One of the first (pseudo-)interactive TV programs for children, Winky Dink and You was produced in the 1950s for CBS. Its host, Jack Barry, would become more famous for his quiz shows, including 21 and The Joker's Wild. Dayton Allen played Barry's sidekick, Mr. Bungle.
The series required the use of a clear plastic overlay and special crayons, which had to be ordered from New York at 50 cents per kit. Whenever the animated hero Winky Dink and his dog Woofer got into trouble, Barry would ask viewers to put the overlay on the TV screen and draw in the required prop or scene element, such as a bridge. The program ended with a secret message, which was to be traced by children who had the overlay and crayons. Inevitably, some children forwent the plastic overlay and drew directly on the screen... which exasperated parents who discovered crayon marks all over Walter Cronkite or Lucille Ball.
More information can be found here.
- Animated Series: Sort of.
- From Beyond the Fourth Wall
- Non-Human Sidekick: Woofer the dog.