Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CC Loveheart Interview from Andy Anderson

Classic Nick Wed. –
CC Loveheart Interview from Andy Anderson

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A very special thank you to our own Andy Anderson for conducting this interview with CC Loveheart better known as “Coco the Mime” on Pinwheel House from 1979-1981. She is commonly referred to as “The First Coco.”

Here are the questions (they may be long!). Thank you for participating in this interview.

AA: How did you get the job as "Coco" on Pinwheel? Were you asked to audition, or did you develop the character yourself? Where did the name "Coco" come from?

CC:  A lovely woman and producer of the first 2 seasons, Sandy Kavenaugh saw me in a 2-person mime show in NYC.  She talked to me about developing a mime character for "Pinwheel House".  The project was proposed as a project called, "Qube".   Qube was to be the first attempt at 2-way television.  (Meaning, the viewing audience could have the potential to communicate with the performers.)  This never really happened.  But Pinwheel House was taped with its myriad characters in place.  I participated in the first 2 seasons of taping.  I wrote almost all the skits that I performed because the writers did not know how to write for a mime.  Writers use words, mimes do not, so I was also hired as a writer.

AA: Was Pinwheel already formed as a series when you joined, or were they still developing the structure of the show?

CC:  It was still being structured.

AA: What was the typical shooting/production schedule on the set of Pinwheel?

CC:  I flew to Columbus, Ohio for 2 weeks at a time.  I had young children at home, so it was part of my contract that I be flown home and have time off in-between shoots for Pinwheel House.

AA: How did you get inspired to perform as a mime? Were you influenced by other mimes such as Marcel Marceau?

CC:  I began as and wanted to be a dancer.   (I had danced in the floor shows in Las Vegas.) And, after my last child was born, I took a mime class at a local community college in upstate New York in order to get back in shape.  The teacher of the class asked me to perform with him in NYC.  That’s where Sandy Kavenaugh saw me and hired me.  I also studied mime with Moni Yakim and others before going into “straight” acting.

AA: For those who may have never watched the show before, could you describe Coco's character and personality? What did you enjoy about playing her?

CC:  I loved Coco.  I developed her, wrote and performed her.  I wanted to entertain and inform.  My intention was to make Coco childlike in her innocence and playfulness.  My hope was to make her available and loveable for kids of varying ages.   As to the performing aspect, I was required to be an “athlete” in that often many takes were required, so I had to be very strong physically, in order to repeat the mimes required.

I enjoyed my interactions with Jake, the older couple who lived in the house (whose names I have forgotten), the vegetable vendor, the veggies and the puppets.  All in all, it was a most pleasant working experience.

AA: How popular was Pinwheel at the time it was airing?

CC: I don’t know.  But it certainly caught on.  I still receive emails from folks who grew up with Coco and still remember her fondly. 

AA: Was there ever any thought that Coco might scare young children as they sometimes have an abnormal fear of mimes and clowns?

CC:  Yes, that was a big concern of mine. Children are known to be afraid of clowns and the white face look. So, I developed Coco’s make-up by trying various make-ups.  I would get in front of the camera and look at the monitor to see if the look was friendly, appealing and not scary.  That’s how the hearts on the cheeks along with the big eyed-double- false-eyelash, and pale lip color came to be. 

AA: Some say that Pinwheel was the original name of the Nickelodeon channel, while others say that it was just a program on Nickelodeon. What is most accurate?

CC:  Pinwheel House was always the name of the project.  All of us lived in Pinwheel House or the neighborhood.  As I said, in the beginning, it was under the aegis of “Qube”.


AA: How different was it from making the program for QUBE in Columbus, Ohio, where Pinwheel was created, to making it for Nickelodeon in New York? Did Nickelodeon make any changes to the series once it launched?

CC:  I was not involved in the NY taping.  When it came time to renew my contract, we had a new producer (Tippy Fortune was her name and how appropriate it turned out to be) and we had “contractual differences”.   And so, a woman who was VERY different physically from me, and who had not requested residuals replaced me.

AA: What was your fondest memory on the Pinwheel set? Any behind-the-scenes incidents/outtakes? What are some little known facts about the show?

CC:  I remember a wrap party in which Coco spoke.  I had secured promises from the camera and sound folks and we, in secret, made a tape of Coco speaking and thanking everyone.  Coco had a very strong lisp and the running joke in this private tape (meant only for the party) was that that was why Coco never spoke.   The actor-musician, George James, who played Jake, was a friend and I recommended him for the show.  We had a great time cracking each other up both in front of and behind the camera.

AA: How did you end up leaving Pinwheel? Was it cancelled, or did you leave to pursue other projects?

CC:  As mentioned above, there were contractual differences that played into my leaving.  But, I also felt a strong calling to move on to speaking characters.  I began to work as an actor and went on to have a career that has spanned some 40 years.


AA: Can you recall any other individuals important in developing Pinwheel?

CC:  The young men, Jim Jenson and Brad?? Were the puppeteers and they were very talented.  They brought much to the show.  Unfortunately, Jim died quite young.

And again, Sandy Kavenaugh had great vision and pulled the cast and crew together.  She was instrumental in the success of the show.


