George Pierrot, 1965


Published:

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE WALTER P. REUTHER LIBRARY, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY

 

1965 With his raspy voice, drowsy countenance, and portly physique, George Pierrot hardly seemed anyone’s idea of a riveting TV personality. But Pierrot, host of the World Adventure Series, which morphed into George Pierrot Presents, gained such a following that his show aired every weekday afternoon — and for a time on Sundays, too. It debuted on Channel 7 in 1948, and soon moved to Channel 4. The premise was simple: On an unadorned set, Pierrot and a guest provided color commentary as a film of Turkey, Finland, or Burma unreeled. Pierrot himself was a world traveler, author, and raconteur. He’s pictured above, circa mid-’60s, holding the whole world in his hands. Pierrot was born in Chicago in 1898, but grew up in Washington state. He came to Detroit in the early 1920s to edit The American Boy magazine. Pierrot’s TV show’s roots went back to 1933, when he premiered the World Adventure Series at the Detroit Institute of Arts. For a quarter, Depression-weary Detroiters were transported to exotic, faraway places by watching a travelogue and hearing Pierrot’s lecture. The TV program took its final excursion in 1976, but the DIA series continued until 1979. Pierrot had a deep affection for Detroit and made his home in the city’s Indian Village neighborhood. He also had a wicked wit, as Tim Kiska notes in his book on Detroit television history, From Soupy to Nuts! The author mentions Pierrot was fond of reciting naughty limericks, and his humor was intact to the end. As the ambulance drivers arrived to spirit Pierrot away, Kiska reports the aging globetrotter quipped, “One of you boys better drive. I don’t feel up to it.” Pierrot’s excellent adventure ended in 1980.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Meet the Makers: The Empowerment Plan

How the non-profit’s coat, sleeping bag project continues to expand

For MLN8, the Magic Started With a Subscription Service

Meet the forthcoming conglomerate using unconventional ways to celebrate and support Detroit’s African-American community

What’s the Source of the Steam Pouring Out of Detroit’s Sidewalks?

Environmental groups want to clear the air about the fuel behind a little-known power system

The Way It Was

1975, The Brazeal Dennard Chorale

Netflix Set to Bring Local Author’s Horror Novel to Life

Sandra Bullock stars in the film adaptation of Ferndale author/musician Josh Malerman’s original thriller
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Fisher Building Is a One-Stop Shop for the Alternative Bride
    Plus, bridal looks with vintage flare
  2. 2018 Restaurant of the Year: Parc
    Excellent food, exceptional service, and a crisp and formal but distinctly unstuffy atmosphere...
  3. What’s the Source of the Steam Pouring Out of Detroit’s Sidewalks?
    Environmental groups want to clear the air about the fuel behind a little-known power system
  4. An Hour With ... Angela Aufdemberge
    President and CEO, Vista Maria
  5. Local Winter Activities Worth Bracing the Cold
    Metro Detroit’s parks are prime for winter adventures
  6. Love at First Sip
    Michiganders dish about their love affairs with local wine
  7. Cocktail Recipe: Man on the Moon
  8. Meet the Makers: The Empowerment Plan
    How the non-profit’s coat, sleeping bag project continues to expand
  9. Netflix Set to Bring Local Author’s Horror Novel to Life
    Sandra Bullock stars in the film adaptation of Ferndale author/musician Josh Malerman’s...
  10. Making the Case for a Less Sedentary Lifestyle
    Martial arts instructor trains people to defend themselves and take a stand against dangerous...