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Dr. Max and Mombo

“We were only supposed to be on once or twice, but we stayed on quite a while,” said Fred Petrick, who played Mombo on “The Dr. Max Show.” For 20 years, the show entertained children eastern Iowa. Children would crowd around the television, waiting to watch the loveable characters of Max Hahn, Fred Petrick, and the humorous cartoon characters.

The show came about because the memorable Marshal J received a promotion and was transferred to San Francisco. With Marshal J’s promotion, KGAN had a space to fill in the afternoon line up and who decided to add “The Dr. Max Show.”

The station thought of Max Hahn, a veteran of local community theater, was the best candidate. He worked as a printer at night and prepared “The Dr. Max Show” in the afternoon.

One of the children’s favorite characters, Mombo, was never meant to be. Originally, Mombo was made-up character that Hahn would mention every time he made a mistake; but children wanted the real thing. Hahn invited his friend Fred Petrick to play the character of Mombo.

Hahn knew Petrick from community theater and thought he would be perfect for the role of Mombo. Petrick decided to present his character as a clown, something he had practiced many times. Petrick also practiced a few magic tricks and would occasionally perform the tricks on the show; the children loved him.

The show aired live every afternoon and it turned Hahn and Petrick into personalities in their own rights. The show became such a hit that Hollywood stars and sports heroes came to visit and talk with Dr. Max and Mombo.

“The Dr Max Show” offered something new and different everyday for two decades and it kept the children wanting more.

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