Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Does Anyone Remember Speedy, Beanie, Cecil

It was dejavu all over again this past week on TV with the revival of little Speedy in the Alka Seltzer commercials and TV Pioneers showcased “Time for Beanie”. Does anyone remember these 50s icons?
A lad of 12 I was watching with Dad and sis every weeknight at 6:30pm on KHQ-6 Beanie, Cecil and Tear Along the Dotted Lion. Watching a clip from the show last night on the PBS TV Pioneer show brought back many fond memories of a cheesy kids show that even adults could enjoy thanks to Stan Freeberg’s sly humor (the oy ga vault). Beanie was a kinescope from Los Angeles, where it was hugely popular. Living in the Spokane TV market we missed Soupy Sales, Bozo the Clown and WCCO’s “Axel” or anything of that caliber. We had to settle for the “Salty” show on KXLY early evenings sponsored by Hillyard Furniture. Salty was a low rent puppet show, but what else was there to watch in the 50s?
Seattle’s KOMO had “The Captain Puget Show” in which I played a small part as a public relations assistant in 1962, ushering brats into the peanut gallery to watch the Captain pitch products and show cartoons. I remember one little snot who made a big deal about his father who was an executive at KAYO Radio, one of several Top 40 stations in Seattle. The Captain was a boring, cranky character and a far cry from the antics of WGN’s Bozo or most other kids shows. I believe that KTNT in Tacoma had Brakeman Bill.
The animated character Speedy in the Alka Seltzer commercials was also quite compelling as was cute Willie the Penguin who promised us kids that Kools were really the best smokes. So Speedy is back in HD but I am afraid Willie is but a foggy memory.