Mayor Art

About This Item

Please note: This 'kinescope' recording was originally made in 1959 by filming the picture from a live video monitor. The picture quality - especially sharpness - is much lower than the rest of our footage produced on 16mm film. KRON-TV kinescope film recording from October 20th 1960 featuring live scenes from the Mayor Art show, with host Art Finley (born Art Finger). This children's show aired weekday afternoons on KRON-TV in San Francisco beginning in 1959 through 1966. Includes scenes of Mayor Art telling jokes with his young guests, demonstrating toys and interacting with hand puppets and props. "Mayor Art's Almanac" was the first TV newscast for children in the U.S., and the State of California awarded Finley two gold medals for the feature, in 1963 and 1965.

As of September 2016, this is the only surviving copy of a Mayor Art show that has been found in the Ch.4 KRON-TV Collection.

Type of material
16mm kinescope film
Rights for this video belong to
Young Broadcasting of San Francisco, Inc.
Date aired
Originally aired on
KRON 532

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I remember one episode of the Mayor Art Show back in 1962 or '63 when Bozo the Clown (maybe some other clown) sat in for the mayor.  During the joke session, some kid piped up with "Hey Bozo, what's this?" - making a circle with his right thumb and forefinger and fluttering the other three.  Bozo said "I don't know - what is it?"  The kid answered, "It's a flying a*****e!"  The TV screen went blank for about five minutes and when it came back on, the little kid was gone.

I was on the show when i was a kid and won a prize and i still hav the picture he signed of Mayor Art and Ringading the puppet 💜

I was on the show in 1960 and 1961 I was six years old. My first grade teacher at all of us to send a  letter and that summer I was chosen yes me and my mother went over the on the bus to San Francisco to channel 4  Kron and now I’m 66 years old and I still remember that day

Never got to go on the show, (a friend of mine did.) We had it all planned out had I gotten the 'call.' Grandmother would take me to San Francisco on the bus, a street car to the station on Van Ness, then home by about seven pm.(I'm sure I practiced a joke, 'just in case.)

Was a big fan of the show, which backed up to 'Bozo the Clown,' one of the many around the country. I agree with Seinfeld when he observed: "Do you really  have to say 'the clown' after his name?' We used to run home from school, Mt. George, 3/10th of a mile down 2nd Avenue in time to watch both shows. Indelible memories of my childhood in the Bay Area.

I was on the show when I was 4, probably 1965, with my brother and many other kids. Mayor Art asked me if I could tell him a riddle, but I couldn't think of anything. I'm not even sure I knew was a riddle was at that age. So he asked my brother for a riddle. I don't know why, but I won a giant troll, which I still have! I'm glad I thought to Google Mayor Art. It was great to see the video. I have only vague memories of those.days, being only 4 at the time!

I was on the show once with my brother in the  mid-60’s. I told a joke to, but I can’t remember what it was! I did get a prize, don’t remember what that was either!

Anybody remember they used to have the kids all yell at once, “Bluey”!!!???What does that mean? And am I spelling it right?

Love these posts!  I was also on the show in approx  1965 - my Brownie troop went as a group. I was chosen to name the celebrity. It was a picture of Andy Williams - whose show we watched every week. But, I said it was Andy Griffith, whose show we watched every day!  So I was horrified to be wrong - I have relived the trauma ever since!  Well, not really, but it is fun to see that the memories of the Mayor Art Show are still alive. Thank you. 

I was on that show too!!! What do you get when you put ducks in a box? A BOX OF QUACKERS!!! Got a checkers set out of that one!!

I sent a postcard to be on the Mayor Art show. I got picked and was to go on August 1st 1965.  I remember this cause it was my moms birthday. Parents weren’t real happy they had other plans.. I was chosen to tell the riddle for the day.  They picked the oldest from your birthdate I was one day older than another girl. After the riddle I got to go pick a prize. I was undecided between huge troll doll, or the miniature pool table.  I took the pool table ?? Biggest day of my life then. 

i was on a show a few years later. I wish they would find later recordings

I was on the show as a child and got to tell a joke "What did the nearsighted turtle do? He fell in love with a Army helmet" Won the Nigel Noise troll doll and was a minor celebrity at school. Great memories of my Bay Area dats

I enjoyed this so much ! I have wanted to see a tape of this old show all of my adult life ! I am fifty nine years old and I remember only little things like his top hat knocked off by the fan and ringading reading the lunch menu , Mayor Art was by far may favorite childrens host .and I can see why!  Watching this really made my day ! 

