Rest in Peace, Mr. Peppermint

Categories: Local Hero, Media
jerry haynes yearbook.jpg
Jerry Haynes in the 1944 Woodrow Wilson High School yearbook
I last spoke with Jerry Haynes a few weeks ago. He wasn't feeling well -- he'd been diagnosed with Parkinson's a while back and had moved to Longview -- but said he was in good spirits. We didn't talk long; he said he'd call back later, but never did. Now comes word from WFAA, which aired his Mr. Peppermint for close to four decades, that Jerry Haynes has died at the age of 84, which is heartbreaking news for those of us raised on the children's program populated by Muffin the Bear, Mr. Wiggly Worm and Captain Candy in which there continues to be much interest -- so much so a gentleman from West Virgina sent me an email a few days ago asking me how to reach Jerry while insisting "our company is interested in airing some of his programs and doing a possible reboot of the show."

In '07, Jerry and I spoke about his turning 80. He said at the time he didn't want to dwell on the occasion.
"I don't wanna talk about it, being 80," he says, chuckling. "It's weird. That's so damned old. I see guys who are 80 and, like my mother used to say when we left her at the rest home, 'Son, those people are old.' It's OK. I feel all right. As long as you feel like counting the snowflakes when they fall outside your house, you're in good shape. And a few fell this morning."
Our condolences to his wife Doris and their children, among them son Gibby, and grandchildren.






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45 comments
SailorDave
SailorDave

The good ship Hound's Tooth, with Captain Candy at the wheel, sailed into the sunset yesterday, taking Mr. Peppermint on one last voyage. Seeing him at the State Fair one year, on my birthday no less, was one of the best presents of my life. I give him full credit for sparking this little kid's interest in sailing ships, which has led to my lifelong enjoyment of sailing. Hanging in my father’s workshop is the wooden cane Santa gave me for Christmas one year, with the red and white stripes he so carefully painted, and the old straw hat, with the striped hatband my mother sewed. I wrote to him years ago and thanked him for all he did for us little kids, and for how he had touched my life. Thank you to Jerry's family for sharing him with us for all those years. He was a blessing to us all. Rest in peace, Jerry Haynes, and may God hold you and your family close in His love.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Thanks Jerry, for YEARS of wholesome, calming entertainment for kids in Dallas in the 1960's. Like Captain Kangaroo and later MR. Rogers, you used yoru own talents and treated us like thinking human -beings, not money machines for commercials.

And thanks from all of us from the Skyline German Dance Club, 1975-1978. Appearing on your show that one time for Mayfest was a highlight in our teen years. When asked if we wanted to perform on that kids' show, we screamed, I mean screamed, "YES!!!" We may have been cool teens, but your show was the coolest.

Lillian Gonnell
Lillian Gonnell

I worked on Peppermint Place for almost 20 years. We worked many long hours together, frequently under less than desirable circumstances.  The show was under-budgeted and under-staffed.  Actually, "the staff" was the studio production crew: Bud, Jer the C, Jimmy, Andy, Rod, David, Gil, Ben... and many other guys who rotated into the show with their shift. We taped all the shows for the week on one day, in between doing the newscasts at WFAA.  It was hectic and it wasn't easy.  But it was always fun. 

Jerry was always Jerry, always up-beat, encouraging, sympathetic.  He was the kindest man I ever met.

Johnnymondo
Johnnymondo

What a great man and a wonderful program....I remember him reading Birthdays for the day every morning and it was a treat to hear your name-- or my sister (who I love dearly) called out before school so everyone would know when you got there.....he was the Mr Rogers of DFW before any one else.......he touch thousands of kids lives....I was blessed to know him and his show. What a treat to grow up with someone who thought of you first as a kid!!!!!!

JC
JC

Godspeed Mr Peppermint. You will be missed greatly.

Tom
Tom

Maybe Mr. Peppermint and Icky can collaborate on a really big show, now. Blessings to Jerry's family and to all who fondly remember. Friends -- we are all headed that way, and we'll be on the other side a whole lot longer than we were ever here.

Bigdtxhorn
Bigdtxhorn

Where did he buy his peppermint suits?

