Captain Kangaroo (TV Series 1955–1992) Poster


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The Best Children's Program Based On Good Values
emenon10 September 2006
As a child growing up in the 1960's, Captain Kangaroo was a children's program, with good moral values. We are going to miss Bob Keeshan, who played him. Not to mention his farmer friend Mr. Greenjeans, played by Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum. They are both deceased. Captain Kangaroo had other characters. Mr. Baxter, Debbie Weems, Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather clock, Magic drawing board, the old time radio and lets not forget Mr. Moose, who always dropped ping pong balls, on the Captain. I wish they would release the fourth of July program on VHS and DVD Captain Kangaroo Americana. Tells the history about our nation. At the end of the program the Captain would say Have a nice day, be good to your Mother. I like the theme Puffin Billy, better than Good Morning Captain. One time he had Pearl Bailey, on his show. Bunny Rabbit kept playing Won't you come home Bill Bailey, so Pearl would give him a carrot. Overall I enjoyed this show as well as Bozo The Clown. You never can be a child again. We need more children's TV shows like this, with moral values.
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Absolutely the all-time best children's show ever
Marta19 February 2000
If you were a child in the 50's, 60's, 70's and even early 80's, you probably watched Captain Kangaroo. Howdy Doody was king of the very early days of TV, and Bob Keeshan was a part of that since he portrayed Clarabell till 1953. But when he left Howdy and came up with a show of his own, he managed to surpass Howdy. For the kids of the mid to late 50's and the 60's, "Captain Kangaroo" reached epic proportions in our lives. We were new to the medium of TV and what it could do, and it seems impossible to use words to describe how wonderful the Captain and the show were. I watched it every morning; when the first strains of his trademark theme song came on, you saw the door to his world and all the small windows on that door that he opened at random to give you a peek beyond into the Captain's place. Then, the door itself was opened and the camera took us inside. It was a thrill that never got old for me. The Captain read stories to us; Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel; Stone Soup; Curious George; and on and on. Mr. GreenJeans came by with a different animal every show, and those animals were a source of wonder and laughter to me. They didn't stick to a script, but had their own mind and did their own thing. Instead of cutting to something else, we saw the animal either misbehave, or sit on Mr. GreenJeans head, or jump over the Captain, or be chased around the set by Mr. GreenJeans while the Captain laughed. It was a natural and easy going place. Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit were there in those early days, but as the show progressed through the 60's and into the 70's, they grew up a little and became a satirical reflection of the time. Mr. Moose constantly tricked the Captain, who fell for his jokes every time and usually had a batch of ping pong balls fall on him. Bunny Rabbit never said a word but managed to get his point across with perfect accuracy. Grandfather Clock was always there to complement the ensemble, and later Dennis appeared, a neighborhood boy who was a handfull. Magic Drawing Board was a source of consternation and mystery to me when I was very young; how could a drawing emerge when no one was standing there drawing it? After I grew up a little I knew how it was done, but that didn't negate the effect. The BananaMan was strange and wierd and wonderful, and each time he showed up the Captain's place became surreal; we were introduced to someone who was not as he (or she) appeared. The juggler who frantically balanced plates on poles was another semi-regular. The Captain and his troup would put on silent skits; my first introduction to pantomime and how effective a tableau without words can be. As a whole, the Captain's place was where I wanted to live, and each day the Captain gave me and millions of other kids just what we wanted.

