Channel 8 Continued....

Wilmo The Clown
Wilmo debuted on Channel 8's first day of broadcasting, February 14, 1955.  This 10 minute weekday afternoon (except Wednesday) program aired at 5:20pm.  The show's run was as brief as its length and ended June 17, 1955.



Coonskin Cal

Replaced Wilmo in the same time period starting June 27, 1955.

From the looks of this ad, it appears that 'Coonskin' was in the same mold as
ABC's Davy Crockett (see Channel 38 kid show hosts)







Circle 8 Ranch

A range ridin' cowboy named "Tumbleweed" Thomas introduced Gene Autry movies on weekday afternoons from 5-6pm and Saturday mornings from 8-9am.  This show aired from April 29, 1957, to September 20th, 1957. 



Major Jack

Channel 8's own spaceman, "Major Jack," began December 31, 1956 and continued until September 12, 1958.  The show aired afternoons from 5:30-6pm, and later 9-9:30am by the end of its run.  Jack appeared live to introduce "Little Rascals" episodes, and occasionally an adventure was shot on 16mm film at local locations.  Viewers were invited to become members of the 'Major Jack Space Cadets.'

Major Jack had a robot assistant with the imaginative name of (hold onto your hats!)... "Master Robot."  Unlike 3-D Danny's "Rufnik," there was no human operator inside...Master Robot was quite immobile with animation controlled by Major Jack through a complex of foot pedals and switches.

After "Major Jack,"  Stir took over the hosting of a one-hour Saturday afternoon show called "Dance Party," a typical American Bandstand-style program with local teenagers bopping to the latest pop tunes.  Later, the name was changed to "Hi Time" and was hosted by Jerry Martin, who may be more well known for his character "Barney Bungelupper." 

In 1962,  Jack moved up to weatherman for Channel 8's  11pm newscasts, and appeared on other local programs such as "Open House," a Saturday afternoon real estate show telecast in the late 50's, and "Junior Auction," which debuted on Channel 8 Saturday, March 12, 1960 at 9:30am. The half hour live Saturday morning program featured Bay Area youngsters participating in games and bidding for toys & other prizes.  

To read an article about Stir's "Hi Time" stint and see some wonderful photos, go to

(Thanks to Jim Maloy for Major Jack information)

Romper Room
Just about every TV market had a version of Romper Room, a pre-Sesame Street program for the kindergarten set.  Created by Claster Television and licensed to TV stations, the Tampa Bay version started with Colleen Paglen on WTVT. Each weekday morning from 9-9:30 "Miss Connie" would guide six pre-schoolers in a program of songs, stories & games.  The Paglen-hosted Romper Room ran from October 31, 1955, until April 26, 1957.  At that time"Miss June" Hurley became the host and the show moved over to WFLA on January 12, 1959, and ended May 19,1961.

At some point thereafter, Romper Room returned to Channel 8 and "Miss Alice" became the shows new host.