|You know Ramblin Rod, and Rusty Nails, and Dr. Zoom, and Donner, and Blitzen...but do you recall....the most bizarre local children's programming character OF ALL??
I sure didn't, but that's because "Bumpity" was cancelled before my ability to remember things full developed. What I wrote here, I gathered from a newspaper article. The puppet show ran from 1971 to 1985, and by contrast Fat Albert debuted in 1972 and left the air in 1984. This thing outlasted Albert the Fat!
|Great Caesar's Ghost, he's BEAUTIFUL!! Of course, there's still a debate as to what Bumpity is supposed to be. Most people interviewed assumed he was some sort of frog. The creator of him put it to rest: Bumpity is a bump on somebody's lawn. And he can talk. Really. Now I'm sorry I missed this.
The creation of Bumpity: local station KATU was forced to make a kids show after the FCC ruled they had to air some kind of educational program. So they hired some guy from the local museum who had NO experience in this sort of thing, and he headed off to FabricLand and bought the materials to assemble Bumpity. Bumpity cost three dollars and fifty cents.
But now this already sorry, pulled-together show had to compete with other local stars The Ramblin Rod Show and The Rusty Nails the Clown Show, which would not be easy. If you don't know, Rusty the Clown inspired Krusty the Clown, so he was pretty big. KATU's solution was to put Bumpity on Sundays, and that was just as well. It fit in perfectly with the other punish-you-for-not-being-in-church programs.
|What's going on up there: Bumpity is being read a story from a local librarian. The article doesn't say the show featured anything else. Along with Bumpity is his sidekick, Fred the psychic worm, who can speak to Bumpity in only squeaks. No, I didn't make that up either.
Even better; most of the people they interviewed in this article didn't remember Bumpity fondly at all. "I felt forced to watch it because there wasn't anything else on," said one guy. "It was after Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, but before Batman."
The reason for the whole article was that a Bumpity reunion play would be acted out that day, with the original puppets. Bumpity didn't age well; I had never heard of this thing until now. The hideous Hypnotoad-lookalike may be dead, but I've heard his son Joe English still works at the station.