Letters from Sandy's fans...
The show was extremely good as a solo effort, and rather witty. The kids
in our school (Norwalk, Ct.) made frequent allusions to it. We had this
old-fashioned principal from England who was tall and thin and had a
slow, deliberate manner of speech and movement. He was very condescending
and would turn his head and open his eyes wide as he spoke, in mock
amazement. His whole act came unravelled when it became widely recognized that
Mr. ____ looked like Norton Nork!
It was good to see Hambone again.
No one could have brought such a character to life unless he really had
some Hambone in him.
Thank you for presenting your page on the great Sandy Becker. He
filled many of this person's weekday afternoons with happy images and
You might mention that Sandy also played the title role in radio's
"Young Dr. Malone" series early in his acting career.
G. M. Cummings:
I also remember that Sandy would
often feature animal visitors from the Massapequa Zoo. He was truly a
special person, to have a gift for loving animals as well as children.
Congratulations on this noble undertaking. How many of us tri-state baby
boomers with the etched memories of Sandy and WNEW (not to mention WPIX) have you
heard from? It is a shame the films of his shows were either reused or
I don't think I saw the earliest shows; I probably
mainly remember the last year or three. I seem to
remember it in color; do I have that wrong? I saw a
clip of Hambone on a tribute to the old Channel 5,
and it was in black & white.
Also, I remember the show being rather
frightening--which I liked. Of course, my age may
have had something to do with this, but I was kind of
scared of Hambone, and I think my parents had some
doubts about letting me watch. There were some
nightmares, and my younger siblings and I would
sometimes pretend Hambone was following us, when my
parents had us out for a drive.
I knew Sinister Simon was kind of goofy, but he
scared me too--that laugh! Do you remember one
cliffhanger ending, where he had this tiny kid
perched on top of a manual typewriter, and was making
him dance by pounding away on the keys?
I also remember a monster called The Blob, who
floated through outer space, and this other space
monster, whose name I forget (the second one had a
deep scary voice, and I think he attacked a model of
a Lunar Lander on the Moon, one time). I remember a
lot of cliffhangers--but I can't remember any of the
resolutions! One time, Sandy and this kid were in
space suits, and the Blob was floating in the
distance, and they said (to us, the audience) that
they were going to try and fight him. They had
rayguns (toys with red lightbulbs in them, if I
I don't really remember the puppets that well--Norton
Nork kind of rings a bell, but not really. One thing
I remember for sure--this was no Sesame Street!
Maybe my memory makes it better than it really was,
but I don't think Ernie Kovacs had anything to teach
Sandy Becker about Surrealism. Sure wish I could see
these shows again, but I bet a lot of the shows I
remember were those later ones that weren't even taped.
Thank you for bringing back a cherished part of my
childhood. I remember all the Sandy Becker characters so well. It had
been well over 30 years since I heard "That Happy Feeling" (I never
knew that song had a name!). As soon as I read your website and heard
that song (and "Danke Schoen") I immediately ordered the Bert Kaempfert
CD. Now my own 6 and 9 year-olds want to hear those songs over and over
and hear about the show. I remember that on 108th Street in Forest
Hills, near where my family and I lived, there was a shoe store named
"Becker's," and I always begged my mother to take me in there to meet
Sandy. She just couldn't convince me that it was not his store and that
there actually was another Becker in the world!. It was not until I was
about 8 that I figured this out for myself. Thank you for providing
Mrs. Becker's e-mail address. I dropped her a line and was very honored
to her back from her right away. Thanks again for honoring a wonderful,
funny and extremely talented man, and also for bringing back some great
Bernard S. Greenberg:
The TV oeuvre of the late and much beloved Sandy Becker was a staple of
my young life, and it is a pleasure to be led by the Search Engines to
I have something to contribute:
Fascinated then and now by the uniquely Dadaist character Hambone (I
wrote down his wisdom, such as it was, every day), I was a very few years
later dumbstruck when I encountered a photo in National Geographic of what
appeared to be someone imitating him. The Governor-General of Australia,
at that time, in full regalia for some ceremony, sported a pith helmet
with fancy plumes, thick glasses, and a long ceremonial military coat with
sash and epaulets....
I would bet my bottom dollar that Becker was inspired by a photo of this man.
(Webmaster's Note: The picture in question is from the April 1962 issue;
hopefully it will go on line if National Geographic will permit it. I think
Hambone goes back to at least 1957-- based on the blooper reel mentioned
elsewhere on this site-- so there was no influence from that particular photo,
at any rate. But it's an amazing coincidence; the Governor-General (of New Zealand,
as it turns out) looks like Hambone's Dad! Thanks for the discovery, Bernard!)
Mrs. Becker has received quite a bit of e-mail from Sandy's fans and has
offered to share a selection of them. They are a great testimony to Sandy's
positive influence and are also a source of further information on his shows. Thanks to everyone!