Kirchner - Ringmaster of the circus variety program SUPER
CIRCUS which debuted in Chicago in 1949 on ABC-TV. Sponsored by
Kellogg's cereals, this popular family oriented program featured
Mary Hartline, the Ringmaster's sexy, platinum blonde assistant who
twirled her baton through an hour of trapeze artists, elephants and
a trio of clowns named Cliffy, Scampy, and Nicky. "Cliffy" Sobier
was the head clown in this group of zany circus performers. Both
Cliffy and Scampy, his sidekick (Bardy Patton/Sandy Dobritch) had
bald heads, cherry red noses and oversized shoes. The series later
moved to New York in 1955 with comedian Jerry Colonna taking over
the reigns as Ringmaster with Sandy Wirth as his assistant who
replaced Mary Hartline. In addition, clowns Cliffy, Scampy and Nicky
were longer part of the festivities.
After Kirchner left SUPER CIRCUS (1952-55) he did a ten year stint
at WOR-TV channel 9 in New York as the host and Ringmaster of TERRY-TOON
The show opened with Kirchner's clown sidekick "Clowny" breaking
through a paper covered hoop. He then said "Here he is, the one and
only - 'Skinny-bones' " (a reference to Kirchner's physical
stature). The show ended at 6:30pm each night with Kirchner saying
"And now it's time for all good little boys and girls to go to bed."
In 1949 Kirchner had been the announcer on the TV series LADIES BE
SEATED, a quiz show with stunts and prizes.
Born in Rostock Germany in 1916 Claude Kirchner died from cancer
(lymphoma) on March 8, 1993 in Hawthorne, New York.
Mary Hartline, Claude, Cliffy, Scampy & Nicky
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