Sheriff John was a long-running children's television host who appeared on KTTV in Los Angeles from July 18, 1952, to July 10, 1970, on two separate series, Sheriff John's Lunch Brigade and Sheriff John's Cartoon Time. He was played by John Rovick, (October 2, 1919, Dayton, Ohio – October 6, 2012, Boise, Idaho) who had served as a radio operator-gunner in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II, surviving 50 combat missions in the European Theater of Operations. Following the war, he became a radio announcer, moving to television in its early days. Rovick developed the program's concept himself.
As Sheriff John, he began each program entering his office, singing "Laugh and be happy, and the world will laugh with you." He then said the Pledge of Allegiance and read a safety bulletin. Rovick showed cartoons, including Q.T. Hush, Underdog, Crusader Rabbit and Porky Pig, and was often visited by farm animals. An artist, "Sketchbook Suzie", would draw pictures requested by viewers. Sheriff John would give lessons about safety and good health habits.
The highlight of the show was the birthday celebration. Sheriff John would read as many as a hundred names, and then bring out a cake and sing the Birthday Party Polka ("Put Another Candle on my Birthday Cake").
In 1979, John Rovick reprised his role as Sheriff John on KTTV, briefly hosting a Sunday morning version of the TV series, TV POWWW. Rovick won an Emmy Award in 1952 and appeared on the Emmy broadcast in 1998, introduced by longtime fan Michael Richards. In 1981 Rovick retired from KTTV after 32 years. On October 6, 2012, he died in Boise, Idaho, after a brief illness. He had just turned 93 years old.
- 'Sheriff' John Rovick dies at 93; popular L.A. children's TV host
- "L.A. kids’ Host “Sheriff” John Rovick Dies at 93". Big Cartoon News. 2012-10-08.
- "Sheriff John, Southland TV icon, dies at 93 | abc7.com". Abclocal.go.com. Retrieved 2012-10-07.