Good Morning Captain

As I’ve mentioned before, I try to avoid politics and other controversies here except when I don’t. Which is pretty much how most of my personal rules work. When I make an exception, it’s likely when something or someone has pushed me past worrying about the fallout, said fallout almost never materializing, but that’s my issue.

Obscurity has its advantages.

Nevertheless, one such incident arose recently when I was forced to defend one of my childhood heroes, one I’m guessing most people here have either never heard of or never experienced directly. I’m talking about Bob Keeshan aka “Captain Kangaroo.”

The TV show of the same name (mostly, there were slight variations) ran for almost thirty years, from 1955 to 1984. It was a kid’s show with puppets, animation, and sketch comedy. Gentle humor, mostly, though Bunny Rabbit did have a habit of dropping buckets of ping-poll balls on the Captain at the slightest provocation. Or for no apparent reason.

Anyway, recently someone too young to know better posted a picture of Keeshan in his Captain Kangaroo persona with a caption something like “This is the character they allowed to influence children?”

Yes, it’s a little jarring in a more modern context. Yes, It was a more innocent time. Not quite so world-weary or cynical as now. Had its own issues, heaven knows, but not others. I couldn’t let it pass.

“Let’s see… decades in television without a hint of scandal, close friend of Mr. Fred Rogers?

Yeah. We could do worse.”

Forgot to add: ex-marine, several honorary doctorates, five Emmys, three Peabodys, a National Education Award, and inducted into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Oh, and his original Captain costume on display at the Smithsonian.

Yeah, we really could do worse.

4 thoughts on “Good Morning Captain

  1. I grew up on the show, and have happy mwmories of being in the audience as a child when the Captain came and did a love show in a school auditorium in Kansas City…

  2. Being in my sixties and having grown up in New England, I am familiar with the Captain, of course. Like you, I am bemused by the negativity that you mention. So typical of today’s society where people spout opinions without any real information. Your annoyance is appropriate.

  3. Not sure what problem the person in question has with the captain; searched for the posting out of curiosity and didn’t find it. All I can say is, I used to see the show when I was a kid, and also had a cool record based on it, and somehow I seem to have made it through my subsequent life without suffering major trauma as a result!

  4. I grew up in Quebec, so I never was exposed to the Captain, but I know of him. I even know the network’s newbie who, because he was a newbie, inherited the job of telling the Captain tht his show was cancelled.

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