Fran Allison was the winsome straight man for a bulb-nosed clown named Kukla and a one-toothed dragon called Ollie who together made up one of the most popular and beloved triumvirates in TV history.
Allison was a veteran radio comedienne, hostess and singer when she became the only visible human member of Burr Tillstrom's captivating contingent of hand puppets.
Each evening about 7, she would sally forth to begin her always patient dialogues with Kukla, the pragmatic imp with the oversized nose, and Oliver J. Dragon, a talkative serpent from a long line of non-fire-breathing lizards.
Their fragmented discourses, always extemporaneous but centered on themes that Tillstrom and Allison had discussed before air time, were cheerful homilies offering guidance for young minds.
From Nov. 29, 1948, when the show first went on national television — after being on the air for a year or two in Chicago — until Aug. 31, 1957, when it ended its national run to later move to public television, its cast of characters provided parents with wholesome respite.