Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Getting Schooled: Birthday House (1963)

Paul Tripp is best known for 2 things. First, he was the host of Mr. I. Magination, which ran for 3 years on CBS (1949-52) as one of the earliest children's television programs. Then, one of his books, The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, was adapted into a 1966 Italian-produced feature film that was often re-issued to theatres in the 70's. He also composed "Tubby the Tuba", which became one of his signature works.

In between, Tripp hosted a few regional kids' shows, the last of which was 1963's Birthday House, which ran for four seasons (1963-7) on WNBC in New York, and was syndicated briefly at the end of the run. I never even saw it in syndication, so there isn't going to be a rating.

Anyway, I could guess that Birthday House was meant to be WNBC's answer to, say for example, Romper Room. The one constant to Tripp's productions, from Mr. I. Magination to Birthday House, would be his wife, Ruth (billed as Ruth Enders), and while we may not see her in this sample clip provided by Gilmore Box, I'm going to guess that we'll hear her. That is, that might be her as the wandering sneeze.....

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