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Encyclopedia > Captain Kangaroo
Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan)
Genre Children's Television
Created by Bob Claver
Starring Bob Keeshan
Hugh Brannum
Opening theme "Puffin' Billy (The Captain Kangaroo Theme" [1]
Country of origin Flag of United States United States
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run October 3, 1955December 8, 1984
Links
IMDb profile
TV.com summary

Captain Kangaroo was a children's television series which aired weekday mornings on the American television network CBS from 1955 until 1984, then moved to the American Program Service (now American Public Television, Boston) to air syndicated reruns of past episodes in 1992. The show was produced and the title character played by Bob Keeshan, who based the show on "the warm relationship between grandparents and children." Keeshan was the original Clarabelle the Clown on the Howdy Doody Show. Image File history File links Captain_Kangaroo. ... Childrens television shows are television programs designed for and marketed to children, normally aired during the morning and afternoon hours, mainly before and after school. ... Robert James Keeshan (June 27, 1927 – January 23, 2004) was an actor who was the original Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody television program, but who is most famous as the star and title character of the childrens show Captain Kangaroo. ... Captain Kangaroo was a childrens show which aired weekday mornings on CBS from 1955 until 1984, then moved to PBS until 1992. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. ... October 3 is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... See also: 1954 in television, other events of 1955, 1956 in television and the list of years in television. // Events April 1 - The DuMont Television network drastically cuts back its programming. ... December 8 is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This is a list of television-related events in 1984. ... Childrens television series are television programmes designed for and marketed to children, normally aired during the morning and afternoon hours, mainly before and after school. ... A television network is a distribution network for television content whereby a central operation provides programming for many television stations. ... CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. ... See also: 1954 in television, other events of 1955, 1956 in television and the list of years in television. // Events April 1 - The DuMont Television network drastically cuts back its programming. ... This is a list of television-related events in 1984. ... American Public Television (APT) is a distributor and source of programming for public television stations in the United States and networks worldwide. ... Rerun van Pelt is the name of Linus and Lucys younger brother in the comic strip Peanuts. ... Robert James Keeshan (June 27, 1927 – January 23, 2004) was an actor who was the original Clarabell the Clown on the Howdy Doody television program, but who is most famous as the star and title character of the childrens show Captain Kangaroo. ... Howdy Doody was a childrens television program (with a decidedly frontier/western theme, although other themes also colored the show) that aired on NBC from 1947 through 1960. ...


It had a very loose structure, built around life in the "Treasure House" where the Captain (whose name came from the big pockets in his coat) would tell stories, meet guests and indulge in silly stunts with regular characters, both humans and puppets. The show was live for its first four years, and was in black-and-white until 1966. In 1981, CBS shortened the hour-long show to a half-hour. Black-and-white or black and white) can refer to a general term used in photography, film, and other media (see black-and-white). ...


In the TV season of 1997-1998, an All New Captain Kangaroo was attempted, starring John McDonough. Keeshan was invited to appear as "The Admiral", but after seeing sample episodes declined to appear or have any association with it. The show inspired a spinoff, Mister Moose's Fun Time.

Contents

Cast

Other actors in the show included:


Hugh 'Lumpy' Brannum

Hugh Brannum played the Captain's main sidekick Mr. Green Jeans and other less-frequently seen characters, such as the New Old Folk Singer, who played a double bass (or "bass fiddle") as if it were a guitar, and Mr. Bainter, the Painter. Captain Kangaroo was a childrens show which aired weekday mornings on CBS from 1955 until 1984, then moved to PBS until 1992. ... Mr. ...


Cosmo 'Gus' Allegretti

Cosmo Allegretti created and performed several of the show's best-known puppet characters, including Bunny Rabbit, who always tricked the Captain into giving him carrots, and Mr. Moose, whose riddles and knock-knock jokes invariably ended with hundreds of ping-pong balls cascading from above and hitting the Captain on the head. Allegretti was also the actor portraying the Dennis the Apprentice, Miss Frog, Mr. Whispers, Dancing Bear and Grandfather Clock characters. Bunny Rabbit was a puppet that was an everyday character on the Captain Kangaroo childrens television show. ... Mr. ... A riddle is a statement or question having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. ... This article or section seems to contain too many examples (or examples of poor quality) for an encyclopedia entry. ... Most of a grandfather clocks height is used to hold the long pendulum and weights. ...


