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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 and would later be the first local program broadcast in full color.
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'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.
It's a shame to cover up your smile, but now you can wear the famous smile of J.P. or Gertrude! Sure to bring a spark of joy and nostalgia to all who recognize it! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Seattle Children's.
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