The 'Pocket Guide To Hell' History Project Salutes Classic Chicago Children's Television

By Kevin Robinson in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 9, 2013 6:10PM

2013_4_9_bozo.jpg The Pocket Guide to Hell, Paul Durica's Chicago history project that gives talks and tours, and puts on reenactments of important moments in Chicago history, is back this weekend with Chicago Children’s TV Show, a 1950's-style variety hour that celebrates the past and present of children's television programming in Chicago.

It's the second installment of Durica's Chicago Television Project (the first was a reenactment of Studs' Place, the late 50's live television show featuring the legendary Studs Terkel) and will bring to life local shows of the past, including Garfield Goose, Kukla, Fran and Ollie and others.

Durica originally intended this to be a reenactment of Bozo's Circus, but had to change the show after receiving a cease and desist letter from Larry Harmon Pictures, the California company which owns the rights to Bozo the Clown. This isn't the first time Larry Harmon Pictures prevented someone from using the likeness of Bozo the Clown. When Bob Bell, the actor most famous for playing Bozo on Chicago television, was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame, Larry Harmon Pictures refused to allow him to accept the induction in costume, as was customary.

Nonetheless, Durica remains committed to making sure the show will still go on! They've added more characters from local children's television programming to make it more of a celebration of the entire genre from the past. They've also included some current local favorites, including Chic-A-Go-Go, and Adventure Sandwich, as well as Barrel of Monkeys and Elephant & Worm. There will be prizes and cartoons, too, including a grand prize game, including real prizes donated by local businesses, including Uncle Fun, Busy Beaver Button Company, Drinking & Writing Theater, the Haymarket Pub & Brewery and the Chicago History Museum.

The show is this Sunday, April 14 (just in time for Bob Bell Day, which is April 18 in Illinois) at the Gallery Cabaret (2020 N Oakley). There are two shows, one for families and children at 3 p.m. and a second show for adults at 5 p.m. Admission is free, thanks to a grant from the Propeller Fund.