Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Most Important Person


To anyone who's been reading my blog for a while now, it's obvious that I love classic (read: old) TV and cartoons. The Internet has allowed me to reconnect with a lot of great stuff I loved as a kid, and still love today. One series, however, had alluded me for a long time--until last year.

Part of the reason was that I couldn't remember the name of the program. All I could remember were the three main characters: a big green thing named Fumble (whatever he's supposed to be), a hairy green guy who descends from the sky on a rope, and a small pink bird with a red beak that has a slight attitude problem. Sounds weird, doesn't it? But exist it did, and finally, thanks to both my determination, and the fact that footage of the show finally appeared on the 'net, I finally know the name of the show.

It's called The Most Important Person, and it first aired as a series of segments on CBS's Captain Kangaroo show in 1972. These three-minute, partly animated, partly live-action vignettes were produced by a group called Sutherland Learning Associates. Later in the decade, these segments were syndicated to UHF stations to be shown as interstititial programming between half-hour children's shows. Their educational nature helped stations meet FCC-required standards. It is in this capacity that I remember them. They appeared here in Philadelphia on the late and lamented Channel 48, WKBS-TV (I could, and may, do a post just on that one station).

This station was part of the Kaiser Broadcasting Group, which later became part of Field Communications. These cartoons were carried throughout the station group, the biggest market being Chicago on WFLD-TV (Chicago readers, back me up here).

I looked for these cartoons forever, and had absolutely no luck until last year when, through sheer serendipity, something came up on YouTube (God bless it!). I used words such as Fumble, bird, Channel 48, anything that might lead to an answer, and now I've found them. In fact, just within the last month, I found a few more have been uploaded to the 'Tube courtesy of the same user who loaded my beloved McDonald's commercials.

So here, I proudly present, oodles of segments of The Most Important Person. Funny--even now that I know the correct title, it still doesn't sound familiar.















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