DavidMargulies
DavidMargulies

 I met Jerry when I first started working at Channel 8. He was a big time personality at the station but was the most humble and down to earth person in the building. Amazing in a business not known for people being humble. He was also a fine actor and will be missed by the thousands of people whose lives he touched.   

Erich S.
Erich S.

I met Jerry backstage at the Buttholes/Flaming Lips/Stone Temple Pilots show at Fair Park back in...I dunno, '93? '94? We talked for a while. I was hopped up on meth. We discussed acting. He told me about some regional theatre he had recently been involved with. Then he calmly walked away and demolished the craft services table. It was videotaped. I know the footage has to be out there.

Drew spider Minshew
Drew spider Minshew

always mr peppermint could make me smile, it was simple then and his light heartedness and special ways always made me feel better. even now @ 60 i ponder on all he meant to me in my youth, some great lessons learned from a man whom kindness was always so obvious! i will always have the kindest and most wonderfull thought,s in my heart of him. and it was him that help to see what was a good thing kindness is espically when there is so little of it around thats when it more precious rest in peace jerry alais mr peppermint. I for one will never forget what you had shown me as a young boy and will continue to spreadkindness as you so justly taught me! your enternal friend Spider Minshew ! my condolences to all his family rest assured his life was well invested to many just like me !!

ThatGuy
ThatGuy

I was a writer on several "industrial theater" projects when Jerry was a cast member.  He was a very good actor and a sweet guy.  But, the biggest fun for me was hearing "Mr. Peppermint" swear like a sailor.  Jerry was an earthy guy. He is missed.

Billdeore
Billdeore

...Can remember Jerry from his earliest days at WFAA doing live 7-11 ads.

Mr. Peppermint used to visit my office across the street at the DMN to do some off-location shoots for the kids. Once, in the early 70's, they came over and set up to do the shoot... Muffin stationed at the top of my drawing board and Jerry to my right, we were ready to start our first interview.

Mr. P., probably sensing my nervousness, starts the interview with... "So Bill, whadaya think of Dolly Parton's tits?"... Followed by cries of "CUT" from the producer and laughter from the surrounding offices, I knew I'd made a friend for life.

...Used to see Jerry and his family at the Highland Park Cafeteria regularly... A hell of an actor, he had an incredible sense of humor and an absolute mastery of the human condition. One of the nicest men I've ever had the pleasure to know...Condolences to his lovely wife and family.

Rawlins  Gilliland
Rawlins Gilliland

This brought tears to my eyes, not because I grew up watching Mr. Peppermint here in Dallas.  It made me tear up because we have someone as decent as Robert Wilonsky writing a thoughtful eulogy to the death of what, from all reports, was a very decent man.  It also touches me to see the decorum of the comments here when far too often the only game in BlogTown is being callous-curt-cute.  Mr. Peppermint is also a piece of (my & Wilonsky's home town) Dallas history in a city that is often treated as if it has none.  It's, yes, sweet to see the kindness expressed by so many adults who were influenced by this man's devised televised character when they were kids.  It's worth remembering how easy it is to forget those whose lives make a difference when their 'time' has come and gone.  To the Haynes family a city send its love. 

space2k
space2k

I witnessed the man patiently sign autographs for a bunch of snickering but giddy punks at a Butthole Surfers show at the Longhorn Ballroom in 1986. Truly a kindhearted gentleman. R.I.P.

John Cheek Jr
John Cheek Jr

He will be missed. I grew up watching his show.  I had the privileged of meeting him once.  He was the nicest man you would ever meet.

Dr. D
Dr. D

He lived on the street across the alley from our first house. When my wife first saw him at a neighborhood picnic, she said, "That looks like Mr. Peppermint!" To which I responded, "Honey, that IS Mr. Peppermint. And he's Gibby Haynes' dad!" Such a kind, gentle soul. I'm glad he got to live such a long, influential life. RIP.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Mr. Haynes was inducted into the Woodrow Wilson High School Hall of Fame in 1990. He had also had a homecoming as a member of the cast of "Crisis at Central High" filmed at Woodrow in 1981 and starring Joanne Woodward. He portrayed a general and was coincidentally a member of the high school's ROTC when he was a student. At that time Woodrow had the largest JROTC program in the nation.

