Valentine McCann married Viola Hennessy in Brooklyn in July 1929. Their first child, Maureen, died of spina bifida 23 days after her birth in 1933. A son, Charles “Chuck” John Thomas McCann, was born on Sept. 2, 1934. Another girl, also given the name Maureen, was born June 2, 1937 to complete the family.
McCann made a good living as a musician and the bandleader of the famous Boulevard Tavern Night Club at 94-05 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park. They rented for a while and then bought their own home at 216-47 113 Drive in what was then part of St. Albans and now is part of Queens Village.
When Chuck was 8, his father encouraged him to do comedy. Chuck found his calling. He loved being a puppeteer and doing children’s shows. “The Chuck McCann Show” on WPIX, with his moon-shaped face, helped make him into a comedy giant doing Stan Laurel imitations. His personal life was more complicated. He married 20-year-old Suzanne O’Connor in 1958, who gave him his only son in 1960. Divorced in 1966, he immediately married 20-year-old model Eileen Sommerstad, who gave him two daughters. Divorced in 1977, he married his agent, Betty Fanning. Moving to California, he did TV acting and voice overs for commercials. He became a close friend of Hugh Hefner, doing the announcing for his videos. Heart failure claimed his life at 83 on April 3, 2018. He was loved and remembered by baby boomers whom he entertained on TV seven days a week in the 1960s.