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WGN Channel 9 - Garfield Goose And Friends (Opening Excerpt, 1971)

The Goose Lives!!

Found on an ancient, open-reel black & white skip field recording that was donated to us along with a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff, and tucked away at the end of the reel, this gem was discovered - some footage from Garfield Goose and Friends on WGN Channel 9 that has been lost and unseen for almost 40 years!! (originally broadcast in color, but captured on this early home videotape recorder in black and white)

As you may know, footage from this show is extremely rare. You can probably count on one hand all of the existing clips that survived.

It starts off with that familiar theme music playing (Ethel Smith's "Monkey on a String"). The opening lingers a bit longer than the other few examples that exist, and then, we see another slide that has likely not been seen in 35+ years, as it's not on any existing footage of the show up until now - "Created and Produced by Frazier Thomas". Why was this removed at some point from the opening? Time constraints? Some other reason? Maybe someone out there has the answer.

We zoom into the still of the castle as Frazier Thomas goes through the mail with Gar and Romberg Rabbit.

Jenny Monaco, 5 years old, who attends Kindergarten at Washington Township School, and whose address was Rural Route 1 - Box 77 - Valparaiso, Indiana (amazing how they gave this info out over the air, even if it's only a PO box - a simpler time) - made and sent in a bunny rabbit out of cotton and matches for Gar.

Drew Bandusky of South Lavergne Avenue in Burbank, IL made and sent in a green knit pillow for Gar (his mother helped a little bit).

Greg Davidson of Hillside, IL made and sent a Christmas tree out of colored tissue paper. Don't hold it up to a candle! :-)

Gretchen Novak of West Chicago, IL made what looks like a wooden Mrs. Santa Claus ornament.

Based on all available evidence, we believe this aired on local Chicago TV in December of 1971!

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This clip aired in December 1971, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Nice find!
Comment posted by Bertonator on Wednesday, March 16th 2011 at 11:06pm.

It looks like at this point, WGN had already switched to the RCA TK-44A/B color cameras, which replaced the TK-41's that had been the station's entree into live studio color the decade before.
Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, March 16th 2011 at 11:15pm.

Epic! Epic! Epic! Great job Rick!

Wow! W.B. You are amazing. You can tell what kind of color cameras they used even if the tape is off-air black and white!

Comment posted by ArmitageNLowell on Wednesday, March 16th 2011 at 11:40pm.

I actually saw a clip of a 1971 end-of-year retrospective of the top news events as aired on WGN, where they actually showed those cameras in the studio as part of their open.
Comment posted by W.B. on Wednesday, March 16th 2011 at 11:43pm.

OUTSTANDING!!
Comment posted by Matt on Thursday, March 17th 2011 at 1:18am.

Truly awesome, even in black & white!. A true Chicago Treasure.
Comment posted by GrandPrizeGamer2000 on Thursday, March 17th 2011 at 4:14am.

Wonderful! I look forward to seeing more of the restorations.
Comment posted by Erniebaud on Thursday, March 17th 2011 at 7:00am.

Now there's a memory!
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Thursday, March 17th 2011 at 7:08am.

Wow! A real treasure!
Comment posted by BobK on Thursday, March 17th 2011 at 6:02pm.

Incredible find!!!! Frazier Thomas and Roy Brown were one of a kind!!!
Again,GREAT FIND!!!!

Comment posted by MStock68 on Friday, March 18th 2011 at 12:57am.

Was Jenny Monaco's phone number 867-5309?? "Look at the rear end!" oh Frazier:)
Comment posted by GalagaFleetCommander on Sunday, March 20th 2011 at 6:35am.

Was the show still live at this point? In the closeup of the Christmas tree you can see Frazier's watch is at 8:46.
(He also has a Band-Aid on his thumb - did Gar take a nip at him? Maybe that's why he's pointing with his middle finger!) :)

Comment posted by ChrisBCritter on Wednesday, March 23rd 2011 at 2:05pm.

"Gather 'round gang, some kids sent us in come crap!" Just kidding. But this is why I get sad when I see these. All the locally-produced programming like this will never be seen again. As silly as this may look now, we were pretty lucky to have it. I'm just glad I was the right age to have enjoyed these and to fondly remember them. I also bemoan the fact that, as they were being produced, no one though enough of them to think "Hey, maybe we should try to preserve these shows so future generations can enjoy them." Hindsight is 20/20 I guess. But I bet you can see every episode of "20/20" if you wanted to. Hugh Downs awaaaayyyyy. Ok now I'm rambling.
Comment posted by Tuberman67 on Wednesday, March 23rd 2011 at 8:27pm.

Do you Chicago folks think Frazier Thomas was known outside of Chicago or was he just a Chicago "celeb"?
Comment posted by ColVonDouche on Thursday, May 31st 2012 at 7:35pm.

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This clip has been viewed 28513 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, March 16th 2011.
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Check out the technician fleeing the shot at 3:45 as the Camaro comes into view! Lucky his yellow shirt matched the car to help camouflage his exit...


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Am I the only person who thinks that Jerry Taft should be surprised on his next birthday with this clip?


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Can't beat the million-dollar sound of a jingle performed by the Ron Hicklin Singers. Even after 40 years, "At McDonaaaald's..." still sticks to the brain. It's been so long since a memorable uptempo jingle has been used in a national ad campaign, using one would stand out against all the maudlin and futuristic aural wallpaper used today.

If I'm not mistaken, that's a billboard for Ronrico rum visible through the window at 0:35. Even though no one at home was going to be putting this spot on "pause" in 1975, it surprises me they let that slip into something so tightly produced.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by FuzzyMemories on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 11:05pm CT

T.K. - You're correct - I hadn't noticed that, but this is the last regular appearance of Frazier Thomas on Family Classics that has yet been found. I don't have the opening for "The Black Swan" but I do have the last half hour or so including the complete ending, some of which you see here. I'll have to give this a proper posting at a later time.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The 1985 Chicago Automobile Show Special (First 10 Minutes, 1985) by T.K. on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 10:37pm CT

Less than two months before the death of Frazier Thomas... am I right in that this is the latest of his regular appearances to have surfaced so far? (I'm not counting the clips used in the retrospective stories in April.)

The intro music to the car show sounds like it came from this catchy number used on the CHEK-TV Friday Night Movie in 1981. WGN's recording sounds like it came from someone holding a mic up to a record player in their basement, however. I'd love to hear it in full.


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Correct me if I am wrong BUT is that Dee Wallace at 0:29??


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The guy that does the V/O for Forensic Files?


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You're correct, Detroit4Chicago. The Ocean Catch was the name.


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