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TV Party

Here are
some viewer
responses
and memories
of Winky-Dink


Response from Richard Ranke

My brother sent in for a Winky-Dink magic screen in 1969. The cartoons were rerun here (Shaker Hts. Ohio) from 1968 to 1970 or so. My brother couldn't draw the ladder or the bridge or whatever Winky Dink wanted as quickly as he wanted us to.

The theme song was:

Winky Dink and you! Winky Dink and me
Always have a lot of fun together!
Winky Dink and you! Winky Dink and me!
We are pals in fair and stormy weather!
Presto change-oh
That's a thing of the past
Winky - winko
Works twice as fast.

This, at least, was the song for the 1968-69 Winky Dink cartoons which I saw with my younger brothers. If it weren't for my younger brothers, shows like The Banana Splits, George of the Jungle and more would've passed me by.



Response from Hamster

I remember this show from my childhood near Cleveland. I couldn't get the show at my house because it was broadcast on a UHF channel and my parents refused to buy a UHF capable TV. I had to watch at the neighbor kids' house. I only saw it once or twice but the neighbor kids (little beasts) were always talking about "Winky Dink" and making me feel bad that my mom didn't have a TV capable of getting it. They had a magic screen and once after I begged and pleaded they let me draw on it, but since I hadn't done it before, I was too slow and they grabbed the crayon back.

My mother thought "Winky Dink" was a terrible idea because it encouraged kids to sit too close to the screen which she felt was bad for their health (radiation or something). Amazingly enough, I still remember the first line of the Winky Dink theme - thanks to the person who posted the rest of the lyrics. I remembered the tune but not all the words.

-Hamster


Response from Jeff

I remember watching this show on TV in the early 1970's and like others, I didn't have a Winky Dink kit. The show did suggest using a piece of wax paper to tape to the screen so that the TV would not be damaged.

The last episode I remember participating in dealt with a telephone, as the show progressed the final picture drawn was a crude rendition of a telephone. I wish that I could go back and participate again. I was also born in 1963 and still have fond memories of early television.

-Sincerely Jeff in Inglewood California.


Response from Linda
I remember that I did not clean my screen after every show. The crayons made the screen stick to itself and by Sat. morning I would have to pull apart the bunched up screen. Eventually I could no longer pull it apart, ending my days with Winky Dink. This saddened me greatly, but did teach me a lesson about cleaning and procrastiation. I loved that show and often recall how I ruined my fun because of my laziness.

- Linda


Response from Marc Levenson

I surfed onto your web site, and a flood of memories roared back. It seems to me that I had a Winky Dink screen in my parent's attic until they moved in the early '80's. There's a remote chance that it's lurking somewhere in a box stuffed away somewhere in my mom's house.

I remember Winky Dink as a fifties cartoon character that appealed to me as much as Howdy Doody and Mickey Mouse.

Thanks for resurrecting such a fun memory. By the way, speaking of fun memories, if you're going to resurrect Winky Dink, does anybody ever talk about "The Merry Mailman?"

- Marc Levenson
Dallas, Texas


Response from John Urresti

I have fond and mixed memories of watching winky dink when I was a child. In 1953 our family had an upright Hoffman brand TV. It had a green screen and a mahogany cabinet (which we still have at my mother's home). One day I couldn't find the cellophane screen and they were giving the secret message. I grabbed a stick of lipstick and wrote the secret word "submarine" across the TV screen.  My mommy spanked me.

- John Urresti


Response from Rich Sandler

I love WD-- I have a Winky Shrine at home. I've been a Winky afficianado for many years- There are many items of Winky Dink collectibles that I've accumulated (and I'm still looking for more). I have an original Winky Dink drawing done by the original artist in 1990. He is still around and living in New York City. I also have 2 of the original shows that had been kinescoped and transferred to video tape. There are about a dozen "normal" pieces of WD memorabilia on the "collectibles" market. Some of them are 78 RPM record with picture sleeve, Little Golden Book, The 2 TV screens previously mentioned by others, a paint set, crayons, buttons, etc.

If anyone has any items they are interested in parting with contact me at: shastasandler@worldnet.att.net This is a neat site!!!! BTW Dayton Allen went on to appear on the Steve Allen TV show and actually had at least one LP recording that I'm aware of.

YT Rich Sandler


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Thanks Everyone!

Would you
like to share
your memories of Winky-Dink?


Response from Marcy Fowler

Thank you for validating warm fuzzy memories of long ago! I was beginning to think I, too, had imagined the whole thing. Everytime I mentioned the show to fellow boomers, I'd get these blank stares like I was from another planet. I have vivid memories of sitting on the floor in front of our first television set . . . you know the kind, the huge cabinet with the tiny little screen, my plastic film smoothed in place, (usually). I was four years old when the show debuted and remember looking forward to each weekly episode which held me rapt, crayons at the ready to help our hero Winky Dink save the day! I also remember one of the show's sponsors, Budding Beauty cosmetics for little budding beauties like me!

Thanks for the trip,

Marcy Fowler,
Monrovia, California

P.S. Does anyone remember another obscure kiddie show from that early tv era?...I think it was a local Los Angeles area show... THUNDERBOLT, THE WONDERCOLT. I'd love to revisit that old friend again.


Response from Rose Hyatt

I do remember! I had a Winky-Dink screen, it was tinted green. I left it on the TV and a baseball game came on in the afternoon. Dad went nuts, he couldn't figure out how come everything on the TV was green.

- Rose Hyatt


What a great, great web page. My kids think I'm nuts talking about Winky Dink. I'm saved!!

I distinctly remember having a "Delux" Winky Dink kit that included the screen, crayons and many small geometric figures (circles, squares, rectangles, etc.) made of colored plastic (flexible--not rigid) that you could place at different places on the screen to help Winky Dink. Sometimes they slid off--but it didn't matter. The experience was great fun and thoroughly interactive.

As curator for aerospace science at a large west coast science center I have great admiration for this early concept of interactive TV. It was way, way ahead of its time and a brilliant educational concept.

I remember as a kid following the on-screen directions and using the various shapes (in addition to my own drawings) to help Winky. I was always amazed at how Winky would actually climb the ladder that I drew or climb onto my square and slide down my triangle shape.

As I recall the kit seemed really fancy to me and came in box not unlike a Monopoly box in its overall proportions (but physically smaller in each dimension).

I also had friends that didn't have Winky Dink kits but drew on their TV sets anyway. A few are still living.

- Kenneth E. Phillips, Ph.D.


Hello! I am so glad to find Winky Dink, the first interactive Tv show! But I'll never forget how disappointed I was to discover that Winky made it across the gulch without the assistance of my drawn rope-ladder! (My screen fell off at just the wrong moment!) I must have been 5 years old at the time. Fantasy dead early on.

- Peggy Raczkowski


Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960s, I remember "Winky Dink." God, do I remember "Winky Dink." I thought I was going insane with this odd recollection from the past; now living in Missouri, no one here seems to remember the show, the song, the stick-on screen. It wasn't until I read an interview with Ice-T in "Rolling Stone" a few years back that it clicked; being another L.A. kid, he remembered "Winky Dink," and I knew I hadn't been hallucinating.

I drew on the TV without the screen until my Dad gave me a whipping, broke down and bought the kit.

I ask this question: Why do so many of us think we hallucinated the whole "Winky Dink" thing? What was it about that show that made it at once vivid and almost too surreal for accurate recollection?

ron davis

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