Paul Tripp





2/20/1911 , New York, New York, USA



Birth Name




Originally Paul Tripp wanted to be an opera singer, when he found out that his voice would not be appropriate for grand opera. He lowered his sights and became a performer in comic operas. He performed in the comic operas that were staged and produced in the theatres and other local functions on the lower East Side of Manhattan. Tripp continued with his education, but he also found the time to perform in vaudeville, burlesque, nightclubs and on the legitimate stage. Where he wrote, produced and performed in his own original plays and musicals. He also worked on radio as a performer and craftsman. His show business career as interrupted by WWII. He served overseas in The U. S. Army Signel Corps. Following his stint in The Army, he returned to the states. Where he finished his education At New York University. Tripp attempted to train for a career as a teacher. When that career didn't materialize he continued to perform on the stage, on radio and in Early Television, mainly in dramas in character parts. To help compensate their income, Tripp and his wife Ruth Enders (a talented performer and script- writer) worked as volunteer teachers at Christian Dora House (An Early Daycare program on Manhattan's Lower East Side). To help educate and entertain the children in the program the Tripps wanted to stage, produce and perform in their own productions. At first? The supervisors of the program was reluctant to invest in these projects due to the lack of funding. That didn't deter The Tripps, who simply used their imaginations to create the props and other items for their productions. The concept worked and the kids enjoyed the shows that their teachers created for them. This unique idea came to the attention of a top talent agency. Who approach the couple with the invitation to audition their concept for television. After audition their concept, the Tripps were invited to sell their idea to either CBS, NBC or to The Dumount television networks? They choose CBS. So, on Sunday Night April 24, 1949, “ Mr. I. Magination! “ Debuted on CBS TV as a half hour Network sustained educational children's series. The network sustained the program for 80 weeks before the show's producer: Irving Gittlen made it clear that the show needed a sponsor, or it would be canceled. Acquiring The Nestles Candy Co. as their sponsor, The show remained on the air on Sunday Nights. Until it was dropped in the early 50's, Parents, kids and teachers were outraged at the show's unfair demise and protested it's cancellation. “ Mr. I. Magination! “ returned as a Saturday morning series, until it finally went off the air on Saturday June 28, 1952. “ Mr. I. “ was TV’s first educational kids show that used imagination, music, wit and self discovery to teach kids about history and the world around them. Tripp, his wife and their troop of talented actors: Donnie Devlin, Alice White, Butch Cavell and up and coming performers: Richard Boone (Best Remembered as “ Paladin “ on “ Have Gun Will Travel “ and “ Hec Ramsey “ ), Walter Matthau ( “ Oscar Madison “ in the stage and screen versions of “ The Odd Couple “ ), Joe Silver (The second and last host of “ Space Funnies! “ / “ Capt. Jet) and Simon Oak- land ( “ Lt. Shrank Of the celebrated movie version of “ West Side Story “ ) recreated events from history and did their own versions of popular fairy tales for the viewers. There were also trips to “ Inventor's Ville “ to show- case the latest device and treks to “ I Wish I Were Town “. Where the kids on the show could become any person that they wanted to be or to meet any famous indiviudual that they admired. Following the cancellation of “ Mr. I. “ the Tripps went onto host another landmark educational kids series. In 1955, the pair succeeded Allen Ludden (The host of the popular TV game shows “ Password “ and “ The G. E. Collage Bowl! “ ) as the second and last hosts/performers and instructors of “ On The Carousel! “ CBS TV's Saturday morning children's newsmagazine. Every week, the Tripps and Ted Tiller (A former regular on “ Mr. I. Magination! “ ) would engage their viewers and kids in the studio in science projects, craft-making, hobbies, history, lectures and demonstrations. There would also be musical and dramatic performances for the viewers, including early television adaptations of Tripp's popular children's musical stories “ Tubby The Tuba “ and “ The Christmas That Almost Wasn't! “. The Tripps and Mr. Tiller continued to educate and entertain their viewers and studio participants on “ On The Carousel! “, Until The heads of CBS TV ended the Carousel ride on Saturday, October 3, 1959. Tripp would find the time to host two children's TV shows without his wife or their fellow performers. During the summer of 1955, He MC'd “ It's Magic! “, a magic show that was seen Saturday nights on CBS TV. He also succeeded Ms. Ginger MacManus (Sonny Fox' former traveling companion on CBS TV's “ Let's Take A Trip! “ ) as the second host/performer of WOR TV Ch. 9 NYC's “ Looney Tunes Cartoon Show “ weekday evenings Beginning on Monday January 12, 1959. Tripp didn't care for the movie cartoons that were screened on show and he left the program on Friday night July 10, 1959. (Herb Sheldon and Chubby Jackson succeeded Tripp as the third and fourth hosts/performers of WOR TV's “ Looney Tunes Show “ ). When he was unable to find any work in kids television or in the theatre in NYC during the late 1950's and early 1960's? Paul and his wife Ruth moved their two children: Suzanne and David to Los Angeles, Ca, . Where they placed their kids in school. And the couple tried to find work in the movies and on TV in dramatic offerings. Paul did some character parts on many TV series mainly playing villains. He did memorable turns on “ Perry Mason “ as a lecherous fink and as the unfaithful boyfriend of “ Sally Rogers “ (Ms. Rose Marie) on “ The Dick Van Dyke Show “. But these acting jobs were few and far between. Hollywood didn't know what to do with The Tripps and the couple gave up on Hollywood. Allowing their daughter to remain in California. Paul, Ruth and their son Dave returned to NYC in 1963. Where they received an offer to audition for a new children's TV show. Producers and TV packagers: Lester Lewis and Alton Alexander had created a new daily kids TV series : “ Birthday House! “ for WNBC TV Ch. 4 NYC's weekday morning schedule. But they didn't have a host for the show? Hearing of Tripp's abilities to teach kids in a fun and creative manner. The two producers invited him to audition for the job. He asked if his wife could also audition for the job as the series co host. Lewis and Alexander, allowed her to audition and on Monday April 1, 1963. Paul and Ruth Tripp helped to open “ Birthday House “. The show became NYC's most popular children's program and it went onto win an Emmy. The show even aired on Saturday mornings. “ Birthday House “ remained on the air, until the heads of WNBC TV cancelled the show on Friday September 8, 1967. The Tripps TV appearances became infrequent during the 1970's and 80's. With the exception of appearing on “ The Mike Douglass Show “, Bob McAllister's version of “ Wonderama! “ and appearing on two TV specials “ The Boston Spy Party “ on NBC TV's “ American Rainbow “ as Gen. George Washington and WCBS TV Ch. 2 NYC's 50th anniversary Tribute “ 50 Years Together: Ch. 2 And You! “. The couple limited their performing endeavours to Theatre Productions overseas and writing children's books. Mr. Tripp also found the time to narrate kids movies for “ Childhood Productions Inc. “ and to write, direct and perform in a movie version of his Yuletide musical kids story “ The Christmas That Almost Wasn't! “ with Rosiano Brazzi, Mischa Aurer and Sonny Fox in 1966. In 1976, Tripp wrote, produced and narrated a feature length animated version of “ Tubby The Tuba “. Which featured an all star cast of talented performers, including: Dick Van Dyke as the voice of “ Tubby “. Mrs. Ruth Tripp passed away in 1999, her husband kids tv's first educator died on Thursday August 29, 2002.