The Friendly Giant was a popular Canadian children’s television program that aired on CBC Television from September 30, 1958 through to March 1985. It featured three main characters: a giant named Friendly (played by Bob Homme), who lived in a huge castle, along with his puppet animal friends Rusty (a rooster who played a harp and lived in a book bag hung by the castle window) and Jerome (a giraffe). The two principal puppets were manipulated and voiced by Rod Coneybeare.
In 1979 on Halloween, Friendly and his animal chums put on a Halloween Concert. For whom you might ask? Well for all of US of course! In typical Friendly Giant fashion, we are treated to 3 rather spooky Halloween songs played on Friendly’s recorder, backed up by the cats Angie and Fiddle.
The show is obviously geared toward very young kids, but what makes this wonderful show stand out is the fact that Friendly isn’t over the top, or annoyingly absurd like say Barney was, or maybe the teletubbies were. Kids were either treated to music, or a short story (usually you learned something from it). The banter between the inhabitants of the castle isn’t forced and really seems natural and very inviting, kind of like a nice warm blanket. Every show you were invited into the castle to pick your favorite chair and enjoy the lively conversation and interaction of the 2 puppets and the friendly Giant.
The show now fades in pop-culture’s memory but the magic of this program still twinkles like a little star in the gentle memories of those who were fortunate to grow up with Friendly, Rusty, and Jerome.
Happy Halloween everybody!