If you didn’t have the guts to run away and join the circus as a kid, Circus Boy was the next best thing. This half-hour mixture of comedy and drama, set at the turn of the 20th century, gave twelve-year-old orphan Corky a chance to live out every kid’s dream. And he didn’t even have to run away from home to do it, since the circus actually was his home.
After his parents were killed in a high-wire accident, young Corky was adopted by the circus’ owner, Big Tim Champion. The young lad quickly found a role in the show as water boy to Bimbo, a baby elephant that Corky would come to consider his pet. Riding Bimbo’s back, Corky dealt with his adolescent problems, and helped the show’s adults—including Joey the Clown, the always-energetic Pete, and Little Tom—keep the circus in the black as the show moved from town to town each week.
The show ran on prime time television for two seasons, first on NBC then on ABC. After its prime-time run, it was rerun on Saturday mornings for several more years. And not too many years later, the young star of the show would drop the stage name of ‘Braddock’ to appear in another show using his real name: Mickey Dolenz, singer/drummer for The Monkees.
USA / NBC – ABC – Columbia – Herbert B. Leonard – Screen Gems / 49×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 September 1956 – 11 September 1958 (23 Sep 1956 – 8 Sep 1957 on NBC and 19 Sep 1957 – 11 Sep 1958 on ABC)
Producers: Herbert B. Leonard, Norman Blackburn
Micky Braddock aka Micky Dolenz as Corky
Noah Beery Jr as Joey the Clown
Billy Barty as Little Tom
Robert Lowery as Big Tim Champion
Lee Gordon as Hank Miller
Olin Howlin as Swifty