Romper Room and FriendsPublished by Toronto Mike on July 11, 2010 @ 09:06 in Memories, Television
Another retro gem shared by Retrontario got me thinking about Romper Room this morning. If you're like me, with a common first name, you remember how awesome it was when the hostess looked through her magic mirror and saw you.
I actually thought Romper Room was a Canadian show, but it turns out it was actually an American franchise. Localities could buy the show and produce their own version of it.
In Canada, the first station to start airing the locally produced version of Romper Room was CKLW-TV in Windsor, Ontario, which at the time was serving the Detroit, Michigan television market, in 1954, the year the station signed on. Besides Windsor, CJCH-TV in Halifax, Nova Scotia also produced a local version during the 1960s. This program (The CJCH version) along with its host "Miss Ann" (Ann Wilson) moved to CHSJ-TV in Saint John, New Brunswick during the 1970s. Another version was also produced at CHCH-TV in Hamilton, Ontario. Another in Kelowna B.C. CHBC. Another version ran from CFCF in Montreal during the 1960's.
A nation-wide program that ran during the 1980s on CTV was produced at CKCO-TV in Kitchener, Ontario and was hosted by "Miss Fran" (Fran Pappert), "Miss Jean" (Jeanette Moffat) and "Miss Betty" (Betty Thompson). The Canadian version of the program used the same opening credits and "Pop Goes the Weasel" theme as the US version, the Jack-in-the-box logo, and other elements such as the Do-Bee character and the Magic Mirror (including the psychedelic visual effect that went along with it). When the US franchise changed the title to Romper Room and Friends, the Canadian series followed suit.
This clip is from the opening of Romper Room and Friends, produced at CKCO-TV in Kitchener. I remember this well...
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