Julius Pierpont (J. P.) Patches, portrayed by Chris Wedes, was a clown on a long-running children's television program on KIRO in Seattle. Wedes grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. At Macalester College, he performed in various theatre productions and started a campus radio station. He served in the Army in Korea; upon his return he started work as a director at WMIN-TV in Minneapolis. He began to portray several characters on the air, including J.P. Patches, a role originated by another actor. When KIRO-TV began broadcasting in Seattle, Wedes was hired to host the station's first live program, which debuted on February 10, 1958.
The J.P. Patches Show featured Wedes as the eponymous clown, who was mayor of the city dump and was forever pursued by Gertrude, played by Bob Newman. Viewers -- who numbered 100,000 at the show's peak -- were encouraged to become "Patches Pals" by doing things like minding their parents, sharing their toys, and brushing their teeth. The show ran for 23 years until its cancellation in 1981. Wedes and Newman continued to make appearances and support local charities, most notably Seattle's Children's Hospital.
This collection contains materials relating to the work of Chris Wedes as J.P. Patches, including photographs, posters, newsletters, and scripts. Photographs include professional shots as well as snapshots sent in by fans. Also included is a significant amount of fan mail from children. An interview with Wedes provides background information about his childhood and career.
Restrictions on Access :
This collection is open to the public by appointment.Restrictions on Use :
The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.Preferred Citation :
Chris Wedes Collection on J.P. Patches, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle
Acquisition Information :
The collection was donated by Chris Wedes in 2003.Processing Note :
Processed by Helice Koffler in 2003.
15 photographs, 1 drawing, 2 certificates and 1 item of ephemera were added to the collection in 2009.Separated Materials :
An ice cream carton that was part of this donation is cataloged and stored separately by MOHAI's Collections Department.
Detailed Description of the Collection