Captain Kangaroo (1955–1992)
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Of course, this show could not last forever, but it certainly seemed like it did. Almost 30 years of the original Captain and his place were broadcast. In later years Cosmo Allegretti, the man behind the puppets and Magic Drawing Board, came out of the darkness to protray Dennis and various other characters, and Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum would play every instrument known to man for us as Mr. GreenJeans. He would evolve into a complete character on his own, aiding Mr. Moose and the others in their tricks on the Captain and sometimes figuring in his own stories. Bill Cosby joined the show for a few minutes each day in the late 70's. Special acts and sometimes actual stars showed up; Magic Drawing Board would paint us a picture to a Barbara Streisand song. Special episodes were filmed, the most interesting of these was "The Missing Paint Mystery", about a small island in the Caribbean that has to paint it's houses once a year or risk bad luck, and how the Captain and his crew helped find the paint that had disappeared and saved the day (I would love to have a copy of this if anyone out there has it). The show has been resurrected in the late 90's with a new, younger captain, but no one can ever take the place of Bob Keeshan, and frankly it seems silly to try.
These characters formed a complete family, and we were a part of that because the Captain made it so. I miss the Captain and his show; I wish all the old shows were being rebroadcast on cable somewhere, because I would watch it still. He and his characters occupy a special place in my heart and I would love to thank him for making my childhood a magical place.
So go in peace Captain, Know that your touch was not in vain, for you changed the World , more than you can imgine....
We are what we eat, what we watch, who we surround ourselves with, and what we aspire to be. Captain Kangaroo is, in my opinion, the finest young children's' television programming EVER to grace the television screen.
Bob Keeshan, a hero of WWII, is my hero as well. Do yourself a favor and introduce a child to the wonderful world of Captain Kangaroo.
PBS took over the educational children's market as the major broadcast networks found "no money in it" and preferred to go with talky morning news magazines - whereas I find everyone should have a stake in educational and fun children's programming.
I remember watching Captain Kangaroo before going to kindergarten. It was calming to see the Captain, Mr. Green Jeans, The Rabbit, The Moose before toddling off to school. Caaptain Kangaroo hit everything that grabbed children's attention - cartoon, books, skits, cute puppets, neighbors, etc., and the show went from brushes of fantasy to daily reality. As I got older, I found the show had started acquiring local "news breaks" and spiffy toy commercials.
The last memory I have of Captain Kangaroo on the CBS network was the Captain introducing "a new medium". It was animation with a live person interacting in it. It was Al Jareau singing "Mornin'" acting within an animated set with a lively sun, happy toaster, etc. This was at the beginning of the "music video" boom and I thought this was great. I also remember my older brother telling me that his third grade elementary school teacher turned on Captain Kangaroo when he focused on man walking on the moon, which my brother told me was the day after man did. Captain Kangaroo did stay on top of trends, current events and talked to children - not "down" to children.
What was the demise of Captain Kangaroo? It's 37 year run on broadcast television? The Reagan Era of complaints that children were seeing too much TV and violence on TV? (For those that do not know, Captain Kangaroo was named as a part of that - and the reason was because children were watching TV before going to school and that was wrong to them.) Morning News magazines focusing on adults going to work rather than focusing on children before school? Cable and Satellite TV becoming more affordable, accessible and focusing more on diverse children's programming than broadcast TV? PBS now being known for children's programming? Everyone has an opinion and it could be what has been mentioned, a combination of that or even something else.
It doesn't matter. This was a great show of a 37 year run and there will not be any show on broadcast TV that will EVER do that again. Maybe its time the broadcast networks should try. The morning news shows and news programs on broadcast TV DO NOT appeal to toddlers and small children. And while broadcast network brass thinks that many homes can afford cable or satellite to see new broadcast shows, they can't. Captain Kangaroo was a great staple. It's time for broadcast programmers to remember the toddlers and little children once again.
What can I say about Captain Kangaroo? I was one of those kids that caught one the episodes before heading off to school and in the process humming the theme song along the way. Arguably,it will be one of the best children shows of all-time and it was one of the best shows ever! By the way,who can remember Mr. Moose playing tricks on the Captain with a batch of ping-pong balls,and Grandfather Clock,and everyone participating with The Dancing Bear,and those short cartoons they used to have....
