Published on Monday, 11 June 2012 08:00
The Museum of Classic Chicago Television, the online collection of local television memories, today unveiled yet another rare TV treasure: an episode of "The BJ & Dirty Dragon Show" not seen publicly since it originally aired on WFLD-TV in the first half of 1972. All of the locally-produced, non-cartoon segments from that episode can now be viewed on the MCCTV website, FuzzyMemories.TV
Many months ago, Rick Klein, the President/founder/curator of the Museum of Classic Chicago Television, was given a 2" quadruplex videotape, which was stored away and long-forgotten about. That quad video tape contained the broadcast video of this 40 year old episode of "The BJ & Dirty Dragon Show," one of the most beloved local children's television shows of all time. Thanks to financial donations to the non-profit museum, Klein was able go through the expensive process to beautifully restore the old video tape and transfer it to digital form. He also sought-out and was granted permission by WFLD-TV and the show's host Bill Jackson to allow this rare treat to be seen again online.
The show has been divided up into eight segments and all of the local portions of the show can now be viewed in their entirety. This episode features some of favorite characters from the show, including "Postmaster" Dirty Dragon, Blob, Weird, Wally Goodscout, Maynard Crow, Mother Plumtree, and Professor Fenster. The residents of Cartoon Town have to deal with the evil Dr. Doompuss and his henchmen, FrankenWeird and Wolf Wally in this particular show. Of course, all of this comes from the mind of the show's creator, host and sole human character, BJ, aka Bill Jackson.
After working eight years in smaller Midwestern markets, Bill Jackson began working in Chicago television in 1965. Among the television programs he hosted and worked on here in Chicago between 1965 and 1980 include "Clown Alley," "Here Comes Freckles," Cartoon Town," "The BJ & Dirty Dragon Show," "Gigglesnort Hotel," and "Firehouse Follies." Jackson retired from television on the early 1980s and changed careers, becoming and instructor. Jackson, 76, has since retired and lives with his wife in California.
The majority of his legendary puppets from his Chicago shows and some of the classic show sets have been donated to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. That museum finally opens its doors and all of its displays, including the display of BJ's Cartoon Town/Gigglesnort Hotel puppets, later this very week
Launched in 2007, the Museum of Classic Chicago Television is not an actual physical, brick & mortar building, but an online museum, filled with thousands of classic Chicago television clips, containing scenes from local TV shows, local TV newscasts, commercials, and most of all, memories. The mission of the Museum is "to further the acquisition, preservation, exhibition, education, and nostalgic enjoyment of Classic Chicago Television broadcasts." The Museum of Classic Chicago Television is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The very rare 1972 episode of "The BJ & Dirty Dragon Show," as well as thousands of other rare video gems can be seen at this link HERE