Commander Tom Show

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Commander Tom Show
Commander Tom still.jpg
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Broadcast
Original channel WKBW-TV
Original run December 20, 1965 – 1993

The Commander Tom Show was a children's television series that aired weekday afternoons on Channel 7 WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York, premiering on December 20, 1965.

The host of the show was Tom Jolls, who had joined WKBW as a weatherman earlier in 1965. When the show launched, it consisted of interstitial segments with Jolls shown around episodes of the Adventures of Superman TV series. Dustmop the puppet (a dog) was introduced in 1967. An alligator puppet, Matty the Mod followed, along with the first female puppet Cecily Fripp, modeled after American comedian Phyllis Diller.

In the early 1970s, Superman (whose rights had moved to the networks) would be replaced with other family and children's programming including re-runs of The Three Stooges, The Flintstones, Batman, Little Rascals, The Munsters, and The Addams Family. Many short animated cartoons also were shown: Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes were staples for many years, including some of the earliest Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny shorts from the 1930s. Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as Touché Turtle and Peter Potamus replaced Bugs and his friends after a time. A number of MGM cartoons from the 1930s were shown as well. Near the end of its run, the show was renamed Commander Tom's World and relegated to weekends. In later years, it played such shows as Davey and Goliath, Rainbow Brite, and The Getalong Gang. After its cancellation in 1991, the "Commander Tom" character was merged into a revival of Rocketship 7 in 1992. That, too, was cancelled in 1993, ending the character of "Commander Tom" for good.

Tom would often travel from school to school to speak to young children. He was an annual event in the Holland Central School district's "Let's Give America a Chance" career day.