patches of the past

by Art Chantry:

with the passing of chris wedes (j.p. patches) yesterday, I’m reminded of ‘the count’, that ran on the same station as j.p. years ago. joe towey was also the floor director of the j.p. patches show for ages. wilum pugmire posted this and i’m surprised it exists. all of those tapes of the j.p. patches show were erased – all 23 (28?) years gone – poof! the only footage that survived was that stuff j.p. took home to show friends and forgot to return.

—Chris Wedes, better known as the beloved, Emmy Award winning television host, J.P. Patches, who entertained two generations of children, died Sunday at age 84.
Chris Wedes, better known as the beloved, Emmy Award winning television host, J.P. Patches, who entertained two generations of children, died Sunday at age 84 after a long battle with the blood cancer known as Multiple Myeloma.
KOMO’s Ryan Harris has more on his 6-decade career in his own words.—Read More:

one time, some friends and i were putting on a dance and wanted to show film of the count at it for fun (it was a halloween dance). we actually went up to the set of the j.p. patches show, and asked him if he had any footage we could show. he said all of his stuff was erased as well. so, we just hung around with j.p. and gertrude on the set while joe filmed sandy hill doing the ‘dialing for dollars’ afternoon movie. the whole time, they flipped all sorts of lewd jokes at sandy to try to fluster her on screen. it worked and sandy cracked up on camera. it was a great way to spend an afternoon.

by the way, the entire set of the j.p. patches show was covered with obscene graffiti. no joke. it didn’t show up on camera (which was intentional.)

…joe towey was a real cool unassuming guy. JP was a client for a spell (no kidding) and he was sorta nasty in private. gertrude, however, was brilliantly fun all the time and was a totally lovable happy guy….wedes was bitter. and he was treated real badly by his employers, so he had a right. he reminded of my father’s generation – sort of that ‘madmen’ culture. he liked his polyester….

…so far as i know it was broadcast for only a few years on kiro tv (channel 7, the cbs affiliate) up here out of seattle. i doubt it went beyond it. but, i imagine just about every market had a horror movie host on a local station. and most of them were cornball vampires, as well. so, you may have just seen something very similar – because they all were….

…JP was a client for a spell. one meeting, i brought an old patches pal/grandma’s cookies button to the meeting to show him how long i had been fan (i’d had it since i was a little kid). he flipped out because he’d never gotten copy of that button (it turned out to be a prototype). he asked for it and i gave it to him immediately. he wore it on his costume for years afterward, right up on his lapel. i see it in all the old footage they’re playing now. it’s red/orange and yellow and has a cartoon of jp’s head next to grandmas’ head on it. look for it. that was mine for over 45 years before it was on his lapel! cool, eh?…AC

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