Paul Tripp

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      • 91
      • 1911-02-20 in New York City, New York, USA
      • 2002-08-29

      Paul Tripp was born on NYC's Lower East Side on February 20, 1911. Originally he wanted to be an actor and singer in grand operas, but he had to lower his sights and perform in comic operas at local functions instead. He went to college and studied education. He graduated with a Master of Education degree. When he was unable to find any teaching jobs, he worked as a performer, scriptwriter and producer in legitimate theater, radio, nightclubs, vaudeville and burlesque. After a stint in the US Navy Signal Corps during WWII, Tripp returned to NYC, where he and his wife Ruth Enders Tripp did volunteer work for "Christian Dora House" settlement project. There the pair engaged the children in original plays that would utilize their imagination. This unique concept of teaching kids through music, stories, acting and discovery came to the attention of a talent agency. The agency heads were looking for someone to host a new children's TV show. Impressed with their educational concept, the agency heads took the show to CBS TV producer Irving Pincus, who bought the show and Mr. I. Magination (1949) debuted on the CBS TV network on Sunday night, April 24, 1949. Writing, producing and hosting the show, Paul Tripp and his wife got a child actor and/ or child actress to recreate the lives of famous persons or had them perform in the Tripp's own variations of popular fairy tales. Often "Mr. I." (Mr. Tripp) and his cast of regulars: Simon Oakland, Joe Silver, Ted Tiller and Richard Boone interviewed guest inventors who showcased the latest devices created to help mankind. Mr. I. Magination (1949) moved to Saturday mornings in l951, where it remained on air until the series was cancelled on Saturday morning, June 28, 1952. On Saturday morning, June 5, 1954, Paul & Ruth Tripp succeeded Allen Ludden as the second hosts/performers and instructors of CBS TV's kids TV news magazine On the Carousel (1955). The Tripps and Ted Tiller engaged their viewers in craft making, hobbies, songs, dramatizations, stories and interviews with guest performers, personalities and high school scientists and musicians. On the Carousel (1955) won the 1956 NYC Emmy award for "Best Children's Educational TV Show". Tripp compared a Saturday Night Magic TV Show for a family audience. He performed magic tricks with the top illusionists of the day. It's Magic (1952) was seen Saturday nights on the CBS TV Network from Saturday July 31, 1955 to Saturday, September 4, 1955. Tripp succeeded Ginger McManus as the second host/performer of WOR TV Ch. 9 NYC's: "Looney Tunes Show" weekday evenings from Monday, January 12, 1959 to Friday, July 10, 1959. Following his departure from the station, Tripp left NYC for Hollywood, California to play character parts in TV dramas and sitcoms. He made two memorable guest appearances on CBS TV's Perry Mason (1957) as a villain and as an unfaithful boyfriend of "Sally Rogers" on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961).

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