AA: Thank you for generously participating in this interview.

CC:  You are welcome.  Please send me the link to your blog.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day from my group "A New Beginning for Classic Nickelodeon."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An Email from George "Jake" James

Classic Nick Wed. –
An Email from George "Jake" James

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This will be a very short post but it is definitely one of my favorites so far.

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 I posted my second Classic Nick Wednesday article which was simply called “Pinwheel” where I discussed the history of one of Nickelodeon’s main programs which I also blogged. ( )

For anyone who grew up watching Pinwheel the name George James will be very familiar to you; he played “Jake” on Pinwheel. He was the resident singer and musician. Yesterday when I checked my email I almost screamed when I read this email. Yes you are reading it correctly, “Jake” emailed me and I am VERY honored to share his email with you.

Please note that I have deleted both his personal email and phone number (yes he sent me his phone number!) for privacy reasons.

An Email from George James

Subject: Thanks‏
From: George James (Personal Email)
Sent: Tue 3/11/14 3:46 AM
To: (All of you know my email.)

Dear Peggy Sue,

I have perused your blog and read your interview on blogspot and am impressed by your knowledge of classic nick.

Thanks for keeping the good old days alive!

George Jacob James ("Jake" from Pinwheel)

George James
(Personal Phone Number Included – deleted for privacy.)
(Personal Email Included – deleted for privacy.)

Subject: Thanks‏
Sent: Mar 15, 2014, at 1:27 PM
To:  George James (Personal Email)

Good Afternoon Mr. James,

Thank you so much for your wonderful email, I’m so honored that you have read my blog and that you approve of it, I just can’t tell you how much that means to me. It has taken me several years, and countless hours of research, to be able to maintain my Yahoo group, website, Facebook pages/groups and blog all in an effort to preserve the memories of the early to mid-80’s Nickelodeon programs. In a way I consider myself an advocate for Classic (80’s) Nickelodeon.

Ya know this may sound a bit strange but I was getting ready to send out a search party for you. Every week in the Sunday paper I see the Parade or the American Profile magazines and at least once a month I think about writing them to ask them about you. What have you been up to lately, how you got involved with Pinwheel and so forth? I did write to one of them about a year ago to ask who took over the role of Coco the Mime after C.C. Loveheart left but never received an answer. Many of us believe it was Lindanell Rivera but there is no way to confirm it other than Wikipidia and to be honest I think someone found that on one of my sites and posted it.

Mr. George, if I may be so bold, may I ask you something? Well, two somethings actually.

1) May I have your autograph?

2) My friend Andy, from Facebook, interviewed Ms. Loveheart for my blog and I was wondering if we may ask you for one as well? It’s okay if you say no but it never hearts to ask.

Thank you again for your email, it truly made my whole week and thank you also for giving me your phone number. I would love to call you but to be honest I’m afraid I would be too excited and my words would come out in a jumble. (I know that sounds a bit silly.) Besides, I’m a writer and I sound much better on paper, or at least for now I do.

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for such wonderful memories when I was growing up. I was about twelve when I started watching Pinwheel but my Mom babysat so I’d watch with the kids and in all honesty I loved it myself they were just an excuse for me to watch J.

Take care and much love,
Peggy Sue - aka - Ice
Writer, Artist, Crafter, Face Painter

A New Beginning for Classic Nickelodeon


Subject: Re: Thanks‏
From: George James (Personal Email)  This sender is in your contact list.
Sent: Sun 3/23/14 10:14 AM
To:  Peggy Sue - (

Dear Peggy Sue (Ice),

Great to get your email and sorry for the delayed response.

Your advocacy and understanding of the early days of Nickelodeon is impressive and heartwarming. You seem to have grasped the well-meaning intentions of the people who took pride in producing "Pinwheel" and the other early programs on "Nickelodeon". It was certainly something that I took much pride and joy in and remains a bright spot in my life. The fact that you value and are promoting the spirit of those early programs is commendable, as they were indeed for and about people. The traveling that I did with the Pinwheel Road Show gave me a chance to actually meet the smiling faces that came to know and love us via the show. To have our intentions confirmed in person was and will always be among the most meaningful experiences of my life.

I can confirm that Lindanell Rivera was indeed the second mime on the show after CC Loveheart. Both were a pleasure to work with. As for your two questions, I would be happy to send you an autograph. Somewhere I have a few promotional pictures which after I find them I will send you one. I will of course need an address to send it to. I will also be happy to to partake in Andy's interview. It will be fun to credit many and make clear some of the fuzzy areas that may exist if I can. I was involved in "Pinwheel" from the development stage so I have knowledge of most that went on.

Since "Pinwheel" I have been involved in many things including writing for "Sesame Street", producing, directing and traveling.

I feel that you truly enjoy what you are doing, and that of course is the key to doing something well.

All best to you Peggy Sue!

George (Jake) James

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Tomorrow Changes Sci-Fi TV Star’s Quiet Life

Classic Nick Wed. – New Tomorrow Changes Sci-Fi TV Star’s Quiet Life
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Tomorrow Changes Sci-Fi TV Star’s Quiet Life

Misako Koba has to be one of the unlikeliest TV stars you’ll ever meet.

