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The J.P. Patches Show had no budget. But that was part of the appeal. J.P.'s little shack by the city dump was such a hodge-podge of clutter that something shiny and new would have seemed crass and out of place. Everything was held together with duct tape and bailing wire.
There's a secret room that a monster lives in, a spinning window and a bottomless pit outside the front door. Rain and confetti falls from the ceiling and strange voices are heard. Amnityville Horror? No... It's J.P.'s Magic House.
It was this type of charm that viewers came to love. Every set piece, every prop and every costume became so familiar to us, that we came to know the inside of the Magic House better than we knew our own bedrooms.
The Magic House was located in the City Dump. Legend has it that Mr. Slick originally sold the dump to J.P.
Patches Pals usually saw the City Dump during Mr. Announcer Man's intro or when J.P. entered or exited stage left.
J.P. tries a little something different:
Probably the most important prop to Patches Pals, the I.C.U.2-TV might not only announce your birthday but exactly where your presents were hidden.
Sounds of the I.C.U.2-TV:
The I.C.U.2-TV allowed J.P. to see "who out there is having a birthday!". Your presents might be under the bed, in the closet, or the number one choice, in the dryer.
Initially, J.P. was reading the full names of Patches Pals but after multiple attempts by the crew to trip him up with "joke names" he switched to just using first names.
Years later, when asked by fully-grown Patches Pals why he never read their name on the I.C.U.2-TV, J.P.'s response was, "Well, you know, I only saw the good kids."
Every Christmas the I.C.U.2-TV also doubled as a magic teleporter to take J.P. or Gertrude to the North Pole to see Santa.
The I.C.U.2-TV disappeared after the show went off the air. It's current location is unknown and it may have fallen into the wrong hands.
Fans of The Simpsons TV series (Season 3, Episode 13 (8F11), Title: "Radio Bart") may have noticed a reference to J.P. and the I.C.U.2-TV. In the episode, it's Bart's birthday and he watches the Krusty the Clown Show. Krusty sends birthday greetings to a list of people that scrolls by on the screen. In addition to Bart, one of the names listed is J.P. Patches. (of course, Krusty charged everyone $8.00 for the service).
The PEEK-A-VUE was an all-purpose video monitor. It could launch cartoons or commercials, communicate with aliens or Santa Claus, etc.
Sounds of the PEEK-A-VUE:
Evidently, J.P.s ears weren't big enough so to hear Mr. Announcer Man give the weather forecast he needed to wear his Radar Ears.
Rolled out every Christmas, the Pal-A-Vac could judge whether a Patches Pal had been good or bad based solely on their letter to Santa.
J.P. would drop the letter in the top, turn the crank and...
J.P. tells about the time the station manager's card was "Pal-A-Vac'd"...
Chris and Bob recall the story:
It happened everytime a visitor was leaving, J.P. would warn "Watch out for that hole!". But they would fall in anyway. (This sound effect was from a popular Disney album "Thrilling, Chilling Sounds of the Haunted House").
Officer Friendly falls in...
Where's the hole?
Almost everyday on the Patches show (and sometimes more than once per day) someone (probably Bob) got a pie in the face.
The "pies" were actually just paper plates filled with shaving cream (a lot cheaper than actual pies,and much easier to clean out of your hair).
J.P. and Gertrude actually got in the Guiness Book by setting the world record for pies-in-the-face during a 1972 publicity stunt (Gertrude received 675 pies-in-the-face in ½ hour).
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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