(Left to right) Broadcast Pioneers members Joe Earley and Ed Sciaky
in Joe Earley's home
December 27, 2000

Broadcast Pioneers member Joe Earley is probably best known for his work as Mr. Rivets plus his appearances on the Steve Allen Show and playing the postman on “the Gene London Show.”

Joe was born March 16, 1929 and was a graduate of LaSalle College, now LaSalle University was a Bachelor’s degree in English. After graduation, Earley taught at Edison High School, but shortly thereafter, his life would take on a new direction. He went to an open audition at Channel 3 and was hired. He worked with Ernie Kovacs, both locally and the shows that aired nationally on NBC-TV from WPTZ, Channel 3. The children of the Delaware Valley loved him as the friendly, almost child-like robot called, “Mr. Rivets” on “Let Skinner Do It” and later when Alan Scott replaced George Skinner, on “Let Scott Do It.”

A few years later, he started playing the role of the postman on “The Gene London Show” on WCAU-TV. He also had his own television show on public television called, “Come Along” where he portrayed many historical characters. He reprised many of these characters with Gene London on the seventies TV historical series, “Flashback.”

From 1979 to 1981, Joe played many different characters on a series of Captain Noah programs called “Captain Noah’s High Adventures.” We have several of these shows in our video archive.

He was also in the motion picture with Sidney Poitier entitled, “The Lost Man.” Here in the Philly area, his favorite historical portrayals were of Teddy Roosevelt and Ben Franklin.

Earley served for many years on the board of AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He was also a member of SAG, the Screen Actors’ Guild.

He won two local Emmys; one here in Philadelphia and one in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, at age 80, Joe Earley was in the process of writing a novel. He passed away on July 7, 2009. On Friday, Novmber 19, 2010, Joe Earley was posthumously inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is pioneers@broadcastpioneers.com