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Before We Forget 5 (Bob Keeshan)

Updated on December 6, 2012

Bob Keeshan ... a no-body to most people, and most of those people grew up peering at his show on TV, ironically enough. I know I did. (63 episodes, 1955-1984)

I didn't catch all those shows, mind you, but I was the prime age group and among the first group of kids to watch. I was three years old. He's a part of my first memories of laying on the floor in front of the B+W ten inch screen, my elbows and arms sore from propping my head up for the length of the show. His image, that shown down on the impressionable me, was one of laughter and joy, with a portrayal of life as full of fun and amusement.

Captain Kangaroo ... the name I reconize, along with Mr. Greenjeans who always had a cool animal with him. Did you know at one time, he played Howdy Doody's friend, Clarabell ?

Few children's programs ever made as much impact as Captain Kangaroo. Hosted by Bob Keeshan from the Captain's Place. Captain Kangaroo was named so because he always wore that overcoat with the large pockets. (kangaroo-like pouches) Every show featured stories, skits, like vaudeville acts, songs, games and other educational, but childish activities. Another of Captain Kangaroo's friends were Dennis, an apprentice handyman person; and Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit. Bunny never said a word, but made his point very cleverly. Mr. Moose always tricked, usually with a knock-knock joke, the Captain into standing under a shower of ping pong balls. Grandfather Clock, Mr. Whispers and Dancing Bear were his other friends.

The Captain Kangaroo Cast

Bob Keeshan - Captain Kangaroo
Hugh Brannum - Mr. Green Jeans
Cosmo Allegretti - Dennis the Handyman and Mr. Moose, Mr. Bunny Rabbit, Grandfather Clock, Miss Frog, Mr. Whispers, Word Bird and Dancing Bear.

Deborah Weems - Debbie
Terry Kelly - Orville the Dragon
A. Robbins - Banana Man
Larry Wall - Mr. Baxter
Stu Kerr - Mr. Scoop Toot

Bob Keeshan was born in Lynbrook, New York. In 1945, during World War II, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, but was still in the United States when Japan surrendered. He attended Fordham University on the GI Bill.

Bob Keeshan also had a Saturday morning show called Mister Mayor during the 1964-65 season. Keeshan, in his role as the central character in both Captain Kangaroo and Mister Mayor, heavily promoted the products of the Schwinn Bicycle Co., a sponsor, directly on-air to his audience.By 1972, Keeshan had introduced another character on Captain Kangaroo to recommend Schwinn products, Mr. Schwinn Dealer,due to the Federal Trade Commission ruling against children's show hosts directly endorsing their sponsor's products during their programs after 1969.


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