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Children's Show Hosts

Big Brother Emery - Affectionately called "Big Brother" by his kindergarten age viewers, Bob Emery hosted one of network television's first successful children's program THE SMALL FRY CLUB broadcast daily in New York (five days a week in 1950) on the Dumont network from 1947-51.

Bob Brother Bob Emery - Small Fry Club

 The program, which debuted on March 11, 1947 under the title of MOVIES FOR SMALL FRY, was a continuation of Emery's radio format he established in 1921 in Medford Massachusetts that taught his viewers manners and to respect their parent's wishes.

Dressed in a business suit and wearing dark-rimmed glasses, Big Brother Bob entertained his youngsters with silent films, cartoons, songs, skits and puppet characters like Honey the Bunny, Peggy Penguin, Mr. Mischief the Panda, and Trina the Kitten.

He opened up the program with the theme song "The Grass is always Greener" (a popular 1924 song) and closed each show with ``So long small fry, it's time to say goodbye...''.

Bob Emery's early success in children's programming helped plant the seeds of inspiration for the many children's shows to follow on the new medium of television.

Emery began his career at radio station 1XE (later known as WGI) where he read stories and answered kids' letters to Santa under the guise of a man named "Big Brother."

A few years later he started the Big Brother Club, complete with membership card and pin, a pledge to do good deeds and be good citizens and the club slogan, `Be Somebody's Big Brother or Sister Every Day'.''

In November of 1952, he negotiated a contract with WBZ-TV and spent the remainder of his TV career in Boston where he entertained generations of children until he retired in 1968.

Over the years, his program was shifted around and retitled: Clubhouse 4, Big Brother and Flash, and Big Brother's World, but the quality of the programming and the devotion to his viewers never waned.

Born Claire Robert Emery in Abington, Massachusetts, he died in July of 1982, at the age of 85.


Below: Official Member Card and letter from the Small Fry Club - (Courtesy of Bo Lewis, WNAV Radio)

Vintage 'Small Fry Club' Marionette
Small Fry Club Marionette


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