Thursday, April 10, 2008


I think I've mentioned this before, but I couldn't find the previous post concerning it.
When I was a kid in Texas there were three main kid shows on in the morning.
Capt.Kangaroo, which most people in the states are familiar with.
There was Mr.Peppermint, which like the Capt. was aimed at really young kids.

Then there was what seemed like the more subversive Slam Bang Theater, hosted by Icky Twerp.

Between shenanigans and skits with his assistants Ajax and Delphinium, (Played by volunteer kids from local high schools. Wearing the cheapest slaggy waggy halloween monkey masks)Icky would screen all kinds of cartoons. From the Fleischer Popeyes, to Hercules, to The Warner's Bros. Classics. I loved this show more than I will ever be able to explain.
Learn more about Slam Bang Theater here:

But there was one bit done by Mr.Peppermint, that from the very first time I saw it had me howling with laughter, and wondering if Mr.P didn't have a slightly subversive agenda himself.

As in the drawing above he would place a square planter box on his lap. The box was full of faux dirt, with a mailbox positioned next to a little hole. On the mailbox was the name Mr.Wiggly.
He would set this box on his lap and sing "Mr.Wiggly please wake up, please wake up, please wake up. Mr.wiggly please wake up we would like to see you"
Then a finger with a little face drawn on it would shyly slide up from inside the hole, Mr.P would have a conversation about what was going on in Mr.Wiggly's world.

I have no idea if he was aware of how this looked to at least one slightly off kilter four year old, but I did learn later that Mr.P's son is a member of the band The Butt Hole Surfers.

What do you think? Did he know how that looked?


Anonymous said...

Ha! I bet he did! Too bad that they don't make shows like this anymore. Some kids today are probably too jaded to sit through something like this anyway.

We had our own version of this type of show in Mexicali. The host was a clown named "Rorito" and he would sing, put on skits, read viewer mail, and such between showing Looney Tunes, Popeye, and any other old cartoons. I remember watching some reruns of his when I got older and I learned to appreciate him even more. He would always say some off-color remark or double entendre that went way over my head as a little kid.

Maybe these guys figured that parents would be watching also, and would throw something in for them. Great stuff!

chrisallison said...

damn i love this stuff! it's so goofy and wacky (admittedly with some great gags too). i'm gonna look for a copy of this on DVD. if i find it, you just scored yourself a copy, vincent

Marc Deckter said...

Man I'd love to see a copy of this show - that Mr.Wiggly bit sounds hilarious.

In Cincinnati we had The Uncle Al Show. Uncle Al played played the banjo and wore a straw hat.

I don't remember the actual show that well, but I've got a great black&white group photo from an episode when I was actually on the show, in the peanuts gallery or whatever, haha.

Marc Deckter said...

Slam Bang Theater on DVD

Vincent Waller said...

Art yeah maybe. I don't know how he wouldn't know.
Ha! Thanks Marc! I Just put in my order.Mr.P also played the banjo, and if you ever watch the old footage of the week of the Kennedy assassination, you can see him as a serious news anchor.
Next time you're at Nick drop by and pick a drawing you like from my archive{Taped to the back of my door.}
Thanks for the offer Chris you are a kind man.

Marc Deckter said...

Wow, thanks Vincent! I'll be sure to look for you on my next visit.

BTW, I just put up a post of some flash doodles that are clearly inspired by my daily visits here.

Kenny P. said...

He knew. He knew.

kgammill said...

Just found this while looking for some photos of Slam Bang Theater. There's a 50th Anniversary event taking place in Ft. Worth this weekend. Should be a lot of fun. Growing up in the '60s was the best. I love your art, Vince. Glad to know you were an Icky Twerp fan too.