Hobo Kelly and her children's TV show ran from the Fall of 1969 through February of 1973 and was very popular with the kids. I was definitely a huge fan!
Like Ramblin' Rod and Rusty Nails, the Irish clown was the host of a children's show that featured cartoons. Unlike Rod and Rusty, however, Hobo Kelly (played by Sally Baker) was actually produced in Los Angeles, at the studios of KPTV's sister station KCOP (also owned by Chris-Craft.).
Broadcasting from "Hobo Junction," she clowned and kidded her way into the hearts of Northwest children for four seasons.
With her floppy hat (think Gilligan on “Gilligan’s Island), tuft of bright red hair that stuck out from underneath, painted clown face, and distinct Irish accent, it was difficult to forget a cult children’s television character like that.
Although I was only around 9 or 10 years old (maybe younger) when I watched the show, it stuck in my head as a fond memory of better days.
Jumping out of bed, putting together a huge bowl of cereal, and sitting, Indian-style, in front of the TV in my pajamas, all prepared for another morning of entertaining and (unbeknownst to me) educational programming.
That's just the way I rolled! haha. Along with most of my friends. ;)
I recall with a smile, daily tuning in from 7:30 am - 9:00 am. Much along the lines of Ramblin’ Rod, Hobo would feature cartoons, puppets, contests, and prizes for all the kids.
What really stood out to me was the goofy, over-sized glasses she would put on so that she could see all of us out in TV Land (I always made sure I was dressed appropriately. haha).
She also had this large, smiling toy machine that she would throw, what she would call, “bits and pieces” in and out would pop these marvelous toys that would have easily made it on any kid’s Christmas list.
How I always wanted to win something special! Unfortunately, I never did...and I'm in therapy to this day as a result. :D
Hobo hosted a ton of other characters to keep us all enthralled. Although I don’t remember a lot of their names, I do specifically remember Buttercup the Butterfly who would help her paint pictures right on the TV screen. It more than likely stood out to me because it was technology and I Geek’d out to it, even at that age. haha.
Do you remember the many characters on her show? Tell me about them in the form below!
How about the Hobo Kelly theme song she would sing to us all? Here it is:
H-O-B-O K-E-Double L-Y
Hobo Kelly, sure and be-gor-ah 'tis I!
Come on along to Hobo Junction
Where fun happens every minute
It's a mythical, magical kind of place.
That was the fun of Hobo Junction and all the silly friends who lived there.
Behind the scenes, Sally Baker was a true humanitarian, very involved in Toys For Tots, visiting and writing hospitalized children suffering with cancer, and doing the best she could to spread joy where she went. That tends to be the hearts of most people who are involved in television for children, I've noticed.
Share your own special memories of Hobo Kelly below. I always love reliving my youth with other people who grew up during those innocent years of kid’s television. You may be able to jog my memory a little bit more, too!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Memories Of Miss Hobo Kelly
I was fortunate enough to work for KCOP in the early 70s. I worked the 6:00 a.m. shift, Monday thru Friday so I got to do the Hobo Kelly show every day …
I Remember Hobo Kelly's Big Glasses. Not rated yet
I always enjoyed when she would put her big clown glasses on and then she would start flying thru the sky looking around in Birthday Land and would announce …
Hobo Kelly Not rated yet
Hobo Kelly was like my best friend on TV, no matter what else was going on around us. The moment her program came on, everything else was blocked out. …
Hobo Kelly: Grew Up In Los Angeles Not rated yet
I loved the Hobo Kelly show so much -- it first came on the air when I was 6. I always wanted her to pick my name for the marvelous Toy Machine prizes, …
Loved Watching Hobo Kelly Say "Cartoon Ho!" Not rated yet
Although I loved the Toy Machine, nothing compares to watching Hobo Kelly saying "Cartoon Ho!" in her enormous glasses. I so wish to be able to see …
My 5 Seconds Of Fame with Hobo Kelly Not rated yet
I remember the Hobo Kelly show. I was just telling my son about it. I won lots of toys! My aunt mailed in a post card with my name on it and Hobo Kelly …
Hobo Kelly Forever! Not rated yet
As a child, I watched Hobo Kelly every day! I loved the toy machine. I still remember her putting in her bits and pieces and the wonderful toys that …