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.