In the world of what's on TV today that destroys kids' minds and their ideas of creativity,wouldn't be really nice if they brought back the Captain to take us into a magical land where we can relive our fantasies and our wildest dreams to come true.
It would be really nice. Kudos to the father of children's TV for making my childhood a magical place and putting a special place in my heart----Here's to you---Mr. Bob Keeshan!!!! For allowing us and millions of children into your homes each morning!
This was a show that ran for an impressive five decades on television. CBS ran "Captain Kangaroo" from 1955 until 1984. Then the show went into public television from 1984 until 1990,ending an impressive run on children's television. However,after the sudden death of actor Bob Keeshan,they(the producers) decided to bring out a new version of "Captain Kangaroo"(with the same lovable characters and a new actor in the Bob Keeshan who didn't have his heart into it like the original) that was on CBS for one season(on Saturday Mornings),and the next season went into syndication.
When networks tried to modernize or update (Bastardize) the honorable core values and morals of the original Captain Kangaroo shows he rightly had the gonad's to tell the people he would have nothing to do with the new mess they were creating. Captain Kangaroo was not just some lame dude doing a children's show. Captain Kangaroo really cared about the young people he spoke to. Captain Kangaroo always behaved as if the children watching his shows were placed directly in his care during the time spent together via Television. Captain Kangaroo's ship was both a ship of state advocating on issues affecting young people and a battleship that fought to protect the hearts and minds of young people from the perverse things this society exposes its children to in the name of generating huge profits. Captain Kangaroo dared stand up for the children and in my heart that gives him the heart of a real captain as such he has my undying respect.
Few people with the possible exception of Mr. Fred Rodgers had a honest respect for children that was the equal of that held by Captain Kangaroo. Captain Kangaroo gave all his children a moral anchor that if used properly insured they would grow up to be fine honorable upstanding people. There really are not enough words to define exactly how much I thank Captain Kangaroo for making my heart glad in childhood so I will just say thank you Captain Kangaroo, Mr Moose, Grandfather Clock, Dancing Bear and Mr Green Jeans and others for being part of my life in the 1960's.
Thank you Captain!
But the show was more than just Keeshan. There was Mr. Green Jeans, portrayed by Lumpy Brannum, who showcased many animal species throughout the show's long run. He also portrayed other characters, including The Old Folk Singer. There was also Mr. Baxter, played by James Wall and later Debbie Weems, who unfortunately took her own life. There were also many celebrity guests.
Of course, we cannot forget the puppet characters Mister Moose and Bunny Rabbit, as well as Grandfather Clock and The Magic Drawing Board, all portrayed by Cosmo Allegretti. One of my favorite parts of the show was the exchanges between the Captain and Mister Moose, which usually ended in the Captain being pelted with ping pong balls. It was so funny. I also remember some of the cartoon segments that included Tom Terrific and Lariat Sam.
I also liked the theme song, which was titled "Puffin' Billy." When they changed the theme, I felt it was a sign of a shark jump. Yet, Captain Kangaroo had a long, healthy run until CBS felt the need to expand the Morning News to two hours. But memories of The Treasure House live on.
THE GENISIS OF the CAPTAIN KANGAROO longevity was born in that TINKER Series; as we once heard Mr. Keeshin, himself the Captain, relate in an interview. There would appear to be no secrets here. The methods employed by the show's production team were those that any parent would instinctively gravitate toward after spending their time with their own offspring.
THEY TOOK A SORT of nonsensical and cute name, hung it on a character who was decked out like a cartoon character and mixed in generous portions of music, comic sketches and soft sell instruction on good manners and behaviour. Special guests and special examinations of varying subjects were a staple. Captain Kangaroo was so well assisted by Mr. Greenjeans (Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum) for so many years.
THERE WERE MANY showings of some made for TV cartoon series from TERRYTOONS, by then a subsidiary of the COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM'S Television Network. Titles shown included: TOM TERRIFIC, DEPUTY DAWG and LARIAT SAM.
Keeshan, Mr Greenjeans and Mr Bainter were the best of course; its a shame that they don't make things like this anymore. Myself I miss it and would want my kids to watch it too. Beats the heck outta Barney any day of the week...
**** outta ****
pow=wow, the indian boy: young brave, "loved all the animals in the woods".