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A Conversation with J.P. Patches and Gertrude (Chris Wedes and Bob Newman)

Steve Scher
08/28/2008 at 10:00 a.m.

A brand new statue was recently unveiled in Fremont honoring TV icons J.P. Patches and Gertrude. Local fans – called Patches Pals – attended the unveiling in droves. Launched on KIRO TV in 1958, and running for 23 years, "The J.P. Patches Show" is thought to be the longest running locally–produced kids show in America. Today Chris Wedes and Bob Newman (J.P. and Gertrude) join us to reminisce about the show and their lives. What do you remember about "The J.P. Patches Show"? Share your memories thoughts with us. Email Weekday.

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The new bronze statue is located at Solstice Plaza on North 34th Street, to the east of the Fremont Bridge. Kevin Pettelle is the artist that created it.


Chris Wedes is best known as the clown J.P. Patches; a role he played on KIRO television in Seattle for 23 years. At age 80, Wedes is still makes public appearances at fairs and private birthday parties regardless of an ongoing battle with myeloma. He lives with his wife of 50 years in Edmonds.

Bob Newman played multiple popular characters on "The J.P. Patches Show," perhaps most notably J.P.'s occasional "girlfriend," Gertrude. Other favorite characters include Ketchikan the Animal Man, Boris S. Wort – the Second Meanest Man in the World, the Swami of Pastrami, Leroy Frump, Ggoorrsstt the Friendly Frpl, and Miss Smith of Miss Smith's Delivery Service. Currently, Newman is doing some studio make–up work for KCTS, driving his Corvette, and living on his boat in Seattle.

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