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Objects and Artifacts - Recreational Artifacts - Public Entertainment Device - Properties

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Moonscape prop from "Major Astro"

Moonscape prop from "Major Astro"
Creator: KARD-TV
Date: between 1962 and 1973
Moonscape prop from the "Major Astro" television show. Miniature lunar landscape with craters made of plaster of Paris on a plywood board. During the show, a camera would slowly pan across the moonscape while Major Astro, played by Tom Leahy, Jr., talked about his travels. Children throughout the state watched "Major Astro" on KARD-TV (later KSN) from Wichita, Kansas, from 1962 to 1973. It was revived from 1985 to 1989 on KSAS-TV FOX. Tom Leahy was born in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, in 1922. He moved to Wichita in 1941 to attend the University of Wichita (now Wichita State University). His career in broadcasting began with a weekly program on KFH Radio. After starring in and announcing commercials on television, Leahy was asked to host "Nightmare," a late night horror movie program in 1958. He began hosting "Major Astro" in 1962. When the program came to an end in 1989, Leahy went back to radio and even starred in the movie "King Kung Foo." He died in 2010.


Whizzo the Clown goose

Whizzo the Clown goose
Creator: Wiziarde, Frank
Date: between 1960 and 1980
Whizzo the Clown used this stuffed toy goose as a television prop. Whizzo was a character created by Frank Wiziarde, a children's entertainer in Kansas City, Missouri. He was best known for his children's television show that aired on local stations in Kansas City and Topeka, Kansas, from 1954 to 1987. Wiziarde was born in Westmoreland, Kansas, in 1916 and soon joined his family's traveling circus act. In the late 1940s Wiziarde transitioned to broadcasting, but merged the two professions to entertain children. Known for his use of props, Wiziarde most likely fashioned this prop goose himself and named it Hissy. Hissy was typically suspended from the neck and lowered onto the television set where she unknowingly collided with Whizzo.


Whizzo the Clown suitcase

Whizzo the Clown suitcase
Creator: Wiziarde, Frank
Date: between 1960 and 1980
Yellow and red television prop suitcase used by Whizzo the Clown. Whizzo was a character created by Frank Wiziarde, a children's entertainer in Kansas City, Kansas. He was best known for his children's television show that aired on local stations in Kansas City and Topeka from 1954 to 1987. Wiziarde was born in Westmoreland, Kansas in 1916 and soon joined his family's traveling circus act. In the late 1940s Wiziarde transitioned to broadcasting, but merged the two professions to entertain children. Known for his use of props, Wiziarde most likely fashioned this suitcase himself and used it on the show to house various tricks.


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