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Iowa History Daily: November 23 - Uncle Dick's Funhouse

Iowa History Daily: On November 2, 1953, “Uncle Dick’s Funhouse” debuted on KVFD-Fort Dodge. A popular program with children throughout northwestern Iowa, Dick Johnson hosted the program for six years.

Paired with the popular local cooking show “Eve’s Kitchen” hosted by Eve Rubenstein, the back-to-back programs provided local entertainment programming before the evening news each weekday. “Uncle Dick’s Funhouse” featured ‘one-reelers’ from Laurel and Hardy, cartoons, and other locally produced content.

A popular destination for area birthday parties, boy scout troops, or other groups of children, the show featured interviews where Dick asked about their pets and other interests. “I will never forget one boy who told me he used to have a dog, but that the dog pooped on his mother’s dress and she made him get rid of it. I shared that with Art Linkletter’s ‘Kids Say The Darndest Things’ and he used it,” Johnson said in a 2018 interview with the Fort Dodge Messenger.

The show came online soon after Edward Breen of KVFD radio purchased KQTV Channel 21 in 1953. After changing the name to KFVD-TV, the network provided content until a 1977 tornado knocked out the station’s 650’ tall tower. Although “Uncle Dick’s Funhouse” and “Eve’s Kitchen” only lasted a short time on the screen, the shows still provide great memories for Iowans of the Fort Dodge area. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar

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