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crusaderI grew up in Houston in the 50s. My favorite shows were Crusader Rabbit and something with a character called "Milk Drop Moe".

Crusader Rabbit was a filmed program featuring marionettes (I think). The show was kinda dumb, but the look was so enthralling that I couldn't resist. Exactly what Crusade the Rabbit was on I never figured out!

Milk Drop Moe was all together different. I never could figure out if there was as guy inside the MDM suit or what. MDM was about 3 feet tall, white (I supposed) and of course shaped like a drop of milk. I don't remember if he talked or what, but he was sure WEIRD!!

- Ernie Gammage


Can we all try to re-assemble the theme song from our collective memory?

Saddle up your rocking horses,
come along with me
(listen ?) all you kiddies,
and this is what you'll see
da-da-da the whole day through (?) something something buckeroo

Yippie ki ay, yippie ki yo
something something go
something something cowboys (?)
(on the ranch show)?

- Scott


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Does anyone remember a show called Don Mahoney and Jeanna Claire and the Kiddie Troupers? It was a local show out of Houston(?). We watched it in Dallas on Sunday mornings.

Don and Jeanne were a poor man's Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. They would have kids come on and do talent show stuff. Pushy moms would actually be on the set. They kept bringing back this blind kid named Jeff who would sing and play the guitar. I distinctly remember that Don and Jeanna owned a chicken franchise called Barrel o' Chicken. Any help would be appreciated.

- Brad Newton

Could you possibly include some local HOUSTON kid's shows? The ones I remember best are KITIRIK (a cute play on K.T.R.K. t.v., the local station, starring a bombshell whom many adult men loved), Cadet Don (a "space cadet" with his puppet Seymour) and Marijane's Magicastle.

- Anna Bates

I don't know anyone between the ages of one and 19 during the 60's who didn't watch the Kitirik show in the afternoons after school. Kitirik was a lady dressed up in a black cat costume with whiskers painted on her face, and wearing fishnet hose and black high heels.

Mighty HerculesSince it was channel 13, their promos featured a black cat for years. Every day they had one or more birthday children, who got to ride on a tiny carousel with Kitirik while she interviewed them. There were several different cartoons that were run during the show. I do think The Mighty Hercules was one of them. Anybody remember any others?

Then there was the Cadet Don morning show, about the same period. His sidekick was some kind of serpent-like "alien" named Seymour which lived (and sat!) in a tiny "flying saucer". I still remember the duet they did of the "Hole in the Bucket" song, in which they referred to each other as "Dear Donald" and "Dear Seymour".

They always had a 5-day series of short animations running.....Clutch Cargo, Space Angel (which I would *kill* to get my hands on a copy of!) in which the characters' faces were shown in closeup with *no* changes in expression, and the mouths were really human mouths which had been inserted into the face to do the talking! The most bizarre part was when they got the registration wrong, and the mouth floated and bounced up and down in the face! (They were done that way so that deaf kids could enjoy cartoons.)

Let's see....Clutch Cargo, with his pal Spinner (a little boy) and Paddlefoot (a dog....a dachshund???) and Space Angel, aka Scott McCloud, (a secret identity), with a rotund and bearded sidekick named Taurus, and a girl sidekick....was her name Crystal? And what was the name of his ship? The Starduster?

Despite the horrific visuals, the stories were fascinating, even though I was already a teenager. A couple of years ago, Kitirik got her cat costume out of mothballs and showed up at a charity event in Houston. She claimed that her own kids never knew their mother was Kitirik - hmmmm - I suspect the kids have been humoring their mother all these years, I can't imagine them not figuring it out.

Cadet Don was later replaced with another Cadet Don....don't remember their last names. It just wasn't the same without the original.

- Athena

I grew up in the central Texas town of Bryan, and in the early 70's we had just gotten cable. I now could watch the stations in Houston and Austin! The CBS station in Austin, KTBC (which is now a FOX affiliate, I believe), had a weekday afternoon show featuring the characters Uncle Jay and Trapper Jack. They did the standard stuff - skits, contests, etc. and introduced cartoons. This show was very popular in this area in the late '60s - mid '70s. I would love to find out more about the performers and whatever became of them.

- Craig Johnson

For my 6th birthday in June of 1963, I appeared on Kitirik's Carousel. Like most Houston-area children of that era I was a huge fan of Kitirik and watched it daily.

On the morning of my birthday my parents took me to the KTRK TV studios and I was seated in some bleacher type seating. There was a part of the show where Kitirik called some of the children down from the seating and she would ask them questions like "What's you favorite food?" (the children usually answered "besgetti"). I expected to be called down by Kitirik and was a very dissapointed 6 year old when I was not.

Later in the day the show was aired on Channel 13 and I remember how strange it seemed to see Kitirik in black and white after seeing the real thing in color earlier that morning. As the show ended a camera panned the bleacher seating that myself and other children were sitting in. There I was waving! Thanks for reminding me of this great memory! -

- Phil Gammage

I recall three very distinct kids shows that aired in Houston, Texas, back in the 1960s when I was growing up.

The first two appeared on the ABC-TV affiliate, KTRK-TV (Channel 13). The early morning show was called "Cadet Don" who was played by Don Eisenmann. His son, Ike, would later become a child actor in Disney films ("Escape from Witch Mountain" and "Return to Witch Mountain") and a character actor in films and TV (most notably, playing Scotty's nephew who is killed in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan").

Anyway, Cadet Don had a puppet alien named Seymour who lived inside a flying saucer. They would show cartoons all morning, including "Space Angel" and "Clutch Cargo," two horrible animated features that edited moving human lips onto the faces of the characters.

The second Channel 13 kid show appeared in the afternoons. It was called "Kitirik" (the name derived by putting an "i" in between the station's call letters, KTRK).

To play off of the fact that the station was number "13," Kitirik was a woman in a black cat outfit who hosted a live gathering of youngsters. The gang would watch cartoons, play games and listen to stories. Don't remember the name of the actress who played Kitirik, but she later served as a substitute teacher in my 8th grade history class.

The last Houston kid show I remember was "Marijane's Magic Castle" that ran in the afternoons on NBC Channel 2, KPRC-TV. Hosted by Marijane Vandiver (who was dressed in a Peter Pan-like elf's outfit), the show paralleled the format of "Kitirik" -- and in fact, I believe they ran against each other.

Don't remember much about this show (I was a die-hard Kitirik fan) except that Marijane sang a lot. Ms. Vandiver later went on to host a talk show on the same affiliate.

That's it for my Houston kid vid memories. Would love to hear from others who remember these shows as well.

- Michael Newman

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