Icky Twerp and Slam Bang Theatre

August 11, 2007 at 5:25 pm 4 comments

Icky TwerpCaptain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Peppermint, Icky Twerp…screech!!! Icky Twerp? Icky was different. Slam Bang Theatre was different. Not better, not worse just…different! Gone was the candy sweetness which
typified the live kid shows of the era. Instead, SBT portrayed an almost Vaudvillian brand of slap stick reminiscent of the Three Stooges.
Slam Bang Theatre aired mornings & afternoons in all if its live black & white glory on KTVT-TV Channel 11 (“Live-ly 11” from Ft. Worth, Texas) from the late 50’s until the early 70’s. The name and theme music lived on until much later but there was no live action “drama”, just cartoons.

Icky Twerp experiences fine dining at the “Toemain Palace”, years ahead of Anthony Bourdain!

With him in his run-down television abode were his ape-faced pals Ajax, Delphinium and Arkadelphia who were always fighting over some trivial matter or getting into some kind of trouble. Fortunately Icky would always straighten them out in time for the next cartoon.

Sometimes he and his pals would be civil enough to play together in the Slam Bang Theatre Orchestra which was usually organized mayhem with “Nairobi Trio” undertones. As sidekicks go, these guys were more readily identified with than the “cutesy” sidekicks of other kid shows.

Cartoon favorites on SBT included Felix the Cat, the original Hercules and Popeye The Sailor (the original high quality 50’s version and the cheaper, but patio, Al Brodax version).

Slam Bang Theatre also introduced my generation to the Three Stooges which luckily has been perserved via the small screen. Produced during the 30’s and 40’s as theater short, the Three Stooges was revived by television and are still going strong today. Politically incorrect as the stooges were, they seemed to fit in with the overall SBT theme. One writer fondly remembered that at an early age he thought the Three Stooges were actually Icky Twerp’s home movies! I would take that as a compliment.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Calvin Willbanks  |  January 5, 2009 at 3:39 am

    I don’t doubt that there existed in Ft. Worth a strong Lone Star State of mind to advance, capitalize on earlier generations’ power of entertainment that effectively approached and captured the attention of their children as little people who could easily be possessed by such the same spirit as lone independent KTVT’s in the late 60s.

    I don’t remember any of the local stuff, but the ridiculous silliness, macabre images, and even Icky Twerp’s drawl (seems to be more of a comfortable Texas “lengthening” of words for added emphasis especially as kids may not have been able to devote full attention just before school) work well as fitting tribute to The Three Stooges.

    The living room TV screen served as quite a window in time through which Slam Bang Theatre made a kid’s day in only the first hour of it (in Tyler, 100 miles east).

  • 2. Car4los  |  February 9, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Calvin, dude ……

    What color is the sky in your world? Your post above could be summarized by “I LIKED IT”.

  • 3. Calvin Willbanks  |  March 9, 2009 at 4:33 am

    My hero! The wind beneath my beans!

  • 4. RICK HAYES SR.  |  May 28, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    slam bang theater and icky twerp was the best and actually raised me when my mom and dad worked 2nd shift,,,it and the 3 stooges made me the great person i am today ,,thanks from my heart,,it was a honor to be a child and be a part of that great time in life,,i was born in 1955 and watched the show in Denison tx,until it went off the air,,and even then couldnt beleive it was over..thanks again,,i know he is doing the same stuff for god now,,and god is enjoying it as much as all the kids in north texas did back then. He will always be my hero,,

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