Bumpity was a Sunday morning kid's television show seen in the Portland area. It's title character was a chubby light green sock puppet with one upper tooth. His head poked over a wall a'la Kilroy Was Here. Bumpity had a goofy voice that spoke of life's simple pleasures. I never really knew what he was supposed to be exactly... a frog maybe — he didn't seem to have any legs or arms, but I'm pretty sure local TV folks would've been a bit leery of putting a snake puppet on the airwaves.

His best and only friend was a red and purple striped worm named Fred. Fred was operated by means of one or two attached sticks which were often fully visible to the viewing audience. Unlike Bumpity, Fred was unendowed with the gift of speech. I'm trying to recall — he may have been able to squeak or something. He was the Woodstock to Bumpity's Snoopy.

Besides small one-sided chit-chat with Fred, Bumpity served as a host of sorts. Every week would see him introducing a local librarian who would read a childrens picture book. Pity poor Bumpity who hadn't the arms to turn the pages. The librarians read the books very slowly so all the kids at home could follow along. Very much like your first grade teacher who would read a book aloud then hold it up and say "See the picture? See the little ducklings crossing the street?"*

I kid Bumpity because, like many local shows, it wasn't the most professional thing you've ever seen. But, it's heart was definitely in the right place and the librarians always seemed like very nice people.

Today I hope that Bumpity and Fred are enshrined someplace, but I have no idea — I emailed KATU and received a reply from the very helpful Julie; here's what she told me about Bumpity:

"'Bumpity' was broadcast on KATU during the 70's here in Portland.

Local actor Bob Griggs created the character Bumpity who was supposed to be just a bump on a log, along with his many friends.

Although many local kids (now adults) participated in the show, I'm afraid there's no way to get copies of old shows, since none were libraried.

Bob and his wife still reside in Portland, but we no longer have any connection to him, and I couldn't give you a clue as to how to reach him these days. We can only hope that Bumpity, Fred and the others are in a safe place!"

Bumpity was a thirty-minute show on KATU channel 2, Portlands local ABC affiliate.

Personal note: My mom hated the Bumpity show because she thought it was crap (she would probably phrase it differently) compared to puppets like The Muppets

*In the above hypothetical example, Ms. Levak is reading Robert McCloskey's 1942 Caldecott Medal-winning Make Way for Ducklings


Update - June 5th, 2002
I happened upon the following message online from a fellow Portlander:

"...Hi a few years ago I met an older man who told me he did a kids' show named Bumpity. I remembered it from my youth, it aired in Portland. So, what did I do? I made a website and documentary video on him. check it out www.bumpityreturns.com
Crispin Rosenkranz"
Awesome. For show pictures and more information, check out www.bumpityreturns.com — be sure to read the interview with Bob Griggs at http://www.bumpityreturns.com/bob.html

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