Too Bad Kids Can’t See The Mickey Mouse Club and Captain Kangaroo Anymore!
Two of the most influential programs in the history of television made their debut on this date 57 years ago today. ” The Mickey Mouse Club” made it’s debut on ABC Television and CBS premiered “Captain Kangaroo” as well. America could use these shows again!
The Mickey Mouse Club aired intermittently from 1955 to 1996. Created by Walt Disney and produced by Walt Disney Productions, the program was first televised from 1955 to 1959 by ABC featuring a regular but ever-changing cast of child performers including Annette Funicello from the Utica/Rome, New York area where the Big Dog lived for a while. The series was revived and reformatted after its initial 1955–1959 run on ABC, first in 1977 for syndication, and again from 1989 to 1995 on the Disney Channel.
Captain Kangaroo was a children’s television series which aired weekday mornings on the American television for nearly 30 years on CBS from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children’s television program of its day. The show was conceived and the title character played by Bob Keeshan who based the show on the warm relationship between grandparents and children. Captain Kangaroo was built around life in the “Treasure House” where the Captain would tell stories, meet guests, and indulge in silly stunts with regular characters, both humans and puppets. By the way, the name Kangaroo came from the big pockets on the coat the Captain would wear.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Bob Keeshan a few years ago when he came to Quincy as a speaker at the Quincy Teacher’s Conference. I interviewed him for about 45 minutes on WTAD Radio. I was awestruck just to be in his presence especially after growing up watching him as a kid on TV for years. He was no different in person as he was on TV. And that in itself would explain his success.