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Children's Show Hosts

Ron Penfound as Captain PennyCaptain Penny - Cleveland-based kiddie show host who appeared on the long-running daily program CAPTAIN PENNY"S FUN HOUSE broadcast on WEWS-TV Channel 5 from March 2, 1955 through  September 4, 1971. Captain Penny (Ron Penfound) wore a train engineer outfit, showed Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons and The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals film shorts and offered the wise closing advice "You can fool some of the people all of the time...and all of the people some of the time...but you can't fool Mom!" (known as "Captain Penny's Law").

Other regular on the shows were "Jungle Larry" Tetzlaff and his wife, "Safari Jane," who brought animals to the show; Mr. Nickelsworth, Penny's never seen off-screen assistant, Bobo the Clown, a three-foot inflatable toy balloon; and Wilbur Wiffenpoof, a piano-playing, railroad station agent (played by Earl Keyes).

Captain Penny's show was sponsored by Bosco chocolate syrup mix The Captain routinely would stir up a glass of chocolate drink on the air and guzzle it down while making a big satisfying gulp sound.

After his program ended in 1971, Penfound served as weekend weatherman and staff announcer at WEWS. He also announced for the CLEVELAND INDIANS (1969-72). Penfound left Cleveland in 1972. Ronald A. Penfound died of lung cancer (cigarettes) in Naples, Florida in September 1974.


Fond Remembrances from Fans

"I never remarried - our four children grew into NINE grandchildren - I live in Central Ohio - Ron's parents have passed away (they lived in Elyria majority of their lives), Ron's dear Aunt Dorothy is still alive - will be 90 in May. She adored him, and he her." (2004)

Addendum:

"Ron would now have 10 - Yes! Ten grandchildren. (Just added one August 2005 in Denver) 6 girls, 4 boys - some in NY state, some in Denver, some in the Columbus area - and no, I have not married yet - still Mrs. Penfound. Nice to see Ron remembered. Aunt Dorothy is still 'kicking' and living in Elyria."

- - Jody Penfound


"My Father managed several downtown restaurants. Many of the celebrities from WEWS-TV including Ron, were customers of my father's restaurant and became close personal friends on Saturdays. My father would bring me to work and I would help him behind the bar.

One day, Ron (Captain Penny) came in. I watched him on television at noon every day. (Little Rascals and Bosco). My Dad sat me next to him and Ron placed an engineer's cap on my head. It was one of the greatest moments of my childhood days."

- - Anthony De Franco, Broadview Heights, OH



"Originally born and raised in Cleveland. I watched him (Captain Penny) when I grew up and remember his show and the voice in the background (the control booth, no doubt) a 'Mr. Nickelsworth'"


- - Tom Stachowiecz
 

TRIVIA NOTE: The CAPTAIN PENNY program was produced by Earl Keyes, a master story teller who was known as "Mr. Jingeling." Keyes started playing the role of Mr. Jingeling in 1965 as a part of "The Captain Penny Show."

Mr. Jingeling was an elf who counted down the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas for Santa. The holiday event was sponsored by Halle's Department Store and ran until 1987. Keyes was a native of Lakewood, Ohio and one of the original employees at Cleveland's WEWS-TV when it went on the air in 1947. He died of congestive heart failure on December 26, 2000 at the age of 81.


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