The OFFICIAL website of Seattle’s Favorite Clown!
With the F.B.I. and the mafia closing in fast, J.P. made a desperate run … er … In 1958, WTCN director Fred Kauffman accepted a position as program director with a new Seattle television station, KIRO-TV. He needed someone to do the children’s programs and he asked Chris, who accepted.
So Chris with his lovely and tolerant wife, Joanie, their 1 year old daughter, and of course, J.P. Patches made the fateful journey to the Pacific Northwest.
On Monday, Feb. 10th, 1958 at 10 o’clock, The J.P. Patches Show went on the air on KIRO-TV, the station’s first live broadcast.
Check your calendar. This means that J.P. Patches, as a Seattle icon, predates grunge music, the space needle, bitter-overpriced coffee, huge software companies and the Kingdome. The only Seattle icons older than J.P. are slugs and geoducks.
Chris started off in Seattle doing two daily children’s shows for KIRO. J.P. Patches in the morning and Mystic Mountain in the afternoon, where he played a crazy german scientist named Professor Friedel Furter. J.P. Patches was the first live show broadcast from the new television station and would later be the first local program broadcast in full color.
In addition to the two daily shows, Chris was also doing a Sunday morning show called Andy and Sport with Craig Shreve as Andy. Chris was Sport, who was basically his Joe the Cook character. The show took place in Andy’s Diner.
Chris’s broad, slapstick and energetic style was a welcome shock to the children of the Seattle area. The other children’s programming was mostly in the Captain Kangaroo style (whose show was also seen on KIRO) where the host is calm, gentle, reassuring and maternal.