Thursday, December 15, 2011

Captain Kangaroo

After seeing the title of this post, how many of you are humming the theme song?  :D

Actually, how many of you even remember Captain Kangaroo?  Here's one of those amazing shows where, like Sesame Street, parents and children (and possibly grandparents!) remember the same show.  In doing my research for this post, I discovered it ran for 30 years on CBS.  THIRTY!  Bob Keeshan was only 28 when he  began his run as one of the most beloved children's show characters in the history of television.

As a kid, I was ALL about Sesame Street, but my mom would turn on Captain Kangaroo in the morning for us.  I didn't see it much, because in our TV market it ran when we were already in school (8 a.m.).  Summers and vacations were the only times I remember seeing it and they didn't run it multiple times a day like Sesame Street, which I watched after school.

If you're reading this and you do indeed remember the Captain, which captain do you remember?  For me, it was the guy with the very odd haircut and the red jacket with white piping.  If you're older than I, you may remember the guy who wore a captain's hat and a black jacket (but in those days it was run in black & white, so it all looked black anyway).

There are only a few things that really stick in my head about the show - Mister Moose, Grandfather Clock, Mr. Greenjeans (who always seemed crabby to me), Slim Goodbody, and Bill Cosby and his "Picture Pages". The last two things are what I remember most - especially Slim Goodbody.  Allow me to regale you with a latter-day S.G. story!

When my first husby Dan and I worked in TV, we did commercial production besides our live broadcasts.  Our station must've won a bid to produce a new Slim Goodbody video, because Dan was one of the "lucky" production assistants to work on the recording.  I won't go into specifics but I will say that Sir Goodbody's demeanor was less than pleasant.  Sorry if I burst a childhood bubble!  :D

I hadn't thought of Captain Kangaroo in years, but then I saw these vintage mint-condition flashlight labels at Old Stuff Only and SHAZAM!  I had to have them.  This is the Captain that pre-dates me, which makes them even more fantastic.

I will leave you with this wonderful skit from Saturday Night Live circa 1984, "Jackie Rogers Jr.'s $100,000 Jackpot Wad".  Billy Crystal plays a wonderful Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jim Belushi plays Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo), who loses his temper in a way that the Captain NEVER would've in real life.  Sorry for the horrible quality of the video and the stupid commercial in the middle - it was the only copy I could find.  :D


  1. Oh, yes, purely an American institution. :D

  2. I remember him for sure! I watched him as a kid and later met him as an adult when I lived in Ft Wayne, IN. A super nice man!!

    Did you also know he played Clarabell the clown on the Howdy Doody show? My brother and I were in the "peanut gallery" on the show in Chicago and we saw Clarabell - not sure if it was the original - that was in the early '50s.