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.
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a great part of my childhood education
budlyons200317 May 2006
Captain Kangaroo and I were born in the same year - 1955. I watched him religiously as kid and learned so much from this show. So much I didn't appreciate or realize I was learning until much later. For instance, my love of art I now attribute to the Magic Drawing Board doing his stuff to kids' songs. I also became a great reader, I think, mostly because of the Captain reading books to us kids. "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" was always one of my favorites, and I got a copy of it for myself when an anniversary edition was published a few years ago. Bob Keeshan as the Captain was always kind and wonderful, polite and intelligent. As an adult, I can't remember that he ever talked "down" to us kids. With Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Dancing Bear, Mr. Greenjeans, Grandfather Clock, the Magic Drawing Board, the Banana Man, and all of those that I'm probably forgetting, the show was truly "awesome" (a word I never use unless I *really* mean it).
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Ode to Gentle Man
cshep26 January 2004
The passing of Robert (Bob) Keeshan , is another Hallmark of a distant memory... The legacy of Captain Kangaroo, cannot be measured in time, but by Love... of the many Children he has touched, with his honesty, and self-sacrificing humor...There are not enough words that can express, the heartfelt appreciation, to this Gentle Giant , of the airwaves... He saw the world for what is was, and tried to make it better, by developing a program designed to reach the HEARTS of Children, as well as their minds, something , politically developed programs , miss by a mile..

So go in peace Captain, Know that your touch was not in vain, for you changed the World , more than you can imgine....
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Entertainment and education
L_Forster23 January 2004
Some of my earliest memories of television are watching Captain Kangaroo. It was entertaining and educational. The thing is, the talents of Bob Keeshan made it work. You learned without knowing you were being taught. And they were practical lessons. Things like self esteem, respect, and dedication. All rolled up in a children's format in ways they could understand. It was a pioneer in children's programming that would effect other educational shows for decades to come. I started watching when I was a child, and grew up to see my children discover "The Captain" and watched it with them. If you look at later children's programs like Sesame Street, you can clearly see the influence of the Captain Kangaroo show. It is a program that had enough of an influence to receive recognition by the Smithsonian Institute. Though Bob Keeshan is no longer with us, his spirit and love of children, will be with us as long as there are children's educational programs.
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Finest Pre-School TV Series Of All Time
ottawa-210 June 2007
When oh when is the complete Captain Kangaroo series going to be available on DVD? The series spanned nearly 30 years and is a treasure trove of positive family values programming. Long before Sesame Street was even a glimmer in Jim Henson's eye, the Captain was entertaining young children with a world filled with healthy family values, imagination and creativity.

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.
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Way over time to bring this back
lambiepie-211 February 2007
I'll admit it: I was one of the first watchers of PBS's "Sesame Street" (Well, actually.. "The Electric Company" and "Zoom" were more my generation!) but that does not negate the importance of Captain Kangaroo which was on broadcast TV and watched with as much love and admiration as well. When it went off the air, I was pretty disappointed. But at that time I realized how long this was on the air - I had no idea! What a long run for a great children's program!

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.
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What was it like being a child in the 1950's......
raysond5 August 2000
If you were a child during the 50's,60's,and 70's,and part of the early 80's there was one show in particular that had children waking up before going to school at 8:00am to catch the continuing escapades of the Captain,Mister Moose(my all time favorite),Bunny Rabbit,and of course good ole Mr. GreenJeans.

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.
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Captain Kangaroo's successful Life's Mission was to make glad the Heart of Childhood!
Canis_Lupus17 January 2007
Rare in all time is one placed upon this earth who truly makes glad the heart of childhood. The Captain is most assuredly one of these most special people. Captain Kangaroo was a dear friend to me growing up. Captain Kangaroo stayed true to the core convictions of promoting positive self esteem, placing high value on education and stressing humane ideals of caring in childhood. Captain Kangaroo lived his lofty honorable child mental and physical health centered ideals his entire life.

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!
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Network TV's All-Time Best Kids Show
hfan776 October 2009
Like many people growing up in the 60s and 70s, I remember watching Captain Kangaroo in the mornings. To me, it was the best kids show of all time on network TV, thanks to Bob Keeshan's portrayal of the title character who presided over The Treasure House (later The Captain's Place). He kept the tone gentle and never talked down to the young audience.

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.
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Officer Of Marsupials
redryan6429 November 2014
AFTER MILESTONES IN a career that included gigs as Clarabelle the Clown on the HOWDY DOODY Show and another short lived series called TINKER, the good Captain came into our living rooms and entertained and instructed close to 3 generations of rug-rats.

