Bil Keane’s Other Big Success

When the name Bil Keane comes up, naturally we think of Family Circus as his big success. However, he has actually had two big syndication hits.

Recognizing that newspapers were getting into the TV show listing business, Keane created Channel Chuckles in 1954. The daily and Sunday panel series, which focused on television-related gags, was the perfect feature to add a little graphic interest to the otherwise type-intensive TV program listings. The feature was distributed by the Register & Tribune Syndicate.

Keane’s idea started a minor avalanche of ‘me-too’ features – Tee Vee Tee Hees, TV Laffs, TV Micro Funnies, The Vidiots and others have followed over the years, all trying to tap the same market.

As seen above, Channel Chuckles was also offered as a Sunday color feature. Though it never had the popularity of the daily panel, it was a good fit for papers which printed a weekly TV Guide-style listing booklet. The Sunday lasted until about 1970, while the daily continued through 1977.

3 thoughts on “Bil Keane’s Other Big Success

  1. A lovely feature. I didn’t know it ran so long. Surprising that there weren’t any pocket compilations. I hope someone will do an interview for Hogan’s Alley with Bill Keane while he is still with us, so Tom can show a lot of this material.

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