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One of the most popular Peoria-Bloomington local TV shows ever was the Captain Jinks Show. Weekday at 3pm, kids and parents were invited for a one hour voyage on the SS Albatross where Captain Jinks (Stan Lonergan) and Salty Sam (George Baseleon) entertained between cartoons. The show was on during the 1960’s and early 1970’s when I was a big fan as a kid. I even had one of my drawings shown by Captain Jinks, and it was pinned to the set for several months. During the late 1970’s, the show made a comeback. I interned during college at WEEK as an art director. Shortly after, the decision was made to add me to the cast as “Bosun Joe”, the ship artist, who came on the show twice a week showing kids how to draw. On the second day, I took two kids from the studio audience through my famous “Bosun Joe game”. This game was a version of “Pictionary” and the TV show “Win, Lose, or Draw”, except I came up with the idea several years before either of those drawing games.
The show was extremely successful. The ratings were huge, rivaling the numbers of prime time ratings of today. There were fan clubs all over, including Bradley, ISU, and IWU. The Captain, Salty, and Bosun Joe were in big demand at events and personal appearances all over Central Illinois. For nearly 4 years, I drew the pictures, played the game, and signed hundreds of autographs every month. Still today, going on 30 years later, I am regularly approached by fans of the show. During that time, I started doing many appearances doing drawing demos. Your group can have “Bosun Joe” teach you the “basic shapes”. Check out the art instruction page to see how I can teach your group drawing and painting. Click on the gallery page to see some of the original artwork from the show. The Captain Jinks Show was in the news again a couple of years ago, when it was discovered that George Baseleon’s grave at Springdale Cemetery in Peoria did not have a headstone. Phil Luciano and Jamie Markley, local radio personalities at WMBD 1470, took up the cause to raise funds for a headstone for George. Phil also wrote about this in his Peoria Journal Star column and came up with an event fans could attend to raise money. In August of 2008, hundreds of fans showed up at Kelleher’s on the riverfront in downtown Peoria. I was amazed by the number of folks that showed up to reminisce. Many people that worked on the show over the years also attended. So I will always be known as one of Peoria’s artists, and it remains one of the most interesting times of my life.
Above is a You Tube video about the Captain Jinks Show done during WEEK-TV's 50th anniversary
Click here to see a full length Bosun Joe segment that runs about 5 minutes. In this episode, I show kids how the TV effect "Chroma Key" works. You will see two Bosun Joe's on the screen at the same time.
Click here to listen to an interview I did with Marc Strauss of WJBC radio in Bloomington in April of 2018 about the Captain Jinks Show
Click here to read a nice summary of the show from a great site about local TV shows called the House of Jitters.
Click here to visit the Captain Jinks Show facebook page.
Click here to a site where you can purchase Captain Jinks Show shirts, mugs and more.