By Bruce DuMont
When Ted Okuda and Jack Mulqueen first told me of their plans to write a book on the history of Chicago TV kid shows, my immediate reaction was, "What took you so long?"
More than any other, the Chicago television market offered a rich array of quality children's programming, thanks to the gifted talents who worked on the shows and the local stations that provided an outlet for their creativity. Our town is often referred to as the "Second City," but in terms of cultural contributions, we don't need to take a backseat to anyone. This is particularly true when it comes to our achievements in the field of broadcasting.
I'm proud of our efforts here at the Museum of Broadcast Communications to preserve our cultural heritage. We have an impressive collection of tapes (both audio and video), photographs, books, periodicals, dissertations, technical equipment, costumes, and props-many of them dealing with the programs you'll be reading about.
We've even devoted an entire exhibit to the subject of children's programming. "Puppets, Pies and Prizes: Kids' TV Chicago Style," which was unveiled in 2001, has been one of our most popular attractions, a testament to how many lives were enriched by these wonderful shows. As always, I invite the public to come down and see what we're all about. I guarantee you'll be enlightened and amazed.
I'm glad this chapter in Chicago television has finally been documented, thrusting these deserving talents back into the spotlight for one more bow, and I know you'll enjoy this well-researched, entertaining volume.
By the same token, innovative children's television is just one piece of the story, and I would encourage additional books covering other facets of Chicago's broadcast legacy.
To this end, the Museum of Broadcast Communications is dedicated to preserving our television and radio history so that future generations will be able to discover what we already know: Chicago broadcasting is the best and always has been.