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Winky-Dink

"Bless you for remembering Winky and all those who have responded to your site.

Thank you for your interest and I'll keep you informed as to Winky's extended future."

Regards,
Harry Prichett, Sr.
Creator of Winky-Dink

(Sadly, Harry Pritchett, Sr. passed away soon after writing this, in February, 2000.)


"I am pleasantly shocked that there is a Winky Dink web site. A long standing memory of mine is meeting Harry Prichett, the creator of Winky Dink.

"My father was working with Mr. Prichett on a project for IBM and we were invited to his home for a visit with his family. I was shy, but Mr. Prichett and his son showed us a great time. I remember seeing wallpaper in his son's room and was impressed when I was told that the wallpaper was actually hand painted by his son who must have been about 5 or 6 years old.

"Since no one I have meet in the last forty years knows who Winky Dink is, I have begun to think of this memory as more of a dream. I am glad to see that I am not alone. I hope Mr. Prichett and his family have had a happy life.

"By the way, Harry Prichett gave me a Winky Dink kit as a gift that day. I used it for drawing on all sorts of TV shows until the plastic sheet collected so much debris that it no longer stuck to the TV. It never occurred to me to wash it."

-Tom Dollard  


Winky Dink Kit
LOOK!
Winky Dink kit from 2001 -
now out of print.

 

Winky Dink

Winky-Dink & You'
PART TWO
(click here for part one)

by Billy Ingram and You

Winky-Dink's Jack Barry'Winky-Dink And You' was Jack Barry's second successful kid's show - 'Juvenile Jury' was the first, running from 1948-1955 on both NBC and CBS. On that show, a panel of kids dispensed advice to other children with problems relevant to life in the Fifties - like what to do when Mom says clean up your room. (Answer: you do it.)

On every Winky Dink & You program and every toy you will find the names of the two creators of the first interactive TV program. One is Harry Prichett Sr. who sadly died in 2000 (see sidebar). The other is Edwin Brit Wyckoff who is alive and well in New York City.

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Winky Dink!"Creating Winky Dink and the participation technique now called 'interactivity' was pure joy for both of us," Ed Wyckoff writes us. "Making it work was explosive excitement from which we never recovered.

"Jack Barry and Dan Enright produced the 1953-57 show with us on CBS. It ran 'live' on about 175 stations on Saturday for a year. Then CBS added a Sunday line-up of stations because kids wanted to play with Winky day after day.

"Watch a kid playing with the kit and videocassette today and you'll see them explode with the same excitement Harry and I experienced when a kid's drawing turns from cannonball to car wheel to tennis ball to wrecking ball...and saves Winky from the bad guys.

"The magic screen is not cellophane. It is pure magic and no one yet has guessed why that tinted green plastic stuck to the screen. I know and I ain't telling.

"That marvelous musical theme came from John Gart. Norman Mazin, who is my partner in a video production company here in New York, drew all the original stories. Harry Prichett Sr. drew the original character of Winky who didn't appear in those stories because his blinking-winking head was too big to let the other characters be seen."

Winky Dink & you TV showEd Wyckoff handled the animation with a pair of tweezers and a bunch of Winky heads and bodies and eyes and arms. "We used a 16mm Animatic filmstrip projector which was faster than the eye and damn good in terms of budget." Ed Wyckoff continues, "The Winky Dink screen was magic. The crayons were magic. (Ordinary crayons didn't work.) The show was pure magic.

"For those Winky Dink & You fans who feel alone in the baby-boomer generation...you re not alone. Check in with Bill Gates who loves the show and had it included in a book book on interactive TV he sponsored.

"And try Rosie O'Donnell who said it was her favorite kid show and will sing the theme song if you ask her nicely. She probably can handle all the songs including Winko Blinko and my favorite, Magic Crayons Make Magic Pictures On A Magic Window.

"Note to the guy who is nicknamed Winky: Dan Enright generally called me Winky in the 1950s because my head lit up. Still does sometimes."

The Gaber writes: "The Winky Dink magic coloring kit! Wow! My father wouldn't buy me one so I took the liberty of using my own crayons to draw on our new TV set.

"Later, and upon seeing this, he dragged me and the TV set out on the lawn to show passers-by his new TV and his stupid kid!"

Jack BarryMeanwhile, with daytime successes under his belt, Winky-Dink host Jack Barry turned his attention to prime-time - and inadvertently changed the course of television forever.

 

NEXT:
PART THREE

A quiz show scandal
wrecks Jack Barry's
career - and Winky-Dink
is reborn - TWICE -
for new generations!


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