Bill Riley "Hey Bob Show"
KRNT - 1949
by Ray Dennis
special thanks to Jerry Hassett (Bob's son)

Click for the "Origin and Purpose of the Hey Bob Show"


The Hey Bob Show was aired on KRNT radio (and later KRNT-TV) from 1949 until the mid 1950's. The radio program was 1/2 hour in length and originated on Saturday mornings from one of several locations that included the Paramount Theater, KRNT Theater and Hoyt Sherman Place. The New Utica Clothing Company and Continental Baking Company (Wonder Bread) were loyal sponsors. There was a special Hey Bob section in the New Utica Store.

Hey Bob's founder, Bob Hassett received many awards for his efforts and had audiences with two US presidents while receiving awards.

The Hey Bob Dummy and Founder Bob Hassett

Coco the Clown - Bill Riley Doing Interview

Bill Riley would have been only 29 years old when he produced and hosted this Hey Bob Show. The Hey Bob Show was a children's program that dealt with safety. The "Hey Bob" came from the show's slogan "What do you yell when you see a traffic violation? "Hey Bob." Nowadays with road rage, one couldn't imagine instructing kids to do something like that, but it must have been OK in the 40's. The show was broadcast live at 9:30 on Saturday mornings from the Paramount Theater in downtown Des Moines. Bill mentioned on this show that there were 1,000 kids in the audience. Attending the Hey Bob show was a special treat for Des Moines kids. The radio show was broadcast on KRNT and was 30 minutes in length. Cartoons were shown to the live audience after the radio show each week.

Kids Lined Up Outside KRNT Theater

4,000 Kids on June 2, 1950

This writer (at 7 years of age) may very well have been in that 1949 audience. This particular program was the fifth Hey Bob show in the series.

The "Hey Bob" full sized dummy has been seen on display at the Iowa State Fair in fairly recent years.

Let's listen to this edited Hey Bob Show from 1949. You will find the recording very scratchy. This is because it was cut onto a acetate record at the radio station and the record has become worn. The acetate disks were made of a soft material and were intended as temporary recordings to delay radio programs and record commercials. Some of the disks were 16 inches in diameter and some were recorded from the center out.

Our very special thanks to Bob Ogburn for furnishing this rare recording and also Jerry Hassett for the pictures and background material.


Bill Riley "Hey Bob Show" - 1949

One of a Kind - Hey Bob Puppet

These were not put into production because they looked too good and didn't properly portray the image of the dummy. This prototype resides in Jerry Hassett's home.


We plan to have much more material on Bill Riley, but for the moment we would suggest that you click on this Des Moines Register Famous Iowans - Bill Riley link. home page