president's choice memories of toronto childhood television

One of the things I loved about visiting Toronto as a child was watching television at my grandparents. The kiddie shows were completely different than those available in the Windsor area, so I'd glue myself to the TV before the day's activities. This exposure came in handy years later in conversations with those who grew up around the GTA—no head scratching on my part whenever anyone mentioned Commander Tom or Rocket Robin Hood.

While looking for material for this post, I stumbled upon a series I'd forgotten everything about except for the theme music, The Wonderful Stories of Professor Kitzel. Figures I'd watch a cartoon about history. I also loved watching Once Upon a Time...Man around this time.

Tales of The Wizard of Oz was an early Rankin-Bass production, utilizing CBC vets for the voices as they would a few years later for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It also appears as if the persona of the Wizard was based on one of the first casting choices for the 1939 movie classic, W.C. Fields.

One show I wasn't crazy about was Uncle Bobby. Even when I was in single digits, Bimbo the Birthday Clown was obviously a cheap cutout whose voice and manner were beyond the pale. Mom couldn't believe her eyes either. Creeeepy...

DISCLAIMER: JB's Warehouse and Curio Emporium will not accept any responsibility for medical disorders caused by exposure to cardboard clowns with mechanically-processed voices.


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