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early promo image
Early promotional image showing (left to right) Mr. Beeper (later Biff Beeper),Promo The Robot, and Dave Thomas

Rocketship 7 was a children's television series that aired weekday mornings on WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York from 1962 to 1978 and from 1992 to 1993.

later promo image
Later promotional image showing (left to right) Mr. Beeper (later Biff Beeper), Mr. Flo Sweetly, Mrs, Sweetly, Dave Thomas, and Promo The Robot

The host of the show was Dave Thomas, who had joined WKBW in 1961. Promo the Robot was the show's other main on-air character. The person inside Promo the Robot was, for several years, Johnny Banazak. Rocketship 7 featured segments with Thomas and Promo along with cartoons and other short programs such as Davey and Goliath, and Gumby. Thomas left the station in 1978 to join WPVI in Philadelphia, where he assumed the name "Dave Roberts" (He remained at WPVI until his retirement in 2009). When Roberts left, WKBW canceled Rocketship 7.

When The Commander Tom Show was cancelled in 1991, WKBW decided to continue the "Commander Tom" character of Tom Jolls by reviving Rocketship 7 as a weekly Saturday morning series. Airing at 7 AM, Captain Mike Randall assumed hosting duties for this version of the show with his sidekick, Yeoman Bob (Stilson), with Commander Tom Jolls, Promo the Robot, and Captain Comic (Tim Warchocki) making guest appearances.

Bob would always open the show with "Yo!" Cartoons aired included Super Chicken and George of the Jungle. Recurring feature on the 1992 series included "Crummy Cartoon Theater 2000," a parody of Mystery Science Theater 3000 where Randall and Stilson would riff on public domain cartoon shorts, and "Are You Kidding?", where children would tell riddles and jokes). To keep with the "Rocketship" theme, the station used the term "Planet Earth" as part of the station's mailing address for feedback and contests.

Rocketship 7 was cancelled for good in 1993, as infomercials, public affairs, and educational/informational programming began to dominate the Saturday morning lineup. It was effectively replaced in WKBW's lineup by the late-night hosted movie series Off Beat Cinema.

Former WKBW-TV Graphic Designer and 3D animator Tim Warchocki (who played Captain Comic) is responsible for Promo the Robot's updated fluorescent green and yellow paint job. Prior to the 1992 version of Rocketship 7 Tim was asked to update the robot's look to fit color television and modern design. The original body, designed when the show was still in black and white, was gray and (on color episodes) red.

Rocketship 7 is mentioned in "The X in the File", an episode of the Fox television series Bones. In the episode, Agent Booth is excited to see a photo from the show, and claims he watched it regularly as a child. Booth is played by David Boreanaz, son of Dave Thomas.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocketship_7 — Please support Wikipedia.
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14 news items

Fri, 22 Mar 2013 14:07:17 -0700

Rocketship 7, with calming influence Thomas at the helm, ran weekday mornings on Buffalo's ABC affiliate, WKBW, from 1962 to 1978. It blasted off for good when Thomas left his native Buffalo for Philadelphia's WPVI, where he became weatherman Dave ...

The Daily News Online (blog)

The Daily News Online (blog)
Sat, 14 Mar 2015 21:18:45 -0700

''Rocketship 7,'' a popular local children's show on WKBW Channel 7 in Buffalo, was now being broadcast twice every weekday — at 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.. The Mancuso Theatre was showing the movie ''Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte'' starring Bette Davis and ...

Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:04:12 -0700

Thankfully, we could turn on Buffalo TV and get some real down-home entertainment, shows such as Rocketship 7, Commander Tom and horror movies on the Fright Night show, like my personal favourite, The Headless Ghost. Hell, we even loved Bowling for ...


Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:39:17 -0800

"Rocketship 7" kicked off the day with host Dave Thomas and "Promo The Robot!" Dave became a weatherman for WPVI-TV in Philadelphia until his retirement in 2009, after working in his hometown of Buffalo from 1961 until 1978. "The Commander Tom ...

Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising
Wed, 04 Jun 2014 07:49:29 -0700

A number of the pizzas are named after a Buffalo personalities, keeping with the celebrity stardom traditions of the restaurant. There's the Rocketship 7 (WKBW-TV personality Dave Thomas), and Robby's Goo Morning Breakfast Pizza (created by Robby Takac ...
Niagara Frontier Publications
Wed, 11 Sep 2013 09:32:05 -0700

He was soon chosen to host the new children's program, "Rocketship 7," that went on the air Sept. 10, 1962. Western New York baby boomers grew up with this morning institution that featured cartoons, guests and "Promo the Robot!" Thomas hosted the ...
Buffalo News
Sun, 21 Jul 2013 07:03:45 -0700

He also briefly revised “Rocketship 7,” appearing with his wife and the youngest of his three sons 20 years ago. Not bad for a guy that Channel 7 legend Irv Weinstein said in an infamous 1991 memo assessing the station's talent: “Good feature reporter ...
Buffalo News
Wed, 11 Sep 2013 19:25:02 -0700

Television personality Dave Thomas, remembered as host of WKBW-TV's children's show, “Rocketship 7,” was supposed to leave Philadelphia at 11:30 a.m. but had to switch planes because of a mechanical problem and didn't arrive at Buffalo Niagara ...

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