Herb Sheldon

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Born

Brooklyn,NYC

Died

7/21/1964

Birth Name

Herbert Susman

Gender

Biography:

Like his contemporary, Sonny Fox, Herb Sheldon originally trained for a career in textiles. But his interest in acting and broadcast changed his plans and he enrolled at The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts. He appeared in some plays and in 1941 he made his radio debut with a daily talk/variety show, "The Herb Sheldon Show" on WINS Radio. He would mc other radio shows and even co-host a daily talk/variety program with Gossip Columnist Maggie McNeilis, "Sheldon And McNeilis At The Latin Quarter!". In 1946, Sheldon made his NYC tv debut on WNBT TV Ch.4(WRCA/WNBC)TV Ch.4. He would host several kids tv shows on Ch.4 during the post war years - "Herb Sheldon At Noon!"/"The Herb Sheldon Show" and "One Is For Sheldon" weekday afternoons, "Kids Today!" weekday mornings, and "Saturdays With Herb Sheldon" Saturday mornings on Ch.4. But he also wanted to host other types of programs. Sheldon wanted to MC a kids talent show and an adult talk/variety show. The station execs at Ch.4 refused to create and produce such concepts for their new tv personality and forced Sheldon to stick with the shows that they created for him. Nevertheless, Sheldon would find the time to MC a kids talent show, "Child Talent Search" for WPIX TV Ch.11 in NYC on Sunday afternoons and "Video Venus" for WJZ(WABC)TV Ch.7 in NYC during the early 1950's. Enraged, the station execs fired Sheldon in the summer of 1956. When WABD TV Ch.5 needed another host to mc their Sunday afternoon kids tv comedy/variety series, "Wonderama!", Sheldon won the audition and he would host the series for two and half years. He would also Mc "The Looney Tunes Show", "The Bugs Bunny Theater" (later retitled "Bugs Bunny Presents!"), "Speaking Of Animals!", "Studio Party!" (a teens rock and roll dance and music program), "Rickey Tickey Playhouse" (a late night old movie show) and "Herb Sheldon's Playland!" (a talk/variety show for adults). But again, Sheldon wanted to work on other projects outside of hosting tv shows. Under exclusive contract with WABD TV, he was prohibited to work on any other show biz projects or for any other radio/tv station. He defied the station execs and he began MCing musical acts at NYC's top nightclubs and hosted another radio talk show, along with creating a lollypop shaped vitamin for kids, "Pop A Days Pops" with a local druggist. The station execs at Ch.5 angrily fired Sheldon and he went onto host two tv shows for WNTA TV Ch.13 in Newark,NJ - "Hold That Camera!" (a late night tv game show for adults) and "Funderama!" (an unsuccessful imitation of "Wonderama!")that was seen Saturday mornings on WNTA TV Ch.13 during the winter of 1958/1959. Sheldon's last two kids tv shows were another "Looney Tunes Show", which he hosted weekday mornings for WOR TV Ch.9 in NYC from Monday, September 14, 1959 to Friday, May 18, 1962. The show's title would be changed to "The Herb Sheldon Show!". He also mc'd "The Mischief Makers!" weekday evenings on Ch.9 from Monday, September 19, 1960 to Friday, June 9, 1961. On "The Mischief Makers!", Sheldon would entertain and inform his viewers in between the reruns of the silent "Our Gang"/"Little Rascals" film comedies. Following the cancellation of "The Mischief Makers!", Sheldon would become involved with other projects. He became the owner of two theaters in Long Island,New York - "The Tinkerpond Playhouse" in Sysoset, L.I., N.Y. and "The Montauk Point Playhouse!", where he also staged, produced and more often than not, he appeared in plays at his theaters. He also co-owned a restaurant and he would work with many charitable organizations, including The Celebrity Parades For United Cerebral Palsy Telethons with Dennis James and Jane Pickens Langley (Hoving). Herb Sheldon's last public appearances were on THE UCP Telethons with Mrs.Langley and Mr.James and in a summer stock production of "A Thousand Clowns!" at his theater "The Tinkerpond Playhouse!". He died of a heart attack on July 21,1964.