Return to Homepage
 
... Dedicated to the TV Addict in All of Us

   The place to be....for the Characters, Places & Things on Television

What's New at TV Acres  
 
  Home > Index > Children's Show Hosts > Frazier Thomas  
 
Children's Show Hosts

Frazier Thomas - Garfield Goose and FriendsFrazier Thomas - Local kiddies show host of GARFIELD GOOSE & FRIENDS that premiered on September 29, 1952 on Channel 4 at 4:30PM on WBKB-TV in Chicago, then moved to WBBT-TV for a year and finally ended up at WGN-TV channel 9 from 1954 to the 1980s. Frazier Thomas created his Garfield the Goose puppet in Cincinnati in the 1940s when he worked at WKRC-TV until he moved to Chicago in 1951.

The program began with an organist playing the theme song "Monkey on a String" (written by Ethel Smith) and the narration "Garfield, the goose who thinks he's king of the United States, and Frazier Thomas, his prime minister, who wouldn't tell him differently for the world."  Garfield Goose lived in a mock medieval castle and communicated by making clicking sounds with his metal (tin) beak. Sometimes, Garfield ran off stage, tapped out a note on a typewriter and then presented it to Frazier Thomas to read.

Highlights of the program included live guests, hobby segments, Frazier Thomas playing the Jews' harp; cartoons and live-action segments including Clutch Cargo, Space Angel, Pow-Wow the Indian Boy, Spunky and Tadpole, The Funny Company (an educational cartoon series); Journey to the Beginning of Time (a 1954 Czech film dubbed in English and cut into ten minute segments about a group of boys who travel back in time while boating down a river); and, of course, Garfield Goose conking Frazier on the head with his beak.

Subjects in Garfield's royal court included:

  • Frazier Thomas as the Prime Minister who dressed in full regalia of medals and epaulets (Garfield had also appointed Thomas the Admiral of the King's Navy on October 16, 1952)
  • Christmas "Chris" Goose, Garfield's nephew (born on Christmas) who popped up during the holidays along with The Three Little Dwarves (Hardrock, Coco and Joe)
  • Frosty the Snowman and Suzy Snowflake
  • Beauregard Burnside III, an aging, toothless secret service bloodhound who was summoned by yelling the words "Hot Dogs! Hamburgers! Spaghetti and Meatballs!")
  • Macintosh the Mouse, in charge of the castle's mailroom;
  • Romberg the Rabbit, the liaison between the puppets and the Prime Minister
  • Ramona Rabbit, Romberg's girlfriend
  • Mama Goose from Goose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada who earned a purple belt in karate
  • Ally Gator
  • Geronimo the monkey (a real monkey introduced in 1953 but dropped after a few years)

In 1976, the show (the longest running puppet shown on television) was canceled when Frazier Thomas took over the role of ringmaster on BOZO'S CIRCUS after the former host Ned Locke retired.

The Garfield Goose character continued as a regular character on the new show (as the circus's owner) until 1981.

Born in Rushville Indiana in 1918, Frazier Thomas died from a stroke at the age 66 at Ravenswood Hospital on April 3, 1985.

TRIVIA NOTE: Frazier Thomas, as well as Jesse Owens, "Wheaties," and Muddy Waters all have a Chicago street named in their honor.

Frazier's prime minister costume, puppets from the show, a faithful reproduction of the Family Classics with Frazier Thomas set (a WGN-TV series begun in 1962 that hosted classic films) and the original Garfield Goose oil painting by Roy Brown now resides in Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Puppeteers Roy Brown and Lee Ann Prineas (the show's original puppeteer) designed and manipulated the program's puppets over the years.


External Links

 

Back to Top

 
 

Home | Site Map | Search | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Archive
Copyright © TV Acres. 2000-2013 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All photos are the property of their respective companies.