Remembering long-lost shows from Tulsa TV's golden
(This story originally appeared 7/7/1999 on Jack Frank's "Oklahoma Memories"
on KJRH, Channel 2.)
Back when Tulsa had just 3 TV stations, there were some memorable local shows.
Like the kids program, Mr. Zing and Tuffy. And Betty Boyd. And Lee Woodward
with his talking puppet Lionel. These shows that came into our living rooms
30 and 40 years ago, are still remembered today.
Billy Hargis, who grew up in Tulsa in the 1960s, remembers some of the old
shows. "They had 'Brewster's Toy Shop' on Saturday Mornings, which I always
used to watch. It was locally produced. And 'Fantastic Theater,' which was
also a KVOO show."
Hargis' favorite local show was on Channel
2, "Big Bill and Oom-A-Gog." Oom-A-Gog was a robot. "Not only did I love
Oom-A-Gog, I also loved Big Bill because I had a pair of pants that had rope
down the side, and those were my Big Bill pants. They were lime green with
a rope down the side. I thought I was so cool."
To help people reminisce about old Tulsa TV shows, there's now a web site.
It's called Tulsa TV Memories. It was created by Tulsan Mike Ransom. "I was
a TV junkie back in the days when there were just three channels...you just
watched whatever was on. I think it was different back then, in that,
with only three stations, everybody had a bit more common TV experience."
Mike's Tulsa TV Memories web site gives the background of some of Tulsa top
shows that aren't on the air anymore. One of the most beloved bygone programs
is the "Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting," which featured native Tulsans
Gailard Sartain and Gary Busey.
"Local TV isn't always perfect," says Ransom. "I think
the imperfection that you had, particularly on the kids shows, or the Mazeppa
show (where it's clear they are flying by the seat of their pants), that's
kind of exciting."
Since those old programs were mostly live, hardly any recorded versions of
them exist today. Mike has scrounged up a few still photos for his web site.
Enough to help people reminisce about the things they saw years ago, on Tulsa
TV. Television has changed a lot. Live entertainment shows are mostly a thing
of the past. But those shows from yesteryear still bring back good
Hargis remembers, "I'd have my mother drop me of at the bottom of the hill,
and I'd run up the hill in my P.F. Flyers to watch Big Bill and Oom-A-Gog."