Sam Levine

Levine played an unusual, mostly mute character known as The Banana Man, who produced huge bunches of bananas from within his coat. He would also magically pull watermelons from his pockets. [1] (Although he was mute, he would continually hum in a falsetto voice, and when finding several bananas at once in his pocket, would exclaim "Wow!", again in a falsetto voice. Banana Man was a vaudeville act which became popular with small children due to the Captain Kangaroo program. ...


John Burstein

John Burstein joined the show in 1980 as Slim Goodbody, a man wearing a bodystocking which showed the internal organs of the human body painted on it in their appropriate locations. Slim Goodbody (the Superhero of Health) is a fictional character created and performed by John Burstein. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... Slim Goodbody (the Superhero of Health) is a fictional character created and performed by John Burstein. ... In biology, an organ is a group of tissues which perform some function. ...


Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby was a regular on the show, beginning in 1980, when he did Picture Pages segments (as had the Captain himself, from 1978-1980). William Henry Bill Cosby, Jr. ... Picture Pages was an educational television segment aimed at preschoolers, teaching lessons on basic arithmetic, geometry, and drawing through a series of interactive lessons that uses a workbook where the child would follow along with the lesson. ...


Debbie Weems

From 1973 until 1978, the late Debbie Weems was a regular on Captain Kangaroo. She played many roles, including Debbie the newspaper reporter, and was also an active puppeteer who did the voice for Baby Duck. Weems also sang on many episodes and put out an album of songs from Captain Kangaroo. Debbie Weems was an American actress, singer, and stage performer. ...


James Wall ("Mr. Baxter")

Jimmy Wall was a regular on the show from 1968 until 1978. Playing kindly, African-American "Mr. Baxter", he added a sense of calm to the show when all others around him may have been caught up in the silliness. He also starred with the Captain and Mr. Greenjeans in a serialized production entitled "The Missing Paint Mystery" (shown on the program from December, 1969 until 1977; with the exception of 1976) in which the trio travels to Curacao (a Caribbean island) to confront the playfully evil villain, Garumph (played by Cosmo Allegretti).


Cartoons

Tom Terrific and his mighty wonder dog, Manfred

A cartoon starring a funnel-capped shape-shifting boy named Tom Terrific was part of the show in the 1950s and 1960s. Tom had a sidekick named Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, and a nemesis, Crabby Appleton. Other cartoons included Lariat Sam. Image File history File links Tom_Terrific. ... Image File history File links Tom_Terrific. ... A cartoon is any of several forms of illustrations with varied meanings that evolved from its original meaning. ... Tom Terrific and his wonder Dog, the mighty Manfred Tom Terrific was an early animated series on American television, presented as part of the Captain Kangaroo childrens television show. ... Don Quixote and Sancho Panza unsuccessfully confront windmills. ...


The Canadian-British cartoon "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings," appeared in the 1970s, featuring a child with magic chalk who could create all sorts of short-lived creations in short adventures. Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings was a childrens animated television featurette, featuring the adventures of a young child (Simon), who had a magic chalkboard. ...


The UK-produced cartoon Ludwig about a magical egg-shaped robot was also included about that time. Ludwig was a surreal 1970s British-made childrens cartoon animation about a magical egg-shaped robot who lived in a forest. ...


Also appearing in the 1970s was The Most Important Person, a short series of five-minute segments on the importance of life. Interestingly, these segments would later be incorporated into most syndication prints of The Underdog Show. Underdog was an American animated television series that debuted on October 3, 1964, on the NBC network and continued in syndication until 1973 for a run of approximately 124 episodes over NBC, and occasionally, CBS. // In 1960, handling the General Mills account as an account executive with the Dancer Fitzgerald...


There was also a cartoon series called "The Toothbrush Family". Based on an extended family of hygiene utensils as the name suggests, they would embark on adventures based in the bathroom, like water skiing in the tub, or rescuing friends caught in the drain. Episodes were just a couple of minutes each.


