Philadelphia Television Kid's Hosts
(Left to right, top row) Lorenzo the Clown, Rex Morgan, Ronald McDonald, and Gene London
(bottom row) Stu Nahan, Sally Starr, Lori Rosenblit, Don Rosenblit, Bill Webber and Scott Rosenblit.
This photo dates from 1965. Bill Webber who supplied us the snapshot from his own personal collection for our archives, believes that it was probably some event for McDonald's House.
Gerry Wheeler, Lorenzo the Clown was actually a hobo. The introduction show was unique. The television personality who portrayed Lorenzo came on camera without his makeup. He set up the program, introducing the show to the parents as well as the children. He then explained what he hoped to accomplish. As the show open continued, slowly he would put on the makeup and transformed himself into Lorenzo.
Rex Morgan was a kid's host for WFIL-TV. An interesting sidebar about Rex. According to Bill Webber, Rex was one of the hangmen at the Nuremberg Trials. There are other reports that Morgan was one of those in charge of burying those hanged.
Gene London was on WCAU-TV. The show was originally called "Cartoon Corners," and took place in a general store. As Gene became more well known, Gene's name crept into the title. The store was located next to a confetti factory. Gene's salary, as the story goes, was eight and a half cents a week and paid by owner, Mr. Dibbly. He used to refer to him as "Old Dibble-Puss" sometimes. Once in awhile, we got to see the exterior of the haunted Quigley Mansion (located near the store), which, of course, was nothing more than a painting. Like the Pete Boyle programs (on Channel 3), London was also an artist.
WKBS-TV (Channel 48) had a sportscaster by the name of Stu Nahan. However, running on a tight budget, they also had Stu host a local kids program called, "Captain Philadelphia," dressed in an astronaut's suit. From 1986 until 1995, Stu worked for KABC-TV in Los Angeles. Then he went to KTLA as evening Sports Anchor.
Sally Starr is legend in Philadelphia. Starting out as a disc jockey on local Philadelphia station, WJMJ, she moved into children's programming in the fifties on WFIL-TV. The program went through several titles starting with Popeye Theater and as Sally became an icon in the market, Starr Theater. She opened the show with "Howdy, Boys and Girls. I hope you feel as good as you look to your gal Sal." During most of the show's run, she ended it with "May the Good Lord bless you and your Family, Bye for now."
Bill Webber is known as a staff announcer, kids host and MOR disc jockey and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. At the time of this photo, Bill was hosting his "Cartoon Club" on the upstart WPHL-TV, Channel 17.
Member Don Rosenblit e-mailed:
Stan Elkman and I founded Elkman Advertising in 1955. I handled McDonald's for most of the 24 years that we had the account. In 1965 we got all of the kid's TV stars at the time together for a photo shoot. That's me in front of Ronald McDonald and my two children, Lori and Scott next to me.
Picture from the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Bill "Wee Willie" Webber
© 2009, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved
The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is email@example.com