Kukla, Fran and Ollie

This photograph came in with dryness and cracking which caused some of the gelatin to lift. There were also parts where non-archival tape had been applied, and at some point a liquid had gotten the photograph wet on the reverse which dried and left ripply contours. The most challenging part of the restoration was consolidation, where we used gentle heat to fuse new gelatin with the original to create one healthy and uniform film. In-painting then matched the new colors to the original.

Kukla, Fran and Ollie (KFO) was an early American television show using puppets that ran from 1947 to 1957. Created by Burr Tillstrom, who was also the only puppeteer on the show, it was known for its softer humor which relied on its relationship between show characters and viewers, and built as the show progressed and eventually the number of adults watching actually surpassed the number of children. Kukla was the earnest leader of the puppets, Ollie the roguish one-toothed dragon, and Fran, Fran Allison, was the radio comedian and singer who supplied a cheery voice and played the role of a big sister was usually the only human to appear on screen. In 1949 KFO won a Peabody award, and an Emmy award in 1954 for Best Children’s Program another another in 1971; this time for Outstanding Children’s Programming.

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