The mysterious disappearance of Jot the Dot
Long before VeggieTales, The Donut Man and Superbook, there was a little ping-pong character named Jot who was, well, a dot. Often confused with his cousin, the smiley face, Jot was once a large part of Christian culture, but now is almost all forgotten. Stories of sightings of the dot pop up from time to time like sightings of Elvis in a mini mart.
For the uniformed, Jot lived with his dot parents and attended school with all of the other dots. When they stood still, Jot and friends sprouted arms and legs but when they moved, they shaped back into a dot and bounced around. Each four and one-half minute episode was told from a child’s point of view, featured a moral lesson and a Bible verse or two.
Jot was born in 1959 but his first story wasn’t aired on TV until 1963 or 1965 (depending on the source). Jot was created by Ruth Byers and Ted Perry and was produced by the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission (RATC). Buyers was an artist and was a director of Children’s productions at a local theatre. Perry was a writer for RATC.
The two created a stylistic yet simple cartoon that still looks great today if you can find him. Initially, Jot cartoons were shown on a locally-produced show, Peppermint Place, in Dallas, TX and then later on The Children’s Hour in Fort Worth, TX. The episodes were distributed nationally and even internationally and translated into 19 different languages. Jot was syndicated from 1965 to the 1980s. Lou Kelly voiced jot from 1965-1966 and again from 1968 to 1981. Colleen Collins voiced Jot during 1967. Jot was also a big hit around the country as part of a vacation Bible school curriculum. But after that, Jot pretty much disappeared.
Sightings of the dot are posted every so often. In March of 2009, Jot created his own Twitter account where he posted that he was the official mascot of FamilyNet Television. He was living in Atlanta with his wife and two dots at the time. Mysteriously, the tweets stopped in October of that same year. Jot also has a MySpace and Facebook page, but nothing has been posted on those sites since October 2009 as well. Later in December, it was announced that FamilyNet Television was purchased by ComStar Media. Coincidence? I think not. By visiting the current FamilyNet or ComStar websites, you will find no mention of the little guy.
However, just this last Sunday, June 26, Jot made a brief appearance again as five of the original cells of the TV series were auctioned off by Heritage Auctions.
Do you remember Jot? Watch the video to see if it helps jog your memory. It’s time for a Jot comeback tour. Sure, he’s probably a little heavier now and has a few wrinkles, but don’t we all?
Originally posted on: Examiner.com