This rare lost live special has been transferred off the 16mm kinescope to videotape from the only known copy.
Curated by Jason Forrest
Total Runtime: 0:59:18
This rare lost live special has been transferred off the 16mm kinescope to videotape from the only known copy, owned by the show’s producer, Steve Carlin. This broadcast was the only time that the Rootie Kazootie Club was known as Rootie Tootie, and his dog was called “Nipper” here because of the RCA record company sponsorship. (RCA later dropped the show, and the dog was renamed Galapuchie).
The show was done live from what we know as Radio City Music Hall, but which was known in those days as the Centre Theatre at Radio City. The show, sponsored by RCA and Bendix, featured special sketches and bits of comedy but mostly focused on music.
Songs include: “Gabby The Gobbler,” “Pass That Peace Pipe,” “The Trolley Song” (sung by Lisa Kirk, of the original 1948 cast of KISS ME, KATE), “Yodellin’ Bird” (sung by Rosalie Allen), “Crawdad Hole” (sung by Allen and Texas Jim Robertson), “Darktown Strutters Ball” (sung by Wee Willie Smith), and “A Boy Named Lem and A Girl Named Sue” (from the show EASY DOES IT).
The special guests include Kukla, Fran & Ollie in a live hook-up from Chicago, and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, who reads a Thanksgiving Day address made by President Roosevelt during his term in office. Apart from the live performances, the most amazing thing about this special are the live commercials, featuring little family-type vignettes meant to push RCA or Bendix products – the prices for the television sets ($400 in 1950 dollars for a 19-inch console, and $189 for a portable that must’ve weighed at least 50 pounds) are pretty funny.