Friday, December 13, 2013
Separated at birth? Elisson and the late, great Sandy Becker in his Hambone character.
It’s amazing, the childhood memories that can be evoked by a nutjob in a pith helmet.
Anyone who was a kid in the New York area in the 1950’s and ’60’s will remember Sandy Becker, the legendary children’s entertainer. Alas, most of his shows are lost to the ages, as WNEW, the TV station for which he created, them did not realize what a gold mine the old tapes could eventually be. Instead, they taped over almost every single one.
But we, we Children of New York, remember Sandy... and when we see a pith helmet, the first thing that comes to mind is Hambone.
Hambone was just one of Sandy’s creations, along with Norton Nork, K. Lastima, Arthur Arrowroot, and Dr. Gesundheit. The Hambone bits didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but who cared?
As skooldays.com describes it,
“One of the more memorable and bizarre characters in Becker’s lineup was the mad disc jockey Hambone, who danced to the song of the same name while dressed in a pith helmet with a long plume, goggle-like eyeglasses and a gaudy military uniform. Spouting nonsensical advice like, “Cut the grass so the ants can pass,” Hambone quickly became a fan favorite.”
It was ridiculous. It made no sense. It was completely dopey.
It was hysterical... at least, if you were a kid.
And you’d better believe that I think of Sandy whenever I put that pith helmet on.