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Captain Kangaroo and Crew After the Show Ended.

Cheryl has a degree in Psychology and enjoys writing about nostalgia for Baby Boomers.

Captain Kangaroo AKA Bob Keeshan.

Captain Kangaroo AKA Bob Keeshan.

The captain

Bob Keeshan delighted children for 29 years on CBS as Captain Kangaroo. The program aired from 1955 until 1984 making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children's television program of its day". The show debuted the same day as Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club. Boys and girls everywhere tuned in to watch the antics of the Captain and his friends. (Previously Bob Keeshan had been Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show). Captain Kangaroo was both entertaining and educational for baby boomers. Keeshan had a longtime friendship with Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. In 1970, Keeshan visited Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Rogers was seen on Captain Kangaroo. The two men remained close friends and in 1980, they appeared together on the PBS special Springtime with Mister Rogers. Bob Keeshan died of a heart attack in 1981 and the American Program Service which is now American Public Television, Boston) integrated new segments of the show into reruns of past programming and, distributed the new combined episode version of the popular series on PBS from 1986 until 1993. Keeshan had a wife, 3 children, and 3 grandchildren at the time of his death. His legacy lives on so let's look at some of his co-stars.

Mr,Green Jeans and Captain Kangaroo

Mr,Green Jeans and Captain Kangaroo

Mr. Green Jeans

Hugh Brannum (January 5, 1910 – April 19, 1987) was Captain Kangaroo's trusted sidekick Mr. Green Jeans who was beloved by the viewing audience. Brannum also was an American vocalist, actor, composer, and arranger, but was best known for his role as Mr. Green Jeans. Brannum graduated from the University of Redlands, in 1931 and after graduation expressed an interest in jazz; and also played bass in a number of bands. Mr. Green Jeans earned his name because of his "distinctive apparel". He initially wore a pair of farmer's overhauls and later began wearing jeans and a denim jacket, in his signature green. The show was broadcast in black-and-white for most of the time it was on hair, so viewer could only imagine. He was a talented and inquisitive handyman who provided assistance at the Treasure House. He frequently visited the Captain with the latest addition to his menagerie of zoo animals.


The voice behind Captain Kangaroo's friends.

The voice behind Captain Kangaroo's friends.

The rest of the cast

In addition to portraying Mr. Green Jeans, Brannum played a number of additional characters on Captain Kangaroo from 1955 to 1984. He was Greeno the Clown, Mr. Nainter the Painter, The New Old Folk Singer, and the Professor, The role of Mr. Green Jeans was loosely based on stories about a farm kid whose name was "Little Orley". Brannum told these stories along with the Fred Waring Orchestra, on the radio using the pseudonym "Uncle Lumpy". The stories were also available on 78 rpm records. Bob Keeshan, said that Mr. Green Jeans was actually an extension of Brannum's true personality. Captain Kangaroo was filmed in front of a live audience and during one episode Brannum's finger was bit by a Lion cub. The actor put his bleeding hand into his pocket and continued until the end of the episode without ever once breaking stride. This shows how professional he was. Hugh Brannum died on April 19, 1987. There is another man who was an important part of the cast and his name was Cosmo Allegretti. He was the voice behind the beloved puppet characters on The Captain Kangaroo television show. Allegretti was responsible for Mr. Moose, Grandfather Clock, Dancing Bear, and Mr. Bunny Rabbit. Allegretti was married twice, once to actress Carol Lawrence. He passed away on July 26, 2013

The theme song and popular guest

The theme song to Captain Kangaroo is one that brings back lots of memories to baby boomers who grew up watching the television show. it elicits fond memories of the episodes. The original theme song, which was used from 1955 to 1974, was actually purchased from a British stock music production library. Before it was became associated with Captain Kangaroo it appeared in an episode of a BBC radio program called "Murder Among the Statues". It was later used as the theme song for Children's Favourites, another BBC radio program. In addition to the regulars, there were other puppets who appeared on the show like Sharry Lewis with Lambchop, and Kookla Fran and Ollie. Famous guests to appear on the show were Bill Cosby, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Debbie Weems, Mike Farrell, and Leslie Uggams, Andy Griffith, Donna Douglas, Slim Goodbody, Penny Marshal, Cindy Williams, Walt Frazier, Walter Cronkite, The Captain and Tenile and Kenny Rogers just to name a few.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Cheryl E Preston

Comments

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 15, 2020:

Back when I was a youngster, my brothers and I were watching The Mickey Mouse Club. We were not watching that much TV back then. I missed viewing this popular show.

OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on September 04, 2020:

Good work, though not common in this part of the world.

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on September 01, 2020:

Thank you so much

Robert Odell Jr from Memphis, Tennessee on September 01, 2020:

I used to watch Captain Kangaroo as a child. I enjoyed reading this interesting article.

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on September 01, 2020:

Yes it was the best show. Thank you for reading.

Readmikenow on September 01, 2020:

Ah, when I was growing up I was a Captain Kangaroo fan. It was a great kids show. I loved it when I was a kid. I enjoyed reading this.

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on September 01, 2020:

Yes it really was

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 01, 2020:

I've never heard of this show before, but it sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on August 31, 2020:

Thank you so much

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 31, 2020:

Very informative article on such a popular show. Well presented.