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.
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a question about a set of characters on the show
bobbistrutt4 December 2009
I can recall a set of characters on Captain Kangaroo, and I wonder if anyone else does and remembers their names, since I can't find any reference to them. I remember CK moving books on his shelf and a family of mini people who lived in soup cans behind them. Does anyone else remember this or am I confusing my shows. I loved CK as a kid and I remember wishing he was still around for my kids when they were small. I remember pretty clearly all the other characters that are highlighted on the web sites and thought they were all pretty magical. Actually loved being sick as a kid so I could stay home and watch the line up of shows, Captain Kangaroo, Mr Dressup, Leave it to Beaver, The Flintstones and Bewitched and I Dream of Jeanie. It was a perfect day if Tomato soup and grilled cheese were on the menu! Anyhow if anyone else recalls the above I would be most grateful to hear it. Its funny how out of all the great characters, the soup people held my attention. I dismantled my mothers book case a couple of times hoping to find my own mini family somewhere behind all the books!
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Very educational show
Catherine_Grace_Zeh13 August 2008
I used to watch this show when I was a little girl. When I think about it, I remember it pretty well. If you ask me, it was a very educational show. One thing I sort of remember is the theme song. In addition to that, everyone was ideally cast. The writing was also very strong. The games weer very interesting, too. I hope some network brings it back so your kids can see every episode. Before I wrap this up, I'd like to say that I'll always remember this show in my memory forever, even though I haven't seen every episode. Now, in conclusion, if some network ever brings it back, I hope that you catch it one day before it goes off the air for good.
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Oh yeah it is a classic...
gazzo-210 September 2000
I donno, Sesame Street was okay, but as a little kid, THIS was the show for me. I loved the dropping ping pong balls, Mr Moose, the Tom Terrific toons(remember THEM?), Dancing Bear-they used to do these real pre-MTV pieces with him-flying around to the tune of 'Up Up and Away' or 'Green Green', the show had some unique animation bits and overall a good message too.

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 ****
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Additional thoughts and notes on "C.K."
Bobbygoode9 July 2003
Yes, a very gentle show I grew up on. Note: early name of his residence was not "The Captain's place" as previously mentioned but "The Treasure House". Also left out in some early comments was Grandfather Clock, a very bizarre talking... grandfather clock, bestowing wisdom... Bunny Rabbit was a hand puppet, and wore glasses... a number of classic picture books were read, some in pre-filmed packages, most memorably Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel. The Captain was ingloriously booted off CBS in the mid-80's, doubtless declared an anachronism by some bright young twerp, especially in the era of multi-media Sesame Street. But what a trusted figure; I remember the Thanksgiving day after Kennedy's assassination, he recited parts of what was to be JFK's Thanksgiving address to the nation (he was killed less than a week before). He also was always on hand for those famous Thanksgiving parades in NYC, Detroit and Toronto. And my black and white TV did not reveal whether Mr. Greenjean's jeans were actually green, but I always loved that his real name was Lumpy Brannum, a nature know-it-all who was another great grown up.
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I remember this show very vividly
durrant4145@rogers.com1 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I haven't seen this show for many years, but I remember it vividly. My favourite skit was the Captain's and the Town Clown's retelling of Jack in the Beanstalk, with the silent Clown in charge of the sound effects. As I recall, there were different bits of dialogue for each of the characters ("Hello, my name is Jack!" for Jack, which the clown repeats throughout Captain Kangaroo's retelling of the story, and "Fee Fi Fo Fum" for the giant, and something like "Hello, who's there?" for the Giant's wife and Jack's mother)which appear to come out of the three cups on the table that the clown is using. As usual with the Town Clown, everything went wrong at the end, probably because Keeshan and the shows producers realized that Jack would never say "Hello, my name is Jack!" to his own mother.
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acw34 April 2001
tom terrific, hero: assisted by manfred, the mighty wonder dog; tom's hat was shaped like a funnel worn upside down. he could shrink to any size to pursue his objective. nemeses: "isotope feeny, the meany" (scientist); "crabby appleton, rotten to the core" (archvillain).

pow=wow, the indian boy: young brave, "loved all the animals in the woods".
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