Herb Sheldon with his puppets
For those of you who want to know which host/performer wore a striped blazer and straw skimmer - that was Herb Sheldon.
Sheldon even drove to work in Manhattan every day in his old fashioned Model T wearing a skimmer, blazer and bow tie.
Herb entertained and informed his viewers on such kid's shows as "The Herb Sheldon Show", "One Is For Sheldon" and "Kids Today"on WNBT TV Channel 4 in NYC, "Speaking Of Animals" and "Studio Party!" (a rock & roll dance music show for teens) on WABD TV 5, "Funderama" on WNTA 13 in Newark, NJ/NYC and two "Looney Tunes Shows".
Mr. Sheldon took over as the second host/performer of WABD TV Channel 5 NYC's Looney Tunes Show after Sandy Becker left the program in 1956, then hosted another Looney Tunes show on WOR TV Ch. 9 in 1958 following the departure of the series first and second hosts/performers, Ginger MacManus and Paul Tripp.
Sometime during the 4 year run of the show, the Herb Sheldon version of WOR's "Looney Tunes Show" was changed to "The Herb Sheldon Show."
It was on the weekday morning version of WOR's "Looney Tunes Show" that I first became acquainted with Mr. Sheldon.
He had a gentle, soft spoken demeanor about him. He talked to the kids at home in a fun and intelligent way, encouraging them to play games, telling charming stories, creating crafts, hobby tips and instilling good values - between the requisite cartoons, of course.
Sheldon also served as the second host/performer of WABD TV Channel 5's Wonderama after Sandy Becker left the show in September, 1956. Herb hosted Wonderama, Studio Party, The Looney Tunes Show, Speaking Of Animals and The Bugs Bunny Theater/Bugs Bunny Presents for two and a half years on Channel 5 before he was fired following a creative dispute.
Sheldon hosted one more kid's TV show, "The Mischief Makers" (where he entertained and informed his viewers in between the silent Little Rascals film comedies).
"The Mischief Makers" was on WOR 9 weekday evenings from Monday, September 19, 1960 to Friday June 9, 1961. Following the cancellation of "The Herb Sheldon Show" on Channel 9, Mr. Sheldon left kid's TV hosting due to heart trouble.
He became the owner of two summer stock theaters: The Tinkerpound Playhouse in Sysoset, L.I. and the Mountauk Point Playhouse where he also staged, produced and performed in plays.
He also co-owned a restaurant in Long Island and he became involved with many charities including "The Celebrity Parades For United Cerebral Palsy Telethons" with Mrs. Jane Pickens Langley (Hoving) and Dennis James.
Mr. Sheldon continued to run his theaters, maintain the restaurant and co-host the UCP Telethons until his death on July 21, 1964.
The name of the gentleman who served as "Looney Tunes Show"s first host/performer was Bob Bean. A cartoonist and storyteller who engaged his viewers in drawing lesions, stories, craftmaking, hobbies, interviews with guest performers and personalities and instilled good values in his viewers in-between the reruns of "The Warner Bros Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" movie cartoons.
Mr. Bean MC'd the show briefly at the start of 1955. Before Sandy Becker took over as the host/performer on Wednesday evening April 11, 1955 and began his long and successful career in NYC kids TV on WABD/WNEW TV Ch. 5.
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