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Children's Show Hosts

John David Coons as Uncle Johnny CoonsUncle Johnny Coons -Ventriloquist John David Coons (a.k.a. "Uncle Johnny Coons") hosted the Chicago-based children's program UNCLE JOHNNY COONS (LIFE WITH JOHNNY COONS)/CBS/NBC/1955-56.

Uncle Johnny Coons was a friendly, pudgy man sporting dark-rimmed glasses and a variety of hats (for the many characters he played) who hosted a 30-minute live-action Saturday morning series consisting of narrated silent films, cartoons and segments designed to teach youngsters moral responsibility.

Assisting him was George, a life-sized wooden dummy with a broad simpleton smile and freckles who wore bib overalls and a plaid shirt. Other characters included Blackie, the invisible dog, and Joe, the invisible giant.

Johnny Coons also provided the puppet voices for UNCLE MISTLETOE AND HIS ADVENTURES, a local Chicago show produced in 1948 and later syndicated in 1952; and told western stories on PANHANDLE PETE & JENNIFER, a weekday NBC children's show in 1950.

Uncle Johnny Coons (who died in July 1975) once said of his programs, "Kids may not learn a lot watching me, but they have fun."


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