 Wow, this clip brought back a lot of memories of the props and key lines he used (Bluey, Bluey! Mr. Camera, saltshaker), and the products he pitched. Seeing him now, he kind of reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld (the more things change, the more they stay the same it seems). I went with my family to see the show live in early 1962. What I remember:- The set was toward the back of the studio building, and I was surprised at the colors (of course, not visible on our B&W set at home).- Before the show started, Art Finley visited with members of the audience. He asked my sister her name, and she said "Three and a half years old". He reared back laughing at that.- I think he still had two kids as guests, but the rest of the kids could go on camera at the end to tell riddles (I went up for that but was too shy to raise my hand to tell a riddle, though I did have one ready).- During a break, Bozo the Clown came in, and the two of them mock wrestled on the set.

"Mayor Art's Almanac" was the first TV newscast for children in the U.S.

Everything I've been reading about the Mayor Art Show indicates it ran through 1966, but I was on the show exactly 50 years ago today, February 24, 1967.  I was in 4th grade, not quite 10 years old.  We lived in Mill Valley and my mother picked me up early from school. We took the bus into San Francisco and walked a few blocks to the TV station. Mom didn't like driving in the city. She had given me a note for my teacher saying I had to leave early for a dentist appointment. However, I was so excited to be on TV, I told all my friends about it during recess. When I gathered my things to leave class that afternoon, the kids yelled out, "Have fun on the Mayor Art Show!"  My teacher, a nun, gave me a very stern look and I left as quickly as possible.  Mom didn't think the nuns would approve of me leaving early for something so frivolous as a TV show I suppose. The show in those days rewarded your good jokes with a trip to the toy chest - if you were one of the lucky kids to be chosen to tell a joke.  And if it was a really good joke, you won a big Troll doll.  I wanted that Troll and nothing less would do.  I spent weeks looking for jokes, asking everyone I knew for ideas.As I sat among the other kids on those bleachers, wearing the big black felt top hat, Mayor Art asked, "Who has a joke?"  My hand shot up in the air and I was picked first. After telling my joke I was sent to the toy chest. Before I could even stand up, Mayor Art said, "Wait, I don't think Nigel Noise has heard that joke."  As soon as he said that, you knew your prize was a Troll.  Nigel Noise was a big caveman-like Troll who "lived" in hole in this wall on the set.  Mayor Art told Nigel my joke and before I knew it, I was the proud owner of a white haired Troll in a clown costume.  That was on a Friday and I was able to watch the recorded show on TV the following Monday after school.   Great day. Great memories. What was my joke, you ask?  I'll never forget it. What is a grape after it's just lost the war?  "Concord Jelly."  Thank you for letting me share my story here with other Mayor Art lovers. 

As a kid, I loved to watching the Mayor Art Show .  My parents somehow got my sister and I on the show.  I remember when he was doing the puppet show, I blurted out that he was the one talking for the puppet.  That probably didn't go over well with him but I don't remember what he said.  He was probably thinking something like "smart ass kid ruining my show."  I later got picked to throw some bean bags to knock down targets.  I threw one bag so hard that when it hit the backstop all the targets fell over from the vibration alone.  I won a prize and still have it.  It was a large model ship that I still haven't put together.  Maybe someday...

I was on the show with my brownie troop. Mayor art played games he had to figure out what tv show you picked. Well my whole family was watching when it aired on TV he was asking me guestions, I stick my tongue out on live TV. Parents were not very happy I was. Liked that show as a kid. Denise Deham then ☻

I was on the show. Is there a way to get footage?

I was on the Mayor Art show with my  two younger sisters.  He was a favorite of mine.  We lived in Redwood City and I remember mom driving us to San Francisco for the show.  During the show Mayor Art asked me a question and seemed surprised at my correct answer "Sherlock Holes".  I had just learned of Sherlock Holmes two  weeks before.  I was the oldest (12) of the group of kids that day so Mayor Art asked to be Science Commissioner and help him with a  science experiment.  I received a  chemistry set as a gift.  After the show concluded we were all hustled off the set so the 6:00 pm news broadcast was not disturbed.  I was on the Bozo the Clown show  a few years prior and after the show was over we were taken to the Mayor Art set and stood in the background watching him with the two kids in the  earlier version of the show.  

Around  1974 when Art was doing talk radio on KGO I called in from the dormitory basement at the University of Oregon where I was a student.  I was going to talk about BART but ended up just reminiscing.

