Dilly Dally, Captain ScuttleButt, and The Flub A Dub.

Swift also found the time to work on another kids’ puppet show, The Adventures of Blinky, created and written by Lucille Emrick. The format told the stories of a young boy who was trapped in an enchanted land by two evil witches, Harpy & Sharpy, as he was able to foil their infamous plans with the aide of his friends The Weaver, Bullfrog Drummound and The Bookworm (puppeteer Paul Ashley manipulated and voiced The Bookworm while Donald Soames voiced and manipulated The Weaver. Swift performed the character of Bullfrog Drummond ).

Doris Brown was the program's on camera mc and, for a time, Michael Mann appeared as a live action version of the boy hero. The Adventures Of Blinky was seen Saturday mornings on WABC TV 7 in NYC in 1953.

Swift continued to work on Howdy Doody until the spring of 1956 when he was dropped from the show due to a downsizing. He found the time to write a drama, Yankee Doodler, for NBC's anthology series Matinee Theater. During the spring of 1956, WPIX acquired the rights to the Popeye movie cartoons and planned to screen the films on a daily kids’ series. They hired Swift to host the program but there was one problem.

The station execs at channel 11 had no backdrop or any character for Swift to portray so he decided to create his own format. He designed and built the set with the crew at the station, obtained a costume while a make up artist provided a grey wig and beard and showed Swift how to age his face with latex plastic.

The weekday evening edition of The Popeye Show debuted on Monday, September 10, 1956 (a weekend evening version of the show aired on Saturday and Sunday September 8 & 9, 1956 hosted by radio/TV, stage performer and broadcaster Ray Heatherton formerly WOR TV's Merry Mailman portraying Capt. Ray).

Set again the backdrop of a ship and the captain's quarters, Capt. Allen would engage his young viewers, his "Mayteys” in songs, stories, craft making, hobbies, games, magic tricks, drawing lessons and magic tricks.He would present informational segments and interviews between promotions for the sponsors and the running of Popeye cartoons.

Capt. Allen even held a contest where he had viewers send in their drawings of Popeye and friends to the show via thepopeye records w Capt Allen Swift mail where one lucky kid could win a treasure chest of toys, a new TV set, and a pony. 137,000 drawings filled the station's mail room. The winner was a kid from Nyack, New York.

More TV Success, Record Albums, Trouble With Management & more

TVparty / Classic TV
Classic TV!



Captain Allen Swift photo

Captain Allen Swift on record

SIDE ONE: Blow the Man Down
SIDE TWO: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

"Captain Allen" cut a second kids TV recording in 1960 for RCA Camden Children's Records. "Popeye's Favorite Sea Shanties" had Capt. Allen performing songs and engaging his listeners ("his mateys") in informational segments and some poetry (like "I Saw A Ship A Sailing") between tunes performed by Bill Simon and His Crew. The record was nominated for a Grammy award in 1960 but lost to Liberty Record's "Alvin Show" TV soundtrack.

Allen Swift was responsible for the many cartoon voices we grew up with, i.e.: Simon Barsinister ("Underdog"); Tom & Jerry cartoon narrations (directed by Gene Deutch - 1960-61); Mayor Phineas T. Bluster ("Howdy Doody") and, not to be outdone, his sitcom appearance on "Kate & Allie".

Popeye TV hosts Around The USA
Popeye TV Hosts
Around the Country

Kevin S. Butler

::NYC Local Kid Shows Section::
NYC Kid's Show Roundup / Overview / Remembering Favorites
NY Local Hosts Outtakes
/ Two Views from the 50s / Tex Antoine
Wonderama /Return of The Magic Garden / Sandy Becker

Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty! Classic TV
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments
1950's TV Shows / Fess Parker & Davy Crockett / First Sitcom Couple To Share A Bed / 1952 Olympics Telethon / Amos 'n' Andy / Little Rascals & Our Gang / Howdy Doody / The First Batman Movie From 1943 / Who Was the REAL Aunt Jemima? / Freedomland USA / John Wayne Won Lassie in a Poker Game! / Lucy's Sitcom Before I Love Lucy / The Lone Ranger / It's Always Jan / 1950s Shows I NEED To See / Jack Lemmon & Billy Wilder on Marilyn Monroe / So This Is Hollywood / Audrey Meadows Refused To Do This For Jackie Gleason / When Jerry Lewis Ceased To Be Funny / The Plainclothesman / Buck Rogers in the 25th Century / Remembering Tony Dow / First Solo Female Series / Kuda Bux / Capt. Allen Swift - NYC Local Popeye Shows / Was the 1959 Santa Claus Movie Too Christian?!? / When Judy Garland's Daughters First Saw The Wizard of Oz / TV During WWII / Top Ten TV Shows 1950s / Jack Larson's Suprising Life As Superman's Jimmy Olsen in the 1950s / Judy Garland's 2nd TV Special and Las Vegas Debut / Early Network News Broadcasts / Lost Desilu Sitcom: Those Whiting Girls / Lost Superboy Pilot / The Shadow 1954 Pilot / KTLA News / / Kid Show Pioneer Herb Sheldon / Aline Saarinen / Tribute to Sandy Becker / The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu / O.Henry Playhouse / Capt. Allen Swift / NYC's First Bozo Bill Britten / The Magical Land of Alakazam! / 1950s and 60s Bloopers / TV's First Working Woman / Cannonball - 1950s Trucking Drama / Sonny Fox Kid Shows / Lauren Bacall on Bette Davis / Sunset Boulevard Explained / Abbott & Costello TV Show / The Three Stooges: The Where They Were / The First 'Black' Show - Beulah / Women on TV in the 1950s / The Today Show / Hey Jeannie / The Jeannie Carson Show / TV's First Educator Paul Tripp / Ernie Kovacs / Soap Opera Miss Susan / Adventures of Superman Lost Episode / Bette Davis vs Ronald Reagan / Captain Z-Ro / Obscure Actress Mary Castle / Serious 1950s TV shows / Remembering David Susskind / TV's First Rerun Series / The Ken Murray Budweiser Show / Two Variety Shows of the Fifties / Game Shows of the Fifties /1950's TV Wrestling / Greensboro's Soda Pop History / Mr. Adams and Eve / TV's First Star / Oh Susanna! the Gale Storm Show / Bob Hastings / TV's First Star / History of the Laugh Track / The First Interactive Video Game / Designing Winky-Dink / Buffalo Bob Smith / The McKimson Brothers & Animation / Interview with a Show Business Legend / The Soundies / Snaders Telescriptions / Steve Allen Interviewed / Racket Squad / December Bride / The Big Show / Beverly Garland & Decoy / Roger Muir / Noel Coward's 1955 TV Special / Jon Provost Interview / 1950's TV Shows on DVD / Oh Susanna! The Gale Storm Show / 1950's Old Time TV Thanksgiving / Outrageous 1950's Commercial! / The Real Superman? / Mickey Mouse Club's Cheryl / Gale Storm / NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade Telecasts / Julie London / The Goldbergs / 1950's Female Singers / The Dead End Kids / Bowery Boys / Fred Allen / Ed Wynn / Mr. Belvedere Movies / Art Linkletter / The Bickersons / Marty & Live TV / George Gobel & Red Buttons / Barbara Billingsley / Billy Gray Interview / Abbott & Costello Show / The Honeymooners / Three Stooges' Joe Besser / Whirlybirds / Burns & Allen Show
Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / Punk Book / / 1970's TV / Groucho vs William F Buckley / / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 
Looking for classic TV DVDs?/See below:
TV Commercials on DVD Wrestling DVDs Classic TV Books

Save money!