“Lum and Abner” – Rerun #423

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“Sax-o-phony Lum” – Chapter 13
with some unusual guest stars!

Cartoonist: Donnie Pitchford!
Audio credits:
Announcer and Travelin’ Joe: Dr. Joe Oliver!
Music by Marc Ridgeway!
Dick Huddleston: Singin’ Sam Brown!
Evalena Schultz: Hendle Rumbaut!
Other voices: Donnie Pitchford!

Click to listen!

Say, who’s them weird characters in panel 2?

Yeah, when this strip first came out, I was asked about those background characters .
That panel was done in tribute to a television program that meant a lot to me as a “kid of a boy” when we lived in Memphis, Tennessee.
WKNO-TV Channel 10 was the NET (National Educational Television) affiliate in Memphis. About the time we moved there, in 1963, a new program for kids and kids of all ages started its run.

All Aboard with Mr. Be

was produced and directed by Holden Potter and starred Allen Bates as Mr. Be, engineer of The Wonder Train which stopped each day at The Depot seen above. His friends were Poncey D. Lion and Troilus the Train-Loving Troll, puppets voiced and operated by a talented teenager named John McDonald.
I never missed the program when it was being aired live, and after it ceased production I enjoyed the taped reruns many times.
Mr. Be and his puppet pals inspired the imaginations of lots of kids in the Memphis viewing area, plus the show was syndicated nationally to other NET stations.

I was honored to interview both Holden Potter and Allen Bates (now actor Allen Hamilton with many stage and film credits) for Tim Hollis’ book,
Hi There, Boys and Girls! America s Local Children s TV Programs.

Imagine my surprise in 2006 when I received an autographed card from “Mr. Be” courtesy of Allen Hamilton (Bates) and Holden Potter!
L-R: Troilus, John McDonald, and Poncey. These puppets were built by Tom Tichenor.
Eight-year old Donnie Pitchford’s attempts to draw the cast of All Aboard with Mr. Be, 1966. The program was still in production and videotaped reruns would continue into the mid-1970s!

This just in! The only known existing episodes:


In Lum and Abner #423, I made a blunder! I asked readers to let me know if they found the mistake! Hendle Rumbaut, who voiced Evalena, found it:

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Published by lumandabner

Lum and Abner cartoonist

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