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Blake Pontchartrain: Where can I watch old Mr. Bingle shows?

The scoop on New Orleans’ favorite holiday character

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Hey Blake,

  It's almost Christmas. Why can't I find any videos of the Mr. Bingle show? Do they still exist?

Clarke Kissel

Dear Clarke,

  As I sit here at my desk, I'm flanked by a couple of Mr. Bingle dolls: one from when Ol' Blake was Li'l Blake and one from this year's collection at Dillard's. The store chain inherited the little snowman mascot from Maison Blanche department store and keeps him alive and on the shelves.

  For those too young to remember, Mr. Bingle starred in his own daily television shows during the holiday season, sponsored by Maison Blanche. Mr. Bingle was "born" in 1947, the creation of Maison Blanche display director Emile Alline, who wanted the store to have its own Christmas character.

  Sharing the same initials as the store, Mr. Bingle was a merchandising bonanza best known as a marionette in the hands of Edwin "Oscar" Isentrout. The giant papier-mache Bingle (now a fixture at City Park's Celebration the Oaks) was a landmark on Canal Street, dangling from the storefront before the building became The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans.

  There is little by which we can remember Mr. Bingle's early TV days. Many segments were done live or the film was reused or tossed out. You'll find some audio clip online at Now, how about that theme song?

  Jingle, jangle, jingle

  Here comes Mr. Bingle

  with another message from Kris Kringle

  Time to launch the Christmas season

  Maison Blanche makes Christmas pleasin'

  Gifts galore for you to see

  Each a gem from M.B.!


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