Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It Should've Been on a Saturday: The Pinky Lee Show (1954)

Pinky Lee made the transition from the burlesque stage to television, but his self-titled children's show, which was on the air from 1954-6, was actually the 2nd show to bear his name, the other being a primetime variety show that ran in 1950. It is said that Lee's high energy performances were an influence on later stars such as Soupy Sales, Pee-Wee Herman, and even future Oscar winner Robin Williams.

Like Abe Vigoda, Lee had to live down persistent rumors of his demise until he finally passed on in 1993. This was due to collapsing on air during the show's first year. The staff didn't know what to do. This incident was referenced to an extent in an episode of The Simpsons several years later when their kids show host, Krusty the Clown, similarly collapsed, though in the case of that series, one must assume it was in fact a heart attack, which some thought felled Lee.

Internet Archive offers a sample episode:

No rating.


Mr. Sig said...

Pinky Lee's voice reminds me of Sid the Sloth from the Ice Age films.

hobbyfan said...

Ah, but Pinky left us before those films got started.