This takes us a long way down Memory Lane. These days it’s hard to imagine that a little series built around a clown, a dragon, and a cheery young woman would turn into a major hit. Indeed, in 2009 the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring Kukla, Frank, and Ollie.
Kukla the clown and Ollie the dragon, puppets, engaged in gentle banter and funny songs with Fran Allison, the only live human in the show–and people just plain loved it. The show ran from 1947 through 1957. Watching it is one of my earliest childhood memories. But it was even more popular among adults than children.
And would you believe it was all ad-libbed? No foolin’. Fran had experience as a live radio comedian, so she was up to the challenge. I wonder if anybody could successfully do a show like that today.
Well, what could be more benign and harmless? I like benign and harmless–and we could use more of it. Lots more.