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Randy Kraft starred as Captain Safari of the Jungle Patrol in this Saturday morning WCBS children’s show, which served as a framing device for screening ancient documentary footage of the African jungle, including much by late explorers Martin and Osa Johnson.
The captain operated out of a shack in the wilderness where he purportedly spied upon the goings-on going on around him via his magic TV screen (and the long-outdated film footage).
The show also presented a number of ancient cartoons, including Meany, Miny and Moe (“just three monkeys from the sticks”) and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (an animated cartoon character created in 1927 by Walt Disney).
Captain Safari was accompanied by a chimpanzee named Sylvester (played by Zippy the Chimp, formerly a not-terribly-popular second banana on NBC’s Howdy Doody Show.)
Variety was largely unimpressed, although they remarked, “It’s only fair to figure that a lot of kids might prefer elephants, monkeys and spear-carrying natives to Pinky Lee and Paul Winchell, rivals for the 10-to-11 time on NBC”.
Zippy the Chimp