March 28, 2013

In the beginning

Filed under: Uncategorized — jchatoff @ 12:07 am
Tags: , , ,

Imagine, if you will, a very low tech world in which most of your information about foreign lands and exotic animals comes from National Geographic or sometimes Life magazine. Then suddenly, a regular American guy shows up on your little black and white TV and not only tells  you about those animals, but shows them to you live.

Well, on film actually, but it was almost like live. The guy was Marlin Perkins, the show was Zoo Parade, the animals were in the Lincoln Park Zoo and during the ’50s, it was pretty exciting stuff.  By the ’60s, the show had become Wild Kingdom, it was in color and Marlin was actually in Africa wrestling with an anaconda and creeping up on a crocodile.

Marlin Perkins was born on this date in 1905. During his 81 years, he rose from zoo laborer to zoo director, became one of television’s most popular and venerable hosts and taught millions to value endangered species  and their environments.  Wild Kingdom turns 50 this year and Marlin goes on forever on YouTube. There is even an archived episode of Zoo Parade available. Below, Marlin and the anaconda:



  1. Thanks for the memories! I still love wild animal shows and sit in rapt attention watching.


    Comment by Ursula — March 28, 2013 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  2. Ha,Ha, Ha! Thanks for the memories!


    Comment by galyatarmu — March 28, 2013 @ 10:27 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for reminding me to pull up a still-pleasurable full episode of ‘Wild Kingdom’ on YouTube! Along with my Dad’s coaching in how to be still and watchful, the show instilled in me a life-long love of nature-watching. Marlin was our own ‘crocodile hunter,’ Steve Irwin!


    Comment by Celia Carroll — March 28, 2013 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  4. love that show! thanks for reminding me! 🙂


    Comment by ninachat — March 28, 2013 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  5. jeez! Talk about exciting. That music made me look for the Lone Ranger and Tonto to come to the rescue. Or maybe Flash Gordon. By the by – Lincoln Park Zoo is in Chicago and may be the first in our country. I know it as some such honor.


    Comment by Carol — March 28, 2013 @ 5:50 pm | Reply

  6. Fastenating thank you.


    Comment by avery zia — March 30, 2013 @ 9:43 am | Reply

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