WONDERAMA with Sonny Fox Metro-Media Channel 5
As a kid, I would watch on channel 5, Metro-media a local children's show called WONDERAMA hosted by Sonny Fox every Sunday morning. Today it is virtually impossible to find any of these programs. I have a half dozen 16mm Kinescopes, made up of Negative Picture, negative audio tracks that need to restored.
Irwin "Sonny" Fox is an television host, executive and broadcasting consultant, who was the fourth full-time host of the children's television program, Wonderama. Born June 17, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York, Fox attended James Madison High School, in the Midwood/Madison section of Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in a traditional Jewish family. Fox is a World War II veteran and, as a POW of the Germans, witnessed the heroism of Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds.
I was lucky to rescue this 16mm Kinescopes historically important because it was dedicated to the children of Korea. Featuring Korean performers dancing and playing music, this is an uncharacteristically ethnic show for this period. Sonny even tells the Korean story of the Tiger and the Rabbit. This volume also includes the original Stella D'oro Cookie and Cheerios commercials.
A odd Dumont Negtive pic/track of a segment on animation with the legendary animator Lew Gifford and Sony Fox on Wonderama. He's showcases his storyboards for Ballantine Beer's Barry and Piels campaign.
It turned out that the job for which he was suited best came the year the quiz scandals accelerated. Independent television network Metromedia (born from the former DuMont Network) hired Fox to host Wonderama on its New York flagship station, WABD (soon to become WNEW-TV), succeeding the team of Bill Britten and Doris Faye. Hiring Fox ended what some called the "musical-hosts syndrome" that Wonderama had for its first few years. The show had been created as well as originally hosted by actor-comedian Sandy Becker, who became a New York children's program star in his own right. Fox became Wonderama's sole host for eight years, from 1959 until August 1967.
Suave, witty, and congenial, Fox juggled the slapstick and the serious, turning the marathon Wonderama (during Fox's tenure the show ran four hours Sunday mornings) into a weekly academy at which anything could happen and often did; whether Shakespearean dramatizations, guest celebrities, magic demonstrations (customarily by legendary magician James "The Amazing" Randi, art instruction, spelling bees, learning games, or other elements.
Fox was deft at turning a potential haphazard hodgepodge into a seamless whole, and he was consistent in never talking down to his young guests or viewers, treating them with legitimate respect and tolerance. The result was that Wonderama was rarely if ever known to have bored either the children who appeared on the show (the segments showing the weekly 25 or 30 children waving cross-armed, leading in and out of commercial breaks, were as much a signature as Fox himself) or those who watched it.