A silent cartoon in the 1970's named "Crystal Tips" featured the adventures of a young girl. Later reruns were narrated by the voice of Mr. Moose.


Special guests

Among the special guests who made periodic appearances were ventriloquist Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop, her sheep puppet (in 1956 and 1957). Mister Rogers (Fred Rogers) appeared in a 1975 episode, where he and the Captain try to restore an old gramophone. Comediennes Imogene Coca and Minnie Pearl made guest appearances, as did opera star Roberta Peters, talk show host Phil Donahue (n 1978), his wife actress Marlo Thomas, actor and folk singer Theodore Bikel, game show host Bill Cullen, singer Pearl Bailey (several appearances), and actresses Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams. One of the "Good Morning Captain" openings of the mid 70's featured Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Richard Dawson, Gene Rayburn and Johnny Olsen all wishing the Captain a good morning from The Match Game set. Shari Lewis (born Sonia Hurwitz; January 17, 1933 - August 2, 1998) was a ventriloquist, puppeteer, and childrens television show host, most popular during the 1960s. ... Shari Lewis with Lamb Chop Mallory Lewis with Lamb Chop Lamb Chop is a fictional character, more precisely a fictional sheep, who is a sock puppet created by comedian and ventriloquist Shari Lewis. ... Wayang shadow-puppet created in Bali, in the early 20th century. ... Reverend Frederick McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American educator, minister, songwriter and television host. ... Reverend Frederick McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American educator, minister, songwriter and television host. ... Edison cylinder phonograph from about 1899 The phonograph, or gramophone, was the most common device for playing recorded sound from the 1870s through the 1980s. ... Imogene Coca (November 18, 1908 - June 2, 2001) was an American comic actress. ... Minnie Pearl was the stage name of Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon (October 25, 1912 - March 4, 1996). ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Phil Donahue Phillip John Donahue (b. ... Marlo Thomas Marlo Thomas (born Margaret Julia Thomas on November 21, 1937 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American actress, who first achieved fame on the TV series That Girl in the 1960s. ... Theodore Bikel. ... William Bill Lawrence Frances Cullen (February 18, 1920–July 7, 1990), was an American radio and television personality. ... Pearl Bailey in “St. ... Penny Marshall at the 1988 Emmy Awards Penny Marshall (born October 15, 1942) is an American actress, producer and director. ... Cindy Williams (born August 22, 1947) is an American actress // Born Cynthia Jane Williams in Van Nuys, California to John and Lillie Williams. ... Brett Somers (born Audrey Sommers on July 11, 1924) is an actress, singer, and comedienne. ... Charles Nelson Reilly (January 13, 1931–May 25, 2007) was an American actor, director and drama teacher known for his comedic roles in movies, childrens television, animated cartoons, and as a panelist on the game show Match Game. ... Richard Dawson, a panelist on Match Game, seen here in 1977 during the infamous School Riot episode. ... Gene Rayburn (December 22, 1917 – November 29, 1999) was an Emmy-nominated American radio and television personality. ... Johnny Olson on The Price is Right John Leonard Johnny Olson (May 22, 1910 – October 12, 1985) was an American radio and television announcer. ... Match Game was an American television game show where contestants tried to match a panel of six celebrities in answering fill-in-the-blank questions. ...


Regular features

Other regular features included The Magic Drawing Board and the Captain's "Reading Stories" sessions, which introduced kids to stories such as Curious George and Make Way for Ducklings. The Sweet Pickles books were featured. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Make Way for Ducklings is a childrens picture book written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey. ... Sweet Pickles was a series of 40 childrens books by Ruth Lerner Perle, Jacquelyn Reinach, and Richard Hefter. ...


Keeshan also had a recurring role as "The Town Clown," a pantomime piece that took place in and around the exposed wagon home of a tramp-like circus clown. Like the character of Clarabelle that he played on Howdy Doody, the Town Clown never spoke. Howdy Doody was a childrens television program (with a decidedly frontier/western theme, although other themes also colored the show) that aired on NBC from 1947 through 1960. ...


