The Tommy Seven Show reviewed by Kevin Butler
Local:WABC TV Ch.7 NYC Weekday evenings and afternoons
Monday:September 12,1960-Friday May 24,1963
Saturday Afternoons: Saturday April 29,1961- Saturday July 15,1963
Host/Performer:”Tommy Seven” (The Sad Face Tramp Clown): Ed Bakey.
In the fall of 1960..WABC TV Ch.7..The NYC flagship station of The ABC TV Network aired it’s last local kids tv show.
Former Baltamore,Md. entertainer:Ed Bakey..who at the time was mc’ing his own two local kids tv series’ “Pop Pop & Popeye” and ”Pop Pop & The Three Stooges”on WJZ TV Ch.13 in The Crab City viewing area..his talents as a performer came to the attention of a station exec from Ch.7.
Entertainer:Joe Bova was leaving WABC TV and returning to his first love The Theater. But..the station execs at Ch.7 needed another kids tv show to take over “Uncle Joe” Bova’s “weekday evening edition of “The Little Rascals Show”.
Bakey’s sad face tramp clown character of”Pop Pop”seemed the perfect choice to mc the new series.he was invited to come to NYC to audition for the show..he won the audition and he moved with his family to NYC to host the program. Changing the name of his tramp clown character to”Tommy Seven”..and setting the show’s backdrop against the setting of an urban city neighborhood.
“The Tommy Seven Show “debuted on WABC TV Ch.7 in NYC on Monday evening September 12,1960.
The show had”Tommy Seven”a street vendor..who sold ice cream, candies,soda,hot dogs etc.. to the viewers and he would engage his viewers in stories,comedy skits(Which Bakey would perform as a silent Scarecrow character in pantomime)games,informational segments, and songs inbetween the reruns of the Hugh Harmon/Rudolph Issling/Tex Avery MGM Movie cartoons.Bakey’s clown character would also have conversations with ”Milton The Duck” (The duck character was never seen..he lived inside of “Tommy Seven’s”Cart..but his quacking sounds..which were provided by a stage hand off camera via a duck call were heard).
The series was also the first NYC based kids tv program to air reruns of “The Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse” and “Q.T.Hush” TV Cartoons.
The series would later move to a weekday morning timeslot Where “Tommy Seven”would entertain and inform a studio audience of kids inbetween the reruns of the films.
The comedy/variety version of the show that feature the studio audience also aired on saturday afternoons.
Oftimes..Bakey was unable to host the series..and the program would be hosted by singing bandleader/songwriter/puppeteer and comedy performer:Chubby Jackson(Who was still hosting the weekday morning edition of”The Little Rascals Show”at WABC TV Ch.7) and “Dr.Fun” (played by a comic actor..who’s acting credits and name are still unknown?)
Bakey would continue to entertain and inform his studio audiences and his viewers on”The Tommy Seven Show”on WABC TV Ch.7..until the station execs decided to end the fun following the saturday July 15,1963 broadcast.
Following the cancellation of his NYC based kids tv show.
Mr.Bakey appeared in many tv commercials and in the original Broadway production of”Walking Happy!”..when the stage musical went on tour..Bakey and his family toured with the show..until “Walking Happy!”closed in Southern, Cal. He chosed to remain in California..where he became a character actor in the movies and on tv.
His most notable tv and film appearances were in “The Big Valley”, ”Zapped”,”The Sting”,”Murder She Wrote”,”Johnny Dangerously”,”The Other” and”Highway To Heaven”.