The showbiz nickname of comedian Milton Berle (aka, “Mr. Television“) that he earned at the start of the 1949 television season on the TEXACO STAR THEATER as he attempted to sign-off his show.
When Milton Berle got a signal from his floor man (the program was broadcast live) that the show was running short by a few minutes, to stretch the time, Berle requested a chair, sat down and ad-libbed the remainder of the show as follows:
“Since this is the beginning of the new season, I want to say something to any of you kiddies, who should be in bed getting a good nights rest before school tomorrow. Listen to your Uncle Miltie and kiss Mommy and daddy goodnight and go straight upstairs like good little boys and girls.”
The ad-libbed reference of “Uncle Miltie” caught on all over New York City. Everywhere Berle went he was greeted by thousands of newly adopted relatives. Thereafter, every show sign-off contained the closing phrase, “Good night to all you boys and girls, my nephews and nieces, this is Uncle Miltie saying Good Night.”
The Uncle Miltie nickname became so popular that once Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, began his popular religious program by saying “Good evening, this is Uncle Fultie.”
Note: TEXACO STAR THEATRE originated as a radio program broadcast from 1938 to 1949.
See also – “Milton Berle – TV Show (1949)” @ You Tube