Zoo Parade

Left: Marlin Perkins (1905-1986) and an unidentified chimpanzee, around 1950. Perkins parlayed his love of wild animals (initially reptiles) into a career as a zoo director (in Saint Louis, Buffalo and Chicago) and a television personality. His first efforts were local in Chicago on WBKB in the early post-war years. He's best known as the host of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom", an NBC network feature from 1962 to 1971 (and syndicated thereafter). But he first reached a national audience on "Zoo Parade"---a weekly remote broadcast from Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo.

Zoo Parade aired from Chicago on the NBC television network from May, 1950 until September, 1957. The show was unsponsored until October, 1950, regularly sponsored from October, 1950 until May of 1955. Sponsorship was intermittent thereafter until December, 1956. Zoo Parade had no sponsorship for the last nine months of its network run.

Introduction and main index to this site
WMAQ radio history | "Amos 'n' Andy" | "Fibber McGee and Mollie" | "The Breakfast Club"
Dick Kay | Television at the Merchandise Mart | 1970 television facilities tour | Channel 5 turns 20
The "Chicago School" of television | "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" | Dave Garroway | Mary Hartline
"Lights Out" | Sound effects | 1930 studio tour | WLS | "Empire Builders" | Barry Bernson
Floyd Kalber | The Queen of Love and Beauty | "Today's Children" | Staff announcers | Carol Marin
Ron Magers | Studs Terkel l "Chicago Tonight" | Channel 5 News scrapbooks |Roger Miller recalls
Zoo Parade | Clifton and Frayne Utley | Val Press | Len O'Connor | Johnny Erp | Bill Ray | Daddy-O
Experimental Television: 1930-1933 | Bob Deservi | Kermit Slobb | Ding Dong School | Quiz Kids
Bob Lemon | The Korshak Chronicles | KYW: The Chicago Years | WENR | O.B. Hanson | Renzo
Jack Eigen | Ed Grennan | The World's Best Cup of Coffee | Glenn Webster | Mr. Piano | Hawkins Falls
Chicago Television for Kids |
Radio Hall of Fame |The NBC News Night Report: 23 February, 1967
Audio and video downloads
About the Curator

Comments or suggestions? click here to send them to Rich Samuels

Created by Rich Samuels (e-mail to rich@richsamuels.com)