the final kid's show of local legend Stu Kerr, "54 Space Corp" was also
the only program he did not make at WMAR-TV, and the only local
children's show to date produced at Channel 54. This time,
the creative Kerr portrayed "Commander Stukker," a take-off on the
Commander Riker character from "Star Trek - The Next
Generation." "54 Space Corp" aired weekday afternoons during
the late '80's/early '90's, and featured the puppetry of Rob Lovett.
Sadly, Stu contracted bone marrow cancer in the early 1990's.
In May 1994, your obedient webmaster, then serving as a producer at
WITH-AM, phoned Stu to arrange an interview on "The Eddie Applefeld
Show." When Stu answered the phone, his voice was raspy and
weak--barely audible, barely recognizable. During the course
of our conversation, I revealed to him that he'd announced my third
birthday on Channel 2 back in 1957, and that the event remained my
first conscious memory. He replied simply, "Awh."
As the interview began, Stu's voice became clear and strong.
I had the presence of mind to grab a cassette and hit the record
button, missing only the first minute or two of the conversation
between Stu and Eddie. We played a few seconds of "Tijuana
Taxi" as Eddie discussed highlights of Stu's 42-year career in
Baltimore. If he was resigned to his fate, he never even
hinted at it during the brief interview with Eddie Applefeld that
Saturday afternoon. In fact, Stu promised Eddie he's come
back on a future program. I'm happy to say I still have that
tape. It turned out to be the last interview of Stu
Kerr. Six weeks later, the television legend died at his home
in the Riderwood section of Baltimore County, at the age of