I don’t know how much TV I watched as a little kid. It was enough that I still know the schedule of the programs I actually cared about. On weekdays, Bozo the Clown on WZZM–an ABC affiliate, Captain Kangaroo on WMMT (then WKZO), and Channel 3 Clubhouse following it.
Pretty much everyone’s heard of Bozo and Captain Kangaroo. Outside of West Michigan, Channel 3 Clubhouse is unknown.
It lasted from 1955 to 1985. It included a host (Cynthia Kay when I was watching), puppets (Nigel and Lambert the lion), a crowd of local children, games and possibly (I’m not sure of this) cuts to cartoons.
As it happens, Cynthia Kay has since gone on to run her own media production company. The website includes links naming her as one of the most influential women in West Michigan, her business as a top women-owned business in West Michigan, and also as small business of the year (2005).
Oddly enough, one of the places I work for regularly contracts her to create video presentations. On Friday, I dropped by her business to pick up a stack of DVD’s she’d produced.
Though she’s been at various offices that GRACE has owned, I’d never actually talked to her before and thus never mentioned that I’d watched her on TV.
I did this time.
She put her hand on my shoulder and said (exactly as she might have if I’d been five and on the show), “So, what’s your name? How old are you?”
I laughed, and we moved on to talk about things relevant to the task at hand.
I told my wife about it though.
“I’m jealous,” she said. “I always wanted to be on that show.”
So yeah, no matter what honors and success Cynthia Kay achieves she will still be known (to people who spent the 1970’s watching children’s TV in West Michigan) as the host of Channel 3 Clubhouse. I’ve no idea whether this amuses or disturbs her. Perhaps I should have asked.
P. S. Oh, and should Cynthia Kay google herself and read this entry, I have a question for her. My wife wants to know what happened to the puppets after Channel 3 Clubhouse was canceled. Do you have any idea?