INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 2, 2016)– For a generation of Indiana kids, she is known by just one name: “Janie.” Janie Woods Hodge was the singing, ukulele-playing star of the Popeye and Janie show. She appeared every weekday from 1963 to 1986 as the cartoon show host on WTTV Channel Four.
Her show was much more than just cartoons. It was filled with everything from singing to safety tips and a segment called “Janie’s Tree House” that featured local girl scout and boy scout troops.
“We tried to do as many different kinds of things,” she said. “We tried a variety of people that came on.”
Janie was a trained teacher and performer. She graduated from the prestigious IU School of Music before starring on Channel Four. Children waited on a list for months to appear on her show. It was that big of a deal to get the chance to share the screen with “Janie”.
“The children would say, ‘my Mommy says that you are a movie star! Were you?’ And I said no, I wasn’t a movie star, but as far as the local people knew or felt about us, we were just as important as any movie star coming into town.”
Today, she lives in comfortable retirement on the northwest side of Indianapolis. She was recently inducted into the Indiana Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame. It’s a fitting tribute to someone who still means so much to so many Hoosiers.
“I’m not sure why, but I know I was important to them,” she said.