Channel 3 Clubhouse, 1950s-1985: Kalamazoo, Michigan
One of western Michigan’s most beloved – and well-known – kiddie shows was “Channel 3 Clubhouse” or “Clubhouse Kalamazoo“ as it was sometimes called.
WKZO (now called WWMT) went on the air in 1950. As it gained its foothold in the early part of that decade, it debuted a children’s show that ran for approximately thirty years, up until 1985. There were various hosts throughout the run, with the most popular being Beanie Brown. The majority of hosts were female, like Cynthia, Della, or Diane.
Although while looking back on the show, it was very bare-bones. Many times the camera would pan over the faces of the kids who came to visit…sometimes that would take up a good portion of the show. Then a cartoon, maybe two. There was conversing with a couple of puppets like Lambert the Lion or Mag the Hag, then the host would talk to some of the individual kids on-camera...sometimes there would be a special guest. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t as exciting as “Bozo’s Big Top”, but kids from that time period ate it up. They absolutely loved this show and it is very fondly remembered by those adults who watched it as kids.
With children visitors a major part of the show, there needed to be rules for them to follow:
1) Don’t touch the person sitting in front of you
2) Enter the studio three at a time
3) Keep quiet when not being spoken to, except when asked to cheer or clap
4) Keep your hands off everyone and everything
For the most part, the kids were well-behaved with few – if any – incidents, except for an occasional child who was scared and wanted his mommy.
Channel 3 Clubhouse was an early kiddie TV show with not too much excitement (not like these days). But for those who were growing up back then, there was nothing else that was programmed for kids, so they ate these shows up….which are still fondly remembered.
Channel 3 Clubhouse, Kalamazoo
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