MRS. MUFFIN COLLECTION
Earl K. Long Library
University of New Orleans
Size 3 items (1.5 linear feet)
locations New Orleans metropolitan area and region within WDSU-TV’s broadcast signal.
Inclusive dates 1950-1957
Summary One photograph of the cast of the children’s program “Mrs. Muffin” and two stuffed animals possibly from the set of the show, which was broadcast by WDSU-TV, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana.
collections Alec Gifford WDSU Television Archive of New Orleans Broadcasting (Mss 277)
Source Gift, 2002
Citation Mrs. Muffin Collection, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
When New Orleans television was in its infancy, Terry Flettrich (now Terry Flettrich Rohe) was one of its pioneers. She is remembered as the star of WDSU-TV”s Midday and Mrs. Muffin, the latter of which was one of the city’s earliest television shows for children. Flettrich insisted, however, that “there were really two stars, two Mrs. Muffins. Sue Fontaine was the behind-the-scenes character. ‘Without her there would never have been a Mrs. Muffin.’
“Fontaine was from Sioux City, Iowa; Flettrich Rohe was born in Siberia, raised in Shanghai, China, and settled in New York's Greenwich Village before being lured to New Orleans by a former roommate. Both women met and married 9th Ward boys. Fontaine was producing a children's talent show for WDSU called Telekids and an adult talent show called New Voices. Flettrich Rohe was ‘pioneering D. H. Holmes’ At Home show’ when WDSU moved from the Hibernia building to 540 Royal. There, Flettrich Rohe took over the Midday program from Vera Massey, who had become ill.
“‘What I really wanted to do was produce a really solid program for children,’ Flettrich Rohe said. Finally, fate brought the two women together at the Bourbon House (a former [French] Quarter hangout) where they shared 18-cent cups of coffee, came up with the show idea and pitched it to WDSU. The rest, as they say, is history.
“None of the ‘Mrs. Muffin’ shows were taped—video wasn't created until 1961. But the show that was born February 18, 1950 in the brand-new WDSU studio on Royal Street lives on in people’s memories.’”
On November 24, 2002, a reunion of Flettrich Rohe and persons who had appeared on Mrs. Muffin was held at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts to raise funds for the center. The items in this collection were acquired there.
Series I. Stuffed Animals
These stuffed animals may have decorated the set of the Mrs. Muffin show. Each bears a tag printed in red on white with a heart and the words “Mrs. Muffin with Love” and another tag reading, “Mrs. Muffin Characters that lived in her cottage.”
318-1 Stuffed bear, brown, with red ribbon around neck. Tag reads, “Made in China for Kel-Toy Inc., San Francisco, CA 94124. . . .Contains acrylic polyester fiber.” Also bears original price tag ($2.50).
318-2 Stuffed dog, yellow, with floppy ears and long tail. Tag reads, “New material made in China. Plush 4 Play.”
Series II. Photograph
318-3 Photograph taken on the Mrs. Muffin set on the day of the final show (!957). Included in the photograph are Terry Flettrich (seated); Leonard (Lenny) Flettrich; Terry Gerstner; Irwin Poche, Jr.; George Cuccia; Ellen Viola Hardeman; and engineers and cameramen.
Mrs. Muffin (Television program)
Rohe, Terry Flettrich
Television programs—Louisiana—New Orleans
Television stations—Louisiana—New Orleans
WDSU-TV (Television station : New Orleans, La.)
“Focus Forum,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, December 8, 2002, p. 3.
Aesha Rasheed, “Warm Memories,” New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 25, 2002, p. B-1.