Ray
Ray

Very sad. Indeed our youth lives on only in our hearts. Back in the early 1960's, I won tickets to the Ringling Circus on his show.Announced my name on TV, very cool, saw it at Memorial Auditorium(still the coolest venue) with my parents. Got an 'official letter' from Mr. P with the WFAA logo at top. VERY COOL.Great memories of every single morning in front of the TV. I gotta find that letter.

Jd
Jd

Mr.  Pepperment,

Kids today sure could use some of your magic.

Serverything
Serverything

Ah, so sad. I once saw Mickey and Amanda mudturtle live. 

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Man, talk about a sad day in Dallas...Im curious if WFAA will be doing a retrospective on this? Jerry was not only Mr. Peppermint, but also a great actor outside the show, not to mention an amazing person in the community as a whole. He'll be sorely missed...:(

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

Wow, that is a real bummer. If Icky Twerp is also dead (is he?), then my childhood has officially been put to pasture.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

So sad. He and Icky Twerp were my childhood.

My condolences to the Haynes family and all of his many friends.

Sendittojeff
Sendittojeff

Rest well my Friend you did an amazing job while you where here. You never really knew the impact you had on people lives at such a young age. You will be missed. You are with God now.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

If'n I find out Joe Tone or Richie had anything to do with this!!

Stay Hard, Mr. Peppermint!

Paul
Paul

8,-(((((

We will miss you and everybody from Peppermint Place .... you were way better than Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

The first time Jerry dropped an F-bomb in conversation, I just about passed out. Then again, as he told me more than once, he did get the Mr. Peppermint moniker thanks to a WFAA employee who, for ... um ... medicinal reasons, needed his mints.

sybil
sybil

Can I "like" this more than once?  Beautifully said, Rawlins.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Bill "Icky Twerp/Gorgon" Camfield did pass away some years ago. I tell ya, we need more local show hosts in this modern era..would be nice to break up the monotony of television today...

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

The nicest man I've ever known. I hadn't run into him in a long while -- he actually moved out of Dallas recently -- but when I spoke with him a few weeks ago, he asked how my 8-year-old is. Remembered his name, though it's been YEARS since they'd seen each other. That floored me.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I had a friend who was at the TX Ren Fair years ago where Mr. Peppermint and Muffin were shooting a package for the show, during one of their breaks, Jerry apperantly was "observing" one of the buxom ladies at the festival, somehow he and vern(the voice of muffin)  got into a dicussion where jerry calmly said "f**k you muffin", to which muffin replied in that voice "F**k You Mister Peppermint"....Jerry was a great guy w/ an occasional salty line, just like the rest of us...;)

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

He and Gabby were on with Bob and Dan a couple of years back..really good radio. I watched every day, back in the day...kids now days with their Yo Gabba and Spongebob..

RikkyT
RikkyT

Nah, keep the sporty crap shelved.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

You are the greatest Bobbo, the inmates are gonna require some sort of sporty post manana.  Please let Mr. Tone know.  Your coworkers on the City of Ate are gonna start bragging about all the comments their getting. 

Cat
Cat

Would love to see that original interview again. I always chuckle and tell friends about his famous quote. Any possibility of linking it?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

In 1996 I did a piece on the two of them. This is what Jerry had to say about Gibby:

"Gibby--despite all of his, you know, stances--is really kind of naive and is extremely sensitive," Jerry says, "and I believe that he bought the Peppermint package hook, line, and sinker. He was just so proud, I think, and if you see your parent doing something, you think, 'Why not me? If they can do it, I can do it.' It becomes where you don't have to climb that wall because it's already been climbed for you. You just have to go out there and do it.

"I remember when he first got started in the Buttholes, he said one time there were a lot of kids out there who depended on him. He was serious in his music and what he did, and now he's not talking to his peers. His peers like his music, but who buys the Butthole Surfers records? The kids. And it takes guts for him to do that stuff. Maybe not so much anymore, but the first time I did 'I'm a little teapot short and stout' in front of the TV camera, Jesus, I might as well have been high. To me it was the right thing to do, and Gibby was never afraid to try something. He was adventuresome and not afraid to try something, and that's what his music was."

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