Wayback Wednesday – The Floppy Show

I fully realize that for those of you outside of the 515, you probably won’t know this week’s edition of Wayback Wednesday. And that’s okay. Because according to Tim Hollis’ book Hi There Boy’s and Girls! there were over 1400 known variations on this theme. Some, like Bozo the Clown and Captain Kangaroo, had a more national scope. But if you grew up in the 515 (and I’m talking the old 515 that stretched border to border) like me, you know two shows: Betty Lou and the House with the Magic Window and, today’s subject, The Floppy Show

The Floppy Show


I’ll point you over to Wikipedia if you want to know more about Floppy, but the highlight for any kid in Central Iowa was actually going and appearing on the live telecast of the Floppy Show. I still remember it vividly (well, as vividly as someone can for an event that happened well over 30 years ago). The jokes, the other kids, the bright lights and, of course, Floppy! Not only did we get to be on TV with the biggest celebrity I knew of and we got a bag of goodies including a bottle (yes, kids, a real live glass bottle) of Mountain Dew and a small bag of Original Hiland Potato Chips, but my shirt closed the show. 

Floppy & Duane


Yes, on my one and only adventure to the set of the Floppy Show, I wore a classic 70’s printed polyester shirt with a jungle scene. As the credits rolled, they zoomed right in on that shirt. I didn’t know until I got back to the babysitter and we were watching today’s episode. I was totally amazed and impressed that they picked my shirt to roll the credits over. For a few moments, at least in the mind of that kindergartener I was a huge celebrity. 

As I strolled down memory lane for this post, I sadly realized that my boys won’t have the unique memories of a local television kids program. Sure, they’ll have memories of television programs from their youth (someday, Joey will blog about Phineas and Ferb on this very blog, I’m sure). What they won’t have is a truly unique experience of a local icon that served as a rite of passage for many Central Iowa kids. Such is the price we pay in our national landscape: local media in smaller markets is squeezed out in favor of nationally syndicated garbage. What I wouldn’t give for the return of a family friendly show that showcases classic cartoons rather than another self-help or self-destruction show. 

Included for your watching pleasure is a classic clip of the silly jokes and the interaction of Duane, Floppy and a young child. This sure brings back memories. Sadly, Duane left us far too early or I have a feeling that Floppy would have made a comeback over the past 10 years, much to the delight of parents and children alike. 

So this Wednesday, I raise that glass bottle to you, Floppy (and Duane) in a toast of a classic knock knock joke that was told countless times on the show. 

Knock, Knock! 

Who’s there? 


Duane Who? 

Duane the bathtub, I’m Dwowning!

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6 comments on “Wayback Wednesday – The Floppy Show
  1. Eric says:

    Captain Kangaroo was an institution here in “the 513”. I didn’t really know he had such a national following.

    Of course, I wonder how many of these types of shows would have aired if not for a certain daily children’s program from the 50’s: http://www.originalmmc.com/

  2. michele(mike) says:

    we had “canyon kid” way up north in washta- never heard of floppy ’til we moved here- but as you know he quickly became very well known in our house!!

  3. Jules says:

    Why did that man put a car in the oven?

    He wanted a Hot Rod!

    Every single show…..

    I think I got to tell the classic when I was on –

    what’s green and red and goes 100 miles an hour?

    a frog in a blender.

  4. tdcackler says:

    Good point, Eric. I guess Walt was right; it really did all start with a mouse.

  5. Tim Rose says:

    in addition to Floppy on WHO, and Betty Lou on WOI, Bill Riley (of Iowa State Fair Talent Search fame) hosted The Breakfast Club on KRNT (now KCCI). I had the honor of appearing on both Floppy and Breakfast Club, although I was simply in the crowd of kids on both shows. Of course, the Iowa Historical Society has had a small permanent exhibit on Floppy for a long time, and it held a special retrospective on that era not that long ago that was so popular, the two presentations turned into four, because of public demand. Great stuff, all the way around….

  6. Dan says:

    I always wanted to be on the Bozo Show live from the WGN Studios in Chicago when growing up in Wisconsin before moving to Iowa.

    As for Duane and Floppy, I remember one day when my mom, brother and I were at the doctor’s office; in Ankeny, and Duane came in for an appointment. Before we were called back he chatted with us and was interesting to talk with.

    I agree with you though Tom it is sad that stations today do not have local shows like Bozo, Floppy, Captain Kangaroo or and of the others we can remember from our childhoods.

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