Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Baby Ruth, The Tale Of TMI

 I was brought up in Queens, NY which is a stones throw away from New York City.   On special occasions, as a family, we would trek into the city.  Some of those special occasions for my sister and I were going into the city with my parents to attend live TV kids shows.  For whatever reason my mom must have thought my sister and I deserved to be seen on TV because she would get tickets for all the local NYC TV shows.  We were on Romper Room, Wonderama, Little Rascals with Officer Joe Bolton and my favorite appearance for my sister and I was Kartoon Klub.

Kartoon Klub was a local live TV show that was on everyday.  The host was Ted Steele who at one time was a very famous band leader.  For the hour preceding the Kartoon Klub, Ted hosted a live American Bandstand type show and when it was over it went right into him hosting Kartoon Klub, a kids show.  Now poor Ted must have done something very wrong in the universe because he was stuck with a bunch of teenagers for an hour and then he was thrust into a world of screaming kids for an additional hour.  I was so little but I remember how cranky he was.  The only time he smiled was when the camera was on him.

Just before the American Bandstand type show was over my sister and I and about fifteen other kids were led into a large studio with bleachers that faced a big screen.  I was so little and my mom that day had put my blond hair in a huge array of banana curls.  Very stylish at the time, I guess.  They sat me right in the middle of the bleachers telling me to make room for Mr.Steele.  From a distance I could see the teens dancing to the last song of the teen show.  Ted Steele came toward us as his first show ended looking none to happy to have to spend the next hour with us.  He climbed up into the bleacher and sat right next to me saying nothing to any of us kids.  I heard one of the guys yell, "we are on in 10 second,  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 ,4, 3, 2, 1" and pointed to Ted.  Ted immediately went from grumpy to Mr Happy.    He started to explain who the shows sponsors were, one of which was a Baby Ruth candy bar.  He announces "every kid loves a Baby Ruth bar and all the kids here will get one to take home with them".   Now, little did poor Ted Steele know but I had some issues with eating nuts of any kind and was forbidden to eat them.  So as he was talking I tugged on his suit jacket, he did not respond, I tugged again and again.  He finally looked down at me not looking very happy and I said "excuse me but I can't eat  this candy bar".  He says "well little girl save it for later" and starts talking to the camera again.  That answer obviously was not good enough for me because I continued to tug away at his jacket.  He finally looks down at me again and with gritted teeth he says "yes little girl" and I quickly tell him that I can't even eat it when I get home because it has nuts in it and it will make me constipated.  Now remember this was live TV and none of this could be edited.  The entire staff was horrified, constipated was not a word that was said on TV back then.  My poor mother and father sat in the green room watching mortified as the other parents let out a collective gasp at my bold, bathroom, problem, confession.

Not sure if poor Ted was ever the same after that. My potty talk may have been the straw that broke Ted Steel's back because not long after that the show went off the air.



  1. Laughing my butt off!!!

  2. That is such an adorable story!

  3. LOL - Kids sure do say the darnedest things!

  4. Oh gosh! You probably never were embarrassed, but yikes to your parents!!
    I LOVED romper room and always wanted to be a guest on it as a child! In the Pacific Northwest where I grew up we also had a cartoon show called Ramblin' Rod. It was the same type of thing, but kids would send in photo buttons for him to put on his jacket...The wonders of childhood! Best of luck through the rest of the A to Z Challenge.

  5. LOL!! That is funny! I will never look at a Baby Ruth the same way again! :) Happy "B" Day!

  6. Funny story! It also brought back my own memories of live TV and Romper Room.

    Good luck with the challenge!

  7. Hahaha. Great story. Leave it to kids.

  8. OMG...this story is hilarious! Brings back memories of all the old live shows back in the day. Art Linkletter would have loved this one!!