Appreciating all that makes America special

Kid Stuff: Captain Kangaroo

Mr. Green Jeans was just the kind of non-threatening adult the Captain needed for his young audience. Uploaded by my-3-sons.com.

Kids growing up from the mid-50s until the mid-80s all had one thing in common – they could watch Bob Keeshan bring his warmth and imagination to American children’s programming. Captain Kangaroo ran for an hour in the mornings until the CBS Morning News premiered, and was cut to a half hour thereafter.

Keeshan incorporated regular characters, puppets, and videos into his program. These were non-threatening adults who didn’t look down on kids. People like Mr. Green Jeans (Hugh Brannum) and The Banana Man (Sam Levine). Gus Allegretti performed several of the show’s best-known puppet characters, including Bunny Rabbit and Grandfather Clock.

Tom Terrific and Might Manfred. Uploaded by i85.photobucket.com.

One of the segments I remember fondly was Tom Terrific. I guess I just had a soft spot for a kid who went around with a funnel on his head. Tom and his buddy Manfred the Wonder Dog had to constantly outsmart the villain, Crabby Appleton.

Bob Keeshan died in 2004 without a lot of fanfare. Consider who affected more people for good – Captain Kangaroo or Michael Jackson – and look at the way their deaths were covered. Makes a very sad comment on popular culture today, doesn’t it?

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2 Comments

  1. I’m glad to find someone else who shares my fondness for Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred, his Wonder Dog. Oh, how I loved this program! Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Moose were my favorites after Grandfather Clock! What grand memories, huh? I think we were real lucky to have Captain Kangaroo. I really do.

  2. my date of birth , 10/03/55.
    i think that is also the day ck. started