The Andy’s Gang show’s other unfortunate regular was Squeaky the Mouse. I should probably say Squeaky the Mice, because I’m guessing they probably went through a Squeaky a week judging from the remaining videos. Here is Squeaky on motorbike, accompanied by Midnight on the hurdy-gurdy.
Note that when they show the supposed studio audience, we suddenly are returned to black and white! No, Andy’s gang was not filmed in front of a live studio audience, but rather in a forgotten basement of an abandoned coat hanger factory… sometimes strange smells would fill the neighborhood, but nobody knew why until it was far too late.
Froggy and Andy weren’t the only gangsters in Andy’s Gang. Midnight the Cat and Squeaky the Mouse were abused every episode for the amusement of the nation’s children in ways that would probably get you arrested today.
Midnight certainly does wish she was in Dixie… anywhere but bound in a physically restrictive puppet-suit and forced to “play piano” for the fat man possessed by the evil amphibian.
In the future, when PETA invents a vegan way to time travel (i.e. no past butterflies harmed) along with the armor-penetrating potato gun, Andy is going to have a whole lot to answer for.
I’m much too young to have ever seen Andy’s Gang when it was on the air, but thanks to this wonderful internet, I’ve now experienced some of it. Oh, the horror! Let me share it with you. Meet our creepy host Andy Devine, here giving the blatant hard sell for Buster Brown shoes to some impressionable young minds.
Just wait until I introduce you to his Gremlin.
Watch this to the end to see the also creepy little person, W.H. "Major" Ray, that they have impersonating Buster Brown.
Andy took over the show, formerly called Smilin’ Ed’s Gang, from Smilin’ Ed McConnell in 1954, in a switchblade fight. Smilin’ Ed, it seems, had outgrown his usefulness to the sinister Gremlin. As far as I can tell no footage of Smilin’ Ed’s Gang exists on the internet. Shortly after Smilin’ Ed’s disappearance, Andy destroyed all recordings, burning them with siphoned gasoline in an abandoned drive-in theatre parking lot… covering up any evidence of his predecessor in an attempt to seamlessly replace him in the minds of the children of yesteryear. However, some of the comic books have survived.
I may have made this all up, but it rings true, don’t you think? Someone, please, update Wikipedia and adjust reality appropriately.
Above: covers from the Buster Brown comic book before and after Andy’s hostile takeover of the Gang.
It should be noted that I do not believe the Buster Brown comic book ever contained any comics featuring the character Buster Brown (other than as an icon on the cover).
Buster Brown the character was already long dead in the 1950’s… but he was quite a character before they sucked his soul and made him and his dog Tige as innocuous as Hello Kitty. We’ll be focusing on Buster both in his original form as a mischievous imp on the comics page, and also take a look at his bizarre television bedfellows here for the next couple weeks.
“He’s really just a picture… but it’s fun 2 play pretend!”