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  • Spotlight Presentation => Carmichael and the Pallenberg Wonder Bears by author Peggy Adler

Spotlight Presentation => Carmichael and the Pallenberg Wonder Bears by author Peggy Adler

  • 07/15/2024
  • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
  • Salon of La Maison Francaise at Assumption University
  • 72


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Carmichael, a polar bear, was first written into Jack Benny's radio show in February 1939 and became one of his program's most beloved, running gags. Given to him as a birthday gift, Carmichael lived in the basement of his Beverly Hills home and was in twenty episodes.  In 1940, Benny fans finally saw Carmichael, in the feature film, Buck Benny Rides Again.  There, he was portrayed by a female bear named Mischka, who was powdered for the part to make her look like a polar bear.

Mischka's owner and trainer, Emil Pallenberg (1888-1963), is considered to have been the greatest bear trainer of his time and he originated most of the tricks performed by bears to this day. He was the first person to teach a bear to ride a bicycle and a motorcycle. He also taught his bears to roller skate, dance, walk on stilts, play musical instruments and walk the tight rope.  At no time did The Pallenberg Wonder Bears, as they came to be known, perform in a cage.  They performed on a leash attached to a muzzle -- on a platform or in a ring.  


Peggy Adler is an American author & illustrator and investigative researcher.

Previous to her 2022 biography, "Pallenberg Wonder Bears - From the Beginning" (BearManor Media), Peggy authored a pictorial history titled, "Images of America CLINTON" (Arcadia Publishing, 2019); five titles for New York City publishers (The John Day Company & Franklin Watts); illustrated two dozen titles, and provided art for the Bronx Zoo; the Humane Society of the United States; Little, Brown & Company; the Journal of Theoretical Biology; the Journal of Algebra; the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; and World Scientific Publishing.  Peggy has also done much, much more in her life!

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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609

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