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Wonderama (Metromedia 1955-1987)




Wonderama was a long running variety type series shown on Saturday and Sunday Mornings with guests, sketches, serials and the like. Hosts included Sandy Becker, Herb Sheldon, Bill Britten & Doris Faye, Sonny Fox, Bob McAllister and Al Hodge.

The show for most of its run was only seen in the New York area. Mr.Al Hodge’s “Capt.Video”was a regular on The Sandy Becker version of WABD/WNEW/WNYW TV Ch.5 NYC’s “Wonderama”.Mr.Becker’s version of the series was patterned after NBC TV’s”Today Show”.

With segments that ranged from children’s fashion shows to demonstrations of craftmaking, hobbies. To Magic tricks and a history of the lives of famous magicians (Without revealing their magic secrets) presented by Magician/escape artist and magic historian: Melbourne Christopher, Games,c omedy and puppet skits and drawing lessons (Mr. Becker would perform his own comedy and puppets and along with Ms.Pat(rica) Meikle. Both Sandy And Pat would engage their viewers and studio audiences in drawing lessons), cooking lessons, interviews with guest performers and personalities and reruns of old movie cartoons, comedies, serials and sci fi films.Mr.Hodge’s “Capt.Video” would introduce the reruns of the old sci fi films and movie serials on the program. Sandy Becker’s version of Wonderama aired on Sunday Afternoons from September 25,1955 to August,1956.

Herb Sheldon hosted the show Sunday Mornings From Sunday September 16,1956 to August ,1958. Bill Britten would mc the show from Sunday Morning August 10,1958 to Sunday December 28,1958 (Mr.Britten’s version of the show would be the first versions of “Wonderama”to be taped before a live studio audience). Sonny Fox would host the show sunday mornings From Sunday January 4,1959 to Sunday August 7,1967(Sonny would pre-tape his shows on Thursday Afternoons).

Bob McAllister would become the fifth and last adult host/performer of the series. He would pre-tape his version of “Wonderama”on Thursday afternoons for Sunday morning broadcasts from Sunday August 13,1967 to Sunday December 25,1977. Bob would also host a Weekday afternoon version of the show from 1969 to 1970.

The last version of “Wonderama”was a kids newsmagazine and travelogue hosted by a group of kids. The Kids newsmagazine/travelogue version of the show would be seen Sunday Mornings on WNEW TV Ch.5 in NYC From Sunday October 5,1980 to September,1984. The series would soon move to Saturday morning reruns in September,1985.”Wonderama”would remain on the air on WNEW/WNYW TV Ch.5 in NYC. Until the series was finally cancelled in September,1987. – Many thanks to Kevin S. Butler for his contribution to this entry.

production details
USA / Metromedia / x60 minute episodes / 1955-1987



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