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Captain Kangaroo

YellowYahooey

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I just skimmed through a rare full broadcast of "Captain Kangaroo" from October 1982, and I must say, I was more a fan of the September 1982-September 1984 era despite its declining ratings at the time. Maybe it's perhaps because I never had access to CBS until late August or early September 1983.

I do know some segments from Hanna-Barbera's "The C.B. Bears", including the title characters, and "Undercover Elephant", really added some spice to the show. I never cared much for UK-produced cartoons such as "Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings", which used to be a staple on "Captain Kangaroo" years before.

I also enjoyed the pre-commercial and post-commercial bumpers involving an activity in cartoon form, with a hand holding a stop sign being held up to signal an upcoming commercial break.

When I first got into the show in 1983, the show added music videos. I recall hearing Lionel Richie's "All Night Long (All Night)" and Al Jarreau's "Mornin'", the latter of which involved a barrage of Saturday morning cartoon characters, including some from "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids". I also remember seeing a music video featuring Disney characters, and even a couple of music videos involving CGI animation hi-tech for 1984.

The opening theme for "Captain Kangaroo" in 1982 to 1984 was definitely appealing because my interest in the traditional Saturday morning fare peaked sometime in 1983.

I did discover a cartoon segment in the October 1982 broadcast whose art appears to be the work of Bruce Cayard. If this is true, then Cayard may be another "Sesame Street" connection with the show (the other being Kevin Clash, who would later voice Elmo).

What are your thoughts about "Captain Kangaroo" during its latter years?
 

D'Snowth

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The only CAPTAIN KANGAROO I ever saw was the one-season wonder reboot from Canada that aired on Fox Kids in the late 90s, where the Captain looked like Dom DeLuise in a blue sailor uniform, and Mr. Moose was a full-bodied rubber suit character whose voice sounded like a Mickey Mouse imitation.
 

fuzzygobo

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I grew up with the good Captain. He was a little annoyed when several of his staff- Dave Connell, Jon Stone, and Sam Gibbon- jumped ship to join the fledgling CTW.

My favorite memory, Mr. Moose used to tell knock knock jokes. And after the punchline, the Captain would have a million ping pong balls dropped on his head. This gag never got old.
There were a number of cartoon inserts over the years. I remember most from the early 70s, The Adventures of Tom Terrific.
And in the early 80s, Bill Cosby got to do his Picture Pages.

Bob Keeshan couldn’t keep up with the fast pace of Sesame Street, but millions my age still tuned in.
 

YellowYahooey

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I feel as if ratings for "Captain Kangaroo" fell due to the growing success of "Sesame Street".
 

fuzzygobo

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Captain Kangaroo has been on the air for almost 30 years, from 1955 to 1984. It might never have pulled the ratings Sesame did, but CBS still saw fit to give it its 8 am time slot. Here in New York, if Captain Kangaroo was in Sesame’s slot at 9 am, the Captain would’ve gotten creamed.
 

YellowYahooey

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Makes sense as to why "Captain Kangaroo" was eventually moved to Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. ET by the final years of the series. They believed that "Sesame Street" would never air in that time slot. but they underestimated as some PBS affiliates likely caught on and aired "Sesame Street" as early as 7 a.m. ET on Saturday mornings. They even aired "Sesame" at 8 a.m. ET - no wonder a lot of cartoons airing before 9 a.m. ET were short-lived!
 

fuzzygobo

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I grew up in the 70s, and there were a few cartoons as early as 6 am on weekends. Usually Davey and Goliath, old Bugs Bunny or Hanna Barbers stuff. But as early as 1972, our PBS station, WNET Channel 13 New York, would run blocks of Sesame Street, Electric Company, Mr. Rogers, and Zoom from 7 am to 7 pm. Plus a few hours of Sesame on Sunday mornings.

The one show CBS decided to run on Saturday and Sunday mornings was Patchwork Family. Hosted by Carol Corbett and a yellow puppet named Rags. They played games, puzzles, songs, showed animals, it was fun, but low-budget compared to Sesame Street.
 

Cookie3001

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The only CAPTAIN KANGAROO I ever saw was the one-season wonder reboot from Canada that aired on Fox Kids in the late 90s, where the Captain looked like Dom DeLuise in a blue sailor uniform, and Mr. Moose was a full-bodied rubber suit character whose voice sounded like a Mickey Mouse imitation.
Oh yeah I remember that. Also fun fact: They apparently tried to get Bob Keeshan to guest appear on the show as a tribute to the original version of the show but after Bob watched this version of the show he was appalled and refused to do so
 

YellowYahooey

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One ABC affiliate in Maine did air local reruns of older cartoons in the mid-1980s. They would air "Space Kidettes", "Bullwinkle", "Underdog", "King Leonardo", "Tennessee Tuxedo", and starting in the summer of 1984, as a lead-in to ABC programming, reruns of "The Jackson 5ive" cartoon show started airing, in the wake of Michael Jackson's popularity at the time.

I think my interest in Saturday morning toons started to decline when January or February 1984 came around and a schedule change occurred. My viewership would cut off at 10:30 a.m. ET, as there was nothing interesting after "Smurfs" was over. I really enjoyed the 1982-83 season the most.

"Captain Kangaroo" was quite dull when they cut the show to just a half hour in September 1984. Solid proof that the show was on the way out at the time. And come January 1985, it was gone.

Though I did learn that a package of half-hour episodes did later get rebroadcast on PBS, but I don't know when exactly. I don't think I remember watching PBS much after I stopped watching "Sesame Street" completely in February 1985. It wouldn't shock me if the PBS broadcasts had H-B shorts and music videos edited out.
 
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