Chris Wedes aka J. P. Patches April 3, 1928-July 22, 2012
Seattle recently lost one of its most colorful characters, J.P. Patches (full name: Julius Pierpont Patches). He was a clown portrayed by Seattle entertainer Chris Wedes. The J.P. Patches Show was one of the longer-running locally-produced children’s television programs in the United States, having appeared on Seattle TV station KIRO channel 7 from 1958 to 1981.
The son of Greek immigrants, Chris grew up in the twin cities area of Minnesota. His given name is actually “Christ”, but to avoid confusion he humbly dropped the “T”. His father, John, owned a downtown St. Paul diner where Chris worked for a short time while completing college. His mother, Kleto, to whom he attributes much of his sense of humor, used to call him “Tikey.” There is much more to learn about him at www.jppatches.com. His Greek roots in Minnesota are described at www.jppatches.com/page6.htm.
History House of Greater Seattle had a great relationship with Chris Wedes to the point that he allowed the construction of a full reproduction of his set from KIRO-TV in its facility. www.historyhouse.org. He can also be seen describing his work in a video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU6pP-k4KLI
As the folks at History House said, “He’d probably only want us to be sad for a little while.”
Photos and text from J.P.Patches.com and History House