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Re: MESSAGE ID: 1EC610858

On Fri, 1 May 1998 NORIAC@mln.lib.ma.us wrote:

> Once Channel 4 began regular programming, Carl would, during the 1948/49
>  TV season, host "Carl's Surprise Package", which was the first locally-
>  produced children's program in the history of Boston television. I'd
>  suspect the reason "Surprise Package" left the air was because Carl
>  had gotten the 6-9 A.M. slot at 'BZ radio, and probably didn't want to
>  have to linger around 1170 Soliders' Field Road between the time his
>  radio show ended at 9 A.M. and the time his live TV "Surprise Package"
>  went on the air at 6 (to 6:15 P.M.). During it's short time on the air,
>  "Surprise Package" probably was quite popular with children who had TV
>  sets because it came on immediately after "Howdy Doody".

I remember that show.  He was called "Uncle Carl" and had a canine puppet
named "Popo."  But it ran well beyond the 1948-49 season.  It may have
lasted as late as 1951 or 52.  We got our TV set in the early fall of
1949, so if it had only been in the 1948-49 season, I never would have
seen it.  

The format changed once or twice, and the last version I remember was
called "The Good Life Club," sponsored by Life Bread.  That version had a
setup similar to the Howdy Doody show, with a Peanut Gallery (though they
didn't call it that), but Popo was still the only puppet.

During the summer of 1980, Harry Castleman, co-author of "Watching TV" and
some other books about television, was a summer intern in my office (He's
now practicing law somewhere in Boston, I'm told.).  We soon learned of
each other's interest in television history and had many long
conversations when we should have been working.  One day I happened to
remember "Uncle Carl" and Harry thought that "Uncle Carl" might have been
Carl DeSuze.

So I called up WBZ and tried to talk to him.  The first time I tried, he
was on vacation.  So I waited and tried again, but he had already left for
the day.  So I tried again just as his show was ending and got him.  I
asked if he had been "Uncle Carl" on this show that I remembered seeing.
He said that he had and went into a bit of remeniscing about that show and
some other things he had done on radio back in those days.

 A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                                         617.367.0468
 15 Court Square                                      lawyer@world.std.com
 Boston, MA 02108-2503                       http://world.std.com/~lawyer/