Saturday, July 20, 2013

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo Bob Keeshan was only 28 years old in 1955 when he and producer Jack Miller created 'Captain Kangaroo.' Television was a relatively new addition to most American homes - there had never been a generation of kids exposed to home-video entertainment before, so the series was designed to give kids a gentle alternative to the frenetic nature of most children's shows of the day (of which 'Howdy Doody' was one of the worst offenders).

Watching an episode of Captain Kangaroo show from the early-sixties, one is struck by the achingly slow pace and overall gentle nature of the show.

Here's the classic Captain Kangaroo opening from the 1960s:



Episodes of Captain Kangaroo are very rare, CBS destroyed them all! Only a few have been unearthed, one black & white episode and a few colors. Here's an entire episode from 1976 after the production was updated and modernized. Notice how it starts with shout-outs from CBS primetime shows, Dolly Parton is the guest star:



Read all about the history of Captain Kangaroo at TVparty!