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When 4:30 rolls around every Monday through Friday, you would hear Harry the Heron yell, “Come on gang, it’s time for Mr. Moon”. Over 100,000 youngsters in Oregon and Southwest Washington flocked to their TV sets to follow the fabulous adventures of Mr. Moon and his hilarious puppet crew. Beginning as a radio show in the early 1950s, Mr. Moon became one of the most popular kid shows in Portland.

Behind the Mr. Moon mask was longtime radio disc jockey Ed Leahy. He created the cast of characters from the Mother Goose Rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle”. Another well-known Portland broadcaster, Art Morey, joined the show as the voice of Harry the Heron and other animal characters.

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Mr. Moon was surrounded by his puppet friends including Mrs. Cow, Kitty, Sam and Harry the Heron.

KOIN TV’s signal hit the airwaves on October 15, 1953 and a month later, Mr. Moon debuted on KOIN TV on November 16, 1953. With the expansion of the program from radio to TV, Toni Leahy, Ed’s wife, joined the show as both a voice and a puppeteer. She also did most of the script writing. When the show moved to TV, they began tape recording all dramatic action, music and sound effects, leaving the staff free to concentrate on the visual action. Ed tied the puppets in with the commercials and he reminded the children to brush their teeth, mind their manners and to clean behind their ears. Once each week, Mr. Moon’s honor roll listed the names of the children who adopted these habits.

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Wonder Bread was one of the sponsors of Mr. Moon.

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Mr. Moon was heard on KBKO (later KLIQ). Oregonian ad 12-02-51.

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Mr. Moon gained the respect of everyone who watched the program and the show gained wide popularity from coast to coast. He was featured in the New York Times with other top local TV performers from across the country. Personalities from Denver, Chicago, Miami, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles were featured along with KOIN TV’s Mr. Moon. Ed Leahy credited the KOIN-TV crew and his co-workers for the success of the show which garnered top ratings. Mr. Moon aired until 1958.

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The face behind Mr. Moon, Ed Leahy, who was pictured in The Oregonian on October 26, 1935. Photo courtesy of Craig Adams.

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Mr. Moon was heard on KWJJ. Oregonian ad from 6-25-52.

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Advertisement scans courtesy of Craig Adams, Radio Historian

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Thanks to Jerry Dennon, who co-founded Jerden Records in Seattle. That's the record label that first issued Louie Louie by The Kingsmen. In the late 50s, Jerry was the Asst. Promotion Manager at KOIN-AM-FM-TV. Jerry also co-founded KSWB in Seaside and had briefly co-owned KUIK in Hillsboro. Thanks also to Radio Historian Craig Adams for helping with the research.

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Last updated 10-08-10

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