Cartoon Corners (Gene London Show)

Gene London (born Eugene Yulish in Cleveland, Ohio on June 9th, 1931) was the host of a long-running, Philadelphia local children's show, Cartoon Corners (aka The Gene London Show). He was tall, slender, had dark hair and a soft-spoken manner. He starred on the children's show in the Philadelphia area on WCAU-TV Channel 10 from 1959 to 1977, in which several cartoons, particularly those of Disney, were shown. Early programs began with Gene London opening the door of his General Store and flipping the sign to read "Open for Business." As the kids passed by Gene, he palmed the tops of their heads and sang the opening theme song. Once inside the General Store, Gene, an accomplished artist and story-teller, told stories and used a large drawing pad to illustrate key scenes and characters from the tales, as children sat around him. With little budget, he and his cast also did clever interpretations of classic novels such as She Who Must Be Obeyed and various Greek myths.

Show history
Originally called variously Gene London's Cartoons & Stuff, The Wonderful World of Gene London, and Cartoon Corners, the format for The Gene London Show changed over the years. At first Gene worked for a general store that was located next to a confetti factory. His boss was the stingy Mr. Dibley, a.k.a. "Old Dibble-Puss" (who paid Gene 3½ cents per week). London's character used his imagination to try to escape his humdrum existence. A golden fleece he discovered provided him with a ready source of magic. Gene had a crush on his employer's daughter, Debbie Dibley. Alas, Debbie moved to Hollywood, returning him to his lonely, but imaginative situation. Later the program shifted to the haunted Quigley mansion located next door, accessible via a secret tunnel (the mansion's exterior establishing shot was just a model) with stories and plots centering around ghosts, UFOs, aliens. During this period there were a series of public service exchange programs produced by CBS. In these programs, Gene played a reporter, who went out and got stories from children (trying to improve the paper's circulation).

Cartoon Corners Theme Song
    Come right on in to the General Store
    We have licorice, gumdrops and sourballs;
    Anything that you're hankering for,
    You'll find in Cartoon Corners General Store.

    There's lots of stories and songs that you know,
    Toys to build and a big pot belly stove;
    Cartoon fun with your favorites so,
    Let's ring up the curtain on this show!

    There's something else I've forgotten, let's see,
    Of course, Gene London, that's me!