Captain Kangaroo

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Captain Kangaroo
CKangaroo.jpg
Premiere October 3, 1955
Finale December 8, 1984
Creator Bob Claver
Network CBS
Style 60-minute/30 minute children
Company Keeshan Associates, CBS
Seasons 38
Episodes 6,090
Origin USA

Captain Kangaroo was a long-running children's series airing weekday mornings and Saturdays on CBS.

The series starred Bob Keeshan, the original Clarabelle the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show, as the Captain. He is named Captain Kangaroo for the large pockets he has on his coat. His show took place in "the Treasure House," and his aim was to establish a relationship to kids as if he were a grandparent. His regular cast included Mr. Green Jeans (a farmer), and puppets Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit. Mr. Moose was mischievous in that he would always get the Captain to say something to cause ping pong balls to rain down on him, and Bunny Rabbit would always scam the Captain out of a bunch of carrots. Dancing Bear, Grandfather Clock and the Captain's dog Bebe rounded out the original cast. The series was essentially children's variety with songs, comedy and a touch of learning things.

The show introduced cartoons early on, with Sam Singer's Pow-Wow the Indian Boy the first. In 1957, the show introduced a serialized cartoon, Tom Terrific, produced exclusively for the show by the Terrytoons studio. This three-minute feature ran one episode each day in a five-episode arc, and in the 1960s, the episodes ran solely on the Saturday edition edited as a single episode running in three separated parts. A second serialized cartoon, The Adventures of Lariat Sam, was introduced in 1961. Terrytoons made this as well, with the association of Keeshan Associates.

In 1964, the Saturday edition of Captain Kangaroo was replaced with Mr. Mayor, a Keeshan-created series. It ran one year and was replaced with the Captain. The Captain's show aired in black and white up until 1968, when it graduated to color. In 1974, a contract dispute nearly caused the show to be canceled, and CBS had Hanna-Barbera studios prep a pre-schooler cartoon series as a replacement. The contract dispute was settled, and word is that Joe Barbera actually held a celebratory banquet even though his show wouldn't be made because he didn't want to be "the man that got Captain Kangaroo canceled."

In 1981, it was moved to 7:00 a.m. Eastern (making room for the CBS Morning News) and renamed Wake Up With the Captain. It was shortened to a half hour in 1983 and was canceled in 1984 due to poor affiliate clearance. PBS stations would pick the show up in repeats and air it to 1993.

A new series, The All-New Captain Kangaroo was televised in syndication in 1996 with John McDonough as the Captain. Bob Keeshan had no association with this series.

Cast

Actor Character Duration
Main Cast
Bob Keeshan Captain Kangaroo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Hugh Brannum Mr. Green Jeans 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Cosmo Allegretti Mr. Moose 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Bunny Rabbit 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Grandfather Clock 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Dancing Bear 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Sam Levine Banana Man 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
James Wall Mr. Baxter 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Debbie Weems Baby Duck 19 20 21 22 23
Debbie the reporter 19 20 21 22 23
Bill Cosby himself 25 26 27 28 29

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