Ernie Carroll turns 90

Happy birthday to TV legend Ernie Carroll, the man behind Ossie Ostrich, who turns 90 today!

Former Hey Hey it’s Saturday cast members gathered last week to celebrate with Ernie including Daryl Somers, Jackie McDonald, John Blackman, Red Symons, Wilbur Wilde and Andrew Fyfe.

Carroll joined Melbourne GTV-9 in 1956 as a producer for children’s television, and worked on The Tarax Show before writing for Graham Kennedy.

Ossie Ostrich first appeared on The Tarax Show, before Carroll hired Daryl Somers to work on Cartoon Corner between 1971 and 1977.

Hey Hey it’s Saturday also began in 1971 with Carroll co-hosting as Ossie after the first 8 weeks until 1994, interrupted briefly for a year with The Daryl & Ossie Show on 10 in 1979. He reprised the much-loved character for reunions in 2009 and 2010.

Somers once said of Ossie, “Throughout the history of Hey Hey, I never spoke to Ernie during the show. I would always directly address Ossie. To me, Ossie was real.”

Both men also founded Somers Carroll Productions which produced shows such as New Faces, The Russell Gilbert Show, and various Hey Hey specials.

16 Comments:

  1. The Melbourne Age Thursday Green Guide TV/Radio supplement generally displayed which cartoon shows aired on the weekday 4pm-5pm weekday Cartoon Corner, as well as the Saturday show – certainly during the 1970’s at any rate.

    A number of libraries contain archive copies of them if you wish to research.

    Channel 0 Melbourne meanwhile was the one who generally kept their AM Cartoon show titles top secret.

  2. Happy Birthday Ernie and thank you for all the fun and laughter over the years creating such a memorable TV icon. I remember watching Ossie with tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks as he said and got away with saying things that no mere mortal could get away with. Would love to see Ossie come back on TV one day, maybe as he and yourself are inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame. Fingers crossed xx

  3. I literally grew up watching Cartoon Corner, It was a sad day in afternoon tv when it ended. Unfortunately Aussie tv records are such that I could never find a listing of the cartoons that were shown during the time and when. Such gems as Scooby Doo, where are you?, Josie and the Pussycats/ In Outer Space, Milton the Monster, the Funky Phantom, The Archies and the Groovie Goulies. The US has complete listings of when the shows aired there, no such luck for us, and I have treid to find out.

  4. Ossie remained the same age through the show’s run. It was a running gag. It’s worth noting the death of the puppet maker who created Ossie, Axel Axelrad. He passed away late last year at 99 and designed puppets for many early TV shows. Adventure Island and Magic Circle Club amongst them. We can also thank him for Tucker Bag. theage.com.au/national/passionate-puppet-maker-who-created-ossie-ostrich-20190204-h1atg4.html

    • I just wanted to add that I hope Mr. Axelrad gets a mention in the In Memoriam segment during this year’s Logies as his death wasn’t widely reported and his work is an important part of our early television history.

      Happy Birthday, Ernie. Thanks for the many laughs you provided throughout my childhood.

  5. Hmmm…can’t remember The Tarax Show or the Russel Gilbert Show…but can remember the enjoyment of Ossie Ostrich, Darryl and the cartoon corner shows. Hey Hey it’s Saturday was always a highlight.
    Happy 90th to Ernie Carroll! And thanks for all your wonderful work.

    • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ1ᴘ5

      The Tarax Show had King Corky, Ron Blaskett and Gerry Gee, Uncle Norman, Joffa Boy and others including Ernie Carroll as Professor Ratbaggy and Patti Newton (then McGrath).

  6. daveinprogress

    Very real. I grew up watching the pink feathery one. And then my young adulthood. Then my mid life… wow 90. Congrats Ernie. Long may you shine and flap. (does an ostrich flap?)

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