Winky Dink And You was the first interactive TV show aired on CBS from 1953 to 1957, on Saturday mornings. Hosted by Jack Barry, a popular game show host, it featured the exploits of a character named Winky Dink (voiced by Mae Questel, the voice of Betty Boop) and his dog Woofer. Winky Dink, noted for his plaid pants, tousled hair, and large eyes. Created by Harry Prichett, Sr. and Ed Wyckoff, the show featured Barry and his sidekick, the incompetent Mr. Bungle.
The show required that kids have a “magic drawing screen,” which was a large piece of plastic which stuck to the television screen via static electricity. A kit containing the screen and various Winky Dink crayons could be purchased for 50 cents. At the end of every episode, “Winky would arrive upon a scene which contained a connect the dots picture.” Winky asked children at home to complete the picture, and the finished result would help him continue the story. These gambits included a bridge to cross a river, an axe to chop down a tree, etc.
My parents refused to buy me the Winky Dink screen, so guess what? I drew on the TV, which convinced them I would have a career in TV. Thanks Winky.