Magination - Paul Tripp, (a.k.a.
"Mr. I. Magination") hosted the live 30-minute children's program
MR. I. MAGINATION/CBS/1949-52 that debuted on Sunday night April 24,
Mr. I. Magination was a warm and gentle train engineer dressed
in a brakeman's stripped overalls who interviewed guest inventors
and took his young viewers on trips to the world of imagination
including such places as Ambitionville, Inventorsville, Seaport
City, and "I Wish I Were" Land.
Assisting Paul Tripp were a small
stock company of performers that included Ruth Enders (his wife),
Ted Tiller, Joe Silver, and then-beginning actors Simon Oakland,
Richard Boone, and Walter Mathau who helped with the various puppet
characters and props on the show
Tripp's inspiration for the show
evolved from his pre-WWII experiences when he worked with
underprivileged kids in the Lower East Side of New York City.
Sharing his personal philosophy, Tripp once remarked "Children are
people. Smaller in size with limited language and life experience.
To communicate with them you must respect them. Someone is always
saying to me, 'You must love kids!' Why should that be unusual? I
love my own two, but we also like them, which, it seems, is a rare
thing in families."
Both Paul Tripp and Worthington Miner
co-produced the program. Some episodes were directed by Yul Bryner,
who later became a famous movie star.
A prolific writer, Tripp wrote
and published about 600 songs and wrote more than 30 albums for
children and authored the popular children's book "Tubby the Tuba"
(about a lonely tuba who tired of his own "oompah, oompah" melody)
which was turned into an animated "Puppetoon" feature by George Pal
Tripp later penned the popular children's books "Rabbi Santa
Claus," "The Scarecrow Who Smiled by Mistake" and the prize-winning
"Diary of a Leaf."
In addition, Paul Tripp (and his wife Ruth Enders)
hosted the kids Emmy award winning TV news magazine ON THE CAROUSEL
from 1954-59 and starred in the children's show BIRTHDAY HOUSE for
Tripp also provided the narration for the 1954 animated
musical fantasy Hansel & Gretel as well as the updated 1976 animated
version of his classic book Tubby the Tuba. It aired on the Home Box
Office cable TV Network in 1981.
In the year 2000, Tripp played the
role of Mr Furblob in the romantic comedy Maybe Baby. Years earlier,
he appeared as Ted Harris, Sally Roger's unfaithful boyfriend on the
1961 episode "Sally is a Girl" on the sitcom THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW.
Born February 20, 1911 in New York City's Lower East Side, Peabody
and Emmy award winner Paul Tripp died in Manhattan on August 29,
2002 at the age of 91. His wife, Ruth Enders had died earlier on
July 28, 1999.
TRIVIA NOTE: Another popular TV engineer was Engineer
Bill Stulla who hosted ENGINEER BILL, a children's program broadcast
in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s. Remember..."Red Light...Green
Light?" See also "Engineer
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