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Captain Kangaroo's Passing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Phantom, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. Phantom

    Phantom Well-Known Member

    There are reports today that Captain Kangaroo has passed away. I grew up with the Captain. Thanks, Captain and good-bye.

    'Captain Kangaroo,' Bob Keeshan, Dies at Age 76

    (New York-WABC, January 23, 2004) — Bob Keeshan, the television producer who created and ultimately became beloved children's personality Captain Kangaroo, has died. Keeshan, who was born in Lynbrook, Long Island, was 76.

    Keeshan began his career by creating the character of Clarabell the Clown for the 'Howdy Doody Show.' He used that children's show experience to mold Captain Kangaroo, winning over generations of children and their parents through innovative approaches to interesting topics. As the easy-going Captain with his big pockets and his bushy mustache, Keeshan lured children into close engagement with literature, science and especially music, adopting an approach which mixed pleasure and pedagogy.

    Keeshan's approach represented a rejection of pressures towards the increased commercialization of children's programming as well as a toning-down of the high volume, slapstick style associated with earlier kid show hosts.

    Keeshan was working as a receptionist at NBC-Radio's Manhattan office when Bob Smith started offering him small acting parts on his NBC-TV show, 'Triple B Ranch,' and then subsequently hired him as a special assistant for 'The Howdy Doody Show.'

    Though Keeshan's initial responsibilities involved supervising props and talking to the children who were to be program guests, he was soon pulled on camera, bringing out prizes.

    After appearing in clown garb on one episode to immense response, he took on the regular role of Clarabell, the mute clown who communicated by honking a horn.

    Leaving the series in 1952, he played a succession of other clown characters, such as Corny, the host of WABC-TV's 'Time For Fun,' a noontime cartoon program, where he exerted pressure to remove from airplay cartoons he felt were too violent or perpetuated racial stereotyping.

    While at WABC-TV, he played an Alpine toymaker on 'Tinker's Workshop,' an early morning program which served as the prototype for Captain Kangaroo.

    The CBS network was searching for innovative new approaches to children's programming and approved the Kangaroo series submitted by Keeshan and long-time friend Jack Miller.

    The series first aired in October 1955 and continued until 1985, making it the longest running children's series in network history. Keeshan not only vividly embodied the Captain, the friendly host of the Treasure House, but also played a central creative role on the daily series, supervising and actively contributing to the scripts and insuring the program's conformity to his conceptions of appropriate children's entertainment.
  2. jediX

    jediX Well-Known Member


    :eek: Oh no! I really don't know what to say... I watched this show almost as much as Mr. Rogers back when it was on reruns. :(

    I can remember his appearance on Muppets Tonight as "Commodore Kangaroo".

  3. Don'tLiveonMoon

    Don'tLiveonMoon Well-Known Member

    I loved Captain Kangaroo! I've still got a tape of him that I listen to sometimes. It had been so long since I'd heard anything about him, I didn't know if he was still around. :o But he was a great entertainer and a good guy. He made a great mark on the world.
  4. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    I was about to copy that here until I read about it here. U beat me.
    I'll miss that neat, fun and enjoyable man. Love his show. I never got to see any of the old shows but I did get to see his new shows when they showed on Fox. I'll miss that old House and the rest of the charatcers. Well at least he's up there w/ his wife. Good bye Captain. Will miss u. *blows a kiss to the sky*
  5. Saginaw

    Saginaw Active Member

    A sad day, indeed. :cry:

    Every weekday morning from the time I began preschool to about the first or second grade I started my day watching the good Captain. I loved the different animals that he brought to the set. I really liked Bunny Rabbit and would wish I had a puppet like him. Mr. Moose cracked me up. Dancing Bear kinda scared me (I believe it was his really wide eyes), and Mr. Green Jeans was like the grandfather I didn't have.

    By the way, does anyone remember the segments on 'Captain Kangaroo' that featured a type of mime or clown that danced against a black background to different kinds of music, and sometimes he would use props with his performances?

    God bless you always, Captain. I thank you as the person that I am today for enriching my childhood, I thank you as an American for serving our country, and I thank you as a fellow human being for showing me the best that humanity can be.

  6. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Well-Known Member

    Yes I always loved Captain Kangaroo, in someways more then Mr. Rogers. I just really loved the Mr. Moose puppet and the pingpong balls. I wish his show was still on the air. I know they did make a newer show back a few years but Bob Keeshan wasn't playing Captain Kangaroo, I wonder if he ever showed up on that show? I too feel there is too much violence on tv for younge children and i feel it has only gotten worse. Bob Keeshan lived a good life, he looked older then he was, I remember watching him on an old FX morning show back in like 1997 in which he would have a comment on something each day. I know it's sad he died, :sympathy: but now he's with his wife.
  7. Kevin Clash and the Captain

    I loved watching Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Greenjeans, and Kevin Clash. Does anyone remember the father and son puppets on the show. Kevin performed the son. He also was a human character in the show interacting with Captain K.

