Hi Mom

“Hi Mom!”/”Family!’ reviewed by Kevin Butler
Weekday mornings: Thursday August 15,1957-Friday September 7,1962.
Hosts/Performers/Instructors: Shari Lewis:Thursday 8/15/57-Friday 3/20/59,
Jimmy Weldon: Monday:3/25/59-Friday 7/17/59
Johnny Andrews: Monday 8/17/59-Friday 8/29/59
Puppeteers: Paul Ashley & Chuck McCann Monday 8/17/59-Friday 8/28/59
The Ritts Puppets: Monday 8/31/59-Friday 9/7/62

On Thursday Morning Aust 15.1959..Local NYC based tv station WRCA TV Ch.4 create and produced a series that would give advice for housewives and mothers and entertain and educate pre school children.

Hi Mom / Family - With Paul and Mary Ritts puppets

Hi Mom / Family - With Paul and Mary Ritts puppets

“Hi Mom” featured cooking and child care tips presented by Ms.Josie McCarthy and Ms.Shai Lewis was hired to be the series’ first host/performer and instructor. She would engage her viewers in craftmaking,hobbies, games,songs,stories and magic and puppet skits..sans the films.


Ms.Lewis would continue to mc the show..until she left the program following the Friday March 20,1959 broadcast after a creative dispute with the station execs.

Ventriloquist and movie cartoon voice over performer: Jimmy Weldon became the series second mc.Weldon and his duck puppet:”Webster Webfoot”would entertain and inform their viewers from Monday March 23,1959 to Friday July 17,1959.

By this time..the show’s title had changed to “Family”.

On Monday August 17,1959 Singer/pianist and storyteller: Johnny Andrews became the third host/performer of”Family”. He would engage his viewers in songs,stories,games,and informational segments in between the reruns of tv cartoons.

Andrews would also become involved in comedy banter with The Paul Ashley Puppets.

Andrews and The Paul Ashley Puppets would continue to host”Family”..until they left the series following the Friday August 28,1959 broadcast.

The Ritts Puppets became the series fourth and last hosts/performers of”Family!”..The Ritts Puppets were well known to tv viewers..since the early 1950’s..due to their appearances on CBS TV’s “In The Park”..which was hosted by Philadelphia,Pa based newsman and actor:Bill Sears.The Ritts Puppets began hosting “Family”on Monday August 31,1959.

Paul and Mary Ritts would perform puppets skits that recreated the problems that many children endured in their lives.They would also perform original songs and music and engage their viewers in games,stories,informational segments and interview guest performers and personalities.

The Ritts Puppets would continue to entertain and inform their young viewers..until the station execs at WNBC TV Ch.4 decided to end the show following the Friday September 7,1962 broadcast.

One thought on “Hi Mom

  1. When I was a child, I appeared several times on this show as a guest when Paul and Mary Ritts were hosts. My job was to react to the puppets and help with the cooking segments. It was live TV, so it was important to be chatty. But on my first visit, Mary asked me what I had for breakfast that morning. I had to get up at 3 am to make the 7 am appearance, so my Mom had fed me chocolate cake for breakfast. I knew that wouldn’t make her seem like the best Mom, so I clammed up. Fortunately, Mary then asked a different question and I started blabbing away. All in all, terrific fun. The Rittses were warm, wonderful people.

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