1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 5 (USA)
30 minute episodes
This 30-minute children’s puppet show premiered on 22 April 1957 and was broadcast each weekday on WBKB-Channel 7 in Chicago.
The main character was Geraldine the giraffe. Other regular characters included Pearl the Squirrel, Virgil the Vulture, Pierpont Crocodile, and Helen Hippo, who loved to sing opera. John the Duck was a never-seen character who frequently made his presence known with his off-screen quacking.
James E Stewart, known as “Jim” on the show, would play a musical instrument and sing songs along with the puppets.
All the puppets were operated and voiced by Rosemarie Stewart (James’ wife), who was referred to as “Bud” on the show.
The show never scored huge ratings but did gather critical acclaim, including a local Emmy Award. The show left the air in 1965 and Jim Stewart moved on to Passage to Adventure, a twice-weekly travel series that aired on Channel 7 from 1965 until 1977.
The puppets and set from Here’s Geraldine are now displayed at the Museum Of Broadcasting and Communications in Chicago, Illinois.
In later years, James E Stewart worked as a hypnotherapist in private practice and hosted the radio shows Principal Spirituality and A Course in Miracles on WVVX-FM.
Stewart died in his Harvard home on 28 March 2001 of respiratory failure after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
James E Stewart