Theme song

The original theme song to Captain Kangaroo (titled Puffin' Billy) was used from 1955-1974. It was an instrumental, written by Edward G. White. The track was from a British stock music production library known as the Chappell Recorded Music Library which was sold through a New York agency called Emil Ascher. The tune's original title referred to a British steam locomotive. (This tune was used on other programs on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, two years before Captain Kangaroo, it served as the wrap-up music for an episode of the radio program Rocky Fortune called "Murder Among the Statues", starring Frank Sinatra.) The "Puffing Billy" theme played as the opening of each episode, with the music continuing until the Captain hung his large ring of keys on a nail (which seemed to act as a switch to turn off the music). If the Captain's keys ever slipped off the nail, the music would begin playing again. Edward G White (1910 - 1994) was a British composer of light music. ...


In 1957, lyricist Mary Rogers penned lyrics to the tune, creating a newly titled Captain Kangaroo song.


In 1974, a new theme song was composed for Captain Kangaroo, written by composer Robert L. Brush. As the new theme used similar melodic elements from the original theme, Edward G. White's name was added to the song credits.


The lyrics to the second Captain Kangaroo theme song were simple, consisting of two sets of rhymed couplets:

Good morning, Captain, let's come on out and play!
Good morning, Captain, it's going to be a perfect day!
Get your crayons and your paper and your pencil, too
And come on out and play with Captain Kangaroo!

Much later, around the 1980s, Schoolhouse Rock mainstay Lynn Ahrens (who composed (and even performed) a few CK songs herself), composed a new theme, entitled "Here Comes Captain Kangaroo". The lyrics went like this: This article cites very few or no references or sources. ... Schoolhouse Rock! is a series of 46 educational shorts featuring rock songs about schoolroom topics, including grammar, science, economics and American history and politics. ... Lynn Ahrens (born October 1, 1948) is an American musical theatre lyricist who most-frequently works with Stephen Flaherty. ...

Colorful, magical, wonderful, WOW!
The Captain is coming- just look at him now!
Super, sensational, special and new,
The Captain is coming with something for you...
Here comes Captain Kangaroo!
Take a look... gonna love it...
Havin' fun... so much of it...
Captain Kangaroo is new--
He'll make this day so great for you!
Colorful, magical, wonderful, WOW!
The Captain is coming- just look at him now!
Super, sensational, special and new,
The Captain is coming, and you're gonna love it...
CAP-TAIN KANG-A-ROO!

Schedule history

For the first three months, Captain Kangaroo was seen every weekday morning. Thereafter, the successful Captain was also seen on Saturday mornings. Except for pre-emption for news coverage, notably the three-day continuous coverage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, and a few shows that were 45 minutes, the show aired a full 60 minutes on weekday mornings and Saturday until 1981. One exception was the 1964 to 1965 season, which saw the broadcast replaced on Saturdays by a Keeshan vehicle called Mr. Mayor. John F. Kennedy The assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, took place on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, USA at 12:30 PM Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC). ...


In the fall season of 1981, to make room for CBS Morning News, the show was moved to an early time slot and cut to 30 minutes sporting a new title Wake Up with the Captain. A few months later, the CBS Morning News expanded to two hours and Wake Up with the Captain was moved to a very early time slot where ratings were hard to find. Later, the show lost its weekday presence and was shown on the weekends in a one hour version. New episodes were shown on Saturdays and a rerun aired on Sundays. In the fall of 1984, the show was trimmed to 30 minutes. By the end of the year, it had been canceled. CBS Morning News is the half-hour daily television broadcast from CBS News that airs following Up to the Minute. ...


A few years later, Dale Riehl, a former PBS station program manager in Miami, bought the rights to Captain Kangaroo's last few seasons. It had a brief run on PBS from 1989-1993, with funding from PBS stations nationwide, and from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. American Public Television, then known as the "Interregional Program Service", distributed the show, along with The Riehl Company (Riehl's firm) and Britder Associates. Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ... This article is about the city in Florida. ... The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution. ... American Public Television (APT) is a distributor and source of programming for public television stations in the United States and networks worldwide. ...


