WDSU-TV ON AIR CELEBRITIES
Bob and Jan Carr
Bob and Jan Carr entered the New Orleans broadcast community via WWL radio.
When they came to WDSU-TV Bob and Jan Carr began hosting their own morning
television show in 1961. Originating from the area around the pool on the
roof of the Royal Orleans Hotel, "Second Cup" became an early "must see"
program for New Orleans' viewers. FYI...the lovely Jan was formerely one
of the fabulous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. The couple presented young
family features and fashion shows. Later, the Carrs joined Terry Flettrich,
Wayne Mack and Al Shea on "Midday".
When WDSU-TV was sold by the Sterns to the Cosmos Broadcasting organization,
the Carrs left the station. Jan continued to be seen on WLAE-TV and on the
Cox Cable religious ecumenical access channel. In 1989, Jan hosted a
"Midday" reunion on WLAE-TV in which the stars of the program were
brought together with several studio crew members in an affectionately
remembered program. The Carrs and Terry (Flettrich) Rohe still are the
best of friends and maintain conatant contact although Terry now lives
above the Mason-Dixon line in the cold, cold north...Maine...that is!
The attractive couple still maintains a large following in the city who
enjoy the Carrs on their radio programs.
Jingle Jangle Jingle....here comes Mister Bingle!
Bringing kids in New Orleans and the surrounding area messages from Kris
Kringle in the 50s and 60s, Mr. Bingle was a children's favorite on Channel 6 around
Christmas time. Mr. Bingle had his own daily after-school television show
in which the snowman with the ice-cream cone hat and candy cane and his
fellow players presented little stories for the kids. The Bingle marionette
was manipulated by Oscar Eisentraut - (D), who also did the squeaky little
high pitched Bingle voice. sometimes kids, visiting the WDSU-TV studios
with their parents, would see Bingle getting ready for his show. They
would run to the set and talk to the Bingle marionette. Oscar took the
time to make sure Bingle talked to the kids. The kids loved the little Mr.
Bingle on television and they loved the BIG Bingle on the front of the
Maison Blanche building (now a hotel) on Canal Street. Other "voices" heard
on the Bingle show were Al Shea, Jean Nair, and Rosie Correy. For more Mr. Bingle
info see the Mr. Bingle Fans link at the bottom of this page.
WDSU-TV staffer Al Shea was the voice of Pete the penguin.
Mr. Bingle and Santa look over New Orleans' Canal Street from the Maison Blanche department store
On a sad note, when Oscar Eisentraut died penniless and with no apparant
family in the city, he was buried in the Charity Hospital pauper's
cemetary. There is no marker on his grave site....YET!
The Two Nelsons (not related) - Bob and Ed in the "Tip Top Space Ship"
Ed Nelson was a floor director at Channel 6....but not for long. He was
very in local theater productions and while a floor director he also made
many on-camera appearances on Channel 6. He played an assistant to Bob
Nelson (Captain Vision...NOT Captain VIDEO) aboard the "Tip Top Space Ship"
Ed soon made the actor's trek to the big time and became one of the stars
of a most popular television program. Ed played the part of Dr. Rossi on
the network drama "Peyton Place". He was also seen in several feature movies.
Ed is now retired and living in Mississippi.
Al entered the world of television while still in high school. He appeared
on a show , "Teen Timers", that originated from the Hibernia studio of the
fledgeling WDSU-TV. He became a WDSU-TV staffer in 1955.
He was one of the "Midday" producers and appeared regularly on the show as
the Midday theater critic. He also replaced Ed Nelson on the Tip-Top Space
Ship television program. Ed Nelson left to try his luck in Hollywood. Al
played the part of "Sparky" on the show. Later, Shea became "Deputy Oops"
on his own program, "Adventures in Fun" in 1960. He was delighted to call
Mr. Bingle "friend" and played "Penguin Pete", Bingle's sidekick. Mr. Shea
is still a respected theater critic in the city. The Times-Picayune "TV
Focus" called him "Mr. Showbiz". At this time, Al appears on the WYES-TV
rogram "Steppin' Out."
Al Shea - Theater Critic
Mr. and Mrs. John Gary
"His voice must have been manufactured by Wurlitzer" was a
comment referring to the beautiful singing tones of John Gary. In the
early days of the WDSU-TV Royal Street studios,John was a singer
appearing on the "Midday" program. He was paid the wonderful wage of
$40/week for his efforts. John's popularity grew quickly. His rendition
of the delightful songs "Yellow Bird" and "Malaguenia" brought him
national attention. He was later a featured performer in the Blue Room of
the Roosevel (Fairmont) Hotel in New Orleans. The newspaper picture
(Times-Picayune Dixie Roto) of Dec 8, 1968 below shows one of his
performances in the Blue Room, when John went into the audience and brought
one of the guests, Rita Yacich, on to the showroom stage and sang his whole
show to her.
