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    « So, That Went Well | Main | Will You Look At This Place? Jaysus. »

    October 15, 2008



    Ohmigosh, that's a great story! My kids, now 18 and 15, used to watch that show! I still remember his version of "The Cat Came Back" because we used to sing it all the time. Awesome!


    I love Fred Penner. In my day he was with Cornstock playing silly songs at the Village Inn with Al Simmons & crew. You must remember "It's Fun to be Ukrainian"!! Years later my kid's watched him everyday. Favourite song "Happy Feet"


    Bev: I used to go to see Cornstalk at the Big A. Since those days, both Al and Fred have become friends. but of course, back when they were in Cornstalk, I was a mere callow youth.

    Candy: I was talking to someone the other day and they said something about someone who went away but came back "... the very next day."

    I couldn't help myself. I said "They thought he was a goner ..."

    The person said "Huh?" I could only sigh.


    Wow, what a great story. Allison is just beaming in that picture. No wonder Fred Penner was so popular with the kids. He really knows how to handle them. What a guy.


    Great story.

    Reminds me of the Santa Claus scam they used to run in Eaton's basement downtown Charlottetown. When the kids ran to Santa, Billly Smith ducked around and asked the kids parents the names of the little ones. He would clandestine radio the names to a well hidden receiver in Santa's fake hair and presto. Magic. In those days, this was a high tech operation. Probably something they picked up from watching "Get Smart"! And kids were more easily fooled.

    apathy lounge

    Kinda like meeting Fred Rogers, no? What a gift you gave to your kids!


    I've read this twice, and teared up both times, for various reasons. You are a devious, scheming, absolutely wonderful Daddy. Lucky girls. Lucky Owen.


    What a cool story.


    Well, being a sometimes pre-school teacher, I just had to look up Fred Penner on Wikipedia and Amazon.

    I left my credit card safely tucked into its case. . . for now.

    But oh my, a couple of his CDs sure do look interesting.


    Squirl: I remember that moment when he identified her as "the little girl who sits in front of the TV" as sheer brilliance on his part. Because what kid doesn't? It created a beautiful bond between them.

    Dewsweeper: Love that story about the Santa scam. Every store or mall should do it.

    WG: Yeah - like Mr. Rogers only much, much cooler.

    Susie: Always felt that deviousness and scheming in pursuit of my kids' joy was a duty AND fun. Unlike my kids, who use deviousness and scheming to make me cry.

    William: I look at the age of your kids and remember how much fun I used to have. Then I remember the rest and think "yeah, I'm okay with grandpahood."

    MrsDOF: There's a reason Fred is an enduring and popular kids' star - his music is fun and positive and my kids STILL sing his tunes - and his praises. So warm up the credit card and give it a go.


    Wow, that is an amazing story. I am not surprised at all. His kindness and personality shines through in every thing he does!

    And yes, MrsDOF?? Please treat yourself and your students to a few things Fred Penner. My baby brother used to lay in bed watching Fred Penner over and over again. He had CP and many other physical limitations and couldn't do much. Thank goodness for wonderful children's entertainers! He loved Fred Penner, Raffi and Mr. Dress-Up and watched them regularly until his sudden death at age 13. I hope Fred Penner knows the joy he has brought to hundreds of thousands of people, and not just children.

    Speaking of which. Nils, did you happen to know Mr. Dress-Up also?? LOL If so, (or even if not) do you know if it is true that he was actually American and Mr. Rogers is actually Canadian??? My oldest LOVED the VHS tapes my Mum would send down from Sask. of Mr. Dress-Up shows she recorded for him. I could not imagine my kids growing up without him. My oldest boy called him "Middah Deffup!" and LOVED to watch the tapes by the hour! They were different from when I was a kid and there was no Casey and Finnegan, but they were still wonderful!

    Wow...I am still in awe. Fred


    Lowa: Let me further blow your mind. Yes, indeed, I did know Mr. Dress-up (Ernie Coombs) ... interviewed him on a number of occasions. He was every bit the lovely, goodnatured man you would expect.

    And here's a couple that might resonate with a fellow Canadian flatlander: when I was a kid, I watched Miss Helen's Kindergarten on TV, and was once brought onto the show to be interviewed. Miss Helen went on to host "Size Small". One of the characters in "Size Small" was a young boy named "Oliver Sudden". Oliver was actually Helen's son Jeff Lumby. Years later, I worked with Jeff in radio. Last I saw, he was Winston the Septic Guy on The Red Green Show.