I was always a fan of Art Finley.  When I was a child, my mother sent a card in for me to be on his show, and I got picked.  My sisters got on, too, and I won a Tinkertoy on the show.  The show was witty, educational, and had the local aspect, which is missing today in children's shows.

When I was an adult, Art Finley had a very good call-in talk show on KGO.  In his show, Art was always very intelligent and respectful both to his guests and his callers.  Then Art moved to Canada, and I missed hearing him.

In 2002, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a feature on children's TV shows.  I wrote a letter to the editor, saying they left out any mention of Mayor Art's show, and what happened to him?  One of Art's friends saw my letter in the paper and mentioned it to him.  Then Art tracked me down and called me up.  He was still his old witty self.  He said, "You blew the secret on my cuckoo bird!"  (When we originally met him on the show, he told us to keep a secret that the cuckoo bird was a puppet.)

I am sorry these shows are not around anymore.  We did not see ourselves on TV because we were on live, but we did see ourselves on the studio monitors.  This was before video tapes, and the studios did not save copies of these shows.  (My mother tried to get a copy later.)

Sad news. Arthur Finger, known as Art Finley and of course, Mayor Art, popular with kids throughout Northern California from 1959 through 1966 on KRON-TV San Francisco, died on Friday, August 7, 2015 in his adopted city of Vancouver, British Columbia. In a career spanning 50+ years, Art was the consumate professional, beginning in radio, moving to television, and even newspapers, where he was known nationally for his syndicated "Art's Gallery" series. He would eventually return to radio, where he interviewed political figures, business leaders, and celebrities, until his retirement in the mid 90s. Those of us who fondly remember him from "The Mayor Art Show", or whose lives were touched by his talent will certainly miss him.Show less

I was on the Mayor Art (Popeye) show some time in the 60's  I got to  be the secretary for the day.  Unknown was that I suffered from Profound hearing loss at the time so I really couldn't hear anything I was suppose to do but fortunately for me one of the other kids told me what to do.  I picked out a boys name and he picked out mine.  It would be awesome to get a hold of that segment if someone could lead me.  My brother and a neighbor boy were also on it.

I was on the Mayor Art (Popeye) show some time in the 60's  I got to  be the secretary for the day.  Unknown was that I suffered from Profound hearing loss at the time so I really couldn't hear anything I was suppose to do but fortunately for me one of the other kids told me what to do.  I picked out a boys name and he picked out mine.  It would be awesome to get a hold of that segment if someone could lead me.  My brother and a neighbor boy were also on it.

My younger sisters and I were on the Mayor Art show in '66! He was quite a character, that Art Finley. We were in our little dresses -petticoats and all. My little 4 year old sister's ticket was drawn. The Mayor helped her down from the peanut gallery to the floor to select a prize from a big box of toys. Well, like I said she was only 4 and too small to reach into the big box, so Mayor Art lifted her up over the rim of the box, and I don't know if he lost his grip on her or it was intentional, but as she reached down for the prize, he let go and she remained hanging there with her little butt in the air. Camera man zoomed in for a long close up on her little frilly underpants and petticoat. We all just about died laughing. My aunt, who at that moment was walking downtown by a window with a bunch of tvs on tuned to the show, stopped to see what the crowd of people were laughing at. There was her niece's butt on all the tvs. Fun show, great memories. :)

I appeared on the Mayor Art show in the Spring of 1966 with my older brother. I was 5 and he was 8. We sat in bleachers full of other kids and I remember bring asked for my riddle. At the time, I had a fascination with Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer, so my riddle was, "Why did the boy jump in the mud?" "Because he wanted to be a mud boy!" I thought my riddle was so funny and clever, but of course nobody else did!

I will never forget being on the Mayor Art program. We lived in Saratoga and it was raining cats and dogs. I remember being transfixed by the lighting and the TV cameras. I thought that was so cool. I told a joke that would be considered racially insensitive now but wasn't then.

I wrote a letter when I was in the second grade and received tickets for me and my sister to be on the show.  It was a day I will never forget.  I was picked to be Mayor Art's secretary so I got a prize for that and then at the end of the show when they picked the person to win the big prize which was a visit to the vault to pick out what every you wanted..l that person  was also me!!!  I won everything, got to pick out a Barbie Dream House.  It was made out of a heavy duty cardboard but it was a dream house for this little girl from East Oakland.s

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