Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame
"Birdie with a yellow bill, hopped upon my window sill, cocked a shining eye and said ..." That phrase became the most famous sign-off in area television history, and a trademark of one of the most talented and best-loved broadcasters of the era, Clellan Card.
Better known as "Axel," the bespectacled children's show host with the comical moustache and corny Scandinavian accent, he was already one of the area's most successful radio personalities before entering television. He began as a radio actor and announcer at WCCO Radio in 1930, and also worked at Twin Cities radio stations WDGY and KSTP. His popular morning radio program Almanac of the Air began in 1936 on WCCO. He started his television career at WTCN TV (now WCCO TV) Minneapolis/Saint Paul in 1950. After the tragic deaths of his two oldest sons, he decided to create a television show for children. Axel and His Dog premiered in 1954, and his ad-libbed humor, with "birdies," knock-knocks, and a unique version of "The Night Before Christmas," made the show a smash hit. His death, at 62 years of age, on April 13, 1966, was mourned by fans young and old.