From EU Jacksonville: Bradley Akers writes about the prolific Dick Kerekes, aka The Amazing (but humble) Watch Hound.
Featheringill, another longtime Jacksonville actress, shared a fond memory of Kerekes. “[Players by the Sea] presented Dick with a special award several years ago: a new dog suit,” Featheringill said, adding, “It’s an interesting situation to be interviewed by a large dog wearing glasses.” It certainly is interesting, but Kerekes made it comfortable.
Several theatre artists love to reminisce about their times on the Watch Hound show, usually sharing similar stories about his method of getting into character. Juan Unzueta, Education Director at Theatre Jacksonville shares his favorite memory as “standing in the studio at Comcast, waiting to be interviewed by the Watch Hound, and Dick is carrying on a conversation while bare-chested and getting into his costume.” His reach and impact, beyond just his TV show, has proven to bond great theatre artists with one another. His tapings generally had members from two different theatre companies, which sparked conversation and collaboration, a very important part of a thriving theatre community.
It came as a shock to the Jacksonville theatre community that Comcast would be ending Public Access TV. After a richly filled 35 years, the Watch Hound had its final sign-off, leaving Kerekes to retire his dog suit. Kerekes has kept his charming spirit in spite of the cancellation. In an interview with the Jacksonville Daily Record, Kerekes said, “I knew it would happen eventually. Heck, even David Letterman quit.”
Although his days at the studio are over for now, Kerekes is still at it. The community can still expect wonderful reviews from Kerekes, posted on eujacksonville.com, filled with kind words and passionately crafted thoughts. He is a true champion for theatre and performing arts in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. His kindness gives those actors, directors, designers, musicians, students, and teachers the confidence to keep creating bold theatre in this bold city.
“He is a champion, a scholar, a gift-giving man. He is a friend. That is what makes Dick so kind,” says Joe Schwarz, Executive Director at Players by the Sea. We celebrate Dick Kerekes with the utmost admiration and respect, because that is what he has given to us. His support and warm congratulations have allowed theatre artists to feel safe and comfortable with creating the great work that sets us aside from other theatre communities. He is a large reason the passion in this community has remained for 35 years.
Thank you, Dick, for being a theatre artist’s best friend for all of these years—you are remarkable and we are beyond blessed to have sat next to an Amazing and Humble Watch Hound like yourself.
Article provided by EU Jacksonville
EU Jacksonville supports local art, culture and entertainment in Northeast Florida. From local artist interviews, restaurant reviews to in-depth neighborhood coverage, EU Jacksonville has informed the music, theatre, and art communities for over 30 years.