Wallace & Ladmo
Title: Earliest Appearance on W & L
Description: The very first of my weekly safety appearances.
Fasten your seat belts, it going to be a bumpy clip!—one that really makes me cringe when I watch it. It’s from early 1981 and the earliest appearance I have of me on the Wallace and Ladmo Show. Throughout 1980, I made a handful of guest appearances on Wallace & Ladmo promoting my elementary traffic safety shows, and afterward discovered a real boost in the responses I got at the schools. I went from being some unknown guy doing a puppet show to being some obscure guy from TVdoing a puppet show—and gaining students rapt attention much faster. It didn’t take me long to realize that appearing more on TV would increase my recognition with kids and make my school shows more effective. I called Wallace and proposed the idea of coming on the show once a week with a safety tip. He said “no thanks” because Phoenix Police Officer, Sgt. Harry, already did that. I suggested I could limit my message to just safety belt use and work the topic into a comedy bit using a puppet. To my surprise, he agreed to give me a shot. This clip is the first of my weekly appearances that eventually led to joining the cast of Wallace & Ladmo later that year. It makes me cringe because not only do I come off like an ubernerd here, but also the puppet is my original Cassandra that I made in 1976--a prime example of my early ineptitude as a puppet maker. Revisiting my humble beginnings here, I am amazed that I have made a career out of doing this for almost 30 years!
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