Junior TV




Letters... we get letters... and they're all asking us to tell them more about WNEW-TV's popular Sandy Becker, who hosts Channel 5's Sandy Becker Show and Our Gang Comedies & Cartoons. Sandy and his wife, with children Joyce, 15, 10-year-old Curtis, and Annelle, 8, live in a house big enough to hold not only all the Beckers, but dogs, cats, kittens, tropical fish and assorted equipment, plus puppets, caricatures, and other hobbies the Becker household considers it needs to live right. When Junior TV arrived at the Beckers' Merrick, Long Island home, he knew he'd have a lot of fun, along with getting answers to the questions the kids have been asking about Sandy.

Junior TV: Gosh, Sandy, you certainly have a big family-- children, pets, fish, puppets, and I don't know what all. It must be fun to live here. But how can you get any work done?

Sandy: That's easy. I put everybody to work with me. I get all kinds of ideas from the kids. Our dog Schatzie even appears with me on Channel 5, though believe me, I have to keep an eye open because she's been trying to steal my scenes lately! Tanko, our German Shepard, isn't interested in show-biz, she says. Confidentially, I think that one's just plain lazy.

Annelle: Daddy, that's not true! You know Tanko's feelings were hurt when Schatzie went on the show regularly.

Junior TV: I see you're interested in TV, even if Tanko isn't. Sandy, how did you get into TV?

Sandy: I had planned originally to be a doctor. But I was always crazy about sculpting and art, too, when I was a kid. I made puppets and put on puppet shows in school, churches, anywhere they'd let me. I'd have put on free shows on the sidewalks of New York if I'd been asked. I kept teaching myself about puppets and puppetry techniques, ventriloquism, and so on, just for fun. One day when someone said doctor, my mind blanked out. I feebly answered, "What's a doctor?" There was nothing left but to give up my boyhood ambition to help humanity and heckle them instead.

Joyce: Poor Daddy, even after he gave up medicine for acting, the doctor bit kept biting back. He's been CBS's Young Doctor Malone for 5 years.

Curtis: He even won the TV-Radio Mirror award for favorite actor 5 years in a row!

Junior TV: Is that how you got into radio and television? You became an actor right off?

Sandy: No, it wasn't so easy. While I was still at NYU studying doctoring, I got the acting bug-- and this was one bug I didn't want cured! I got a job as part-time announcer for WWRL in Woodside, New York. Even then I had to clown up the newscasts by slipping in imitations. Lucky for me my boss had a sense of humor!

Annelle: Tell about how people like it, Daddy! They wrote in to the station, Junior TV, 'cause he was funny.

Junior TV: When did you start on Channel 5?

After WWRL, I did more announcing. Then came Young Doctor Malone for CBS. Then-- at last!-- fate caught up with me... Instead of puppet shows on the street for free, as I once would have done when I was a kid, WNEW-TV gave me the chance to play with puppets for pay. I guess I do give puppet shows on the streets of New York, come to think of it-- every street that televiews me on Channel 5!

Schatzie:Don't forget me! I'm the real star on WNEW-TV... why if it weren't for me, Sandy Becker'd be a nobody!

Sandy, Joyce, Curtis, Annelle (all together): DOWN, DOG!