Fan Ed remembers his association with Sonny
It is with great sadness that I mourn the passing of Sonny Fox, who left us on January 24 as a result of COVID-related pneumonia.
For an entire generation of children growing up in the NYC Tri-State area, Sonny was one of the coolest adults on television, a mentor and friend, who dominated your weekends. The secret to Sonny’s success is that he never talked down to children, but rather provided unbiased access and understanding to issues of the day, in a way that kids could relate. A master of improvising on live TV, Sonny often added his wry humor and wit to just about every segment and made you feel like you were an insider.
On Sunday mornings, Fox hosted “Wonderama” a four hour live show that brought the world into your living room. A blend of unique interviews, unusual culture segments, timely current events, politics, plus comedy, cartoons and anything that kids would find fascinating and fun.
On Saturday mornings, Sonny hosted “Just For Fun” a live team competition show that pitted half of the audience against the other half for lively rounds of fun and games and Simon Sez.
Sonny, along with other local NYC TV icons, Chuck McCann, Soupy Sales and Sandy Becker, inspired and entertained kids on live TV creating a high bar for children’s television that remains unsurpassed to this day.
As an NBC Page, I was lucky enough to become an Intern for Sonny when he was NBC’s Vice President of Children’s Television in 1976. We continued to stay in touch over the decades and this past June, I co-hosted Sonny’s 95th Birthday Zoom Party with Randy Bucknoff, who runs his website, SonnyFox.TV and Sonny’s Facebook page. At 95 years, Sonny was still sharp as ever.
It was clear that all who attended felt a special connection with Sonny. Suddenly we were all kids again, hanging on Sonny’s every word. I will post a link to the Zoom Party in the comments section.
Every so often, Sonny would call me with something on his mind or just a chance to catch up. Invariably, we would wind up joking with each other. I cherish those phone calls, knowing that Sonny appreciated my humor as much as I enjoyed his.
Rest in Peace Sonny. A generation of New Yorkers thank you for your inspiring intelligence, warmth kindness and wit. You will be missed…