    And you also might remember Puttnam's Prairie Emporium. My cousin, Coral, was the daughter in that series.

    Wow. I'm really hooked into Canadian kids' TV. How'd that happen?


    Susie is right, you are a devious, scheming, wonderful Daddy. Add Wise & Powerful to that and it's a wonder you can fit through doorways any more...


    Sheesh! I only saw Ernie Coombs in "concert" I guess you would call it one time. Took some kids I was babysitting. LOVED HIM! Cried when he passed away:( How amazing that you interviewed him. I am not surprised that he was a great guy. Man...I miss the "tickle trunk". My husband actually built one for our kids and they keep their costumes in there:)

    That is neat info you shared! My Dad LOVES Red Green! I mean Steve Smith. That IS Steve Smith, from "Smith and Smith", right?? Apparently one of my brothers was interviewed on some kids show or something way back in the early 70's. I guess we were all there, but being only two, I didn't do much.

    Heard of "Zig Zag??" My cousin, Rick Ducommun, hosted that for a time apparently. I guess he played a guy named Bart in some "Biff and Bart" bit on there. Never saw it. I remember it being cool to just be doing whatever around the house and suddenly hear his voice (he has a very distinctive voice!) on the TV and go and look and see him in a small part in some other movie! He used to always let us know if he was going to be on TV, but once he really got busy, he wasn't able to let us know EVERYTHING! LOL In 1992 when he was in Seattle filming some HBO thing, he asked me to go up on stage after to visit with him. Of course I felt special to be able to go back to his hotel with him and talk about old times until 3 AM! LOL Fun having connections to the cool Canadians, eh?? teehee


    Hey, I got to your blog accidently and it turned out to be a pleasant accident. Read many of ur posts one after another. It feels homely and light :) Keep enlightening..


    I loved Fred Penner growing up and I was happy to see his pic on your blog. My brother (a pastor in Winkler and Morden, Manitoba) has met Fred Penner on a couple of occasions and actually went to a conference where he spoke--I was just as impressed then as I am to see the adorable pic of Allie with Mr. Penner! For what it's worth, I'm trying to get my girls into the Canadian children's entertainment, but Katrina seems stuck on the Wiggles right now.

    Congrats to Allie and Fred--I loved the photo montage you did up--definitely worth the effort!

    (FYI--I'm blogging again, when I have a chance with my two little munchkins around! Time goes far too fast!)


    Great story.

    But how on earth is Allie supposed to top that when she has a little one to raise? Guess you weren't thinking of THAT when you gave her the best childhood ever, did you? *sheesh* You never think of anyone but yourself. ;)

    (Dang, I love being a brat!)

    Preeti Shenoy (Ps)

    Wow Nils. I LOVED this post and the way you wrote it. It moved me and made me smile.


    Could we please have a little Christmas greeting over here?
    maybe a newer picture of the adorable grandson?

    are there any Christmas puppies in the house?

    (request comes from somebody who will not Twitter)

    Thank You :)


    Merry Christmas, Nils. Thinking of you and your family a lot this year. I hope the new year brings peace and joy to you.


    Happy Holidays! Does Canada celebrate Boxing Day?

    ~~love and Huggs, Diane


    Are you ever coming back? Hope you had a great Christmas.


    Happy New Year, Nils, to you and these lovely people you share with us here. :)


    Wishing you a much better year ahead.


    The other day I was talking with an 8th grade student who has never heard of, nor read _Anne of Green Gables_
    which leads to me thinking of you and your play, and the shipwreck, etc.
    Then I checked, and the school library does not have a copy of Anne and friend.
    The librarian (my age) says there just is not room on the shelf, and the students don't check out the oldies very often.

    Anne was my favorite book in 7th grade.
    I'm feeling especially old and obsolete right now.

    And I miss your blog posts.


    beutifull baby. I just had my fisrt. It has changed my life. Keep up the great posts.

    Seth Armstrong

    I wish some of these shows were available on DVD. I've been trying to find people who have some Mr. Dressup or Friendly Giant on VHS even but so far no luck. Mainly because I'd like to show them to my niece. I wasn't as big of a fan of Fred Penner but I still liked him.

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