Revisiting Old Friends

Any one who has ever helped raise a child — be it a parent, a grandparent, a babysitter, et al — has had to sit through some of the best, and worst, shows on television. 

Some of us have had to endure Teletubbies and some of us have had to endure  Sailor Moon.  Still others have had to sit through episodes of Barney the Purple Dinosaur and a handful have had to learn all the 151 original Pokémon just to be able to carry on a conversation with a Pokémon Master child.

At the end of the day — and years later — you might start to wonder what happened to some of those shows.

I remember being a toddler and pre-schooler and being a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the CBC children’s program “Razzle Dazzle.”  It ran from 1961 to 1966 and the original hosts were Alan Hamel and Michelle Finney but that was long before my time.   

The host I remember — and my hero — was the the late Ray Bellew who hosted “Razzle Dazzle” from 1964 to 1966.

There were all sorts of wonderful characters including Barbara Hamilton’s Mother Mayonnaise, Drew Thompson’s Sherlock House and Paul Kilgman’s Mr. Sharpy.  And one of the regular features was the children’s adventure series that was serialized in the final five minutes.  It was done this way to spread each episode over a week’s worth of “Razzle Dazzle.”   Every kid knew that you couldn’t miss even one day of “Razzle Dazzle” or you would miss part of the adventure and a Rzl Dzl kid just couldn’t have that!

There don’t seem to be any episodes or clips of “Razzle Dazzle” or “Ray Bellew” online which is sad.  It means that my son won’t be able to garner a glimpse into his mother’s toddler years (which might come in handy in the future if he decides to have kids of his own).

What I did find in my search for “Razzle Dazzle” episodes however were not so old “Sesame Street” episodes.  In watching them, I realized how much older this generation of toddlers and pre-schoolers are than the generation of toddlers and pre-schoolers of the 60s. 

And while I do enjoy the creativity and imagination that goes into the “Sesame Street” skits, it’s sad to see that innocence isn’t what it used to be. Thank goodness silliness still ranks right up there!


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