Above: December 4, 1963 - A group of youngsters joins Ranger Hal in the studio to watch the show and sometimes participate.
Left: Ranger Hal "at the base of his tower" in the mid 1960s. The clown was an important friend: he would put contest entries in a large bag that hung behind the clown, and reach in the mouth to pull out a winner. It was more original than a rotating drum!
Right: In February 1959, Ranger Hal was a certified hit in Jacksonville after less than a year on the air. This was a revised version of the original outfit, and would remain the standard for the rest of the show's run.
During his show, Ranger Hal told jokes, held contests, and featured young talent: singers and dancers were frequent guests, and sometimes magicians.
He demonstrated new products, tasted food and drinks, took vitamins, and got a polio shot - on TV. Click here to see photos of Ranger Hal and some early sponsors -- they may bring back memories!
He showed cartoons and animated features (like "Kintaro" and "The Magic Princes"), as well as educational series such as "Journey to the Beginning of Time" (the 1955 version). "Journey..." is now available on YouTube.com.
He also showed "Ranger Hal Adventures," films from visits to famous sites such as the Kennedy Space Center, Weeki Watchee Springs, and Marineland of Florida -- where he not only observed, but participated.
Right: "Birds and rabbits, possum, deer: make the magic line appear!" Taken in June 1960, this photo includes the Magic Drawing Board: a blackboard with a picture drawn on it. Each day a little more of the picture would be revealed. Viewers sent in guesses as to what the final picture would be, and of course there were prizes for the winner.
"Be good, have a happy birthday, get well soon, listen to Mom and Dad - they're your best friends - and remember, it's great to be an American." Ranger Hal closed every show with these words of advice. Here are some photos from the studio.
Above: In February 1964, a rock group called "The Nobles" appeared on the show, and of course the host joined them. In November 1964 he rode an elephant in the studio!
Left: A group from Folkston, Georgia -- mostly Cub Scouts but also a few girls -- visited Ranger Hal April 29, 1961.
Left: Ranger Hal was on Channel 4 in the morning, and in the afternoon Jacksonville children could watch Skipper Ed and Bozo the Clown on "Popeye's Pals" on Channel 12. Skipper Ed was played by Ed McCullers, and Bozo was Bill Boydston. Thanks to several visitors who provided this information! Above is a 1960 logo for Channel 12, then known as WFGA.
And on another part of the TV dial in 1960s Jacksonville...
Ranger Hal was pals with everyone. Here's a photo of Ranger Hal and Bozo sharing a stage.