A fixture in children’s television during the 1950s and 1960s as the host of cartoon shows on Los Angeles station KTTV, L.A.’s beloved “Sheriff John” — John Rovick — has died at 93, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Rovick came up with the idea of his show for KTTV in 1952, when the channel was looking for someone to host a daily cartoon show for children, the story says. Knowing Los Angeles County Sheriff Gene Biscailuz and having been made an honorary sheriff, Rovick came up with the idea of Sheriff John, who was an instant hit with young viewers, the piece notes.
"Cartoon Time" with Sheriff John earned an Emmy in 1953 for outstanding children’s program. The station soon added "Sheriff John’s Lunch Brigade" to its schedule, and it remained on air until 1970.
"We talked a lot about safety, courtesy, manners and things like that," Rovick said in an interview with the Idaho Statesman in 2005. "We often had firemen or police officers as guests, and I’d warn the kids not to do things like play in the street or get into refrigerators or play with matches."
One of Sheriff John’s trademarks was his birthday song, “The Birthday Cake Polka” (“Put another candle on my birthday cake …”).