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Captain Jack McCarthy

Mighty HerculesSeptember 3, 2015 will mark the 52nd anniversary of the debut of the WPIX TV Ch.11 NYC edition of "The Mighty Hercules Show" - later "The Carol Corbett Show". The series was seen weekday evenings on Ch.11 and became a different vehicle for veteran horror film show host/performer John Zacherley who mc'd the program against the backdrop of a dungeon laboratory inside of a haunted castle.

Zacherley would perform bizarre experiments with brains (made out of cauliflower) and amoebas (made from jello and pasta) and perform other comedy skits and interview guest performers and personalities between reruns of the "Mighty Hercules" TV cartoons.

 

The Mighty HerculesThe films (which were created and produced by Joe Oroilo who had also produced "The Felix The Cat" cartoons a few years before for Trans Lux TV) told of the Greek Strongman's efforts to protect the loyal subjects of the kingdom of "Caladone" and their kindly young ruler "King Dorian" from such evil villains as "Daedalius", "Wilemean", "The Mask" and "Odus The Cameleon Man".

Hercules was aided in his fight by "Newton The Centaur", "Toot" the fawn and "Helena" his beautiful girlfriend. Despite the popularity of the cartoons Mr. Zacherley felt uncomfortable being a kid's TV mc so he left the program on Friday November 15, 1963 to host "The Three Stooges Show" beginning Monday November 19, 1963.

 

"Officer Joe" Bolton became the series' second host on Monday November 19, 1963. Sitting at a desk he engaged his young viewers with information segments, craft making, hobbies, songs and stories in-between the reruns of "The Mighty Hercules" and "Dick Tracy" cartoons and "Three Stooges" films. "Officer Joe" would continue to host the program until Friday January 31, 1964. In February, 1964 he succeeded Mr. Zacherley as the host/performer of "The Three Stooges Show" and emceed that program for the remainder of it's run.

Capt Jack McCartnyJack McCarthy would become the third host/performer on "The Mighty Hercules Show" in February, 1964. Unlike his previous efforts at hosting kid's shows at Ch.11 he would host the program not as "Capt. Jack" but as himself, working against a non-descript set. He would engage his viewers in informational segments, stories, craft making, hobbies and interviews with guest performers like ventriloquist/entertainer and scriptwriter and producer Terry Bennett and a lady clown between the films. Eventually Mr. McCarthy would play his sea captain character again to host "The Mighty Hercules Show" against the backdrop of the deck and captain's quarters of his ship until April of 1965.

Carol CorbettCarol Corbett became the fourth and the last host/performer of "The Mighty Hercules Show" in April of 1965 set inside of an artist's studio where she would engage her young viewers in stories, games, drawing lessons, informational segments and eat lunch with her viewers(which was brought in by "Mrs. Somebody" to the front door of her studio)while she tried to surpress the antics of her two puppet pals "Doodle E. Doo" the sad face dog and "Snider The Spider" (who only spoke in unintelligible gibberish). More often than not guest performers and personalities would visit the show. Two young puppeteers Craig and Lowell Marin performed on the series with "Blah" (a puppet monster) and another character whose name I can't remember.

Ms. Corbett would also screen "A Day With Doodles Weaver" short film comedies,"The Gumby"puppet films and "The Barney Google & Snuffy Smith" cartoons on the program. Eventually the show changed it's title to "The Carol Corbett Show". Ms. Corbett would continue to entertain and inform her young visitors until the station execs at WPIX TV decided to close down her studio in April of 1968.

 

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Hi, Thanks for the great site and the great memories! My sisters and brothers and I grew up on Staten Island through the Fifties and Sixties, so we recognize just about everyone in your listing. Your info on Captain Jack McCarthy is tremendous. Can you tell me if he's still alive and well? It's a pretty callous way to ask, I know, but I can't think of any way around it. See, my brother is opening up a seafood restaurant on Fifth Avenue and I can't think of a better gift than an 8x10 of the captain, personalized, and replete with a "Hut-to-Peen, and Smooth Sailing!" I hope you can help me out. Once again, congratulations on a really great site.

-Jeff

- Capt. Jack McCarthy passed away on Thursday, May 23, 1996.


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