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Mayor Art (Updated six months ago)

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"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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