Just For Fun!

Dumont (ended 1965)


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Just For Fun!

Show Summary

A popular stunt like kids TV game show, Just For Fun was originally conceived by radio and tv host and producer Sonny Fox as a means of providing an extra income for his growing family. He had been mc'ing WNEW TV Ch.5 NYC's Sunday morning kid's variety series Wonderama for a year. When his wife Gloria Fox was expecting another child in their family, Fox went to see the heads of Metromedia TV to ask for a raise. The station execs refused to raise his salary..but they did offer the host to create, produce and mc another kid's TV program for the station's Saturday morning timeslot. Pondering what type of series he could create for his viewers, Sonny began to think to the happy days that he spent in summer camp and The Color Wars that he used to play with the other campers. Using this concept as the show's format and hiring TV producer and director Bob Cahn to help him develop the idea, the two men presented their game show idea to the station execs that fall. They liked the idea and on Saturday morning October 3,1959..Just For Fun made it's NYC TV debut on WNEW TV Ch.5. Having the studio audiences set up as three teams of contestants, The Blue,The White and The Gold Teams, Fox would have the selected members of the groups try to complete stunts in the least ammount of time so that the members of the team could earn points and win a collection of toy prizes. The show became a hit with NYC's young viewers and later into the series run..a new game was added to the show's format. The Mystery Guest was basically a kid's version of adult oriented prime TV quiz show: What's My Line!? Three members of the teams would try to find out the indentity of the mystery guest via yes and no questions. The members of the panel would also be blindfolded. Many well-known performers and personalities such as Huntz Hall, Soupy Sales, Chuck McCann and Paul Ashley, Yogi Bera, Dayton Allen, Jimmy Nelson, Charolette Rae, Joe Flynn, Tim Conway and Paul Winchell would appear as The Mystery Guest. (The Mystery Guest Concept would be used again on WWOR TV Ch.9's Steampipe Alley) Fox would continue to host Just For Fun..until he left the series on Saturday July 31,1965. Ch.5's Staff announcer/cartoon show host and Comm. Officer Rogers on Capt.Video Fred Scott would become the show's second and last host on Saturday August 7,1965. Scott would mc the program..until Ch.5 dropped Just For Fun on Saturday September 4,1965.moreless
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  • Exciting moment of my life

    In 1960 my teacher had taken my 6th grade class to the show, and Sonny Fox

    Picked me to introduce the show and to be a contestant in which I had won a lot

    of games. I would be so happy if I could

    attain that video so my kids and grandchildern could see it .
  • Many happy memories!

    I was on Just For Fun in 1959. I went with a group called The New Jersey Naval Brigade. There was a contest called The Mystery Chest. Two children were placed in front of treasure chests that had thousands of identical looking keys around them. The contestants would try a key in the lock and then try another until it opened or the show ended. Every once and a while the camera would come back to the kids and Sonny Fox would ask if it was opened yet. I opened it! There was a buzzer to push when the chest was opened and the show would stop at that point to award the child with toys. Sonny fox would announce the toy and manufacturer and place it on the child's outstretched arms. When the stack got to be chest high he would ask if you wanted more. Of course the answer was always yes! The toys were piled well over my head. I think there were 12 in total. I kept them for many years after I stopped playing with them. If only there was a way to see that day again.moreless
  • My mother was the den mother of my Cub Scout group, as well as a class mother at school. In 1959, she contacted the producer of "Just For Fun" to get all the 4th grade classes from my school in NJ on the show.moreless

    My first impression of Sonny Fox became my model for an educated and caring celebrity. He took 20 minutes to actually get to know our group before the show started, and fielded questions about television, in general, and fill us in on some of the behind-the-scenes techology used in the medium. I was chosen to participate in the bike riding game, where you had to pedal the fastest you could for 20 seconds. They chose me as the anchor of my group, which was a bad decision because I was very nervous and focused more on the camera than on my task. My Blue team didn't win that day, but, as a consolation prize, we all got a Kenner "Girder and Panel Building Set" from the show's sponsor. Too bad VHS wasn't available to consumers back in the 1950s, I would love to have a copy of the show. Some parents shot home movies off their television sets, but these were flawed, and actually showed rolling bands of pixels used to broadcast over the air.moreless
  • Can we get a copy?
    Back in about 1962, my brotherJohn appeared on this show withthe Con Edison Fresh Air Fund kids. He picked the right key and opene...

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