Concept

Bob Homme

Summary
Robert Mandt Homme, C.M. (ˈhʌmmiː ; March 8, 1919 – May 2, 2000) was an American-Canadian television actor. Homme was best known as the host of The Friendly Giant, a popular children's television program that aired from the 1950s through the 1980s and was broadcast on CBC Television. Homme was born in Stoughton, Wisconsin into a Norwegian family. His parents were high school woodworking teachers, Raymond and Roselyn Homme. He attended elementary school at West Side School before attending Stoughton High School where he graduated in 1937. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a major in economics. He worked at a bank before joining the Air National Guard. His unit was activated in June 1941, prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was soon promoted to Staff Sergeant, a rank he held for the duration of the war. One of his military assignments was to study psychology at Cornell University. He was later sent to study again at the University of Wisconsin. He finished the war processing and classifying discharging servicemen. Among the notable people he discharged was the actor and director, Captain John Huston. Following graduation, Homme took a job with the University of Wisconsin State Radio Station WHA. Homme was married to Esther Eleanor Anderson and had four children: Richard, Ann, Ruth and Peter. Richard was a Toronto-based jazz bassist who died on May 6, 2011. Singer and voice actress Emilie-Claire Barlow is Homme's step-granddaughter. The Friendly Giant While working at WHA radio, Homme would regularly drive from Madison to Chicago to watch rehearsals of a pioneering network television variety show called, The Dave Garroway Show. From these trips, Bob had developed an interest in programming. In 1953 as he was driving back from Chicago to Madison, he imagined creating a children's program. Bob recognized that giants were usually portrayed as frightening. It was his wife, Esther, who came up with the idea of a "friendly giant." Bob recognized that taking what is usually associated with a scary character and making it nice makes it doubly nice.
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