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George F Pierrot
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Birth: Jan. 11, 1898
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Feb. 16, 1980
Wayne County
Michigan, USA

Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 12:10 pm:

When I first saw a comic strip by Seth in the NY Times Sunday Magazine(10/8), I was actually disappointed that maybe George Sprott was an actual person and that George Pierrot was only one of many TV travelogue shows on television and not the unique TV personality I always thought he was.

However, after a bit of research it turns out that George Sprott is a fictional character and the cartoonist, Seth, is a Clinton, Ontario native born in 1962, which would place him in the right timeframe and possibly close enough to have seen the wonderful George Pierrot and his World Adventure Series TV show. Though I haven't found anything yet saying Seth's George Sprott is in fact based on George Pierrot the similarities between the two are so strong the reference would be hard to deny.

Like Seth, George Sprott is based in Canada and Sprott's TV show is shown on the fictional CKCK television station. At first, I found it upsetting that a local Detroit personality would be appropriated like this, but Seth in an interview said he was planning to extend his George Sprott story to twenty cartoon panels. That's impressive, because there is so little material in print on George Pierrot. So if Seth has to personalize this fiction to bring his George Pierrot-like figure to comic book length, so be it.

Though I have a letter to Seth's publisher enquiring about his George Pierrot connection, I wanted to post these links on the Detroit forum, so folks here could enjoy this comic strip series that appears to be based on a beloved figure of local Detroit television.

The cartoon series has appeared in the past four issues of the New York Times Sunday Magazine. The first panel is the Prologue, and the latest section, Chapter Three, was printed in last Sunday's magazine. It would be great if the New York Times Magazine continues to print the following sections of Seth's cartoon if he takes it to twenty panels like he said.

The George Sprott Series to date:

The Prologue:

Chapter One:

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

George Pierrot photo source: actual person and that George Pierrot was only one of many TV travelogue shows on television and not the unique TV personality I always thought he was.

While the screaming of the wrestlers attracted audiences, there was quieter television fare like George Pierrot's travel show five afternoons a week.

George Pierrot

Pierrot had started his World Adventure Series at the Detroit Institute of Arts during the Depression. Detroiters paid 25 cents each to hear his talks and watch his films about his trips around the world.

His television show featured the films and talks of other world travelers, such as the bicycle rider and humorist Stan Midgley. Occasionally, some of his guest's tales would drag on and Pierrot was seen dozing on his set more than once. But his whimsical humor and rambling tales delighted his loyal fans.

From The Detroit News:

Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940
Name George Francis Pierrot Jr
Event Type Birth
Event Date 11 January 1898
Event Place Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Registration Date 25 January 1926
Registration Place , Cook, Illinois
Gender Male
Father's Name George Francis Pierrot
Father's Birthplace St Louis Missouri
Father's Age 36
Mother's Name Aloyse Martin
Mother's Birthplace Morris Illinois
Mother's Age 26
Certificate Number 19078
Father's Estimated Birth Year 1862
Mother's Estimated Birth Year 1872
Family links: 
  Helen Hay Pierrot (1906 - 1989)*
*Calculated relationship
Elmwood Cemetery
Wayne County
Michigan, USA
Created by: Fred Rousseau
Record added: Nov 02, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61030986
George F Pierrot
Added by: Fred Rousseau
George F Pierrot
Added by: Fred Rousseau
George F Pierrot
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Earl Richard Sutton
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Growing up in Detroit I never traveled more than 200 miles from the city until I went into the Army in 1968. I remember his travel show and how much I enjoyed seeing all the places in the world that I could only hope to visit someday.
 Added: Sep. 3, 2015

- Lance
 Added: Sep. 21, 2012
George, it was my pleasure to meet you one time and shake your hand at the Detroit Institute of Arts. I hope to be able to do that again one day. Thanks for all the wonderful memories and all of the roads and the days. Rest very well indeed Sir.
- Larry Caplin
 Added: Jan. 23, 2011
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