Super Circus

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A 1954 episode of the show.

Super Circus was an American television program which aired live on Sunday afternoons from 5 to 6pm Eastern Time from 1949-1956 on ABC. The show was produced in Chicago from through 1955, and its production moved to New York City for its final season. The award-winning show featured circus and clown acts performing in front of a studio audience. Mary Hartline and Claude Kirchner were the hosts (Jerry Colonna succeeded Kirchner as "Ringmaster" in the final New York season), and Bruce Chase conducted the band.[1] Sponsors for the show including Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Mars, Inc. (Mars Bars, Snickers, 3 Musketeers), Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and Sweetheart Soap.

History[edit]

Hartline, known for her short skirts. white boots and long blonde hair, became one of television's first sex symbols, spawning merchandise such as dolls.[2][3]

For at least the 1951 and 1952 seasons, each day Kirchner selected one child from the audience to stick his hand into a jar full of coins, attempting to pull out and keep as much money as possible. There were no one-dollar coins in the jar, but Kirchner always announced when he spotted a "fifty-cent piece" among the coins retrieved and the audience was prompted to cheer.

Episode status[edit]

A small number of episodes survive in film archives and private collections. Six episodes were released to DVD on October 28, 2008 by Alpha Video.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Video Circus Wins Awards:" Billboard, May 26, 1951
  2. ^ Ted Okuda and Jack Mulqueen, The Golden Age of Chicago Children's Television (Lake Claremont Press, 2004), p. 42.
  3. ^ Billy Ingram, "TV's First Sex Symbol", TV Party.com, accessed 2009-02-17.