While still appearing on "Midday" and "Tonight with Mel", John set the
world record for staying underwater using diving equipment that he designed.
He accomplished the feat in the salt water pool of the New Orleans Athletic
Club onn Rampart Street. Some of his WDSU-TV friends including Mike Lala
and Paul Yacich, assisted in John in passing the time underwater by playing
chess with him in the depths of the N. O. A. C. pool. John also invented an
underwater personal propulsion unit, the Aqua-Peller, that was accepted
for use by the U. S. Navy. He also aided the pioneers of the U. S. space program in
nderwater experiments. John was also an avid sportsman and had also been
ranked among the top archers of America.
John later left New Orleans to enter the world of big time entertainment.
His appearance at Hollywood's Coconut Grove brought him $12,000 a week, a slight
improvement over his "Midday" salary. At a meeting in Hollywood with Paul
Yacich and Ernie Chambers, one of the Smothers Brothers producers, it was
arranged for John to star in a summer replacement TV series.
While still a young man, John was diagnosed with cancer. That wonderful
voice is with us no longer, but John Gary lives in the hearts of the guys
and gals of early WDSU-TV.
Charlie was on the air in Mobile, Alabama before he came to New Orleans.
In the Crescent City he was on the air at WWOM, WBYU and WWL before joining
WDSU radio. Matkin also loved singing and theater work. When John Gary left
New Orleans for the greener pastures of Hollywood, Charlie replaced him as a
singer on the Ch.6 "Midday" program and also appeared on Mel Leavitt's "Tonight
With Mel." Charlie married Jean Doherty, a mode and the first weather girl in
New Orleans ("The Weather With Jean" - WWL-TV). In later years they both left
broadcasting to become hotel owners (The Old World Inn - New Orleans) but Charlie
had broadcasting in his blood and had to maintain a connrction with the
broadcast community. He became one of the founders and president of NORT,
the New Orleans Radio Theatre. The group produced old time radio program
re-creations. Charlie also teamed up with retired television Producer/
Director, Paul Yacich, in hosting the radio program "Seems Like Old Times."
The program featured old time radio program excerpts.
Matkin was also one of the victims...er...rather, patients of the good
doctor shown in picture below.
Dr. Momus Alexander Morgus
This handsome, debonair television celebrity was the host of the Saturday
night spooky time. Dr. Morgus originally appeared on WWL-TV in New Orleans
Oct. 31, 1959. In the 1965, the "master" brought his old ice house
laboratory and his assistant, the ever-silent yet hilarious Chopsley, to
Channel 6. where he coerced Director Paul Yacich to join him as part of
M.A.M.I., the Momus Alexander Morgus Institute. The "Morgus Presents"
programs were extremely popular and were responsible, as some researchers
point out, for a significant increase in the sale of pizzas on Saturday
night. Many VIPs, both local and national, were the victims...er..that
is..the patients of the good doctor. The "Morgus Presents" programs
continued on Channel 6 until 1971. In 1985, Momus and Yacich produced
50 "Morgus Present" shows for syndication. All of the shows were produced
in the Royal Street WDSU-TV studios. The programs ran twice each on WPIX-TV
in New York as well as several other stations nationwide. Technical Director
David Landry and Assistant Directors Reggie Hendry and Earl Allen did their
best to assist Director Yacich and the studio technicians in maintaining
their sanity. They were sucessful with the technicians.
Dr. Morgus whispers to Rita Yacich
A typical Morgusectomy
Tommy George - The silent gentle giant! - (D)
Tommy George was a deputy sheriff in St. Bernard Parish. He was assigned
to a motorcycle unit. Tommy suffered a serious leg injury when an
automobile ran into his motorcycle. He lived in constant pain and had to
wear a heavy metal brace on his leg. He was told that the only way that
his pain would be relieved was through amputation of the injured leg.
Tommy decided to live with the battered leg and the terrible pain.
For a while, Tommy was an announcer at WVUE, Ch. 8 in New Orleans. He and
Sid Noel were good friends and Sid came to recognize Tommy' superb silent
comedy timing. He was the perfect Chopsley. When one of the "Morgus Presents"
"victims" asked Chopsley what was his name, Tommy wrote on the laboratory
blackboard: "Chopsley You Idiot." Only a true Chopsley fan understands the
full implications of that signature. None of his silent comedy was scripted.
He constantly "broke up" the television studio crews. He was a riot. He
was a comedy genius. He was the gentle giant. He was.... CHOPSLEY!
While he was a very big man, he was extremely gentle and friendly with
everybody. Even as a policeman, his friendly warmth was not expected by
those who met the big cop under conditions where he was doing his law
enforcement duty. Tommy is no longer with us but the broadcast community
will always remember him as "....that friendly, silent, gentle giant."
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