The show was on the air for 29 years, making it one of the longest-running network children's program series. Sesame Street, insulated from the Nielsen Ratings wars, has had a run of 37 years as of 2006. Several of the original Sesame Street writers and producers were hired from the Captain Kangaroo staff. Sesame Street is an American educational childrens television series for preschoolers and is a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. ... When TV viewers or entertainment professionals in the United States mention ratings they are often referring to Nielsen Ratings, a system developed by Nielsen Media Research to determine the audience size and composition of television programming. ...


Popular culture

The Statler Brothers 1965 hit song Flowers on the Wall features a reference to the show in its chorus. The cover of the Statlers 1991 album All American Country The Statler Brothers are an American country music vocal group founded in 1955 in Virginia. ... Flowers on the Wall was the first hit record, in 1965, for the country music vocal group the Statler Brothers. ...


In the Doctor Who episode "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Captain Kangaroo theme music is clearly heard during a café scene. Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television programme (and a 1996 television movie) produced by the BBC. The programme shows the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as the Doctor, who explores time and space in his TARDIS time ship with his companions, solving problems and... Remembrance of the Daleks is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from October 5 to October 26, 1988. ...


In the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "The Brady Bunch", a line goes like this: This article is about the musician himself. ...


Hey, you can watch 60 Minutes,
Even Captain Kangaroo... 60 Minutes is an investigative television newsmagazine on United States television, which has run on CBS News since 1968. ...


Frank Zappa wrote a composition named "Mr. Green Genes" on his album Uncle Meat and a sequel, "Son of Mr. Green Genes" on his album Hot Rats. This led to the urban legend that Zappa was the son of the actor who played the character Mr. Green Jeans on Captain Kangaroo. Frank Vincent Zappa[1] (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, guitarist, singer, film director, and satirist. ... Uncle Meat, released in 1969, is the soundtrack to Frank Zappas long-delayed film of the same name. ... Hot Rats is an album by Frank Zappa. ... Mr. ...


In a rendition of the VeggieTales song, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, Relient K sings "we don't smoke, we don't chew, we watch Captain Kangaroo!"(lyrics) VeggieTales is a series of childrens computer animated films featuring humorous, anthropomorphic vegetables and conveying qubo and PBS Kids moral themes compatible with and often based on Christianity. ... The Pirates Who Dont Do Anything is the first single released by Relient K. Track listing The Pirates Who Dont Do Anything Breakdown (Performed by Larry the Cucumber) ...


The show is also referenced in the "Bloodhound Gang" Song "Your Only Friends Are Make Believe". The line is "You can go f... yourself like Captain Kangaroo".


References

  1. ^ http://www.fiftiesweb.com/tv/captain-kangaroo.htm

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Floridian: A birthday surprise for Captain Kangaroo fans (1315 words)
Captain Kangaroo, after all, was the show generations of American children started their days with, a sunny hour of music and jokes and baby animals and a sweet old gent who read stories with limitless patience, just for them.
In his 1995 memoir Good Morning Captain, Keeshan describes his own childhood as largely idyllic except for his longing to spend more time with his father, an Irish immigrant who worked six-day weeks as a grocery store executive, and his pain at the death of his gentle, nurturing mother when he was 15.
Captain Kangaroo taught such values as sharing, respect and honesty, and it was often ahead of the cultural curve on diversity and environmental awareness.
TV ACRES: Children's Show Hosts - Captain Kangaroo (644 words)
During the 1964-65 season, the CAPTAIN KANGAROO show was replaced by MISTER MAYOR, a 60-minute CBS educational series hosted by Bob Keeshan as a mayor of a small town who interacted with such live and puppet community members as Aunt Maud, Dudley, Miss Melissa, and Rolio the Hippopotamus.
The Captain Kangaroo character returned to TV in 1997 with actor John McDonough as the new Captain Kangaroo for the syndicated revival of the show THE ALL NEW CAPTAIN KANGAROO.
Supposedly the persona of Captain Kangaroo was derived from his role as a guard in a museum (which then became "The Treasure House") and because one artist's conception of the character looked like a kangaroo.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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