Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Bil Keane's Other Big Success
Recognizing that newspapers were getting into the TV show listing business, Keane created Channel Chuckles in 1954. The daily and Sunday panel series, which focused on television-related gags, was the perfect feature to add a little graphic interest to the otherwise type-intensive TV program listings. The feature was distributed by the Register & Tribune Syndicate.
Keane's idea started a minor avalanche of 'me-too' features - Tee Vee Tee Hees, TV Laffs, TV Micro Funnies, The Vidiots and others have followed over the years, all trying to tap the same market.
As seen above, Channel Chuckles was also offered as a Sunday color feature. Though it never had the popularity of the daily panel, it was a good fit for papers which printed a weekly TV Guide-style listing booklet. The Sunday lasted until about 1970, while the daily continued through 1977.