Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marlin Perkins

When my Dad, my sister, or I have an animal sighting to report to each other, we give what we call the "Marlin Perkins report." This would include my recent observation of a family of sandhill cranes in the front yard here in Florida, my sister's experience with a bald eagle in Seattle, and my Dad's frequent mentions of coyotes and quail in his yard in Arizona. We three have fond memories of gathering in front of TV every week from the late 1960s to the early 1970s to watch Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom." Host Marlin Perkins (1905-1986) led us on vicarious expeditions throughout the world, joined by co-host Jim Fowler - who has joined the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet - and co-star Stan Brock - who has founded Remote Area Medical. The most memorable episode in the series was filmed in Guyana and aired in 1968: Perkins and Brock wrestle a giant anaconda out of a lake, but not without the snake wrapping its body around Perkins' chest and its tail around Brock's neck - exciting stuff! I couldn't find any footage of that, but did find a 1967 clip of Perkins and Fowler lassoing a black bear in the Florida Everglades that shows the dramatic moments we looked forward to on television. In addition to hosting "Wild Kingdom," Perkins directed the Saint Louis Zoo, another of our favorites when we lived nearby. When he died, he was cremated, but he has been commemorated with a statue in his hometown of Carthage, Missouri.

1 comment:

  1. I think this may be the episode you were referring to.


You may add your comments here.