The Friendly Giant

Here is the ending to one of thee best children’s shows ever made! Although my view of the show is skewed some- as it is Canadian. The Friendly Giant ran on CBC TV for 28 years, from September 1958 until March 1985. I remember watching this show on a huge black and white television, laughing at the antics of Jerome and Rusty. The draw bridge going up and the cow jumping over the moon is burned into my minds eye.

Robert (Bob) M. Homme of Friendly Giant fame retired & lived in Grafton, Ontario. Bob died on May 2, 2000 of cancer at his home, he was 81.
Homme was serious in his attempts to reach children with new concepts, his was a go-slow, gentle approach. “Witness how they repeat and repeat things and play records over and over again. They like repetition.” Home said about children, “I think the whole world is preoccupied by the concept of change. But there are a lot of things that had better not change. And one of them is the concept of clarity and coherence.”
Ironically, it was change that did in ‘The Friendly Giant’ (in the US, anyway). He was removed from the Educational Television schedule for a bold, new children’s show that attempted to use the techniques of modern advertising to teach – instead of pushing a product, they would insert an educational message. This wildly successful production from the brand new Children’s Television Workshop debuted in November of 1969 and was called ‘Sesame Street’.

If you go to Jump the Shark, you’ll find in it’s 28 year run, The Friendly Giant had never had a “jump the shark” moment.

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2 Comments on “The Friendly Giant

Jim King
July 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm

It was Fred Penner’s show that killed Friendly, not Sesame Street.

Robbo Mills
November 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thanks or posting this. Everyone I meet who has ever seen Friendly Giant claim it as their favourite kids show and those with kids of their own wonder how to get copies or why there aren’t any shows around today that are like that.

It’s too easy for me to get all nostalgic about it – especially since my wife and a couple of our friends were puppeteers on it. Hell, the little piano the cats in the band used to play is sitting on our own piano as I type this. I loved that show as a young viewer and now, as a writer and producer of children’s television and online entertainment I love it even more.

It is a testament to Homme’s dedication to his audience that his show is still so revered after all these years.

And I always wanted to be in that little rocking chair so I could look up – waaay up.


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