It is perhaps the longest running weekend children's show produced for a specific market. It's also a pity that it was cancelled before it's time.
Wonderama, which at one time aired 6 days a week, was the center of WNEW (now WNYW)'s Sunday morning programming block from its launch in 1956 until it was cancelled in 1977. There was a brief revival in the early 80's, but it was in the form of a magazine show not quite unlike, say, for example, Big Blue Marble, and not the variety extravaganza most people remember.
Al Hodge (Captain Video) was the show's first host, and among his successors was local favorite Sandy Becker, who had his own show, also on channel 5, and went on to do some voice acting in cartoons. Sonny Fox succeeded Becker, and after leaving channel 5, hosted the Saturday morning show, Way Out Games, which was a dud for CBS in 1976. Bob McAllister was the last host, at the helm for the final 10 years.
According to a Wikipedia entry on the show, McAllister was upset that the station saw fit to run an ad for a violent Charles Bronson movie ("The Mechanic") one day, and supposedly started asking people to stop watching the show. However, appearing on another channel 5 show after Wonderama's demise, McAllister said he didn't know why the show was dropped. Perhaps in his case ignorance was meant to be bliss--ABC hired him to host Kids Are People, Too, which debuted in the fall of '77, but didn't last anywhere near as long as Wonderama.
There was a time when the show also aired on Saturdays, which was my first exposure. I did see some Sunday episodes near the end of the run, but not the following clip, in which McAllister sings one of the show's signature songs, "Good News", while special guest star Paul Lynde (Hollywood Squares, Bewitched) sat in the audience. This clip comes from 1973..........