Monday, May 26, 2008

diversity lesson, circa 1950s

Fifty years ago, Dick Sutcliffe, a producer of religious newscasts for radio, was asked by his employer how best to use "this newfangled thing called television to reach folks." The Lutheran Church wanted Sutcliffe to film a minister delivering sermonettes, but instead he convinced them to create "Davey and Goliath" a stop-action animated show about a boy and his dog finding their way in a world of temptation. The show, which the church initially provided free to TV stations around the country, only aired 65 15-minute episodes, but the show made such an impression on viewers at an impressionable age (including Ad Broad) that it is still parodied today.

One of the program's distinctions (besides its claymation and complete lack of irony) was that Davey's best friend Jonathan was black, which meant they were one of the first interracial friendships ever dramatized on TV.

2 comments:

Ann Handley said...

For the record, these were still playing in the 1970s on UHF stations. ('Member those?) And I *totally* forgot that Jonathan was black... which was indeed forward-thinking for a... uh.. claymation character!

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Ahhh, UHF, where all the good content was before cable came in. Our TV had a separate UHF antenna my father would "strengthen" with aluminum foil. Thanks, Ann, for the memory.