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Cartoon Express (1954-1966)



Cartoon Express

(1954-1966)

Cartoons / Kid's Show

60 minutes

Hosted by Engineer Bill Stulla

Bill Stulla was hosting a radio variety program called Bill Stulla’s Parlor Party when he heard that KHJ-TV (now KCAL) was looking to begin a new kid’s television program called Ranger Ed.  When his wife insisted that he audition, he was interested, but not in the format that the station was proposing.

He went to them and proposed his Cartoon Express idea, based on an engineer and including lots of model train and railroad ambiance.  The executives apparently liked his concept, and hired him to host the new kid’s show to be called Cartoon Express, set in a railroad roundhouse setting.  The series was broadcast on KHJ-TV from 1954 to 1966.

The program included Engineer Bill, who would interview two children on each program and award them their own engineer hats.  Some of the children were selected to appear on the program when their name was drawn out of the mail bag by one of the two children appearing on that day’s show.

During the program Engineer Bill would introduce a variety of cartoons, and he also included various segments involving the railroad bell.

Probably the best remembered was his innovative “Red Light –Green Light” game.  He and the two children on the program that day would each have a glass of milk and, prompted by an off-screen voice, would drink when they heard ‘Green Light’ and not drink when they heard ‘Red Light’.  Thechildren in the audience at home were encouraged to get a glass of milk and play along.  When one of the players missed Engineer Bill would ring the ‘Lead Bell’ – which he invariably had to do since he never was able to play a perfect game.

Another segment was the “Get Well Bell” where Engineer Bill would read names from letters received about children who were ill and then ring the “Get Well Bell” to help them recover.

He also had a “Bad Habit Express” train that would daily inch upwards on an incline, encouraging children to break bad habits like nail biting, etc.  If the children refrained from their bad habit, by the end of the week the little engine would reach the top of the hill and dump out their bad habits.

 

Engineer Bill

Amos 'n Andy in The Lion Tamer        

The Haunted Ship        

The Jungle Fool        

The Little Stranger        

The Mechanical Man        

The Talking Magpies        

The World of Hans Christian Anderson         

Toby the Pup Down South        

Toby the Pup in the Museum        

Toonerville Picnic         

Toonerville Trolley        

Win, Place and Showboat        

Yankee Doodle Daffy




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