J.P. Patches makes his last appearance.
J.P. Patches, a very well-known TV clown in the Seattle area, has made his last public appearance.
Before a crowd of about 1000, Patches, who is portrayed by 83 year old Chris Wedes, played games with kids, sang songs, and even hula-hooped. Wedes has been battling with cancer for the last 4 years, and the fight has sapped his strength to continue performing.
Patches was an important part of the greater Seattle children’s television scene in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Much like Larry Harmon’s Bozo, Patches and his cohorts entertained thousands of kids, and brought them on television. Many kids in Seattle have memories of being in the studio audience of a Patches show.
His morning show which ran nearly 10,000 unscripted episodes from 1959-1981, was a fixture on the Seattle landscape. Patches (whose full name is Julius Pierpont Patches, was the fictional mayor of the town dump. Even after the show ended, he and his partner Bob Newman,79, who portrayed his girlfriend Gertrude, made numerous local appearances. Newman has MS, and stopped making public appearances several years ago.
A bronze statue in Fremont named “Late for the Interurban,” by Kevin Pettelle, depicts J.P. and Gertrude rushing in opposite directions, arms locked.
MORE INFORMATION: http://www.jppatches.com