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Ossie Ostrich is an Australian television character, firstly on the Tarax Show, and then on the long-running program Hey Hey It’s Saturday which started as a Saturday morning cartoon show for children in 1971. In 1984, he also hosted an after-school children’s show called The Ossie Ostrich Video Show, with co-host Jacki MacDonald. In October 2009, Ossie appeared on the second Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special and made regular appearances during the show’s 2010 revival series.

Producer Ernie Carroll, an experienced comedy writer who had worked for Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight, resurrected a puppet used for an earlier GTV-9 children’s program “packed away in a dusty suitcase in the GTV props bay.”

Typically, Ossie would provide the comic foil to Somers’ straight man. Daryl Somers sometimes retaliated by calling Ossie names like ‘Fiberglass Head’, but he also had more affectionate names, like his ‘pink, feathered beakie’. The comic skill of Somers and Carroll was instrumental in leading to the wider appeal of the show and its move to a prime time spot on Saturday evening.

Ossie wasn’t a part of Hey Hey It’s Saturday for the entirety of its 28-year run – he replaced footballer Peter McKenna as co-host after the show’s first eight weeks, and his retirement in 1994 was arguably a key factor in the demise of the show – but he was one of the most recognisable puppets in Australia for more than two decades.

Over time, Ossie’s head had to be replaced due to mishaps. Lipstick marks from over-amorous admirers were very difficult to remove. Other members of Ossie’s family were represented using the same puppet with different accessories. The Ossie Ostrich puppet is now on display at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

On the Tarax Show, Ossie’s theme song was “Here comes Ossie Ostrich”. This was also occasionally heard on Hey Hey.

 

On this day …….. 16th September 1956

Although John Logie Baird first demonstrated the television in 1926, it was not until the 1940s that steps were made to bring the medium to Australia. They began with the initial Broadcasting Act of 1948, which prohibited the granting of commercial television licences. In 1950, Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced a gradual introduction of television in Australia, commencing with a launch of an ABC station. Three years later his government amended the 1948 Broadcasting Act to allow for commercial television licences. Test transmissions commenced in Sydney and Melbourne in July 1956. At 7:00pm on 16 September 1956, Australia’s first TV broadcast was made by TCN Channel 9 in Sydney. Bruce Gyngell introduced the broadcast with the words “Good evening, and welcome to television”. At the time, there were approximately 2,000 television sets in Sydney. The station was owned by Frank Packer, but it was his son Kerry who later saw and developed the potential of television as an informative media source. Packer’s TCN 9 launched approximately two months ahead of its nearest competitor, ABN 2. However, a regular broadcasting service was not provided until January of the following year, by GTV 9. GTV 9 had already been granted permission to use the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne for test transmissions, and officially opened with a regular broadcasting service on 19 January 1957.

 

Ossie Ostrich is an Australian television character, firstly on the Tarax Show, and then on the long-running program Hey Hey It’s Saturday which started as a Saturday morning cartoon show for children in 1971. In 1984, he also hosted an after-school children’s show called The Ossie Ostrich Video Show, with co-host Jacki MacDonald. In October 2009, Ossie appeared on the second Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special and made regular appearances during the show’s 2010 revival series.

Producer Ernie Carroll, an experienced comedy writer who had worked for Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight, resurrected a puppet used for an earlier GTV-9 children’s program “packed away in a dusty suitcase in the GTV props bay.”

Typically, Ossie would provide the comic foil to Somers’ straight man. Daryl Somers sometimes retaliated by calling Ossie names like ‘Fiberglass Head’, but he also had more affectionate names, like his ‘pink, feathered beakie’. The comic skill of Somers and Carroll was instrumental in leading to the wider appeal of the show and its move to a prime time spot on Saturday evening.

Ossie wasn’t a part of Hey Hey It’s Saturday for the entirety of its 28-year run – he replaced footballer Peter McKenna as co-host after the show’s first eight weeks, and his retirement in 1994 was arguably a key factor in the demise of the show – but he was one of the most recognisable puppets in Australia for more than two decades.

Over time, Ossie’s head had to be replaced due to mishaps. Lipstick marks from over-amorous admirers were very difficult to remove. Other members of Ossie’s family were represented using the same puppet with different accessories. The Ossie Ostrich puppet is now on display at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

On the Tarax Show, Ossie’s theme song was “Here comes Ossie Ostrich”. This was also occasionally heard on Hey Hey.

 

On this day …….. 16th September 1956

Although John Logie Baird first demonstrated the television in 1926, it was not until the 1940s that steps were made to bring the medium to Australia. They began with the initial Broadcasting Act of 1948, which prohibited the granting of commercial television licences. In 1950, Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced a gradual introduction of television in Australia, commencing with a launch of an ABC station. Three years later his government amended the 1948 Broadcasting Act to allow for commercial television licences. Test transmissions commenced in Sydney and Melbourne in July 1956. At 7:00pm on 16 September 1956, Australia’s first TV broadcast was made by TCN Channel 9 in Sydney. Bruce Gyngell introduced the broadcast with the words “Good evening, and welcome to television”. At the time, there were approximately 2,000 television sets in Sydney. The station was owned by Frank Packer, but it was his son Kerry who later saw and developed the potential of television as an informative media source. Packer’s TCN 9 launched approximately two months ahead of its nearest competitor, ABN 2. However, a regular broadcasting service was not provided until January of the following year, by GTV 9. GTV 9 had already been granted permission to use the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne for test transmissions, and officially opened with a regular broadcasting service on 19 January 1957.

 

Ossie Ostrich is an Australian television character, firstly on the Tarax Show, and then on the long-running program Hey Hey It’s Saturday which started as a Saturday morning cartoon show for children in 1971. In 1984, he also hosted an after-school children’s show called The Ossie Ostrich Video Show, with co-host Jacki MacDonald. In October 2009, Ossie appeared on the second Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special and made regular appearances during the show’s 2010 revival series.

Producer Ernie Carroll, an experienced comedy writer who had worked for Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight, resurrected a puppet used for an earlier GTV-9 children’s program “packed away in a dusty suitcase in the GTV props bay.”

Typically, Ossie would provide the comic foil to Somers’ straight man. Daryl Somers sometimes retaliated by calling Ossie names like ‘Fiberglass Head’, but he also had more affectionate names, like his ‘pink, feathered beakie’. The comic skill of Somers and Carroll was instrumental in leading to the wider appeal of the show and its move to a prime time spot on Saturday evening.

Ossie wasn’t a part of Hey Hey It’s Saturday for the entirety of its 28-year run – he replaced footballer Peter McKenna as co-host after the show’s first eight weeks, and his retirement in 1994 was arguably a key factor in the demise of the show – but he was one of the most recognisable puppets in Australia for more than two decades.

Over time, Ossie’s head had to be replaced due to mishaps. Lipstick marks from over-amorous admirers were very difficult to remove. Other members of Ossie’s family were represented using the same puppet with different accessories. The Ossie Ostrich puppet is now on display at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

On the Tarax Show, Ossie’s theme song was “Here comes Ossie Ostrich”. This was also occasionally heard on Hey Hey.