    When Fox Family (now ABC Family) tried to reincarnate the Captain Kangaroo show, it just didn't work. There's only 1 Kangaroo, just like there is only 1 Mr. Rogers, 1 Walt Disney, and 1 Jim Henson. Kids and those of us that are kids at heart lost another friend today. :cry:
  8. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    It's been a rough week for childhood icons. Ray Rayner also passed away this week. Those of you outside of Chicago don't know who he is, I'm sure, but he had his own show where he introduced cartoons (which I remember quite well), and he was also Sandy the Clown during the early years of the Bozo Show (a Chicago TV institution for 40 years, before going off the air in 2001).

    And now Bob. Sigh. We'll miss you, Bob and Ray. :sympathy: :cry: :boo: :grouchy:
  9. bazooka_beak

    bazooka_beak Well-Known Member

    I watched him a number of times when I was a kid. It makes me really sad :(
  10. bats1972

    bats1972 Well-Known Member

    This was very sad news. I had grown up in the late 70's watching Captain Kangaroo. Very sad indeed. maybe someday some episodes will be put out so I can show my son who Captain Kanngaroo was.
  11. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I can remember watching this show when I was waiting on the bus to come carry me to preschool. I still use the Gourmet Hot Dog recipe that was shown on that show. Mmm...

    And who can forget the expression on his face when Mr. Moose would drop the ping pong balls on his head!! HA!
  12. Whatever

    Whatever Well-Known Member

    I remember watching this, but I don't remember much about it. Still, it's sad that he's gone.
  13. electricmayhem

    electricmayhem Well-Known Member


    Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Captain Kangaroo were staples of my childhood.

  14. Fozzie

    Fozzie Well-Known Member

    I heard about this the other day, man that is sad.
  15. guysmiley4ever

    guysmiley4ever Well-Known Member

    nooo!!! not ray rayner too!

    :cry: golly, i wanted to post on this thread because i missed captain kangaroo. wow, i didn't hear anything about ray rayner. i can't believe it!
    i grew up watching chicago shows, loved bozo and gigglesnort.
    the bozo show was a favorite and i've watched it just as long as sesame street and captain kangaroo. :sympathy:

    it's always so sad to hear when these great people leave us, but a good feeling remains when we thing about the joy that they gave us.
    they were wonderful men and will remain in my heart.
    hopefully, these show will be played again someday, so the kids of today can enjoy them as well.
    thanks again mr. rayner and captain kangaroo! :flirt:
  16. Zelda Rose

    Zelda Rose Well-Known Member

    Childhood Icons

    Jim Henson
    Mr. Rodgers
    Capt. Kangaroo/Clarabell The clown (Bob K. was the first Clarabell the clown for those who did't know it)
    Bob Hope
    Sammy Davis Jr.
    Barry White

    I know, a strange mix, but this was a lot of my childhood. I'm sure that there are about a hundred people that I missed, but at this time these names were all I could think of............but when The Capt. died........that was really and truly the end of my childhood. :cry:
  17. Baby Rowlf

    Baby Rowlf Well-Known Member

    >.< Ow.

    This hurts. This really really hurts. Not only did I grow up watching Captain Kangaroo when I was young, but my mother was the animal handler for the show in the early 60s, and was very close to the entire cast.

    Ah well. I guess it all evens out. My mom's dead too, so I guess they can meet up again on the other side.

    It sucks though because it's times like this that I really wish she was still alive.
  18. dbarrie

    dbarrie Well-Known Member

    Have any of you heard a Christmas recording called "The Littlest Snowman"? That's the greatest memory I have of Captain Kangaroo. He narrated this cute and emotional story/song on a CBS record called "The First Christmas Record for Children," featuring various artists from the 1950s (e.g. Rosemary Clooney, Mitch Miller, Doris Day, Gene Autry, Red Skelton, etc.). The story was about this tiny snowman had a red candy heart.

    I unfortunately didn't watch his show much. It was on TV when I was a kid but I somehow didn't catch it. I am now in my 30s, and it was during the mid-1970s that I started playing this Christmas album, and it was one of the first ones I remember having. I don't have this record anymore, but I managed to download the Captain's track, and I also have some of the other ones on CD. It brings back warm and fuzzy memories of Christmases past.

    OI MuppetFan
  19. JaniceFerSure

    JaniceFerSure Well-Known Member

    Bob Keeshan aka Captain Kangaroo RIP

    :sympathy: RIP Bob.You brought smiles to millions,whether thru your stories or standing under a flood of ping-pong balls.Talking to Mr. Moose,Mr.Bunny,Mr.Greenjeans.I miss you deeply.God Bless You,Captain Kangaroo! :cry:
  20. Rowlf the dog

    Rowlf the dog Member

    If my own father had not died six days before Bob Keeshan I think I would have been devastated. As it was I was numb.
    Bob Keeshan was my personal favorite show as a small child and I feel like I have lost a family member. It is almost a year later and the thought of his death still makes me sad. I haven't read all the posts that you have all put up and don't know what your comments are, but I am sure there is nothing I could post that would make anyone feel any better about it.

    "Remember it's another be good to mother day."
    Rowlf the dog :sympathy:
    Now this little icon seems so appropriate

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