For those people who were either parents or children in the period between 1955 and 1991, you’re in for a whole lot of nostalgia!
Do you remember the perky theme song of Captain Kangaroo which was accompanied by the jingling of his keys as he unlocked his treasure house?
Captain Kangaroo is, to this day, the longest running show in television history as Captain Kangaroo managed to dominate the airwaves in the early mornings for about 30 years. Over this period of time, the show offered its viewers – which were mainly very young children – with a education through a simple format.
The show’s central focus was the Captain himself who was a plump teddy-bear like person with a Buster Brown mustache and bangs to match. Very much like another popular children’s TV icon called Mister Rogers, the Captain would welcome his young viewers with his never-condescending and soft-voiced sweetness.
Captain Kangaroo used to guide his viewers from segment to segment while chatting with all the interesting inhabitants of the Treasure House. His role was played by Bob Keeshan and he was named so because of all his famed voluminous pockets.
While all of these facts were known by most viewers, we would like to enlighten you with some little known secrets and facts about the show. Here they are:
The Theme Tune Wasn’t Original
The tune for Captain Kangaroo wasn’t an original piece of music as most of us believed it to be. In reality, this tune had been taken from the stock music library in England. Prior to being the tune for Captain Kangaroo, the tune had served as the tune for Children Favorites – the BBC radio show. In addition to this, this tune had also been used on Murder among the Statues.
Television Planned on Reviving Captain Kangaroo in 2011
In 2011, there were plans to bring back the legendary Captain Kangaroo. A professional Clown known as Pat Cashin had allegedly bought the rights for this children’s hero and planned to play the Captain himself. The plans, however, were sadly dropped when Cashin had suddenly passed away at the age of 48. This is when people were reported to have said that Captain Kangaroo has had his golden years and the character cannot be brought back.
Mr. Moose is Resting in the Smithsonian Institute
One of the most beloved characters on the show, as you all know, was Mr. Moose. This character couldn’t just be put away in storage because of all his years of ping pong balls and hilarious knock-knock jokes. This is why fans had him placed in the Smithsonian Institute. This character was a huge part of the show and Captain Kangaroo himself seemed to really enjoy his presence.
Even though these were just rumors, we’re sure that these confessions weren’t really far from the truth. It has been famously said that the show had a lot of backstage pranks played by the cast. According to the unknown sources of these rumors, it was also found that Keeshan would flash the people on the set which was usually followed by the costars retaliating. Well, thank God, all of these pranks were held backstage – especially because of the fact that this was a children’s show.
Hugh Brannum Was Actually Bitten By A Lion Cub
While playing his famous role of Mr. Green Jeans, Hugh Brannum had managed to get his finger bitten by a lion cub. Now this particular interesting fact isn’t a rumor because all of this had happened while the cameras were rolling! Brannum, however, managed to portray how much of a professional he really is because he managed to stay in character. He had even kept his bleeding hand inside the pocket of his pants!
An Urban Myth
Since we’re talking about Mr. Green Jeans, famed singer Frank Zappa had recorded 2 singles which were clearly meant to reference him. Both these songs were named ‘Son of Mr. Green Genes’ and ‘Green Genes’ and the words of the song signified that Zappa was really interested in the character. All of these facts led to the theory that Zappa was actually the biological son of Mr. Green Jeans, also known as, Hugh Brannum. Zappa, of course, had denied all such connections.
Bob Keeshan Was Quite Well Known Before Captain Kangaroo
While Captain Kangaroo and Bob Keeshan had managed to become synonymous with each other, Keeshan was quite well known to the younger audience before the show. This is because he had started off as Clarabell the Clown on NBC, in a sitcom known as Howdy Doody. Clarabell also had a signature move was to honk his horn to gain the attention of the other characters because he played a mute clown.
PBS Managed to Keep The Show Going for 10 More Years
Captain Kangaroo kept coming up with new material till 1984 but managed to stay on the air till 1993. This is almost an additional decade and the reason for this was most probably the popularity of the show at the time. Fans simply didn’t want to part with their beloved characters. Due to this, the network kept splicing old and new episodes together in order for them to seem new and to prolong the footages.
Captain Kangaroo Cameo Appearances
If any of you managed to watch the Blaxploitation comedy known as Black Dynamite, you will have caught the cameo appearance of Captain Kangaroo. In addition to this, the character was also mentioned in Die Hard: With a Vengeance by John McLane – played by Bruce Willis.
Other than these, Captain Kangaroo was kept alive by Bloodhound Gang, Weird Al Yankovic and the Statler Brothers.
Hollywood has managed to remember Captain Kangaroo as an unforgettable classic that has transcended genre and time. If you wish to find out more interesting facts about the show, visit this website.
You’ll relive all your glorious, after-school TV times!
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