New Bedford Had Its Own ‘Bozo’ and ‘Romper Room’ TV Shows
I remember as a kid making my first television appearances right here in good old New Bedford. Long before I dreamed of being a "media star" (ahem), there was Bozo the Clown and Romper Room. Both shows were filmed or taped at the WTVE 6 television studios on County Street.
Channel 6 signed on the air in New Bedford in 1963. I was only five years old at the time, but I have vivid memories of all of the buzz. It was pretty exciting stuff. The Flintstones, at the time an adult animated sitcom, premiered on Channel 6.
Back in the day, my uncle was a bartender at J.C's Office downtown, right around the corner from Channel 6. Like all good media people back then, many of the folks from Channel 6 were a bunch of barflies. My uncle knew them all, and through his connections, I got tickets to appear on Bozo.
What I remember about my first television appearance is being told to stomp on balloons on the soundstage floor while wearing a blindfold. It was me competing against a little girl about my age. The one who popped the most balloons won the prize, probably a plastic sleeve of Hoodsie Cups or something.
As I frantically stomped around, all I could hear was the sound of balloons popping – and it wasn't me doing the popping, either. The little girl kicked my butt and won the Hoodsie Cups.
As though I hadn't learned my lesson the first time, I eagerly made an appearance on Romper Room with Miss Diane a short time later. Since there is no videotaped evidence in existence to prove otherwise, let's just say that I was a star.
If that weren't enough, I took the act on the road a year or so later, appearing on Boomtown with Rex Trailer on Boston's WBZ-TV 4. Fortunately for me, no one there recognized my star quality, so I remained largely in the background for the entire 90 minutes.
Channel 6 didn't last long in New Bedford before moving to Providence around 1980. I guess sales revenues were more lucrative there. Along with the station went my dreams of being a television star.
As coincidence would have it, it was around 1980 that I met my good friend and colleague Phil Paleologos at another New Bedford radio station. He had worked as a booth announcer at WTEV 6. Phil and I work together again and have many great memories to share.
Did any of you ever appear on Bozo The Clown, Romper Room, or any other local production when Channel 6 was still in New Bedford? I would love to hear about your experience. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story through our app.