Aside from a school play as a child, she had done absolutely no acting prior to landing a role in the ITV sci-fi hit The Tomorrow People in the 1970s.

She filmed three series, then, despite offers galore, quietly returned to family life in Blackpool and has kept a low profile since.

But Misako is coming out of retirement for one-day only at the weekend after being invited to appear at the annual Brit Sci Fi festival in Leicester along with stars from the Doctor Who and Blake’s 7.

“I’ve lived here 30 years now and even my next door neighbour doesn’t know I used to be on television,” she says.

“I’ve been happily raising my family for the last three decades, I haven’t even been to any cast reunions,” she explained.

“But I feel that after all this time I really should say thank you to the fans of the show.”

Misako emigrated to the UK in the 70s and met her actor husband, Colin Sherwood, in London.

They moved to Blackpool shortly afterwards to look after Colin’s mother.

One evening Misako went to see her husband, who has starred in A Family At War and Coronation Street – and will be well known to many in Blackpool for his shows at the Norbreck Castle hotel – in a play at the Oldham Coliseum.

“I met his agent and he told me Thames Television were looking for an oriental lady to star in a show and told me to audition,” she said.

“I laughed because I had never acted before, but he said why not give it a go.

“I went to London, was absolutely awful, but apparently they thought I was a nice person and said if my husband could teach me the script of the first couple of shows they’d hire me ... and they did.”

She appeared in it for three years but when the show ended, and despite being offered all sorts of roles – a part in Tenko, a pantomime, pop record, an advert selling Japanese cars – she decided to bow out of show business and raise a family instead.

Now a mum of four, and still living happily with Colin, she admits she feels like “the luckiest person around”.

“There are thousands of actors who are so good and who really want to make it but never get an opportunity,” she said. “Then there’s someone like me who wasn’t even looking ... I feel so privileged and fortunate. It’s funny because every so often someone will recognise me and say hello, and I am always so surprised because the programme feels like such a long time ago.”

Misako heads to Leicester at the weekend for the Sci Fi convention to make a rare public appearance.

“I got this invitation out of the blue and decided ‘why not?’” she added. “It will be nice to see the cast and the fans because I’ve not been in touch with anyone for so long – my family always came first.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Misako she played “Hsui Tai” on the original 1970’s version of The Tomorrow People (TV Series). Here is a list of the episodes she appeared in:

- The Lost Gods: Flight of Fancy (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Lost Gods: Life Before Death (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Hitler's Last Secret: Men Like Rats (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Hitler's Last Secret: Seeds of Destruction (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Thargon Menace: Unexpected Guests (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Thargon Menace: Playing with Fire (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Castle of Fear: Ghosts and Monsters (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Castle of Fear: Fighting Spirit (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Achilles Heel: A Room at the Inn (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Achilles Heel: Everything to Lose (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Living Skins: A Harmless Fashion (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Living Skins: Cold War (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: Close Encounter (1979) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: Contact! (1979) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: Standing Alone (1979) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: All in the Mind (1979) ... Hsui Tai

Saturday, March 1, 2014

In Search of Saturdays

Welcome to “In Search of Saturdays" a space I’ve designed to help members find those long lost movies, cartoons, TV shows, toys, games and anything else that we’ve all been looking for, for a very long time.

The instructions are simple. Post your personal “looking for” list here and we’ll all see if we can help you find what you’re looking for.

If you can’t remember the name of a show or toy that’s alright, post what you can remember and maybe someone here will be able to tell you what it is. Also please remember that if you are listing television shows or movies please let us know if you are looking to purchase these shows or if you just want to watch them online. Then we, the members of the group, will help try to help each other and go “in search of” those items for our fellow members.
A good places to start our searches is iOffer ( ) which, in my opinion, is better than eBay b/c you can find lots of shows there that you can’t find anywhere else.

This is a list of the Classic Nickelodeon programs that I’m looking for to purchase. Please note that I am a private collector who does not copy and resell my collection. The videos and DVDs that I collect are for my own private viewing here in my home or my Mother’s house where I originally saw them. If you have any of these and would like to sell me copies – for my private viewing – please contact me at     Also, IF you contact me via email PLEASE PUT THE NAME OF THE SHOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE. Thank you.

***** NON VIDEO ITEMS *****Muppets Magazine 1982
People Magazine – recent issue – no date – Marc Summers’ article
Any 80’s women’s or children’s magazines
Early to Mid 80’s TV Guides

Dusty's Treehouse
Hocus Focus
Kids’ Writes
Nick Rocks Video to Go
Pinwheel – more than just the 6 hrs that’s currently available
Science International (aka) What Will They Think of Next?
Spread Your Wings
Standby...Lights! Camera! Action!
Studio See

The Adventures of the Mole
Bunny in the Suitcase
Emily (Emilie) (my favorite)
Hattytown Tales
Magic Coco
The Magic Roundabout

Beware, Beware My Beauty Fair
Clarence & The Ottaway (staring Billy Hufsey)
Kids’ Writes
Silver City (The Righteous Apples special)