Thursday, May 24, 2007

Uncle Bobby is gone

I am bummed. On May 20th, Uncle Bobby died of a heart attack at the age of 82. Who is Uncle Bobby? Well, when I was a kid, he starred in the Uncle Bobby Show, taped at the CFTO studios in Agincourt (Toronto suburbia.) I watched the show religiously for many years and still can't get the "Bimbo the Birthday Clown" song out of my head. "Bimbo, Bimbo, Bimbo the birthday clown..." It's haunting, haunting I tell you!

I loooooved Uncle Bobby, so it was a great and wondrous day when I discovered that I had been chosen to appear as one of the "bobbysoxers" on his show, i.e. one of the crowd of revved-up anonymous kids who appeared with him for part of each episode. I think I was seven at the time. These were the days before cable TV, my friends. These were the days when patchouli was popular for the first time, and "Hey man! and "Peace, brother!" were au courant. I remember how exciting it was to be in a real TV studio, but even more, I remember eating corn chips in the darkened audience seating, as I watched the show being taped. Corn chips were a relatively new snack food to me at the time. The smell of them still takes me back to Uncle Bobby's secret realm (get your minds out of the gutter!)

Uncle Bobby was mostly known to Canucks, but some loyal Buffalonians could get Canadian TV via their antennae. In return, we Torontonian children devoured Rocketship 7 and Commander Tom. Where are they now, I wonder? I suppose a little Googling would answer that question for me.

Uncle Bobby was a staple of my childhood. I sure wish I could see the episode that I was on, with my braids and cat's eye glasses, slightly terrified by the TV cameras.

One guy from Buffalo has a great tribute site for Uncle Bobby that has lots of goodies to check out. If you grew up without Uncle Bobby, well, your childhood was stunted.

Uncle Bobby (aka Bobby Ash), I salute you! You will be missed.

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