KOMU staple 'Pepper and Friends' to go off the air

Friday, May 22, 2009 | 10:33 a.m. CDT; updated 5:12 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 10, 2009

COLUMBIA — "Pepper and Friends," the local variety show that airs on KOMU 8, will end its 27-year run on Sept. 18.

Financial difficulties is the reason for the program ending, said KOMU 8 general manager Marty Siddall in a news release.

'Pepper and Friends' through the years

Sept. 15, 1969 — Paul Pepper joins KOMU 8 as a commercial announcer.

1982 — Pepper & Friends debuts on Saturdays as a 30-minute show. It is taped on Tuesday evenings with a live audience of 100 people.

1983 — James Mouser joins KOMU 8 as a weathercaster.

1985 — Show moves to Monday through Friday.                          

1989 — Show expands to one hour.    

1993 — Kids Corner segment is added to the show.

May 7, 2004 — Show celebrates 5,000th episode.

Sept. 15, 2009 — Paul Pepper will celebrate 40 years with KOMU 8.



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"For many years, everyone at KOMU 8 has worked hard to financially support Pepper and Friends," Siddall said in the release. "Despite our best efforts, we've had to acknowledge that local television shows like this have become increasingly rare due to the high cost of production."

The show, hosted by Paul Pepper and "Uncle" James Mouser, debuted in February 1982 as a 30-minute Saturday evening program.

Are you a fan of "Pepper and Friends?" What is your favorite memory of the show? What do you think of it going off the air? E-mail us your thoughts to


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