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B.J. & Dirty Dragon

Bjdirtydragon

That image above is an autographed photograph from Chicago's "The BJ and Dirty Dragon Show", circa 1972. The human in the photo is BJ (Bill Jackson) and to his right is the smoke-spewing Dirty Dragon, while the big-grinned google-eyed character just below BJ's right hand is Weird. I've long since forgotten the names of all the other characters shown. The show was on every weekday right after school back then and was a beloved part of my childhood.

Readers of a certain age may recall the "BJ's Gigglesnort Hotel" show which ran nationally (on CBS, I think) during the mid-70s, but the Dirty Dragon show actually predated Gigglesnort Hotel and ran only locally, on WFLD Channel 32. Both shows had many of the same characters (some puppets, some human actors in costume) and the same weird brand of humor. My favorite part of the Dirty Dragon show (don't remember if it was also part of Gigglesnort Hotel - I didn't watch that show very much) was with Blob, a formless hunk of modeling clay which BJ crafted into a different object each show. Though that might not sound unusual or particularly interesting, I should point out that Blob was an actual character of the show who would talk to BJ in a lively but completely unintelligible voice as BJ worked - and also emitted moans of discomfort and/or pain when BJ carved up large pieces of him. A very odd routine, but my seven-year-old self loved it.

The photo was my reward for running a backyard carnival on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which was Bill Jackson's favorite cause. My carnival consisted almost entirely of very lame games (Bozo Buckets, sack races, etc.) that neighbors and friends played for prizes (mostly candy bars, as I recall), with all of the proceeds from game tickets, refreshments, etc. being sent to the MDA via the Dirty Dragon show. It was my first exposure to fundraising, and though I probably didn't raise more than ten or twenty dollars I was pretty pleased with myself for accomplishing even that little. I would have been more than satisfied with just that, which made the completely unexpected arrival of this wonderful photograph to be doubly sweet.

February 15, 2010 in Ephemera, Personal | Permalink

Comments

I remember watching BJ and Dirty Dragon and, also from that era of Chicagoland children's TV, Garfield Goose (with Frazier Thomas, also of Family Classics). Hands down, my favorite was Ray Rayner mornings on Channel 9.

Posted by: Tim W. Brown at Feb 15, 2010 7:41:07 PM

Oh, yes - I never missed Ray Rayner. He was my absolute favorite. I just checked out your bio, which sounds quite interesting. I have plenty of distant family in Rockford, though I haven't been there in years.

Posted by: Pete at Feb 16, 2010 2:18:58 PM