Please note: this offsite program will be held in-person at the Chicago History Museum (CHM), 1601 N. Clark Street. Learn about CHM’s COVID-19 visitor policy.
Produced by the Chicago History Museum, Museum of Broadcast Communications, Newberry Library, and the Public Media Institute, the 90-minute event is going to be “broadcast” from Co-Prosperity (3219 S. Morgan) before a small studio audience and experienced more widely with a watch party at the Chicago History Museum!
Created by Chicagoan Burr Tillstrom, Kukla, Fran, and Ollie premiered on October 13, 1947, under the title Junior Jamboree. It quickly developed a local Chicago following, and then a national reach. Puppets Kukla, Ollie, and the various Kuklapolitans engaged Fran Allison and other guests in conversations, song, and make believe that delighted children and adults alike. The show inspired later work by Fred Rogers and Jim Henson and remains an important foundation for children’s television.
Back With You Again: Celebrating 75 Years of Kukla, Fran, Ollie, and Chicago Children’s TV marks the anniversary of the broadcast of the first episode of one of the most influential television programs of all time with a live event on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 3pm.
This special episode will use the form and format of the original show to explore the history of puppetry in Chicago, the program itself, and the legacy of Burr Tillstrom and Fran Allison, connecting their work to what is happening in Chicago children’s programming today.
This event is free to the public and intended for all ages.