Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jungleland Flyers

Today I have scans of two vintage flyers from Jungleland (Thousand Oaks) - a fun little animal park that I was lucky to visit when I was a tiny tot.

Let's start with this example, printed in greens and oranges. Come on safari in beautiful, smog-free Thousand Oaks! Not only could you see ordinary wild animals, you could also see movie star animals. You could tell the difference because the celebrity animals wore shades and drank martinis. Talk about living! 

Thanks to the mention of the box office debacle, "Doctor Doolittle", we can date this flyer to around 1967.

Here's the other side... chock full of useful information. Did you know that Jungleland was one of the oldest and most famous tourist attractions in California? I'm a little surprised that the place was open every day of the year; the employees didn't get Christmas off, I guess.

I believe that this flyer is just a bit older than the previous example; it is printed in shades of appropriately jungly green. See Henry the giraffe! I love giraffes because they're so weird. At the bottom of the flyer we see Mabel Stark, the famous tamer of big cats. Apparently she lived a pretty colorful life in her younger days, and survived numerous attacks from various tigers, leopards, and lions.

Monkey Island?! I want to live there! And look, there's Chucko the Clown; he will host your birthday party. Go check out the wild animal shows, the "baby zoo", trained goats and birds - this place had everything!

As much as I miss Jungleland, I remember that even as a small child I did not like seeing the big cats cooped up in small cages. Perhaps it closed at the right time.


Nanook said...


"Cheeta the Chimp", "Satan the Tiger", Henry the Giraffe", "Lippy the Hippopotamus". Oh - come, come now. That's the best they could do in the naming department-?? Those names would be more at-home as miniature children's vitamins-!

I attended a Chucko the Birthday Clown broadcast, probably back in the very early 1960's - as the show was off the air after 1962. And frighteningly, I can still remember the JINGLE. Oh, brother. (I think Bozo had the better deal-!)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Fun stuff today, Major! I wish I had been able to see Jungleland before it went away forever. I'm sure seeing Rex Harrison being trained for the movie, "Dr. Doolittle" would have been quite enjoyable. I've heard that positive reinforcement worked the best on him.

Connie Moreno said...

Nanook, I also attended a taping of Chucko the Clown. Yikes! I had forgotten all about that. The whole experience scared the crap out of me and to this day I still don't know why. Wouldn't it be a trip if we were at the same taping? LOL!

Major, I never got to go to Jungleland so this was a treat.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Having grown up in Agoura, I remember seeing the remains of the closed Jungleland in TO. Never went to it while it was operating, though.

K. Martinez said...

I remember highly anticipating "Doctor Doolittle" coming to the theater as my father read the books to me as a child. When my parents took us to see it and the movie was over I was quite disappointed. That's when I learned that most times, the book is better than the film.

Never been to Jungleland, but I did look up Mabel Stark. She may have survived numerous attacks by various tigers, leopards and lions, but she took her own life in the end. She sounded like a very interesting character.


Nice post today! Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

It should have been located in Tarzana, of course. ...and Bruce Springsteen was from the Valley?That's my birthday humor for you...

Nanook said...

@ Connie Moreno-

Wouldn't that be a hoot-?? For some reason I think the taping was done at KTLA or KTTV, but the show aired locally on KABC, so who knows.

But more importantly, it's so nice to see your smiling face back here again-! I should have said something on Sunday. Shame on me-!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I agree, although “Satan the Tiger” is pretty hardcore. Where did they broadcast Chucko’s show from? Presumably not direct from Jungleland.

TokyoMagic!, Rex Harrison was very easy to train, thanks to a few bottles of booze and some pretty ladies.

Connie Moreno, wow, very cool that both you and Nanook saw a Chucko the Clown taping. Or broadcast… were those shows captured on tape? Or Kinescope? I wonder if any exist.

Steve DeGaetano, yes, and nearby (after Jungleland closed) was a camel farm, and an ostrich farm!

K. Martinez, I think I was too young to have much of a critical opinion of Doctor Doolittle, although I know I saw it in the theater. I’ve never read any of the books! But my school sang lots of the songs for some sort of Parent’s Day thing. I knew that Mabel Stark took her own life, but … you know. Kind of morbid, to say the least.

Patrick Devlin, I don’t get the Springsteen joke. Guess I am not smart…

Nanook, yes, I should have welcomed Connie back. WELCOME BACK CONNIE!

Nanook said...

@ Major-

What an interesting thought... I wonder [if any] Chucko the Birthday Clown shows ever originated from Jungleland-? Seems unlikely, as that additional expense for a local TV show would be unseemly. My experience (and assume Connie's, too) took place in a TV soundstage, somewhere in Hollywood.

Ampex introduced quadruplex, 2" videotape (Quad) on April 14, 1956, basically killing-off kinescopes. (Few would shed a tear over that technology advance-!). So kine's of that show wouldn't exist. The bigger question is: Did KABC even bother to record that show on Quad, or was it aired live-? Couldn'a been, back in those days.

Unknown said...

"Jungleland" 1975 Springsteen hit off his first album. Weak sauce at best. You're one of the best writers out there, Major, at least in the blogosphere.

Mark H. Besotted said...

I've had Cheeta on my mind lately, since we just lost The Great Movie Ride. Back in my college days, I took the best "literature" class ever, where we watched a LOT of Tarzan movies. I had a vague recollection that Cheeta was still kicking around back then, so I did some research.

I'd be willing to bet that Jungleland's Cheeta never did any Tarzan work, really.

I did at least find a nice picture of Satan The Tiger, belying his name by behaving for the photo.

Anonymous said...

Hello Major and GDB gang. I remember seeing these brochures on the racks in motels and restaurants, but never got to visit.

Thanks for sharing your memories.


PS. Hello Connie again, good to hear from you.

Chuck said...

Patrick, for what it's worth, I had Springsteen's "Jungleland" in my head all...day...long. And now it's back...tonight...in..Jungle...land...