1 9 5 7 – 1 9 5 8 (USA)
30 minute episodes
Susan Heinkel was the 12-year-old hostess of this fantasy series, comprised of songs, stories and Popeye cartoons. She was accompanied by her pet terrier Rusty and a talking table called Mr Pegasus.
In each episode, Susan and Rusty took a trip on her magic flying stool, which – at the mention of a magic word – would transport them to Wonderville on the outskirts of the Foolish Forest.
In Wonderville there was a machine that showed cartoons and an orchestra composed entirely of animal musicians, led by the meek and mild orchestra leader, Caesar P Penguin (voiced by John Coughlin).
The series originated locally on Chicago’s station WBBM (a CBS affiliate) in September 1956 where it ran each weekday afternoon as Susie’s Show.
In this format, Ms Heinkel and the show won a number of awards.
Few changes were made when the show went national on 4 May 1957, except to move to a Saturday morning slot.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Susan Heinkel had been involved in show business since she was three when she made her television debut.
She had also worked as a fashion and photographic model and appeared in a number of leading roles with the St Louis Municipal Opera Company.
Susan Heinkel (under her married name, Bayer) eventually became the voice of Southwestern Bell – the woman explaining that the number called the number is not in service or telling callers to hang up and try again.
Mr Pegasus/Caesar P Penguin/Grandpa Pegasus
John Coughlin (voice)