J. P. Patches Children's Television Program

J.P. Patches (full name: Julius Pierpont Patches) is a clown portrayed by Seattle entertainer Chris Wedes (born 1928). The J.P. Patches Show was one of the longer-running locally-produced children's television programs in the United States, having appeared on Seattle TV station KIRO channel 7 from 1958 to 1981.The show was live, unrehearsed improv with rarely more than two live actors on screen (Wedes and Bob Newman) but with frequent contributions from the sound-effects man and off-camera crew.

J.P. Patches hosted his show twice a day every weekday for 13 years (plus Saturdays), then for the next 8 years did the morning show only, and finally for the last 2 years appeared on Saturday mornings only—for a total of over 10,000 hours of on-air time. The show premiered on April 5, 1958, as the second program ever broadcast by KIRO-TV, the first being a telecast of the explosion of Ripple Rock in Seymour Narrows, BC. The show was immensely popular in the Puget Sound area and southwestern British Columbia, Canada, with children of course but also their parents who enjoyed J.P.'s frequent use of double entendre and sly subversiveness. Two generations of viewers grew up as "Patches Pals", sharing the joyful zany antics of J.P. with their kids. At the peak of its run, the Emmy-winning program had a viewership of over 100,000 in its local markets.

After the TV show stopped airing, Wedes continued to portray J.P. at many public and private events over the years despite suffering in later years from incurable (but in remission) blood cancer. In 2011, citing poor health, Wedes announced that he expects his final public appearance will be September 17, 2011.

J.P. was the "Mayor of the City Dump", where he lived in a shack and welcomed frequent guests: Seattle boy scout and girl scout troops, various local and national celebrities, and his cast of supporting characters: Sturdley the Bookworm, Esmerelda (portrayed by a Raggedy Ann doll), Ketchikan the Animal Man (a sort of Jack Hanna character), Boris S. Wort (the "second meanest man in the world"), LeRoy Frump (a character obviously based on Art Carney's Ed Norton), Tikey Turkey (a rubber chicken), Grandpa Tick Tock (a grandfather clock with an elderly face where the pendulum would be), The Swami of Pastrami, Ggoorrsstt the Friendly Frpl (a one-eyed brown shag carpet), Miss Smith (a motorcycle riding delivery woman who told mostly awful jokes), Superclown (a JP like superhero), J.P.'s evil counterpart P. J. Scratches (per official site I.M. Rags), and J.P.'s girlfriend, Gertrude. Virtually the entire supporting cast, male and female, human or non-human, was played by the versatile Bob Newman.

The city dump where J.P. lived is thought to be the Montlake Landfill, which was a real city dump from 1926 to 1966, but since 1972 has been athletic fields, a parking lot, and the Union Bay Natural Area of the University of Washington in the University District.

J.P. announced the birthdays of selected Patches Pals by "viewing" them on his "ICU2TV" set (a cardboard prop that created the appearance that J.P. was looking at you from inside your television). He predicted where a gift might be hidden in the child's house with amazing accuracy (perhaps with the never-mentioned assistance of a postcard from a parent). The sound effect used was the same, distinctive ringtone of Cramden's "presidential hotline" telephone in Our Man Flint.