the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

*The Yiddish word for name is "nomen"

I have a new "eynikl"/"ainikel" (grandchild) and his name is Preston Matthew.  This is our fifth grandchild, the first child for our son, Daniel.

I've just returned from Denver, where Dan

Every time I held the "beybi," I thought of
the long-running adventure series about
Sergeant William Preston of the Northwest
Mounted Police and his lead sled dog, Yukon King.  For those unfamiliar with the
program, Preston and his dog fought evildoers in the Northern wilderness
during the gold Rush of the 1890s.

Preston first joined the Mounties to capture his father's killer, and when he was
successful, he received a "hekherung" 
(promotion/advance) to Sergeant.
Preston worked under the command of
inspector Conrad, and in the early years was often assisted by a French-Canadian guide named Pierre.

Preston's staunchest ally, who often did
more work than he did, was the "brahv"
(brave) Alaskan husky, Yukon King.  What
was a typical plot?  A  plot involved
"di por" (the pair) helping injured trappers,
tracking down smugglers, or saving cabin
dwellers from wolverines.  Yukon King and
his dog team were the key mode of
transportation and was signalled by Preston's cry of "On, King!  On, you huskies!"

The show's theme "muzik" was Emil von
Reznicek's overture to Donna Diana, a now
long-forgotten opera, though the overture
remains a concert staple to this day.  The
show's episodes ended with the official
pronouncement, "Well, King, this case is

Following "di hatslokhe" (success) of Lone
Ranger and Green Hornet, George W. Trendle, the station owner, asked for a
"enlekh" (similar) adventure show, but with
a "hunt" (dog) as "der held" (the hero).
Trendle insisted that it not be "a dog like
Lassie" because this must be an action
story.  It had to be a working dog.  The dog was originally called Mogo, but was re-christened the canine King.

The barks, whines, and howls of Yukon King
were supplied by "klang" (sound)  effects man, Dewey Cole.  Following Cole's death,
actor, Ted Johnstone, took over the job.

The role of Sergeant Preston was played by different actors.  Jay Michael, who had often played villain Butch Cavendish on The
Lone Ranger, originated the role.
Paul Sutton took over the role, followed
briefly by Brace Beemer, when the Lone
Ranger ended in 1954.   .

In the TV series, Richard Simmons starred
as Sgt. Preston.  The dog cast as King was
not a husky, but a large Alaskan Malamute.
The plotlines were generally built upon the same themes as the radio version.   Genuine
outdoor scenes were added to give the
show some reality.  Mainly filmed in Ashcroft, Colorado, the series was telecast
from Sept. 29, 1955 to Sept. 25, 1958.

There were many spoofs about Sergeant
Preston of the Yukon.  Radio comics, Bob
and Ray, came up with King Yukon of the
Northwest, a rabid dog who viciously attacked the mountie and all around him.
Two episodes of the animated series,
Dudley Do-Right paired Dudley with a
"vild" (wild) wolf who he attempted to train
in the manner of Yukon KIng.  And in an issue of the comic book, Cerebus the
Aardvark, bungling superhero, The Roach,
posed as Sgt. Preston.

The National Lampoon Radio Hour parodied Sergeant Preston in "Corporal
McInerny of the Northwest Mounted
Library Police, with Yukon Glenn, the
Wonder Moose."  In the parody, Corporal
McInerny tracked down a trapper, Frenchy
LeMerde, who had broken an unwritten
"gezets" (law) of the Yukon by keeping the
only copy of the Kama Sutra within 500
miles past its due date.

The title "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon"
was also used for a song written and
performed by Ray Stevens.  The producers
of the program, The King-Trendle Broad-
casting Corporation, objected to Stevens'
use of their character without
"dos derloybenish" ( the permission) and threatened
him with a lawsuit.  Unaware that he had
committed copyright infringement, he
agreed to pull "di plate" (the record), and
King dropped the suit.

Welcome to the world, "beybi"  Preston
Matthew.  I hope that you won't mind if your "zeyde" (grandfather) and I call you
"Sergeant Preston."
                Radio of Yesteryear  TM


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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