Thursday, November 17, 2005

John Gallos; 1923 - 2005

Clancy is gone.
John Gallos, 'Clancy the Cop' on TV, dies at 82

John Gallos, former host of WCCO-TV's "Clancy the Cop," was recognized by Minnesota baby boomers years after the children's TV show, which ran from 1961 to 1977, went off the air.

Gallos died Tuesday in Minneapolis from complications of diabetes. He was 82.

His daughter, Nancy Gallos of Minneapolis, said he was born with a desire to entertain. He was known for reciting the classic poem "Casey at the Bat" from memory.

"He was always interested in entertaining people," Nancy said. " 'Clancy the Cop' stemmed from his love for children and entertaining."

Clancy, a policeman who befriended kids, was beloved by many children in the Twin Cities during an era when every city had its own "Mr. Rogers."
Mom tells me I had an Axel doll when I was just a wee lad. Axel was the man. But Axel passed while I was still little, and Carmen the nurse took over. That's when the crack detective team of 'Clancy the Cop' and 'Willie Ketchem' took over.

Oh the joys of kidcentric TV of the 60's and early 70's, until the networks went into full comercialization mode. I have fond memories of those days. Axel, Carmen, Clancy and WIllie on 'CCO. Casey and Roundhouse on WTCN (back then an independent station, but now NBC affiliate KARE).

I leave you with Clancy's final words, as he left the air back in 1977:
Typically, near the end of the program Clancy and Willie would talk to the kids in the studio, but on that melancholy occasion there was no audience. Instead, Willie soberly informed viewers, "This is the last day. We are closing the Agency here at old WCCO Television." He then introduced Clancy for the last time.

Clancy and Company"It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to have been a part of many of the routines in many homes around the Twin Cities, and Minnesota and Wisconsin, for lo, these past many years," Clancy declared. "We've had a lot of laughs over the years, we've had some ups, we've had some downs - and it isn't over yet, because I know I'll be looking for you on other programs here on Channel 4. I'd like to close with an Irish blessing that I think Clancy would enjoy:

"Wishing you always Walls for the wind And a roof for the rain And tea beside the fire. Laughter to cheer you And those you love near you And all that your heart might desire. May the road rise to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the rains fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand."

Clancy and CompanyAs he recited the verse, the camera slowly moved in until at the finish Clancy's face filled the screen. He gazed steadily into the lens, forced a sad little smile, and said simply, "Good-bye."
I toured the studios back in the mid 70's. Maybe I'll dig out some of those pics over this weekend and post them.

Bye Clancy, you will be missed.


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