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It starred Bill Jackson the BJ of the title and his puppets. Jackson brought along many of his puppets from Clown Alleyincluding the most popular, Dirty Dragona gruff creature who snorted smoke and who was based on an old co-worker of Jackson's in Indianapolis. The premise of the show was that Jackson was the mayor of the fictional Cartoon Town and the puppets were all residents of the town.
Jackson, a talented cartoonist, writer, and producer with a stable of puppet characters all voiced by Jackson himself was the first person to shake up the WGN-TV kingdom.
Kaiser, with it's own agenda, quickly bounced the show from it's schedule. It was on this series that Jackson and his crew produced the extremely popular cliff hanger serials and the MTV-like videos of "The Thumptwangers.
Check it all out at: www. Not to mention "The Thumptwangers! Cable was still being referred to as Community Antenna Television and found only in areas where standard broadcast als were difficult to receive. The 78 episodes of Gigglesnort Hotel series can still be seen in several markets including at one time in the early s, in South America.
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Audio soundbites used with permission of Bill Jackson. And it's audience struggled to find it. In it's short three years on the air Jackson was again victim to a change in management when new management at WLS-TV cancelled the series Gigglesnort won two long overdue Emmy awards as well as a program director's award for best locally produced children's show in the nation. After several years as the place to be for top rate children's programming, Channel 32 was striking out and to lead the battle they chose Bill Jackson At the time it was the only true independent station in the Chicago area.
Soundbite arrangement, production and text copyright Steve Jajkowski All rights reserved. The title was changed to The B. The idea looked like a winner based on the success that Jackson had with his live stage shows around the Chicago area. An additional problem with Clown Alley and it's weekend counterpart Here Comes Freckles was that WBBM-TVin all their wisdom, scheduled Jackson's show to start five minutes after the hour at am and ended it five minutes before the hour am.
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Who can forget "Dirty Dragon" and "Mother Plumtree"? Jackson then convinced WFLD to change the format to a stage revue with life size characters and a studio audience.
Unwisely, his show was scheduled in the old Romper Room timeslot, but Jackson's show was not really geared for pre-schoolers and the humor went over it's audience's he. With the new talent and a crack production crew, Jackson considers this version of the series as his favorite. However the idea bombed on television and the show soon reverted back to the original format but retained the new name.
Jackson's web site offers videos of Cartoon Town and Gigglesnort Hotel as well as photos, original comics, and paintings recently done by Jackson himself. After a short break and moving to New York to do a show called B. The show aired for one year, but Jackson felt out of place and the station really didn't know what to do with him.
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It was at this station that Jackson created the character of "Dirty Dragon" fashioned after a dear friend of his. This series lasted one year before going out of production. It would be long time coming before UHF could stand proudly beside its big brother VHF stations but the ruling put the stations on the right road. The show, complete with all the "Cartoon Town" characters as well as a few new ones deed especially for the series, eventually was sold into national and international syndication. With competition like that, a locally produced kids show didn't have a chance.
For the first time in its existence, WGN now had a real competitor. For those who just can't get enough of Bill Jackson and his characters, help is only a click away! Jackson cut his teeth on live television in Ft. After two years he moved to Indianapolis where he stayed for three years. Jackson referred to the show as "the best kept secret in Chicago! Many homes did not have sets that received the UHF channels- so the folks that did have UHF became the most popular people on the block!
Today more people remember "The Blob" than any other character on the series. In it's place, they scheduled reruns of The Flintstones and Batman.
Photos copyright Bill Jackson. In the early fifties, Chicago viewers would find nothing but children's programming in the afternoons to But by the mid s, many of these shows were gone.
The timeslot changed one more time and away from the big B. Jackson did manage to keep two of his dancers from the live show, Nancy Wettler and Ian Harris, and used them as puppeteers in the third and final version. Naturally no one thought to tune in because of the odd time.
Jackson then left the windy city and children's television and took a job teaching at California's Cal-Arts Institute where he stayed for 11 and half years.