J.P. Patches was a well-loved Seattle personality.
As his website claims, “Julius Pierpont Patches, with an inherent understanding of children and a good natured sense of humor, helped raise a generation of Northwest children. Long before there was Microsoft, Starbucks, the floating bridge or even the Space Needle in Seattle, there was J.P. Patches.”
Patches was a clown portrayed by a man named Chris Wedes, who hosted a children’s television program beginning 1958 and lasting for 23 years, accumulating 10,000 hours of clowning around. At the time it was the longest running locally produced children’s TV program in the U.S. To date it remains the 2nd longest running TV show for children, second only to Sesame Street. In addition his show would become the first live show and the first color TV show in Seattle.
It was a highly improvisational endeavor, with no rehearsal, no script, no second-takes and definitely no writers like today’s shows.
In Fremont, where all fun things reside, lives the playful bronze statue erected in his honor.
Rest in Peace.
Photo: Statue of J.P. Patches and his “girlfriend” Gertrude