Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Kukla, Fran and Ollie (with thanks to Naomi)



You ought to go to visit Naomi (OldOldLadyofthe Hills) before you read this, as the two posts are related.



I popped in to visit Naomi tonight, as I do often, and found her post on The Match Game and Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Fran Allison was on TV when I was a child. She was not as well known in some circles as Howdy Doody, but Kukla, Fran and Ollie was a wonderful show for both kids and adults alike.

When I was about 10-12 years old, Fran Allison and the puppets were part of a show in my town, and my parents took me. At the last curtain call, I went down front of the auditorium and thrust a note card and a pencil up to Fran for her autograph. She was very sweet and accommodating, and as she bent low over the edge of the stage, handing the autograph back to me, her blue chiffon dress bodice fell open and I saw her sewn-in bra and everything it was supposed to hide. I was the holder of a deep, dark secret.......I saw Fran Allison's boobs!

Naomi was right when she said that it was hard to think of Kukla and Ollie as puppets. They had distinct personalities and they were easy to believe as "people". Often, the humor was as much for adults as for children, without ever being obvious about it.

When she passed away, I cut the articles above from the newspaper, to keep them with my autograph. My children would have NO idea who she was except for these clippings.

The Match Game was one of the best ever on TV; not much of a "game", but a vehicle for the jokes and funny retorts of all the stars who appeared. Whenever I see a clip from one of their old shows, I am amazed at how much they "got away with" back in those days. Everything said was a double-entendre, and funny as they come. Thanks for the post idea, Naomi. Were it not for you, I might be posting some more matchbooks!



15 comments:

colleen said...

I do remember Howdy Doody. I can't believe I'm still awake. I came from Michele's, but I'm going to bed. I'll check out Naomi's site tomorrow.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

WONDERFUL, Judy....

What a genius Burr Tillstrom was and the beautiful sweet dear Fran Allison the perfect partner for him and his alter ego's; Kukla & Ollie...

Never to be forgotten times....

Rachel said...

I came here after reading Naomi's post and then your comment! I remember the Match Game very well and it was a family favorite. I vaguely remember Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, but I don't recall watching them that much.

Isn't it great to bring back old memories? I just love it.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hey Judy...
Michwle sent me tonight!

Did you ever figure out why 3 of ys visited that 'old' post???

utenzi said...

I'm visiting not due to Michele--but at personal invitation. La-di-dah! LOL

As I recall, Fran was a slender woman so the dress situation hopefully wasn't one that caused you deep pain and envy, Judy. Just kidding although your story did bring to mind the phrase "Fran and her two hand puppets" but it doesn't quite fit.

Regarding Match Game, there's a big difference between old time TV personalities that cut their teeth on vaudeville & the Borsh Belt and the ones today. They didn't have censors back then and humor could be quite... earthy! And back in the days of live TV I guess things often got interesting...but that's before my time.

craziequeen said...

I saw OOL :-) And came here via Michele :-)

I am beginning to understand the value of memories, 'something gained' rather than 'something lost'.

cq

Elle said...

I don't remember Fran, Kukla, and Ollie at all, but I watched Match Game (and many other 70s game shows) every day with my mom as she ironed her nurse uniform and polished her shoes for her next shift. Although at 4 years old I didn't "get" most of the jokes, I remember thinking that it was the height of wit.

Thanks for bringing that memory back for me!

Bhakti said...

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Greg Finnegan said...

WOnderful post! I was interested in the trackback, and before I knew it I was deeply into Kukla, Fran and Ollie! I loved that show - especially Beulah the Witch, and Fran. I took up puppetry, model railroading, and eventually theater set design and building all as a result, I think.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

You and Naomi had some heady times, I'd say. Great posts by both of you.

(Thanks for "missing" me. And thanks for the nomination. I say, "Sure, why not? Somebody's gotta lose.")

Jamie Dawn said...

I agree with you and Naomi about what a wonderful "show" Match Game was. I sometimes watch it on the Game network, and Charles Nelson Riley and Richard Dawson are my favorites. Those people had such quick wit.

Hope said...

I recall many an afternoon watching Gene Rayburn and then Merv Griffin's show. Cerebral humor is always funnier than what is offered up as entertainment now.

Hale McKay said...

I will chime in and date myself. I remember, and not vaguely, Kookla Fran and Ollie. (How about Miss Francis and Ding Dong School?)
...I liked The Match Game too. My two favorite game shows were Concentration with Hugh Downs and the original Jeopardy with Art Fleming. I laugh when I see the credits saying "created by Merv Griffin." What a crock! He bought the rights to it from the original creaters.

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

I was a precocious little kid; I adored the "Match Game." I think my mother watched it but not my father.

I also adored Password.

LOL about Peeka boobs.

Mark said...

Lots of video clips at my KFO site:

http://kukla.tv

Enjoy!

Mark