Amid production of "A Christmas Story" in 1983, stars Ian Petrella and Peter Billingsley are interviewed in a story by WEWS's Fred Griffith for our "Live On Five" show.
CLEVELAND - Earl Keyes was an original WEWS employee when we went on the air in December, 1947. Keyes was a director at WEWS; he also put WEWS-FM on the air as well a few weeks before the TV station started.
December would become a very important month for Keyes. Beginning in 1965, he became Mister Jingeling, the keeper of Santa’s keys. He would continue as Mister Jingeling on TV and in personal appearances until his death the day after Christmas 2000.
A beloved character, Mister Jingeling could be found as Santa’s helper on the seventh floor of the downtown Halle’s department store on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.
I’ve put three clips in our video player remembering Earl Keyes.
First, the WEWS 30th anniversary show with Fred Griffith interviewing Keyes. He talks about not being the original Mister Jingeling. Keyes directed the Jingeling Show and when the man who started the role died, Keyes filled in and was later given the part fulltime. The segment is from December 1977.
Seated alongside Keyes is Linn Sheldon. Sheldon worked at WEWS for years doing characters such as Uncle Leslie, before leaving for WKYC, where he did his famous character, Barnaby.
The second clip is a Kathy Davis interview with Keyes at the Mister Jingeling exhibit at the Lake Metro Parks. This piece is from December 1995 and contains some fascinating items including the fact Keyes kept his identity as Mister Jingeling secret from his own children.
The last clip is the Earl Keyes obituary done by reporter Chris Hernandez, December 26, 2000.
More Video Vault
Mayor Anthony Celebreeze opens the Innerbelt in 1961.
The Cleveland Comedy Company was the WEWS entry into locally-produced sketch comedy.
WEWS cameraman Walt Glendenning and local priest Father Eugene Best cover Pope Paul VI's historic visit to New York in 1965.
Ted Castele, the country's first local TV medical editor, recalls his scary start on WEWS.
You'd think 66 sticks of dynamite could take down just about any structure, especially a 34-year-old parking structure that looked as if a strong wind might bring it down, but that was not the case in 1984.
A look back at Johnny Mathis appearing at the Front Row Theater in 1984.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus is coming to Cleveland next week, but missing from the visit will be the parade of elephants through the streets.
Jim Breslin, a former WEWS director, was the visitor's bat boy at Cleveland's League Park.
1995 was the year a baseball playoff drought in Cleveland ended and oh how we celebrated.