This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Clowning Around

My Ronald McDonald post the other day made me think of Cousin Cupcake. Ok, those of you too young to remember him, or those of you who you did not grow up in the D.C. area, have no clue who I am talking about.  So here is all you need to know about Cousin Cupcake and his Buzzy connection.

Thanks to that world wide web, I was able to land on an excellent website that discusses DC Kids Shows back in the 50's and 60's.  Here is the link below but let me warn you, once you start browsing thru it, you are gonna spend some time there perusing the likes of Pick Temple, Cap'n Tugg, Ranger Hal etc. in addition to reading about Bozo (Willard Scott) and Cousin Cupcake.  Don't say I didn't warn you but (click here.)   

As for Cousin Cupcake, played by Bob Porter, here is some info on him and his Saturday show.  

The above items are from the aforementioned website (click here for additional info.) 

So what was Cousin Cupcake's relationship with Buzzy?  

Back in the day, Cousin Cupcake aka Bob Porter had a summer place in Scotland somewhere below the Store.  (I don't know exactly where his place was, but he came into the Store quite a lot.)  Around that time, my folks took my brother Stevie and sister Donna Jean up to D.C. for them to be on the Bozo the Clown Show.  When I asked Donna if she remembered Cousin Cupcake this is what she texted me:    

I remember him because Steve and I drew pictures and sent them to the Bozo the Clown show so the show sent us tickets. Mom and Dad took us.  Mom was furious because Dad just dropped her, Steve and me off at the studio and he went over to visit someone.  Anyhow Cousin Cupcake was there and asked Mom why we didn't request to come on Saturday when he was the clown. She told him we weren't given a choice. It was a very eventful day. I didn't punch Bozo's nose hard enough to make it beep but Steve did a better job. 

Couple clarifications here, Cousin Cupcake was the Director of the Bozo show, which explains why he was there and recognized Mom, Stevie and Donna from having met them in Buzzy's Country Store.  As for choosing which show the invitees would appear on, it was the luck of the draw so to speak.  Check out this recollection that someone noted on the DC Kids Shows' website:

For the Rest of This Recollection (click here and scroll down)

Unfortunately, this Cousin Cupcake and Buzzy story ends on a rather sour note because somewhere along the line he and Buzzy had a big falling out over money.  (I guess that there are some other things that people have a falling out over, but money is usually the main reason that they do so.)  In Buzzy and Cupcake's falling out, they got into an argument over a purchase or the terms of a sale or something and it got a little heated.  As a result, Cousin Cupcake stopped coming into the Store and eventually sold his summer place and we never saw him again.  I remember Buzzy commenting about the whole episode saying  that "Cousin Cupcake sure made a clown out of me."

But not to leave you on too down of a note here, I have one other item of interest that I stumbled upon while doing all this clown research.  It has to do with a young University of Maryland student who worked on a show directed by Bob Porter: The Circle 4 Ranch show starring Joe Campbell.  Check out this excerpt from DC Kids Shows (click here.
Jim also worked on other local shows back then to include Afternoon (click here) and Sam and Friends (click here) where he created puppets that would become the original Muppets that he subsequently made famous.   

As far as I know however, Jim never did make it into Buzzy's.   However, he did manage to have Candace Bergen do this very nice review of him and his career at the 1990 Emmy Awards Show.  (His DC connection and start is mentioned at the 1:30 mark.)

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