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Pinky Lee - The energetic, lisping comedian Pinky Lee got his name from his days in Vaudeville.

The Pinky Lee Show

At the suggestion of a theatrical agent, he changed his real name of Pincus Leff to fit the billing of a sailor routine called "Port, Lee and Dotty." (Port and Lee being nautical terms for both sides of the boat).

Pinky Lee made his television debut on THOSE TWO/NBC/1951-53 with Vivian Blaine and later hosted the successful children's program THE PINKY LEE SHOW/NBC/1955-56 which began with the lyrics "Yoo, Hoo It's Me!"

Set in the Happy Town Circus, the program was filled with comedy sketches, songs, dances, and special features like "Game Time." Pinky Lee's on-stage wardrobe included a checkered derby, suit and bow tie.

The Pinky Lee Show Theme Song Lyrics

Yoo-hoo, it's me
My name is Pinky Lee
I skip and run, bring lots of fun to every she and he;
It's plain to see, that you can tell it's me
With a checkered hat and a checkered coat
A funny giggle in my throat
A silly dance like a billy goat
Put 'em all together
Put 'em all together
And it's whoooooo?

Pinky Lee Publicity Photo

Despite his popularity with the children of the 1950s, this hyper-kinetic, slapstick comedian wasn't without his critics. Milton Berle once commented at a gathering of comedians that "if a bomb hit this joint, Pinky Lee would be a hit!"; and New York Times reviewer, Jack Gould labeled Lee "crude, tasteless and...a conspiracy against parents." No matter the criticism, Pinky's show was wholesome, devoid of violence and crudities. Time magazine called him the "hardest working man in TV...this side of Jerry Lewis."

Pinky Lee collapsed on live television on September 20, 1955 during a telecast from NBC's Burbank studios from an apparent heart attack (actually a toxic sinus condition). Lee recovered, but his career waned when challenged by such new kids show's as THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB.

Born May 2, 1907 in St. Paul Minnesota, Pinky Lee died of a heart attack on April 3, 1993 in Mission Viejo, California. See also HATS - "Pinky Lee's Hat"

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