Home Television Comedy Joe Palooka Story, The

Joe Palooka Story, The

1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 5 (USA)
26 x 30 minute episodes

Based upon the comic strip character created by Hammond E. “Ham” Fisher in 1921, the very moral, honest, kind-hearted, somewhat naive boxing champion Joe Palooka briefly came to television in this very low-budget syndicated comedy/drama series during the 1954-1955 season.

Joe Palooka was portrayed by an actor named Joe Kirkwood Jr who also co-produced the series. Kirkwood was already very familiar with the character as he had portrayed Palooka in a series of films beginning in 1946.

Joe had a patient, understanding society girlfriend – the lovely Ann Howe (Cathy Downs) – and a manager named “Knobby” Walsh (Sid Tomack in the first 13 episodes, and Luis Van Rooten in the rest).

Joe’s trainer, Clyde, was played by boxing great “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom.

A young Charles Bronson (still using his real name Charles Buchinski) appeared in a few episodes as Eddie Crane.

Joe Palooka was one of the most popular comic strip characters of the day and this led to a series of Palooka products such as watches, board games, and lunchboxes.

Joe Kirkwood received a special award from the Honor League of New York’s Police Department for his portrayal of Joe Palooka on television, for which a special unaired segment of the show was filmed.

Joe Palooka
Joe Kirkwood Jr
Ann Howe
Cathy Downs
“Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom
“Knobby” Walsh
Sid Tomack (1)
Luis Van Rooten (2)
Eddie Crane
Charles Buchinski (Bronson)